Gooey, Sinful, Melt-In-Your-Mouth, Dark Chocolatey Chocolate Cheesecake !! | Baked Cheesecake

“Chocolate Doesn’t Ask Silly Questions…. Chocolate Understands !!!”




Gooey, Sinful, Melt-in-your-mouth, Dark Chocolatey Chocolate Cheesecake !! I cannot think of just one adjective to describe this cake. Perfect for a day when you feel all indulgent and chocolatey. I made this recently for a very special kid – one of my favourite nephews 🙂 
My cousin’s older one, who is a foodie at heart, a great kid , hard working, intelligent and good at school. Loves to help his mum in the kitchen… I won’t be surprised he turns out a chef one day 🙂 


While I’ve done many cheesecakes before and many different types of chocolate cakes as well, never ever had I done a Chocolate Cheesecake. Hmmm the best of both the worlds :-))
Yes it’s all indulgent but surely gives me pangs of guilt as well….. you’ll know why 🙂
So hence it’s a special cake strictly for special occasions only.



The Chocolatey Chocolate Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the Crust:

250g Chocolate Biscuits
100 g Digestive Biscuits
2 tbsps Cocoa Powder
100g Butter at room temperature or melted

For The Filling / Cheesecake

280g Semisweet / Dark Chocolate
230g Cream Cheese

1 Ÿ  cups plus 2 tablespoons sugar
400ml of Cream 
50 ml of strong coffee ( I used nescafe)
4 large eggs

For the Ganache Topping

200ml Cream
150 g Semi Sweet Chocolate
A dollop of butter

Direction:

1. Line a 10 inch spring foam or lose bottom cake mould.

2. Crush the chocolate and digestive biscuits. Mix in butter and cocoa powder. It’s best to whiz it up in a food processor but don’t make it too fine. The consistency should be that of bread crumbs.

3. Spread this mixture evenly in the mould and press it down first with your fingers and then with the back of a plain glass to smoothen it.you can also tilt the mould at a 90 degree angle and press the biscuit mixture onto the sides to create a wall of the same crust. This is very helpful if you are using a large mould . It holds and supports the cheesecake well.
This may read a bit tricky but its not quite. Once you start doing it, you’ll get the hang of it. The butter helps to hold it in place.
While here you can see only small single serves, I had also made a large cheesecake and had created the sides with the crust. When making small quantities or single serves this is not important.  

4. Preheat the oven at 150 degree C. Bake the crust for 5 minutes and let it cool down completely.

5. Return the oven to the preheat mode at 150 degree C, while you work in the filling.

6. Melt chocolate in a double boiler (like me if you do not have a double boiler, take a saucepan with water and put it on the flame, once the water comes to a boil, put the chocolate in a heat proof glass bowl and place it on the saucepan. Make sure the saucepan doesn’t touch the water and melt you chocolate.) Using a balloon whist or a spatula mix it till smooth. Let it cool for 2 minutes.

7. While the chocolate is melting ( keep an eye on it), whisk the cream cheese. Once smooth add sugar. Whisk again till well incorporated. Now add the cream and again whist well. I used the electric hand blender for this. You could whisk in a food processor or use a balloon whisk. 

8. Now add the coffee to the cream cheese mixture and whisk in the melted chocolate to it.

9.  Lastly add the eggs, one at a time and give it another good whisk.

10. Pour it over the crust and put it in the oven to bake for about 1 hour 10 minutes at 150 degree C.

11. Insert and knife in the centre, it its a little moist don’t worry , it’s good. Ideally it should not be completely hard. Let it rest in the oven for 10 minutes. Let it cool completely and then chill in the refrigerator overnight.

12. For the Topping: Prepare the Ganache:

Cut the chocolate into small pieces.
Heat the cream in a pan. When bubbles start appearing around the sides of the pan, add the chocolate and mix well, till well incorporated. Keep stirring so that the ganache becomes smooth. Add the butter, again mix well.
Let it cool down a bit. The consistency should be pourable.
Once cooled pour over the cheesecake.
Let it chill in the refrigerator for one our till the topping sets or till serving time.

