Thursday, September 27, 2018

Dining out @ Jalpaan Restaurant ~ RS Puram, Coimbatore

"The tradition of the Sunday feast accomplishes more than just feeding us. It nurtures us" ~ Chef John Besh

Weekdays are often a blur; we slog and hustle and then some more ! And come on, let's admit, breakfast and dinner mostly comes married with gadgets or the rush to head out/ too tired monologues. Consequently, the moments we share with our family becomes few and far between. And that is why the family lunch on Sundays for me is a life saver and like Chef Besh says it nurtures & rejuvenates us back for the next week's hustle.

Sitting down for a homely, hearty earthy fare on Sunday, the kids, hubby and yours truly put away our respective distractions and huddle up. We do away with the dining table too and sit on the floor. Before sitting down, the kids assemble all the things we may eat along with the cooked fare to ensure no one gets up in the midst of an almost hour long do. Eating heartily and then some more we surely are guilty of over stuffing ourselves. Over leisurely helpings we pour our hearts out and indulge in warm banter. It is the time when hubby hears out tirades against me and deals out amicable (!?!) settlements. And it's also the time when the kids don't mind all the greens in their plates. Yeah, good food with family and friends does that.

Dining out similarly holds a hallowed space in our hearts. The moments we share with our company becomes magical when good food couples with beautiful ambiance and fine service. Julia Child had famously said 'Dining with one's friends and beloved family is one of life's primal and most innocent delights, one that is both soul satisfying and eternal'. How beautifully put ! Indeed, it is the most pleasurable moments of life to gather together and bond with good food and drinks flowing. The meal is a plate cleanser of the soul bringing out our natural tendency to just be ourselves. Under the intoxicating spell of tasty grub we share a part of our selves to the company we are with and bond a bit more closer. 

A fortnight earlier, Coimbatore beckoned us, to attend the marriage proceedings of hubby's friend. Often called as the Manchester of South India, owing to the flourishing textile industries milling in and around the region, the metropolitan city was abuzz with the mid week frenzy of daily life.  The marriage was a cosy family affair with lots of good food, banter and warmth.  While, we did not plan on dining out , the hotel we stayed put was near to Jalpaan Restaurant and the food connoisseurs in us salivated for the gourmet veg dining experience the restaurant promised. 

The menu boasted of many mouthwatering delicacies and we were hooked. The Fondue corner was a hoot. Pav Bhaji Fondue was a novelty and we enjoyed tucking into bite sized pavs scrumptiously done golden brown dipped in to a mildly simpering bucket of aromatic bhaji/tomato rich gravy. 


Flickering beneath is a spirit lamp that gently rouses the gravy to some upbeat moods.The accompaniments of onion, lime, cheese and a masala mix kept our palates further engrossed as we tossed them to our liking in to the cute simpering cauldron of yum and finally wiped the plates clean.


It was a delectable marriage of class meets mass as Pav Bhaji lets itself drawn to the fiery overtures of gravy served in a communal pot over a portable stove--and it's a winner !

The other orders for the day included Rumali Roti and Naan with the usual suspects of delicately spiced dal and Paneer Makhni. Decent portion size and good taste too



But we were simply enamoured by the whole eating experience of pav bhaji fondue and for dessert ordered chocolate fondue. Bite sized apple pieces, wafers and slices of brownies (slightly dry) were urgently dipped in to the gently simmering chocolate fondue pot and unabashedly depolished off.

Complimenary shots of Paan juice in the end kept our tummy happy. All in all a must revisit experience of good food, fine service, elegant cutlery (loved the brass tumblers) and nice ambiance. Not overtly priced this restaurant tucked in the bylanes of RS Puram, is all about going back again with family and friends for a culinary assault of your senses. 


Friday, July 20, 2018

Chocolate ~ Coconut Pound Cake

To age gracefully is a virtue; however we are all under constant pressure to live up to the hype and sometimes get lost in the hustle. I read somewhere that years may wrinkle the skin but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. How true ! The trick, I guess is to enjoy the journey and live fitfully. Why this sudden spouting of philosophical babble ? Well, yours truly joined the swag club of '40' two days back and was sloshed with wishes ranging from funny to downright serious. And hence the need for introspection and reflection! Armed with a joyful spirit , I look forward to the year ahead and yes hopefully strike down a few things from my bucket list. 

