Chocolate

Fruit & Nut Chocolate Slab (without the extra calories!)

Yes, its true. Chocolate can save the world, one tongue at a time. And my quick and easy recipe combines fruit and nut mix with semi sweet chocolate, perfectly forming a Fruit & Nut Chocolate Slab (without the extra calories!). Remember, because I use semi sweet chocolate, I am effectively lowering the calorie count, and by adding nuts and dried fruit – we counter the bitterness of the chocolate with a hullabaloo of a mixture of chewy, crunchy and crispy! Now I do not obviously advise eating slabs by the handful, rather having a 1 or 2″ square would be enough to give you your kick of sugar, without the unnecessary guilt!

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Potato Chip Cookies with Chocolate Glaze a.k.a. Magic Cookies

After a lot of introspection, I’ve realised that there are very very very few cakes I love. I know it sounds odd, but I don’t love any and all cake. I love pies, brownies, cookies, tarts, blondies, bars, you get the drift. All that being said, I love experimenting and baking cakes, in all shapes and sizes, and worry not, I shall continue to do so! I haven’t quite mastered layering and the tapestry of it all, but I always remind myself that the joy of baking is in the baking itself, and creating a unique piece of my heart.

Most of the time, I don’t end up eating any of the cake I’ve made (exceptions include tasting the batter, frosting, etc while assembling, but rarely stretching to the end product) – but I am known to sneak cookie crumbs (cough cough whole cookies).

Wait, what?

Potato Chips? In a cookie?

With Chocolate?

So bad, it’s good!

I adore the idea of a little bit of salt in my desert, and even more my favourite additions like popcorn – so this time, it’s another all time classic – potato chips! Inspired by @smittenkitchen’s potato chip cookies, these ones are elevated for the festive season at hand, by the addition of a chocolate glaze a la jackson pollock (yes, I’m rather artistic). I tried a dozen of the cookie without the chocolate – but (shockingly) preferred it with the chocolate (yeah, like duh). There’s a fine line on these delicate cookies between too much and too little chocolate – so try and follow your gut and not that trigger happy hand while pouring the chocolate!  Read more…

Breakfast Banana Muffins with Coffee-Chocolate Chunks, Hazelnuts and Oats

The last weekend has been a busy busy but fantastic one. It started with a day dedicated to cooking and baking and making everything look pretty and yet relaxed. My idea of entertainment involves very little effort once the guests arrive, I prefer everything to be laid out and let the guests have a little fun DIY-ing and playing around with different stuff, that may to may not work well together. But that’s all the fun! There was: mango feta crostini with red wine fleur de sel, paprika spiked hummus, valrhona cointreau cupcakes, layered lemon cake with lemon cream cheese topped with fresh cranberries and gaufres shards, as well as some mini-mosaic apple tarts. It was quite a day night! And, of course, when at 2am this and this (the British version, of course!) makes a debut, you know the entertainment has taken the best possible turn!

With a Friday like that, even the best of us couldn’t rise and shine from the wee hours into a domestic diva. The thing is, I love the idea of grabbing a weekend (or any day, really) breakfast/brunch/late lunch comprising of breakfast favourites. I love the concept of brinner too (breakfast for dinner, get with the lingo!). The only part which tends to evade this achievement is the fact that it’s usually in the morning, and mornings and me haven’t become quite that friendly yet. That’s kind of how I stumbled upon the idea of making Breakfast Banana Muffins with Coffee-Chocolate Chunks, Hazelnuts and Oats the previous day, so I wouldn’t have to rise and shine early (eek!) to made a hot breakfast treat, I’d just drizzle it with some homemade warm salted caramel, and breakfast is served!  Read more…

Salted Caramel + Chocolate Ganache Tart

In an almond shortcrust pastry tart shell, I might add. You know, just in case the Salted + Chocolate Ganache Tart title wasn’t enticing enough 😛

So I saw a friend’s Instagram feed a few weeks ago, where she made 2 beautiful tarts: one was an oreo and chocolate ganache tart and the other, a salted caramel and chocolate tart. As destiny had it, I wanted to use up some of the beautiful Valrhona that I had been hoarding, as well as the salted caramel that I impulsively picked up at Laduree. [Yes, this story already has two fabulous elements of success: valrhona and laduree.] The result? A luscious chocolate ganache piled over a thin layer of salted caramel, enveloped in a almost crumbly almond shortcrust tart shell.

And ever since, I’ve already dished out over a dozen of these babies, and still going strong!  Read more…

Spiked Chocolate Mousse

Spiked Chocolate Mousse. Pudding. Pots.

I GIVE UP.

Let’s just stick to Spiked Chocolate Mousse.

I hoard chocolate. Well, to be honest, I hoard a lot of things, chocolate being just one of them. What better way to reduce my inventory of chocolate than to use it up in the most fantastic way ever – an almost mousse consistency chocolate pot, spiked with a dash of amarula and some good old instant coffee. The recipe is inspired entirely by Donna Hay’s fast, fresh, simple. I still find this book extremely practical, and the recipes are a perfect balance of pushing one’s mundane cooking skills ever so slightly, but resulting in a hearty and beautiful end product.

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Valrhona Bundt Cake with Fresh Strawberries

It’s mid-December, and it’s HIGH time that I get down to those strawberry centred recipes! Quite honestly, I have been busy travelling and attending weddings or doing wedding planning, the former being more fun than the latter! Over the last weekend SS and I were in Bangalore to celebrate a college friend’s wedding, and it was so wonderful to see people again after 7-8 years! The weekend was fabulous, and we even got to sample some authentic Karnataka food, my favourite being their popular shallot-based curry and dry roasted whole chillies which have this amazing pungent spice, yet isn’t fiery.

It was also so humbling to meet people after ages, and the first topic of conversation being Joie De Vivre, and how it makes people salivate, and want to eat/cook some themselves! [Predominantly it was the eating!] Now that being the case, I feel like committing sacrilege by constantly professing my love of strawberries and not translating that into anything on the blog. I’ve actually made this cake a couple of times already, and they’ve managed to gain  Read more…

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