We Are Back, Fiesta Friday & Strawberry Shortcake

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Hello and welcome back! After a grueling two-week blog makeover period we are back with the soft opening of our brand new website. Yes- it’s still what we’d like to call a “soft-opening”. We are still putting all the bells and whistles in place and working behind the scenes to make everything look better.

When we started the process a couple of weeks ago, we didn’t think it would take us this long to get here. It may seem like no work went into making the website look plain and simple but it was just the opposite. We (mostly me) learnt so many new “programming” related terms and what actually goes into making a website look the way it does.

So what took us so long? Without going into too many (technical) details here are some of the reasons it took us forever to get here:

  • deciding upon a theme
  • wondering if we need a customized header and leaving the discussion half way through since we could only agree to disagree
  • something as small as deciding what font to use and in what color took up a few hours of discussion
  • trials, testing and doing live previews
  • having to import each of the 62 posts and formatting each of them individually into the new layout (we’ve only managed to do about 40 and will do the remaining in due course :))
  • brooding over the pictures from our first few posts :/
  • installing plug-ins (for the widgets, layout etc.) and customizing them to suit our theme and requirements
  • waking up one morning to a blank website we’d been working on for so many days, freaking out & panicking and doing some damage control
  • giving up once in a few hours and then self-motivating that it’ll only get better

Although, we are still tying some lose ends, we missed being away this long and we had to be back soon enough. We are also sorry for not replying to some of your comments, not bringing anything to last week’s Fiesta Friday and not commenting on the wonderful things you’ve been up to. This whole transition and importing data from the old to the new website is to blame for all of that. If only there was an easier way of doing this. Do tell us how you like the new look and feel absolutely free and shameless to give us suggestions on what else we could do. 🙂 There may be still a few issues with the website that we are trying to fix and hopefully it’ll all be fine soon.

Also, we’ll be more than happy to help anyone who is planning to or going through a similar transition for their website. Do shoot us an email and we would love to share our knowledge and learning from the process. We now know how difficult it is to do it all by yourself so happy to help.

Now back to business, so last Fiesta Friday (the one we missed) also happened to be my birthday. And we were feeling so bad that we could share the lovely (surprise) Strawberry Shortcake that Nikhil made for me. It was such a surprise. He went to a friend’s house to bake it and assemble it the day before and got it at midnight. I knew he was up to something but wasn’t sure what until midnight- yes I know it was very sweet of him. 🙂

No prizes for guessing what we are bringing this Fiesta Friday– Strawberry Shortcake! It was absolutely delicious and decadent. Here is how Nikhil made it:

 

Strawberry Shortcake

Yield: 5-6 servings

Ingredients

    For the Shortbread
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour, sifted
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • For the Strawberry Compote
  • 1 pint strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated ginger
  • 1 teaspoon unflavored gelatin
  • For the Whipped Cream
  • 1/3 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • For the Garnish
  • 2-3 strawberries, stemmed and quartered
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

    For the Shortbread
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 F.
  2. In a mixing bowl, sift the all-purpose flour, baking powder and baking soda through a fine sieve.
  3. Pour the heavy cream and vanilla extract into the bowl.
  4. Mix for 1-2 minutes using spoon/fork/hands. The mix should have the consistency of wet but non sticky dough.
  5. You can use a pie dish, a square dish, cake pan, muffin pan, madeleine pan to bake this shortcake. This quantity will give you about 8 madeleines/muffins or a 6 inch pie.
  6. Bake the dough for 15-17 minutes if using a madeleine/muffin pan or 18-20 minutes if using a pie dish.
  7. The shortcake will be golden brown when it is completely baked.
  8. For the Strawberry Compote
  9. Macerate the strawberries with sugar in a bowl for 10-15 minutes at room temperature. If using frozen strawberries let the berries thaw with sugar for about 30 minutes before putting in the pan.
  10. Cook the macerated berries in a pan for 10-15 minutes. You will now be able to break the berries in the pan using a spoon.
  11. Put the ginger and mix into the compote.
  12. Dissolve the gelatin in cold water and pour into the compote. Let this cook for another 10 minutes.
  13. Remove from heat and let cool.
  14. For the Whipped Cream
  15. Take whipping cream, add the sugar and vanilla extract and whip till soft peaks form.
  16. Add lemon zest and whip more till the cream is a little hard.
  17. For the assembly
  18. For serving the entire cake: Cut the shortcake horizontally from the middle. Ice the bottom with some of the whipped cream. Spoon the strawberry compote over the whipped cream. Top the shortcake with the upper half. Spoon some of the strawberry compote. Top generously with whipped cream and garnish with a half cut strawberry.
  19. For serving deconstructed: Serve the shortcake madeline, whipped cream and strawberry compote in a pretty dessert glass or plate.
http://www.confusedbawarchis.com/2014/04/06/back-fiesta-friday-strawberry-shortcake/

 Here are some pictures from midnight. Sorry we couldn’t get better ones, I just couldn’t stop myself from indulging. 

