Sara Dhanani

Archive for the ‘Dessert’ Category

Old fashioned trifle

In Dessert, Favorite Recipes on June 7, 2014 at 2:27 pm

This summery dessert takes me back to my childhood when the heat in Karachi was unbearable. This cooling dessert was a favorite amongst all the kids and adults. My most fondest memories are of the trifle made by my Mami and also my chachi. It’s hard to say which was better, both made lovingly with layers upon layers of delicious custard, jello and summer fruit.

Here’s my easy spin-off the classic, feel free to substitute whatever fruit
you like.







One package instant jello (strawberry is our favorite)

Custard prepared from scratch or packaged

Pound cake – store bought or home made

Fruit (grapes, banana, strawberries)


Put on some music. Slice your pound cake thinly. Get out a pretty, pretty bowl or individual pretty bowls. Layer custard, then pound cake, custard again, jello, a sprinkling of fruit and custard again. Repeat this a few times finishing the last layer with fruit and a little jello. Chill in the fridge till ready to eat.



Christmas Fruit Cake

In Dessert, Favorite Recipes on December 25, 2012 at 7:24 pm

Fruit Cake

We loved eating fruit cake for Christmas, laced with plump raisins, currants, candied fruit peel and nuts! It’s such a decadent indulgence for Christmas and I’m lucky that everyone in my household loves a homemade fruit cake. Over the years, I’ve tried many different recipes, but this is best quick fruit cake recipe. I have also tried the traditional fruit cake recipe and the mincemeat cake from this site, which are all excellent for holiday baking.

I deviated from the boiled fruit cake recipe by incorporating nuts and mincemeat in the recipe. The cake was moist and well balanced with the nuts and spices. Its best to let the cake rest a day or two wrapped in a kitchen towel at room temperature to let the flavors meld.

Christmas Baking


Boiled Fruit Cake:

1 cup light brown sugar

1 cup hot water

1/4 cup unsalted butter

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 cup seedless raisins & currents

1 cup mincemeat

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup candied and chopped mixed peel

1/2 cup chopped mixed nuts


Butter a nonstick  9 x 5 x 3 inch  loaf pan.  Preheat oven to 350F.

Add the candied peel and nuts to the flour, baking soda and salt.

In a large saucepan, over medium heat, bring to a boil the sugar, water, butter, spices, and raisins.  Boil for five minutes, remove from heat, and let cool till lukewarm. Once cool, stir in the mincemeat and vanilla. Stir into this mixture the lightly beaten eggs followed by the flour mixture.  Pour into the prepared pan and bake for 45 – 60 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the cake comes out clean.  Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack.  Cover and store, if possible, for a few days before serving.

Makes one – 9×5 inch loaf

Lemon Cream

In Dessert, Favorite Recipes on December 25, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Lemon Tarts

Recently, an aunt gifted some gorgeous lemons from her lemon tree. These were the freshest, most succulent lemons I have ever seen and I was so grateful for these lovelies to come into my kitchen. They yielded some delicious lemon cream for lemon tarts and gifting which a few left over lemons, begging to be made into a lemon pound cake.

The recipe for lemon cream comes from Dorie Greenspan and cane be found on Serious Eats. I had a hard time getting the temperature to 180 C, but eventually it did reach and the results were luscious!

Lemon Tarts

Old fashioned Bread Pudding

In Breakfast/Brunch, Dessert, Favorite Recipes on October 9, 2012 at 7:20 pm

It’s finally the weekend! After a crazy week filled with deadlines, we relaxed with a lazy goldilocks and porridge saturday morning, grocery shopping and even lazier afternoon naps. I’ve been hoarding some white bread, awaiting it to turn just the right amount of stale so we could delight in some custardy soft bread pudding. And this is the perfect recipe.. soft, custardy, warm deliciousness. Feel free to soak the raisins in rum or boubourn to indulge further.


5-6 cups stale white bread, edges trimmed and cubed into 2 inch pieces

One cup whole milk

One cup heavy whipping cream

1/4 cup butter

1/2 cup sugar

1/2 cup raisins

One teaspoon vanilla

Two eggs

dash of fresh nutmeg

pinch of all spice powder


Heat oven to 350 C

In a saucepan, heat the milk, cream and butter till the butter melts. By hand or using electric mixer, beat the sugar and eggs. Add the hot milk slowly, making sure not to curdle the eggs (i use the stand mixer and add milk so very slowly till the eggs temper). Next incorporate the vanilla, raisins and spices, finally adding the bread, letting it soak up the egg custard for 15-20 minutes. You can save a handful of bread pieces to add to the top if you like a crunchy top. Butter a 9×5 pan and place the bread pudding mix in it. Take a larger deeper pan than your bread pudding dish and fill it with hot water half way through. Submerge the bread pudding dish into your water bath and bake for 45 mins.

Bake till top is browned. Serve with whipped cream if desired…

Whole Wheat Brownies

In Dessert, Favorite Recipes on October 16, 2011 at 10:24 pm
I’m partial to fudgy, chewy, chocolatey brownies. Its been hard to get that texture with whole wheat flour until I found this recipe. They are divine. Just that simple.
1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup unsalted butter
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips
1 tsp natural vanilla
Two eggs
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F) and grease an 8 in x 8 in baking pan. Combine the whole wheat flour, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a small mixing bowl. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over heat. Once melted, add the sugar and heat gently till dissolved. Combine the melted butter and sugar with the flour mixture. Beat the eggs with vanilla in a separate bowl.
Add the eggs to the flour and butter and combine thoroughly. Finally, toss in the chocolate chips and give it one final stir. Pour the batter into your prepared baking pan. Bake for 12 -14 minutes for a crackly top and chewy center.
oh so good..