Chocolate Fudge Bundt Cake

I have been wanting to post this recipe for 100 2 years.

I can finally eat real food (carefully) after my wisdom teeth procedure. To celebrate I made my favorite flavor cake: chocolate. A dense chocolate cake and luxurious icing. Delightful.

I like to think that I’m a simple girl (my mom, on the other hand, would disagree 😉 ). I love chocolate. I love movies. Chocolate and movies together = the perfect night. I decided to devour this cake while watching The Office (for the thousandth time).

I don’t know if many people know this, but I am a complete homebody. I love staying home. I love sitting in my pajamas and cruising around my house. On Saturday nights, instead of meeting up with people, I’d rather stay home with my parents and blast ABBA  or bake a cake (or both).

I haven’t been able to just come home and bake, so over the weekend I wrote: “BAKE” (in all capital letters) in my planner as something I HAD to complete. Something else you may not know: I live by my planner. I can’t function without my planner. I am extremely dependent on my planner. It’s a problem (the first step is acceptance, right? 😉).

Side note: I love photographing chocolate!

On to the cake!

YIELD: 8-10 PREP TIME: 25 minutes

BAKING TIME: 40-55 TOTAL TIME: 65-80 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

CAKE

  • 1 cup brewed coffee*
  • 16 tablespoons (1 cup) unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup cocoa powder (Dutch cocoa)*
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  •  2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup regular full-fat yogurt*

ICING

  • 2/3 cup semi-sweet chocolate, chopped
  • 2/3 cup bittersweet chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Start by preheating the oven to 350 degrees– do not grease your bundt pan yet.
  2. In a saucepan over medium heat, combine coffee, butter, and cocoa powder. Once butter has melted, whisk everything together until a silky chocolate batter has formed.
  3. Allow the coffee-butter mixture to cool for ten minutes. Mix together sugar, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and flour in a large bowl.
  4. Once the coffee-butter mixture has cooled add it to the dry ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  5. Add vanilla, eggs, and yogurt to the forming batter; mix until a luxurious chocolate batter has formed.
  6. Now take bundt pan and grease generously with melted butter; this is vital to ensure that the cake won’t stick.
  7. Pour batter into the pan, and bake for 40-55 minutes– keep a watchful eye, as this batter bakes quickly.
  8. Once the cake is out of the oven, use a butter knife to go around the edges, and then after 5 minutes transfer cake + pan to a wire rack (do not remove pan yet).
  9. After another 5 minutes, remove bundt pan gently (tap the pan to ensure all cake falls through).
  10. Let the cake cool completely before you make the icing.
  11. Make a double boiler (a pot filled with water with a heat proof bowl on top) and add the chocolate and heavy cream. Mix until chocolate and cream have been incorporated.
  12. Spoon chocolate over the cake and enjoy!

NOTES:

  • I used Italian roast coffee, but you can use any kind. If you don’t like/want to use coffee, feel free to substitute with milk; however, coffee does enhance the chocolate flavor.
  • I used Hershey’s special dark cocoa powder.
  • You may use yogurt (Greek or regular) or sour-cream.
  • Recipe adapted from here.

❤ , 

Hira

 

June Things 

Hello July, and goodbye, June! Yes, it is that time. Another month gone, and less of 2017 to live. I feel like I say this every month, but wow 2017 is almost over.

June has been incredibly busy.

I started the month with heading to college orientation, which was kind of intimidating. I signed up for classes, walked (a lot) through the UT campus, and learned a lot about university life. I feel like I’m not prepared at all, which, I guess, is normal. But, wow. I’m just not ready– and that’s coming from the girl who has wanted to go to college since kindergarten. I know it’s the nerves, but as a type A, intense, anxious person, I’m not the most excited. I’ll let you guys know how it goes once I begin!

I also completed the month of Ramadan and celebrated Eid! Here are some pictures:

I also got my wisdom teeth out yesterday, which was terrifying for me. The overall procedure was pretty painless, but the recovery is killing me. I love eating bread, and I can’t. I know, first world problems– I am just thankful I could afford the procedure. 🙂

I hope your June was incredible! I will be posting more soon, I promise.

❤ ,

Hira

Carrot Cake II

Hello!

Yes– I’ve posted a carrot cake recipe before. A recipe that I absolutely adore, but this carrot cake recipe is also something special.