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Nikhil also baked another batch using the same recipe in a 12-piece madeleine pan and here is how they came out:

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 now this one here is more like a deconstructed version 🙂 DSC_0707

5.00 avg. rating (96% score) - 1 vote

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40 Comments:

  1. Pingback: Garlic Rosemary Madeleines Confused Bawarchis

  2. Blogs are so personal, every small detail matters… can totally understand your dilemma.. Great recipe… and beautiful pictures!

  3. Congratulations on the new look guys. Looks total classy! Absolutely love the strawberry shortcake! 🙂

  4. Lovely to see you back at Fiesta Friday #10, and all newly outfitted. Great job on the site – and on the recipe. It is the season for strawberry shortcake, and yours looks fabulous.

  5. Your new look is fabulous! Great job guys and good to see you back in action! 🙂

  6. The new site looks great guys! And so does the strawberry shortcake 🙂

  7. Welcome back! I’m so impressed by the huge job you had to do… how grew you have to feel now that everything is done? What a brilliant new beginning!

    • confusedbawarchis

      Thanks, Margherita. We feel relieved although exhausted with the whole process but once we get back to routine it should be good. 🙂 So glad you liked this look.

  8. Hi Aditi and Nikhil, the site looks beautiful–so easy to read and to navigate! Though I loved your old header, I really love this clean and classy look. Congrats on the big move to self-hosting. The strawberry shortcakes look delicious, too!

    • confusedbawarchis

      Thanks, Ngan. We loved our old header too but it just wasn’t looking right on this website. We are still working on this one so sooner or later we’ll come up with something fun for this one too.

  9. Hi Aditi and Nikhil, welcome back, and this is a great new look in the new version that you have! Shortcake is a good one to make up for ‘lost’ time. Looks yummy! There is no ‘like’ button anymore, that is the way you wanted it?

    • sorry folks, I did not mean to be rude, about the like button, did not mean to point out any mistakes (if it is one)! I’m very poorly tech-savvy myself and have trouble even with simple widgets. 🙂

      • confusedbawarchis

        Absolutely not, Apsara. In fact, we are more than happy to receive your comments and suggestions. It helps us get better so keep them coming. There is a like button right under the last picture in the post on the left side but is not too visible. We couldn’t find a better plug-in so making good with this one now but also working another one as we speak. So glad you like the new look. 🙂

  10. Congratulations on the new website! Its really clean and lovely!!

  11. Wow, that sounds like so much work, but looks like it’s all worth it. The terrifying techy stuff is keeping me to the free wordpress.com blog for now. 🙂 But back to your food, how cute are those strawberry shortcake madeleines??

    • confusedbawarchis

      Thanks, Saucy. It was a lot of work but we asked for it so shouldn’t complain. 🙂 Those madeleines were so much fun- dip them in goodness and gobble them away!

  12. Love your new site, guys! Everything looks great, especially the strawberry shortcake! Yummers!

  13. Your new site looks fab and I know how much hard work it is to do so I take my hat off to you :-). Welcome back however and happy belated birthday your treat looks great xx

    • confusedbawarchis

      Thank you so much, Justine. Indeed a lot of work went into it but now it’s up and running so things should be better! So good to be back.

  14. These look gorgeous! Missed you!

  15. Whoa, you two! So much work and you still found the time to visit Fiesta Friday! We are so honoured to have you back! Your strawberry shortcake looks yummy, Nikhil! What a wonderful surprise and so perfect for the FF gang – shocking, but they are still munching away and show no signs of slowing down 😀

    • confusedbawarchis

      Aww.. Thanks so much, Julianna! We missed being there for two weeks so had to get there asap. Love the variety at FF and we are munching away to glory too. What are FF’s for anyway? 😉

  16. Love this 🙂 Such great photos too! How did you guys make the shift to a self-hosted blog? Yourselves or with an external agency? Been wanting to do so myself without breaking the bank 🙂

    • confusedbawarchis

      Hi Gayatri! Thank you :). I take no credit for the pictures in this post.

      We did move all by ourselves only because Nikhil knows this stuff and understands programming. Even then it took us over two weeks and a lot of hair pulling to get here. There are some basic ready-made features available on wordpress.org but if you want to customize them you’ll need help. So I would definitely suggest you start with taking help from friends who know the tech jargon and programming and then maybe see where it goes from there? And of course we will be more than happy to help you wherever we can. 🙂

  17. This new site looks fabulous guys! What a delicious “first” offering to christen it too:) The strawberry shortcake looks scrumptious and perfect!

  18. You’ve been busy, haven’t you? So glad you’re back! And how sweet is that hubby of yours. Strawberry shortcakes look awesome. I can imagine how wonderful they must have tasted.

    So, it this a self-hosted website? Is that why you had to do everything yourself? I thought WP can transfer everything for you for a fee?

    • confusedbawarchis

      Hahha.. The husband is grinning with pride 😉

      The website is now a self hosted one and so we had to do everything ourselves. The transfer of posts was not as much a problem as were customizing widgets, layout, plug-ins, redoing each post format etc. WP does it but we weren’t sure how much they would customize according to what we wanted plus the tech geek that Nikhil is, he refused to let someone else do it. Had it been just me- I would have just asked WP :p

  19. This looks so good guys! A blissful indulgence :).