• Chefs & Recipes

    Bake with Shivesh!

  • –  Shivesh Bhatia

    Social media is a place where it is more important to document what you ate or cooked than whether you enjoyed your meal. It is a world obsessed with the aesthetics of food presentation and styling; where every ‘like’ and follower increases your circle of influence and makes big brands sit up and take notice. Food styling has thus become a skill many want to master, but don’t know how.

    MINI MULBERRY CAKES

    When I was five years old, I spent a year in Dehradun. The huge mulberry tree in our backyard was the beginning of my love affair with mulberries and these cakes are just another expression of that love.

    You will need

    • ½ cup butter, softened
    • ½ teaspoon ground star anise
    • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 1 cup castor sugar
    • ¼ cup sour cream
    • 3 eggs
    • ½ cup milk
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 2 teaspoons baking powder
    • ½ cup fresh mulberries

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and generously brush 12 mini cake pans with melted butter.
    2. Beat the butter, star anise, vanilla and castor sugar until the mixture is fluffy.
    3. Beat in the sour cream and the eggs. Mix well.
    4. Whisk in the milk.
    5. Using a spatula, fold in the all-purpose flour and baking powder. Mix only until there are no flour pockets in the batter.
    6. Carefully fold in the fresh mulberries.
    7. Transfer the batter into prepared cake pans and
      bake at 180°C for 25-30 minutes until the cakes are golden-brown and a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

    BLUEBERRY CRUMB BARS

    I added this recipe to the book at the last minute because I realized that there are days when you want dessert but you’ve had enough of cakes, cupcakes or even tarts. For all such days, you need these eggless blueberry bars.

    Crust and topping

    You will need

    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 cup rolled oats
    • 1 teaspoon baking powder
    • 1/2 cup honey
    • 1 cup castor sugar
    • 1 cup cold butter, cubed

    Blueberry filling

    You will need

    • 4 cups blueberries, frozen
    • 1/2 cup castor sugar
    • 1 tablespooncornflour
    • 1 teaspoon lemon zest

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a 9×13-inch rectangular cake pan with parchment paper, leaving excess on both the sides.
    2. In a bowl, combine flour, oats, sugar, baking powder and honey. Use your fingers to incorporate the cold butter into the dough.
    3. Press down half the dough evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan.
    4. To make the filling, in a separate bowl, combine blueberries, sugar, cornflour and lemon zest.
    5. Transfer the filling onto the crust. Crumble the remaining dough over the filling.
    6. Bake at 180°C for 30-40 minutes or until the
      crumb is golden-brown.
    7. Let it cool completely before cutting the bars.

    ORANGE AND  CUSTARD PAVLOVAS

    Honestly, I’m not a pavlova fan but these mini pavlovas are delightful. If you make them in advance, store them in an airtight container.

    Meringue

    You will need

    • 4 egg whites
    • 2 cups castor sugar
    • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
    • 2 teaspoons corn starch

    Custard

    You will need

    • 2 cups whole milk, divided
    • 3 tablespoons custard powder
    • ¼ cup castor sugar
    • ½ teaspoon cardamom powder

    Topping

    You will need

    • 8-10 sections of oranges
      and blood oranges
    • ¼ cup castor sugar
    • 6 tablespoons crushed pistachios

    Instructions

    1. Preheat the oven to 150°C. On a parchment sheet, draw six 4-inch circles. Reverse the parchment sheet and place it on a baking tray.
    2. In a stand mixer, beat the egg whites until they double in volume.
    3. While the mixer is still running, gradually add sugar and beat until the egg whites are glossy and form stiff peaks.
    4. Fold in the vanilla extract and corn starch.
    5. Transfer the meringue on the parchment paper within the drawn circles. Bake for 1 hour and let the meringue cool once it’s baked completely.
    6. To make the custard, mix in the custard powder into ½ cup milk.
    7. In a saucepan set over medium heat, bring the custard mixture, sugar, cream and the remaining 1½ cups milk to a boil until the custard thickens. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
    8. To make the topping, combine citrus sections and sugar in a saucepan over low heat. Cook until the citrus sections release juices.
    9. To assemble the pavlova, top the meringue with custard and citrus. Sprinkle with crushed pistachios.

    RED GRAPE AND APPLE YEAST CAKE

    Yeast cakes are slightly more time consuming than regular ones but when you take the first bite, you know it is worth the time you put in.

    You will need

    • ½ cup milk
    • 2½ teaspoons dry yeast
    • ½ cup castor sugar
    • ½ cup vegetable oil
    • 2 eggs
    • 2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1 tablespoon orange zest
    • 1 cup red grapes
    • 1 apple, thinly sliced
    • ¼ cup whole pecans
    • 8-10 dried cranberries
    • ¼ cup lightly packed brown sugar
    • ¼ teaspoon ginger powder

    Instructions

    1. Warm the milk and sprinkle yeast on top. Set aside and let it sit for 5 minutes.
    2. In a large bowl, combine sugar and vegetable oil.
    3. Add the eggs and beat well.
    4. Fold in the all-purpose flour and orange zest.
    5. Add the milk-yeast mixture and mix until well combined.
    6. Transfer the batter to a lightly buttered 8-inch round springform pan.
    7. Let the batter rest in a warm place for 1 hour.
    8. Meanwhile, toss the red grapes, apples, pecans and cranberries in brown sugar and ginger powder.
    9. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
    10. Place the fruit on top of the cake batter.
    11. Bake at 200°C for about 40-50 minutes until the cake rises and is cooked through.
    12. Cool completely before demoulding. Serve with whipped cream.