Sunday, January 31, 2010

A Changed Woman

Dear readers, a new note has been added to my edible symphony of a life. I have no idea if I'm singing it right - I feel a bit off-key most of the time, to be honest with you - but I love the new melody. It's complex and beautiful. And I'm still working on it. You see, after nine months of pigging out to my heart's content, cooking and baking scrumptious goodies to sate my growing appetite (and that of DH, bless his calorific heart), it all boiled down to an eventful Tuesday, when I put my trust in God's divine recipe for humanity and let the doctors pull this delicious, delectable niblet out of my oven!Meet Bashaar, which means "bringer of happiness/glad tidings". Born Jan 19th to a pair of awe-struck parents. I drool over him. He smells better than freshly baked bread. And to my biased eyes, he's more gorgeous than a gift box full of Pierre Hermes' best macarons! I want to snuggle into him - but I won't even try, because this little tyke is just 6 lbs and fits pretty comfortably in DH's two hands.

After almost two weeks of having this little guy, I've finally found a few precious moments to share the good news with you all. And get back to some of the loves of my former life - blogging being one of them! Now, before you start thinking I'm superwoman, let me assure you that I haven't got back to cooking as yet. My only forays into the kitchen involve dumping some cereal into a bowl, throwing some blueberries in, and eating that while still standing ... as my cat looks on with disdain and the sting of betrayal in his eyes. Mama hasn't been the same since the new addition has arrived.

*Sigh* - I'll make it up to you Ozzy, I promise. In the meantime, please go play with the "It's A Boy" balloons we got home from the hospital.

Luckily, my mom was in town for two weeks, and now my mom-in-law has the dubious job of keeping our little family fed and clean, while yours truly has been relegated to the honor of being just one, over-sized, milk-producing boob for Bashaar. Exhausted would be an understatement for me right now.

So you'll forgive me if this PW recipe I'm about to talk about is a little fuzzy in my mind, since I'd made it before the delivery. Still, I do remember loving it, and giving Ree a virtual high-five for producing yet another successful recipe to add to my growing repertoire.
PW's Tres Leches Cake (see Ree's original recipe here)
Serves a crowd

Click here for printable recipe

1 cup all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
5 whole eggs, separated
1 cup sugar, divided
1 tsp vanilla
1/3 cup milk
1 can evaporated milk
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1/4 cup heavy cream

For the icing:
Half pint heavy cream
1.5 tbsp sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Butter a 9 x 13 inch pan, then put a layer of parchment paper on the bottom.

2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt in a large bowl.

3. Beat egg yolks with 3/4 cup sugar on high speed until pale yellow. Stir in milk and vanilla. Pour egg yolk mixture over the flour mixture and stir gently to combine.
After having Bashaar, I don't think I'll ever look at eggs quite the same way again!

4. Beat egg whites on high speed till soft peaks form. With the mixer on, pour in remaining 1/4 cup sugar and beat till egg whites are stiff but not dry.

5. Fold egg white mixture into the batter very gently till combined. Pour into prepared pan and spread out evenly. Bake for 35 - 45 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn cake out onto a rimmed platter and let it cool.

6. Now for the fun part. Combine the evaporated and condensed milks, along with the heavy cream. When cake is cooled, poke it all over the surface with a fork. Don't be shy - have at it. Slowly drizzle the entire mixture over the cake, especially the edges.

7. Allow the cake to absorb the mixture for about 30 mins. In the meantime, whip the heavy cream and sugar together to make the topping. Then spread it all over the surface of the cake. Top with your favorite berries. Then cut into it and enjoy. This cake keeps really well in the fridge for about 5 days, and stays just as juicy and moist.
Verdict: This is going to be my new go-to cake for large parties. It's easy and super-delicious. Who doesn't go nuts for condensed milk, after all?! And I love that it uses 5 whole eggs. I remember having this day and night during the last week of my pregnancy - under the false pretenses that it was for the sake of having my daily intake of calcium, of course! The fact that it was light and sweet and moist beyond belief had nothing to do with it.
See the pooling of the three milks on the bottom? That's as good as gold, folks.

The perfect bite.

My blogger buddy, Debby, has been holding down the fort over at Foodie Fans of The Pioneer Woman all by herself since the last two weeks. The least I can do is send over this fab recipe as my contribution for the next FFPW round-up, which is the Wildcard round. Hang in there Deb. I may be a physical and emotional wreck these days, but I'm going to get back in the blogging saddle with you soon enough, by golly!