Coming to the post for today, I baked a Chocolate ~ Coconut Pound Cake adapting the recipe from  Bon Appetit to make way for the ingredients in my pantry. While, I waited a generous hour and a few minutes for the oven to do its magic, I brushed upon my cake trivia and learnt that pound cake refers to a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. 



Too lazy to step out for getting butter, I substituted the same with sunflower oil. Adding butter would have given the loaf the extra oomph factor but nevertheless the bake was a thumping success and was devoured. 



What's in it :-
  •  3 to 4 tbsp of sunflower oil plus for greasing
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup cocoa powder
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • ½ cup coconut oil, 
  • 1½ cups 
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅔ cup buttermilk
  • ¼ cup coconut flakes ~ freshly grated
Here's How :-

    Preheat oven to 160° C. Grease a loaf pan and line it with parchment paper (if you have). Whisk flour, cocoa powder, salt, and baking powder in a bowl and set aside. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat oil,sugar until pale and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating to blend between additions; beat until mixture is very light and doubled in volume. Add vanilla. Reduce mixer speed to low and add dry ingredients in 3 additions, alternating with buttermilk in 2 additions, beginning and ending with dry ingredients. Scrape batter into prepared pan and sprinkle with coconut. Take care not to overmix the batter !


  • Bake cake, tenting with foil if coconut browns too much before cake is done until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean, 70–80 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let cake cool in pan 20 minutes before turning 
  • I enjoyed a sumptuous tea with the freshly baked slices drenched with home made chocolate sauce. You can also sprinkle some powdered sugar or glaze it up and enjoy your slice.

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

ROBOT THEME RESTAURANT @ SEMMENCHERI - A REVIEW


Persistent badgering from kids and we finally flocked to the Robot Themed Restaurant @ Semmencheri on a balmy Sunday afternoon.  A Pan Asia Restaurant, the kick was that the food was to be served by Robots. My friends advised me not to saunter in without a call especially on weekends and we blitzed in after booking a table in advance. Without much ado we were ushered into the first floor to sample the hospitality of the gleaming machines.


 I quite liked the way, the order was taken via Tabs kept on every table. Once you click and confirm your choice, the order reaches the kitchen. And the dishes when ready, are picked up by the Robots and dutifully bought to the tables. 


The moment the robots come to the designated table they turn and wait for the dishes to be loaded down via the waiters lingering  helpfully and/or  ofcourse self service.


The sensors of the Robots deserve a special mention here as they can deduct if someone or something is before them and blocking their way. The kids were amused by the sad or the angry glare the robots assumed everytime something came before them.  




Food :-

Loved the mix of Chinese & Thai  on the menu. The eclectic mix of dishes we ordered was delivered promptly by the machines. Especially lip smacking was the Hot Basil Mushroom & Thai Green Curry (Veg). The pan fried momos was rubbery and Khao Pad Namprik (Veg) could have been better. 




Yays  & Nays

Yay to ~
  •  the unique dining experience.
  • the appetite rousing ambience 
  • the quick service
  • yummy Food

Nay :-

Why dress up the Robots in traditional garb ?? The need to indegenise the robots in the most cliched manner was a put off. To see these machines buzzing up and about in lehenga & sarees was strictly not up to my taste. May be, others feel differently about them but to me it was an eyesore.

Verdict ~

The restaurant, the brainchild of Venkatesh Rajendran and Karthik Kannan is quite a novelty in the Indian food industry. I have read about robots wowing one and all as bartenders in cruise ships and chefs in a few upscale hotels abroad and this promises to be a start of thrilling gastronomic adventures ahead. The overall dining experience was exciting and I believe these food serving robots will be a game changer for many an interesting gourmet experiences in the future. 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Tangy Mini Fusilli ~ Rustling up a quick fix brunch

As Thomas Keller famously put, a recipe has no soul, you as the cook must bring soul to it; seasoning a dish with love elevates any dish from ordinary to exotic, and hopefully has spurred a wandering soul to chronicle her hearth adventures often !

Much water has flowed since the last time I blogged and many a lip smacking dishes came out from my heart and hearth; but the drive to make them see this page was lacking. But an utmost no brainer of a recipe gave me the itch to get back to sharing a part of me... t
he pictures do no justice but then I believe that's besides the point.


The corkscrew shaped pasta has been dressed with store bought sauce tossed with some available fresh veggies from the fridge and nothing more; the recipe like i said is not rocket science but yes cooked with love and adoration it was scrumptious to say the least. 