Happy Baking !! 🙂 Happy eating !! :-))

Unlike most cheesecakes, this will be dense. It is perfectly normal. The cream and the chocolate make the cake dense and give it it’s gooey texture.
If the top of the cheesecake is not perfectly smooth, it doesn’t matter. The rather uneven top gives it a lovely rustic look.

Serving Suggestions:

1. Dust with powdered sugar.
2. Dust with cocoa powder.
3. Serve with a compote. I plated the cheesecake with my Roasted Strawberry Compote.  The acidity of the compote cuts through the sweetness of the cheesecake striking the right balance.

Chocolate Orange Mousse` Cake


Chocolate-n-Orange – a marriage made in heaven and Mousse`-n-Cake is the second !!!


The combination of orange and chocolate was first introduced to me by Baskin-n-Robbins….their Chocolate Orange Ice Cream was to die for !!! The flavour duos have never looked back in our lives ever since !!
It was dad’s birthday, and I, as usual wanted to try something new….something I’ve never done before, but with his favourite flavours so it had to be chocolate-n-orange and nothing else.


Birthdays are occasions when I invariably end up pushing my threshold by trying something new….a new technique…a new recipe or a new ingredient. (Though the rule says go with the tried and tested to avoid goof ups 😛 )



For me this cake was all about technique. I loved the very concept of treating the cake like a bow for the mousse` rather than layering the mousse` in the traditional way. 

Recently I had come across Donna Hay’s Chocolate Lemon Meringue Pie and I have adapted the same technique for this recipe.
It was a lot of fun scooping the cake out from the centre  – a very satisfying feeling for some strange reason….probably because I was vary and anxious of scooping it a little too much; and KJ had a field day gobbling up all the scooped out cake crumb !!


Hope you enjoy reading this and baking it as much as I did !!

Ingredients For the Chocolate Cake:

100 g Flour

4 Eggs
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
A Pinch of Soda-bi-carb
40 g Unsweetend Cocoa Powder
120 g Powdered Sugar
150 ml Oil
100 ml or 1/2 cup of Orange Squash

Directions
1. Grease and dust an 8inch round baking dish2. Sieve together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and soda-bi-carb and reserve.
3. Separate the eggs. Add vanilla essence to the yolks.
4.Pre-heat the oven at 180 degree C for 10 minutes.
5. Whisk the egg whites till stiff peaks form. Add the powdered sugar in batches and whisk till resembles a meringue (glossy mixture).
6. Now gradually add the oil and mix for 1 minute.
7. Fold in the flour mixture in the egg mixture gently but quickly till well incorporated.
8. Lastly add the orange squash to the batter and mix well.
9. Pour the cake batter in the baking dish and bake for 35 minutes at 180C.
10. Remove the cake from the oven. Transfer on the rack and let it cool a bit.
11. While it is still warm, place an inverted plate (I used a saucer) on the cake, making sure it is centred and cut around with the knife.
12. once there is a clear demarkation, remove the inside of the cake…scoop it out gently, with a spoon.
13. the thickness of the walls should be about 1-1.5 cm and the base should be about 1inch thick for the mousse` to hold in.
 If you are doing this for the first time, it will be a good idea to use a ruler, especially to know the depth of this cake bowl.
14. Keep aside and let it cool down completely.

Ingredients for the Chocolate Mousse`

2 Eggs

3 tsp Gelatin dissolved in 1/4 Orange Squash
300ml Milk
7 tbsp Sugar
3 tbsp Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp Vanilla Essence
200g Cream 
1/4 cup Orange Squash

Directions

1. Mix gelatin in orange squash in a heavy bottomed pan. Leave aside for 5-7 minutes. Heat on very low flame to dissolve it. Do not let it boil. Keep aside.
2. Separate the eggs.
3. Mix milk, sugar, cocoa and egg yolks in another heavy bottomed pan on medium to low heat. Keep stirring continuously so that the cocoa doesn’t burn over. Once the custard coats the back of the spoon remove from fire and let it cool down to room temperature.