This recipe is different from the previous one because it includes brown and white sugar, a creamier frosting base, and a softer texture. If you’re between the two recipes, I’d look at the ingredients to see which recipe accommodates the ingredients that you have on hand.

Anyway, now let’s talk. June has flown by. It’s almost over, and I’m sad. Sad because as the summer goes, so does this unwavering freedom. I’m being dramatic, but the future scares me. There are so many “what ifs” and uncertainties in my life. I don’t know exactly what I want to be, where I want to go, and what will happen; this is incredibly frustrating because I’m a planner. I like to know exactly what’s going on.

This cake, however, is the answer in times of uncertainty. It inundates even the most lost soul with some serenity. I love being overly-dramatic with my writing. All of this translated: make this cake, you won’t regret it.






YIELD: 8-10 PREP TIME: 15 minutes

BAKING TIME: 30-35 TOTAL TIME: 45 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 1-1/4 cup oil
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 4 large eggs (5 small eggs)
  • 3 cups grated carrots
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 1-1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 cup nuts (or any other desired decorations/topping)

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 and apply parchment paper and grease cake pans.
  2. Whisk together flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon.
  3. In another bowl, combine oil, sugars, and vanilla.
  4. Then, add eggs one at a time to the oil-sugar mixture.
  5. Add dry ingredients in three parts to the wet ingredients until batter forms.
  6. Fold in carrots and place batter equally in both cake pans.
  7. Allow cake to bake until center springs, which should take about 30 to 45 minutes
  8. Once done baking, allow cakes to cool for 15 minutes then remove cakes and parchment paper and allow to cool some more.
  9. To make frosting: beat cream cheese until fluffy batter forms, add in powdered sugar until fluffy, and then add whipped cream on medium speed for one minute.
  10. Frost cake (once cool), decorate, and enjoy!

NOTES:

  • If you don’t have both sugars– substitute the one you have for the other.
  • You can cover the whole cake with frosting. I didn’t, however, because I made this for some who likes naked cakes.
  • Slightly Adapted From: here

I hope you guys are having a wonderful June– that isn’t too hot! I know the oven isn’t everyone’s go to in the summer, but I’m insane and use the oven year round.

❤️,

Hira

8 Things I Learned About College Applications & Senior Year 

Hello, friends! I recently tackled the dreaded college application process and finished my senior year, which means I learned a lot. Here are 8 things that I wish I could tell myself if I could start over:

  1. Don’t underestimate yourself. Throughout the process, you might feel incredibly overwhelmed. You might think that your GPA, standardized test scores, or resume are insufficient for a school/scholarship to accept you. Don’t let that doubt stop you from applying for something. You might surprise yourself!
  2. Choose a major that you love. Growing up I always thought I would pick a lucrative major. My initial plan was to major in environmental engineering or something in the realm of STEM; however, I love history and writing. I am truly passionate about current events and the world that we live in. Because of this, constant internal conflict I was torn on between stability and passion. After months of thinking, I finally chose political science/IR. I believe that this major will give me the most fulfillment and allow me to truly appreciate the world that we live in.
  3. Learn to love essay writing. I love to write, but some of my friends found writing to be the most stressful part of the whole process. I understand that writing is definitely not everyone’s cup of tea, but when you are writing it is important to sound genuine an passionate– so write about something you truly care about. Once you have a solid idea the essay will start to write itself.
  4. Don’t got to a certain college because of your friend. This “thing” didn’t impact be, but I noticed that some of my friends had great difficulty choosing a college because they were stuck on whether they should attend one with their friend. I love my friends to pieces, but I know that at the end of the day, they will still be a part of my life if they are true friends.
  5. Ask your English teacher to edit your essays. This one is the most important, in my opinion, because an English teacher has experience with essay writing. They understand that essays must sound cohesive and fluid. Don’t be afraid to ask for help! Also, once you finish your college hunt, give teacher that helped you a “thank you” to express your gratitude.
  6. Don’t be overconfident. I know I said don’t underestimate yourself, but it is also important to be leveled. One of my friends decided to apply to schools that were more of a reach– she got rejected 5/6 of the schools, and was then forced to go to her least favorite option because that was the only one she could attend. Don’t give yourself unnecessary stress. Apply anywhere and everywhere, but also make sure you have a few safe schools in your back pocket.
  7. Spend lots of time with your family. I think when senior year rolls around many students think about how that the days they spend with their family are numbered, which creates excitement for many students. However, it’s important to spend time with your mom, dad, and siblings because even though college doesn’t mean complete immersion into the real world, it does limit the amount of time you will see your family. (Love you guys! ❤️)
  8. Let go of disappointment. At the end of the day, you will attend a university that is the best fit for you. Even if you didn’t get into your first, second, or even third choice university you will still be accepted somewhere and get a quality education. Let go of any feeling from rejection, and be excited for the new chapter in your life.