Now I have to rush off to feed Bashaar, who is looking mighty fine right now in his red-white-n-blue striped onesie. Tee hee.


Lubna said...

Congratulations Muneeba,
Bashaar looks so adorable. Hope yo uare catching up on your sleep :)

The cake by the way looks gorgeous too!

Sarah said...

Many many congratulations to you and your family on this beautiful addition to your family. Bashaar is absolutely gorgeous:) Enjoy mommyhood!

angelinthekitchen said...

Congratulations! What an adorable little guy! Those eyes and that hair ...

Cathy said...


Future Grown-Up said...

He is absolutely gorgeous...congratulations on the newest member of the family!

And definitely more gorgeous than Pierre's macaroons too.

Joanne said...

My gosh congratulations! He is absolutely adorable. I can't believe that head of hair! If you ever need a baby-sitter, I will make the trip from NY to New Haven. I can already tell he's a sweetheart.

That cake looks delicious. Tres leche is tres magnifique. This has been bookmarked on my PW recipes to make soon list. It's a long list.

Anonymous said...

Congratulations on your beautiful baby!! Parenthood is such a wonderful journey.

Unknown said...

OMG..does that cake look GOOD!! Wish you the best darling...take care and loads of love to Bashaar!

Varsha Vipins said...

Big congrats n hugs Muneeba..Bashaar sure looks more tempting than that Tres Leches teeny tiny cudding hugs for him..:)

Lobster Gram Recipe Blog said...

He is gorgeous!

Mary said...

Congratulations--what a cutie!!

Raje said...

Congratulations! Been there and sure cant express enough, how rewarding it is.
And the cake looks awesome. Will try it out soon.

Roumopod said...

So very glad for you MuneebA
This rocks!
like totally~!
stay happy always, inshAlllah!

Unknown said...

He looks soooo gorgeous... ofcourse u have to in LOVE with him...!! so adorable masha'Allah.. with a beeautiful pair of eyes!! God bless him!

Jennifer said...

Congratulations, I am so so so very happy for you!

Anonymous said...

Bashaar looks soooo adorable!
How is Ozzy handling his lil brother?
Cake looks awesome/delish! I'm gonna try making it tomorrow or sometime this week!

Finla said...

I am so so happy for you and for your hubb.
He is so so cute. And give him a cudle, hugs and a big kiss from me.

jp said...

congrats, what a sweet litle guy!

that cake looks DELICIOUS!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!!!! Bashaar is such a beautiful baby! I'm so happy for you! And the cake looks very yummy!

Mona said...

Mabrook Mabrook Muneeba!! your baby is mashallah sooo cute and adorable! My immense love to him. Take care!
Congratulations once again!!!

Parita said...

Congratulations!! he is adorable!

Foodiewife said...

He's gorgeous, as you know. LOVE the name, and the meaning of it.
Enjoy, enjoy. You sound so happy, that it gives me a large smile to read what you've written. No worries, fellow blogger. Your son will keep you busy.
Oh, the recipe...yummy!

Mari said...

Omg he is so precious! god bless him!!!!!!

You did good momma, very good =)

Sophie Sportende Foodie said...

Congratulations, dear Muneeba!!

Your baby boy looks georgous!! So cute too,..;enjoy these precious moments with him!!

The cake looks yummie too!

tasteofbeirut said...

Congratulations from a mother of a 20 year-old and a 16-year old! i remember those days and they are filled with happiness and feeling like a zombie from lack of sleep!
We love 3 leches around here and you are reminding me that I haven't made it in ages!

Kerstin said...

He's gorgeous - congrats!!! And I love the name Bashaar!

nandini.p said...

Hey great to see u back and what a treasure u have brought back with u Muneeba !! He is so adorable.. Lovely . Happy for You!. U certainly are a super Woman.

The cake looks delectable ...

Kim said...

I am so very happy for you and your family! Baby boys are so very precious and sweet. My little guy is 3 now and he is my best little friend in the world. May you have a wonderful time with your new son!

The tres leches cake sounds fantastic!

Duchess of Tea said...

Darling congratulations on the arrival of this adorable bundle of joy with a lovely name.

Bashaar darling welcome little angel. I will include you in my special Sunday prayer. I wish you a life full of health, happiness, and great wealth.

Love & Hugs

Sushma Mallya said...

Congrats muneeba, your baby is really very cute...