4. Add gelatin and mix well. Make sure gelatin is completely blended in the custard. Add the orange squash. Mix well again, using a hand beater/ blender.
5. Chill in the freezer till only thick. Make sure it doesn’t start setting.
6. Once the custard is chilled and thick add the cream and beat well. (Preferably use a hand blender).
7. Chill again till thick.
8. While you set the cream-custard mix to chill again, whisk the egg whites till stiff peaks form. Be careful not to over whisk.
9. Now add these egg whites to the thick cream-custard and whisk for incorporate properly.


Assembling the Mousse`- Cake:

Once the mouse is ready (step 9) pour the mousse` in the cake bowl (hollowed cake)and let it set in the fridge for atleast 4 hours, though I prefer overnight or 8 hours.
Once properly set, decorate as you like and serve chilled.


Note: 
Do not put it in the freezer for setting. Always set mousse` in the fridge. The freezer can form crystals on the mousse` which will spoil the dessert.
You could do the same thing with just chocolate: chocolate cake and chocolate mousse` or try to contrast flavours if you like.

Happy Baking !!


Mint Choco Ice Cream Cake for my birthday….

Surprise Surprise Surprise…… I was so pleasantly surprised on my birthday this time.

As a child I’ve always been excited about my birthday (err that you can say it has lasted till as recently as last 2 years)…..the excitement typically starts a month before…. yes I do !! 🙂
I love my cards, the flowers, the surprise gifts and friends ‘n’ family dropping-in uninformed….. I just love it !!
As much as I love the whole ritual of giving and receiving flowers and cards especially on birthdays, KJ is the complete opposite. Over these years I had given up on him and reconciled to the fact that boys are after all boys and should not expect the unexpected….


This time around however KJ, 3 days before my birthday announced over a lazy dinner (while watching Master Chef Australia) that he’s gonna bake a cake for my birthday……well the thought itself had me all melted….
Everytime KJ cooks he doesn’t do the ordinary…..he loves to be on the edge and stretch his limits…..only increasing my benchmark !!
He baked me a Mint Choco Ice Cream Cake…..I’ve never worked with ice-cream and cake together. He did all of this without me being around……… I’m so proud of you KJ. :-))


(sorry for the images…I never got a chance to shoot it properly)


Mint Choco Ice Cream Cake

Ingredients:

For the Chocolate Cake:
4 large eggs
1/2 cup Cocoa Powder
3/4 cup Oil
1 cup All Purpose Flour
1 cup Powdered Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
A pinch of Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla Essence


For the Icing
Mint chocolate ( KJ used the After 8 thins)
Choco Chip Ice cream


Directions:

1. Grease and dust a 7″ diameter round cake mould.
2. Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and cocoa powder together.
3. Separate the eggs.
4. Beat the egg whites with a pinch of salt till stiff peaks are formed.
5. Add the essence to the egg yolks, mix and gradually add them to the egg whites. Whisk well.
6. Now add the oil to the eggs and whisk for 30 seconds.
7. Fold in the flour mix gently (do not use the hand mixer)
8. Transfer to the mould and bake for 35 minutes at 180 degree C.
9. Remove from the mould and transfer on the wire rack and let it cool completely.
10. Cut 2 horizontal equal layers of the cake….giving you three layers.
11. Soak (using a brush/spoon)the cake with some flat coke.
12. Cut the ice cream in about 1 cm thick slices and put it back in the freezer.
13. Take some Mint chocolate and grind it in a mixer.
14. Take the ice cream out of the freezer. Place it on one layer of the cake.
15. Sprinkle the mint chocolate flakes on the ice cream layer and place the second layer of cake on it.
16. Repeat the steps and also cover the sides of the cake with the ice cream.
17. Finally place the top layer of the cake. Put it in the freezer for 15 minutes and then keep in the fridge till serving.

Happy Baking !!