If you are currently or will soon be attacking the college application process good luck!

Also: those of you who have completed the college application process or senior year, what is your biggest tip? 🙂 

❤ ,

Hira

Red Velvet Poke Cake

SUMMER. TIME. It is finally that time of the year. Books, movies, board games, friends, popsicles, barbeque, free time. Oh, how I love this time.

It is the beginning of my summer break, and I am beyond excited. After some reflecting, I have decided that I really want this summer to count.

I want to explore, I want to cook, I want to spend time with those who matter most, I want to soak up every sun ray. I usually spend summer dawdling around wasting precious time sitting at home (which is not a bad thing), but this year I want to explore more of the Dallas-Fort Worth area. I want to visit restaurants, explore nature (even though I am scared of everything), and appreciate the things that surround my life.

Speaking of appreciation, you must appreciate this cake. Red velvet. Cream cheese. Sweetened condensed milk. All the best things life has to offer wrapped up in one cake is the only way I can put it.


YIELD: 16-20 PREP TIME: 15 minutes

COOKING TIME: 23-27 TOTAL TIME: 38 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 8 tablespoons butter, softened
  • 1-1/2 cups granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 5 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 4 tablespoons red food coloring
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2-1/4 cups flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
  • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 cup butter, softened
  • 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
  • 3-1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 2 tablespoons vanilla extract

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Start by greasing a 9×13 cake pan and preheating the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Next cream together the butter and sugar, for about 3 minutes. Once combined add in eggs and mix until well incorporated.
  3. In another bowl, combine cocoa powder, vanilla extract, and red food coloring until a thick paste is formed. Add this cocoa-color mixture to the butter-sugar mixture and mix until combined.
  4. Slowly add buttermilk and flour to this mixture. Starting with half buttermilk and then half flour– until all buttermilk and flour are used.
  5. To finish the cake batter, add salt, baking soda, and vinegar. Mix for about 2 minutes or until well-combined.
  6. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for about 23-27 minutes or until center comes out clean.
  7. Once cake is baked immediately poke holes into the cake with a fork. Then slowly evenly pour the can of condensed milk. Use a spoon to even distribute the condensed milk into the holes.
  8. Allow the cake to cool and then make the frosting by whipping together butter and cream cheese. Add powdered sugar until incorporated and then add vanilla.
  9. Spread frosting over cooled cake and decorate as desired. Store in a container in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Recipe from

❤ ,

Hira

 

Prom {with pictures}

Wow, wow, wow!

That’s really all I can say. This year has flown by, and I’m in shock. I graduate on Saturday, go to college orientation in June, and then I start my freshman year in August. AHH.

Anyway this weekend I went to my high school prom. At the beginning of the school year, I was one of those “anti-prom” people who thought prom was dumb, worthless, and a waste of time. After attending, I still feel like it wasn’t anything incredibly special. I mean, if I did end up staying home I would be fine. However, because I did go, I did get to see all my classmates look AMAZING– seriously everyone looked totally flawless.

I wanted to share some pictures with you guys because this is probably the only time in my life I will be so dressed. I wore a traditional South Asian outfit, which is definitely one of my favorite things to wear! 🙂

Side note: my favorite pose is the Charlie’s Angles one; it cracks me up . 😉

Thanks for stopping by, and I promise I will be posting a recipe SOON!

❤ ,

Hira

My Country


My family, friends, and memories are in my country. My beliefs, aspirations, and motivation are in my country. My past, present, and future are in my country.

My country is a place where everyone should be able to live a life with choice; a life with freedom; a life with individual value.

My country is my teacher. I have learned from past and present events– lessons of sadness, optimism, and resilience.

My country is my connection with people, ideas, and cultures.

My country is my home filled with opportunities, dreams, and a better life.

My country will never be perfect, but I will try to embrace the imperfections. I will condemn injustice. I will work hard to change misconceptions. I will continue to be a member, friend, and citizen.

Photo Credit