Sunday, November 29, 2009

In Memoriam.

I'd like to dedicate this post in memory of my little cousin, Sachin, who lost his 7 month long battle with astrocytoma on the 21st. He was just 14. His passing has left a big vacuum in our family which is going to be real hard to fill. When he was little, we used to envy his beautiful, long eyelashes and tease him about it. His quick wit caught almost anybody off-guard and if there was anybody who could make his mom laugh whole-heartedly, it was him. I still remember the smile on his face when I told him that he was an uncle when my older daughter was born! While his siblings are rather on the shy side and just had their mom do their shopping, he was always outspoken and very particular about what he wore. I don't think I've ever come across any kid who has said he wants to go to a boarding school, beacuse he thought it was a better school. He did. In the long months that he suffered, not once did he complain, though he was confined to his bed and also lost his vision. He even assured his mom on the day he left that everything was going to be okay and that she shouldn't be sad. Typical him! I think he was an angel sent down by God.

Sachin had a big sweet-tooth and loved all those sweets from the bakery. This cake was made as the finale cake of my Wilton course 2 on the day before he passed.

Sachin, this one's for you! You have spread so much happiness in all of our lives and though you are in a much better place now, you will be greatly missed !


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Tiny Temptations - Chocolate Cups filled with sweet whipped cream!

Ever since I saw them in a magazine, I've wanted to try to make these chocolate cups. Somehow, after my not so good experience with chocolate last Christmas, trying to dip gingerbread men in chocolate, these cuties had to take a back seat. Anyway, they are fairly easy to make and more than any skill you need, you just need to be patient and take things slow!

Its a good idea to get all your stuff together before you start working with the chocolate.

You will need:
Cupcake liners
Cupcake tin or pan
Basting brush or a food-safe paint brush.

Chocolate chips - 3/4 cup
Shortening - 1 tsp.
Place both in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between. Be sure that all the utensils are absolutely dry as any trace of water will just mess up the chocolate. When the chocolate is melted, use the brush to paint the inside of the cupcake liners with the melted chocolate. Make sure that the chocolate covers every nook of the cupcake liner. Work quickly because the cupcake liner will start to get heavy and lose its shape. Immediately place chocolate-painted liner in a cavity in the cupcake pan. This helps keep the shape. Refrigerate for at least 20 minutes. In case the melted chocolate starts hardening while working, microwave for a few seconds and continue with the other cups.

After refrigerating, its time to peel off the liners. Be very careful while doing this and peel a little paper at a time. Place back in the refrigerator till ready to use.

Sweetened whipped cream:
Heavy cream - 1 cup
Confectioner's sugar - 1/4 cup
Vanilla essence - 1 tsp.
Place metal bowl and whisk or beaters in refrigerator for 15 minutes. Place the above ingredients in the chilled bowl and beat till soft peaks form. Do not overbeat. Pipe the whipped cream into the chocolate cups and refrigerate till ready to serve.

Any kind of filling can be used with the chocolate cups. It can even serve as an edible bowl for ice-cream or pudding. They can be made in any size also. I used the tiny chocolate liners or bonbon cups here as I've always had a soft spot for cute tiny things. I guess it doesn't make me feel that guilty when I have a tiny second helping!!!!


Monday, November 2, 2009

African Art

Africa, the worlds second largest continent with as many as 61 territories represents a great diversity in its art and culture. Some of the poorest people live here but I feel some of the most talented too, be it sports, music, art (though lesser own).

This is inspired from an african painting I found while browsing. I did it on pre-washed cotton fabric using synthetic dyes.

African art is very colurful with lots of yellows, oranges, reds and browns. It is also very vibrant and attractive. Human figures and animals have been the primary subject for most african art. Check out Martin Bulinya's Tinga Tinga (Tanzanian art) at

I love Africa and wildlife and is definitely on my "places I must see before I die" list.