Good Ol’ Cup Cakes

The buttery vanilla taste of a plain cake that my mum would bake is still so fresh in my mouth even today !!!
The first cake that I ever baked as well, was the Plain Vanilla Cake. Don’t we all start our cakes from that ?? It is the mother of all cakes…..the foundation cake !! Nothing beats that !! and it is still my favorite tea cake. As a child I used to have it with my glass of milk in the evening, before I’d run to play and now I have it with my evening tea in my office.

I learnt this wonderful cake from my mother. She used to bake this cake for me all the time….The cake box was never allowed to be empty, even though dad and I would sneak to the fridge, in the middle of the night to have our little ‘midnight cake snack’ !!
This cake was even a fab hit at school among both teachers and friends …..Maa would often bake it for my school parties.
There would two variants….one with mixed nuts for teachers and one plain for my friends and I (remember kids are not too fond of nuts :P)
Unlike me she would never accurately measure her ingredients. We had this one coffee mug in our ktichen which was her standard measure for flour, sugar and butter / oil and to that she would always add 5 eggs. Besides this much of measuring she never weighs any ingredients when she cooks, but still every time…every single time the dish is perfect !!! I wonder how she does it ??!!
I’ve adapted the same recipe in cup cakes plain and decorated with chocolate ganache.
Now this has become a perfect ‘take to office’ lunch dessert for KJ.

The Good Ol’ Cup Cakes….with Chocolate Ganache Incing

Ingredients

Flour 220g
Baking Powder 1 tsp
Castor Sugar 120 g
Butter 120 g
Eggs 5
Vanilla Essence 1.5 tsp

Directions
1. Sieve the flour and baking powder together. Reserve.
2. Cream the butter and castor sugar together till light and creamy.
3. Separate eggs. Add the vanilla essence to the egg yolks.
4. Beat the egg whites till stiff peaks form. Be carefull not to over beat.
5. Add the egg yolks to the stiffly beaten egg white one by one.
6. In batches, to the eggs, add the butter-sugar mixture and keep whisking till all ingredients are incorporated.
7. Fold in the flour in batches. Mix well.
8. Grease a 12 muffin tray with butter or line with paper muffin cups.
9. Pour the batter in and bake at 180 degree C for 45 minutes.
Serve warm or otherwise.
You could also add some nuts like almonds/ walnuts / cashew / raisins.
Dust the nuts in some flour and add to the cake batter at the end. Mix it to incorporate and transfer to the baking dish.
Happy Baking !!

Chocolate Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache`

Macarons….the ever so Beautiful, so Fragile and so French !!
Till very recently the only macarons I knew about, were the American Macaroons which are ummm….so sweet, so chewy and so coconuty !!
While blog surfing I came across these beauties…. chiseled rounded to perfection and I soon succumbed to the temptation of baking these myself, inspite of knowing that these could bring the best of chefs to tears with their tantrums !!!
So in my quest to conquer the Macarons I went blog hopping and reached here.
After going through at least 20 different recipes I felt the most comfortable with Irina Kogan’s Master the Macarons. Hats off to the girl. She actually makes the whole macaron baking so simple and non fussy.
My first attempt was nothing but a disaster……they were yummy almond cookies but nothing more….not even the poor country cousins of the very elitist snobbish French Macarons !!

I think I got a grip on the recipe in my second attempt. They say your macarons are perfect if they get ‘feet’.
I think I got them, but I sure can do with some reassurance from the masters of the Macaron World. Deeba and Jamie of Mactweets  and Irina of Pastry Pal…. what do you say?
I made half of this recipe.

