comfort food

Mastering the Basics: Chocolate Chip Cookies

I have a theory. Well, lets be honest – I have many theories, but this particular one that I am sharing with you today revolves around mastering the art of the perfect chocolate chip cookie. It involves the perfect base – caramelised brown sugar and butter being optimal, with excellent quality slightly larger than normal semi sweet chocolate chips, so that each bite of the chocolate chip cookie really does melt in your mouth, and each mouthful can wait for the next. Now there are people who prefer certain cookies over the others, but mastering a basic like chocolate chip just opens up horizons of options for the average Jo.

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Double Chocolate Banana Bread with Fleur de Sel

I often find myself hoarding (and loving to hoard) certain specific baking ingredients, without which a deep sense of insecurity prevails. To counter that unnecessary emotion, and to feed my retail-therapy hormone, I obsessively purchase vats of different qualities and variations of chocolate chips, cocoa powder and vanilla. In each of these hoarded products, there is a specific appeal that calls out to me.

Let me elucidate.

For chocolate chips, I enjoy trying varied versions of white, milk and dark chocolate chips, the variety ranges from small packets of supermarket quality chocolate chips to couverture. I find that with every brand, comes a different flavour and texture – some are too dry and don’t melt kindly into a ganache or truffle that may be the requirement of the day. Some on the other hand, are too rich to go into a frosting – and need instead to be added to a banana bread or chocolate chip muffin, allowing their flavour and texture to truly shine through. And yes, size does matter. Too big a chip (like melting discs) will overpower a cupcake or muffin, and too small, won’t be felt on the tongue at all.
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Carrot Cake

I don’t buy it a tab bit when people say they don’t like carrot cake. Its not possible. They probably haven’t tried carrot cake, and are just put off by the idea, like some people are put off by zucchini bread. I find that if i just serve it without bringing the name of the […] Read more…

Strawberry Compote

I reached Bombay to find 2 big boxes of juicy Mahableshwar strawberries welcoming be back home and back to the kitchen, and resist I could not. While in South Africa, a favourite breakfast for me after returning from sunrise safaris was a bowl full of chilled thick greek yoghurt, with fresh berry compote, muesli and […] Read more…

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