Chocolate Macarons with Dark Chocolate Ganache`

Makes about 50 macarons (100 halves)


Ingredients:

100 g Almond Flour
175 g Powdered Sugar
3 large (100 g) Egg whites
2 tbsp (30 g) Granulated Sugar
3tbsp Cocoa Powder
Directions
1. You can either purchase almond flour, or make your own.
2. Prepare 2 baking trays by lining with parchment paper.
3. Prepare a pastry bag with a plain tip.
4. First, sift the dry ingredients —the powdered sugar, almond flour and cocoa powder.
5. Sift into a large bowl. Refining the dry stuff this way will ensure that the macarons don’t end up with coarse looking shells. If you have a teaspoon or so of large pieces left in the sifter, just discard.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk the whites. Once they start to froth up and get meringue-like, sprinkle in the sugar. This little bit of granulated sugar helps stabilize the whites, so there is less risk of overwhipping.
A little more whisking results in firm peaks. You MUST whisk until the peaks are firm, or the finished macarons will suffer, with a too-liquid batter.
7. Once the whites are whipped, incorporate the dry ingredients, slowly, so the egg whites don’t deflate.
8. Sprinkle half the dry stuff over the egg whites.
9. Start folding the dry mixture in carefully, in batches. The whites will start to look broken and curdled and that’s ok. It’s not necessary to get every last speck folded in at this point.
10. The dry ingredients tend to collect at the bottom of the bowl. Fold by scraping from the bottom, and turning the mixture over on itself. This process does deflate the eggs somewhat, and that’s ok. You WANT to deflate them a little.
11. At first it may seem like there is too much dry stuff to be absorbed by the egg whites, but after a few strokes it comes together.
12. The easiest way to fill a pastry bag is to place it in a tall jar or glass with the top of the bag folded over.
13. Pour the batter into the bag.Pipe out nickel-sized dots. They will continue to spread on the sheet pan for up to five minutes, so it’s best to space them about half an inch apart.
14. Now they have to rest at room temperature. A skin needs to form, and it can take 30-90 minutes, depending on the weather. If you touch them lightly and some batter sticks to your finger, they are not ready to bake. If you feel the top has dried, and nothing sticks to your finger, they’re ready.
15. Bake at 140 degrees C for about 17 minutes.
16. They should be smooth on top, and of course, have the coveted “feet”. Let them cool completely before proceeding. They may rip right off the sheet pan if pulled up too early.
17. Once cooled, flip them all over and pipe your chosen filling on half of the rounds. Stick the other halves to these with a light hand. Let it set for about 5-7 minutes.
For the Chocolate Ganache` Filling:


Ingredients
230 g Dark Cooking Chocolate

180 ml Cream
2 tbsp Unsalted butter

Directions:
Heat the cream in a heavy bottom pan.

Cut the chocolate into small equal size pieces and pour into the cream and keep stirring continuously till the cream and chocolate blend in completely. 
Add the butter and mix over low-medium heat. Turn of the heat and keep stirring for another 2 minutes.
Let it cool down completely. Once cooled the ganache` will thicken a bit. Pour into a piping bag and pipe out on half of the macarons.
Happy Baking !!

Irish Cream Cheesecake

“Coffee Solves Everything” – Anonymous


Well almost and in all it’s forms…..
The Irish Cream Cheesecake is by far one of my favourite ‘coffee desserts’ which I finally attempted to try making and I was quite pleased…with myself and the dessert !!



Irish Cream Cheesecake

Ingredients

For the Base
20 Digestive Biscuits
10 Marie Biscuits
4 tbsp Melted Butter
8-9″ diameter loose bottom cake mould

For the Cheesecake
500 g Thick Cream (I used Amul cream)

1 cup Powdered Sugar
300 g Cream Cheese
5 tsp Gelatine soaked in 1/2 cup water
Coffee Solution (75 g coffee dissolved in warm water with 4 tbsp of brown sugar and cooled to room temperature)
4 tbsp of Whiskey or Rum ( I prefer whiskey – it is closer to the original Irish cream)

For the Topping
Chocolate Ganache`
    230 g Dark Cooking Chocolate
    180 ml Cream
    2 tbsp Unsalted butter


Directions

  1. Pound the digestive and Marie biscuits to a rough crumbly powder. I pounded them with the rolling pin after putting them in a zip lock bag.
  2. Melt the butter and mix with the biscuits and now set this in the cake mould. Press it down well and make sure the base is evened out. Keep in the fridge for 1 hour to set well.
  3. Heat the soaked gelatine on low flame. Keep stirring continuously and make sure it doesn’t come to a boil. Once the gelatine is completely dissolved remove from fire and let it cool.
  4. Whip the cream to soft peaks or atleast a slight increase in volume.
  5. Whip the powdered sugar and cream cheese so they are smoothly blended. Add the coffee solution, the whipped cream, and now gelatine and lastly the whiskey.
  6. Mix everything together till all ingredients are blended in completely. Take the base out of the fridge and pour the mixture over the base.
  7. Let it set in the fridge for 3-4 hours.
  8. For the top glazing, prepare the ganache`. Heat the cream in a heavy bottom pan. Cut the chocolate into small equal size pieces and pour into the cream and keep stirring continuously till the cream and chocolate blend in completely. Add the butter and mix over low-medium heat. Turn of the heat and keep stirring for another 2 minutes. Once a little cool pour over the set cheesecake and return it to the refrigerator for another 2 hours.
  9. Demould and dust with icing sugar and decorate with strawberries just before serving.
Happy Baking !!




Toasted Almond Brownie – The perfect comfort food, when things go wrong !!

It was that time of the month again when I had to pull up my socks and prepare for the Daring Baker’s Challenge. This month I was so sure to participate….I even started preparing it well in time. I was excited at the thought of making Sourdough bread. Had never tried it, but had heard a lot about it. My choice was the Russian Rye Bread.
Very diligently I started my work on the ‘starter’ for the sourdough; I was aiming baking the bread on Christmas. So I started preparing 9 days in advance giving margins to the cold weather these days.

Day 1 passed with no luck and so did day 3,4 and 5. On day 6, I saw some signs of action….some bubbling; and all this while I was taking care of the ‘starter’ just like a little baby….trying to keep it all wrapped up in a blanket in a warm corner of my kitchen (with temperatures touching as low as 2.3 degree centigrade it is very difficult to find a warm corner in my kitchen these days).
But inspite of all the love and care, the dear ‘starter’ would not get active. It was the day before Christmas and I had by now, lost patience and more so was running out of time so I went ahead with preparing the dough for the bread, hoping against hope for it to rise.
However the dear ‘starter’ would just not wake up and help. So kaput went my dough and to add to my misery when I finally plonked the dough in the oven to bake, half way through the power went off and for a good 4 hours. That was the end of my sourdough bread.
It was Christmas and with one baking disaster I really needed something to lift my spirits. 🙂

When low, there is no better comfort food than a sinful moist chocolate something !! I wanted to bake something quickly but delicious all the same. So Brownie it was, though with a twist. Rather than doing the classic walnut brownie, I made Brownies with Toasted Almonds. (My dad loves almonds and prefers the nut any day over walnuts. It was actually his idea and insistence to make brownies with almonds).

Hope you had a Merry Christmas…..I finally did !!





Brownies with Toasted Almonds

Ingredients:
200g White Butter
225g Brown Sugar
100g All Purpose Flour
80g Cocoa Powder
4 Eggs
2 tsp. Vanilla Essence
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1 cup Almonds – Toasted and roughly crushed (with a rolling pin)
2 Square 8″ baking moulds.

Directions:

1. Melt butter in a deep pan on low heat. All the brown sugar. Keep whisking with a wooden spatula on low        heat for about 7-10 minute, till the sugar and butter are well blended. Remove from fire and let it cool down completely.
2. Once the sugar-butter mix is completely cool, add one egg at a time and mix well with the wooden spatula. (We will not use a hand blender in this recipe). Add the vanilla essence and mix well.

3. Sift flour, baking powder and cocoa powder together.

4. Keep aside a handful of almonds and add the rest to the flour mixture and mix lightly with your fingertips.

5. Now add the dry ingredients mix to the butter-egg mixture very gently.

6. Grease and line the baking mould with parchment and transfer the batter. This batter would be thicker than regular cake batter but not to worry it would even out itself once in the oven.

7. Sprinkle the remaining almonds and bake for about 30-35 minutes at 160 degree centigrade in a preheat oven.

8. Let it cool down and remove from the mould. Cut as desired and serve warm with ice-cream and hot chocolate or just plain.



Happy Baking !!

So What’s Kept me Away……..

After 6 long hectic months I’ve finally got the time to start baking…..start writing …and start relaxing.
So whats kept me busy all these months??? Where have I been? Where have I been missing from the blogging / food world ??? Why am I not posting anything?
I’ve had so many friends ask me this…..
KJ thought blogging was like my love for pottery which faded away with time (though actually it hasn’t, only that other things took precedence over pottery)…..dad was disappointed that I’m not regularly posting. Shuchi dilegently kept checking my blog looking for any new posts…..
Well….I missed all of you too…..
I was right here busy setting up and shifting into our new office.

Yes. This is our new office. Dad’s dream….his baby.
He designed it….. and we together – mum, dad and I made it happen.
When it was time to do up this office, we started with meeting a lot of architects and designers and got some obnoxious quotations and regular boring standard office designs. Yes it was all modern, modular, maintainence free, practical, etc etc etc…but was it really us….NO !!!
For us our office is Our Space…..An Extention of ourselves…..an extention of what we are….what we feel and what we do…
In spite of being an ad agency the obvious bold colours and whacky posters and dramatic lights and wall textures was not what we were looking for.
Our office had to be warm….with hints for traditionalism and ethinicty. It had to be simple, cost effective, yet creative….not formal but not casual either. It had to be modern and practical.
We took longer than an architect would have taken …actually we took longer than what we had estimated for…..but the result is absolutely satisfying. I love every nook and corner, every inch of this space. This place that floats with positive energy……creativitiy and a lot of ‘us’.
To mark the celebratons of the New Office we had a week long Open House where a homemade cake was definately the obvious choice to go with endless rounds of tea and coffee through the week…..

Moist Chocolate Cake (Eggless) – easy to handle, easy to serve, light, and refrigerable.
The last few pices still sit in the refrigerator.
Moist Chocolate Cake

Ingredients:
1/2 tin Condensed Milk – Milkmaid
1/2 cup Milk – approx.
1/2 cup Oil
3 tbsp Powdered Sugar
100 g (1 cup) All Purpose Flour
1/4 cup Cocoa Powder
1/2 tsp level, Soda Bicardbonate
1 tsp level, Baking Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Essence
7-8″ Diameter Baking Dish
Procedure
1. Grease and dust the cake dish.
2. Sift the flour with cocoa powder, baking powder and soda bicarb.
3. Beat the condensed milk well for about 30 seconds. Add the sugar and oil and beat again till well blended. – Use a hand mixer for beating.
4. Add half of the milk and half the flour. Beat well. Add Vanilla Extract.
5. Add the remaining flour and milk, beating well after every edition, till the mixture is smooth and light to get a ribbon like or thick pouring consistency.
6. Put this cake batter in the baking dish and bake it for 40 minutes at 150 degree C.
7. Insert a toothpick to check if done. If the toothpick comes clean…the cake is ready.
8. Once the cake is ready, let it ret in the dish for 5-7 minutes and then demould, transfering it on to a rack.
9. Decorate as you like.

The Mad Hatter New Year Party 2010-2011

A Happy New Year to you……
Hope this year brings good health, good food, lots of love, joy and laughter in your lives!!
So what did you do to ring in the New Year??
I had a party at home with some close friends. Some old and some new.
It’s just the right weather and the absolute right occasion to celebrate. Well for that matter isn’t winter always an occasion to celebrate?
The party was a fun crazy mad hatter party as I like to call it… where we just let our hair down!!!
A party like no other I’ve hosted….loads of fun….amazing friends……..and lots of food. Usually my parties are food oriented…….but this one had all of that and a lot more….
Every time I have a party at home my intention is to keep the main course brief while a mix of light and not so light finger foods keep flowing in till the drinks are on…
As usual the menu was brief and at the same time a complete spread.
The friends enjoyed the Shepherd’s Pie, the Chicken Stroganoff (my version), the Spinach & Tomato Lasagna and last but not the least the Chocolate Mousse’.
So Chocolate Mousse` it is to ring in the New Year:

Chocolate Mousse`

Ingredients:
4 Eggs
6 tsp. Gelatine dissolved in ž cups of water
600 ml Milk
14 tbsp. Sugar
6 tbsp. Cocoa Powder
1 tsp. Vanilla Essence
500 g Cream

Procedure:
1. Mix gelatin in cold water in a small, heavy bottomed pan. Leave aside for 5-7 minutes. Heat on very low flame to dissolve it. Make sure the gelatin doesn’t boil. Keep aside.
2. Separate eggs.
3. Mix milk, sugar, cocoa and egg yolks in another heavy bottomed pan on medium to low heat. Keep stirring continuously so that the cocoa doesn’t burn over. Once the custard coats the back of the spoon remove from fire and let it cool down to room temperature.
4. Add gelatin and mix well. Make sure gelatin is completely blended in the custard.
5. Chill in the freezer till only thick. Make sure it doesn’t start setting.
6. Once the custard is chilled and thick add 400g of cream and beat well. (Preferably use a hand blender).
7. Chill again till thick.
8. While you set the cream-custard mix to chill again, beat the egg whites till stiff.
9. Now add these egg whites to the thick cream-custard mix.
10. Pour in the serving dish and let it set.
11. Do not put it in the freezer for setting. Always set mousse` in the fridge. The freezer can form crystals on the mousse` which will spoil the dessert.
12. When the mousse` is set, whip the remaining cream and put in an icing cone to decorate as desired.
13. Serve chilled.

Dad’s Birthday…..

It was dad’s birthday, and like every year he recieved cakes from some of the best places in Delhi. My challenge was to make something chocolatey for him but at the same time make it different from the rest and something that would go with his morning cuppa tea…


Dad’s birthday is always special and this time it was a rare ‘happy monday morning’ with the rains at their best, the city lush green, the chirpy birds, a mild chill in the air and all of us not in a hurry to rush to work – after all it was dad’s birthday !!!
The first half of sunday afternoon went in looking for the right recipe…..something new, something different; so went blog-hopping and found just the most perfect ‘different’ chocolate cake on
The Purple Foodie’s blog .Thank you Shaheen the cake was simply sinful (and thats how chocolate cakes should be) !!!


The cake is moist from inside and crumbly from outside, and unlike most cakes that rise when baked, this one rises and then sinks!!!…. and thats the secret to its fudgy centre.
When KJ saw the cake he shrieked, thinking i had done a boo boo !!!! However patience paid and all I saw on that monday morning were faces melting in delight.

Chocolate Walnut Mud Cake

Ingredients
230 g unsalted butter plus more for greasing the pan
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
Âź teaspoon salt
340g ounces semisweet chocolate, chopped
4 eggs
200 g dark brown sugar, packed
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts, toasted and lightly salted while still warm
Cocoa Powder to serve (I used powdered sugar instead)

Lightly butter a 10-inch baking mould and line the bottom with a disc of parchment paper.
Use strips to line to line the sides, pressing the parchment into the butter to adhere.
Preheat an oven to 350°F (175°C).
Sift together the flour, baking powder and salt in a small bowl. Set aside.
In a saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter with the chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from the heat to cool slightly.
In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar and vanilla. You do not need to blend them together terribly vigorously, just enough so that the sugar is dissolved. The mixture should barely lighten in colour and there will be a layer of bubbles at the surface but not throughout.
Pour the egg mixture into the chocolate, and stir to combine. Fold in the flour mixture, being careful not to over mix. Stir in the walnuts.
Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in a preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the centre is puffed and cracked. A cake tester inserted into one of these cracks should come out with wet, clumped crumbs; gooey but not liquid. The cake will continue to cook as it cools, losing its crown and falling back upon itself.
Remove the cake on to a wire rack to come to room temperature. To serve remove the parchment paper and dust the top with cocoa powder pushed through a sieve.