What's in it :- (Serves 4)

  • Mini Fusilli - 300 grams
  • Olive Oil - 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Onion - 3 medium (chopped)
  • Garlic Paste  - a big spoon (use chopped garlic to add more earthy zing)
  • Assortment of fresh veggies - Baby Corn, Carrot, Caspsicum - a cup
  • Pizza Pasta Sauce from Delmonte - (roughly about) 8 to 9 tbsp 
  • Water - a few spoons of water/as required (I used the starchy water set aside after boiling pasta)
  • Grated Cheese & Herbs to garnish
Here's How :-

Boil Pasta as per instruction. Toss it with a few drops of oil and keep it aside.
Heat oil in a pan, add chopped onions and saute till golden brown. Mix in the garlic paste and let the aroma waft through your hearth & heart. Add fresh vegetables and cook for a few minutes.

At this point tip in a generous splash of the sauce with a few spoons of water. Let it cook for a brief minute or two. Drop the cooked pasta and toss it all together.

Season it with grated cheese and herbs to tingle your taste buds !



Sunday, January 25, 2015

Eggs in Sweet N Spicy Tomato Gravy

"For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice"

Don't know where I read this but this quote surely sums up my resolution to make a resolution list every year. Can you blame me? It's that time of the year when I start making a "My Resolutions for the year" list. Fervently I pile the do's and don't while silently promising to myself that every thing on the list will be struck off. And boy, I go about flaunting the list below refrigerator magnets, above the bedpost (yeah!) and yes even on the bathroom door. 

But sadly the only thing that ever gets struck off is a promise to never make such lists:D

What would be on the list's you ask? Many things: for starters, to put more time in the kitchen(I sort of hate it) if only to blog about it. Not that I am not cooking anything; but hardly anything is blog worthy. Another point is my photography skills(?!) have gone rusty as my wielding the camera is almost next to nothing. Yeah I do need that resolution list even if it is going to make me stick to it only for a couple of months.


Anyways, I have consciously made an effort to break my no blogging spell with this lip smacking egg gravy. Though, to be truthful, the dish screams "hubby's touch". What was I doing? Well, I was waltzing around him and giving my valuable inputs :D


{ Serves: 3-4, Prep Time: 20 mins, Cooking Time: 20 mins}

What's in it :- 
  • Onions - 300 - 350 gms {finely chopped}
  • Tomatoes - 200 gms {finely chopped}
  • Green Chillis -  2-3 {finely chopped}
  • Garlic - 5-6 pods {finely chopped/to taste}
  • Eggs - Medium sized - 8 {hard boiled and peeled}
  • Curry Leaves - few
  • Coriander leaves - a few sprigs {finely chopped/finely chopped}
  • Turmeric Powder - a pinch
  • Fennel Seeds - 1 tbsp
  • Asafoetida - 1 pinch
  • Chilly powder - 1 pinch
  • Salt - To Taste
  • Sugar- 1 tbsp
  • Mixture of Ghee, Coconut Oil and Refined Oil - 2 tbsp 

Here's how:-


In a kadai add the oil mixture and as it warms up dunk the peeled eggs and sauté it till golden brown. Set aside after puncturing it with a fork. In the same pan, add the fennel seeds, curry leaves, then the onions and sauté well. Then add the garlic and green chillies and sauté till the raw smell goes away. Next, add the turmeric powder, asafoetida and chilly powder, sugar and sauté till the raw smell goes away. Let the entire mixture turn a dark brown. Add water if required to avoid the mix sticking to the bottom of the kadai. Now tip in the chopped tomatoes and sauté well. Add water if required to make a semi gravy finally add the golden brown eggs. Bring it to a boil. Garnish with the coriander leaves and serve hot accompanied by phulkas, chappaties or paranthas.

Enjoy your meal as we did!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Over a Cold Cuppa - Paper Boat (Tulsi Tea / Ginger Lemon Tea) - {A Product Review}

It was a pleasant surprise to see a suspicious mysterious looking package in a hot looking jute bag at my doorstep; and I immediately knew the Paper Boat team was back again to do what they do best ~ concocting recipes, awakening nostalgia, kindling memories et al......

I have always been a coffee lover but drinking tea has actually become a therapeutic exercise for the last 2 years. To quote a text on a t-shirt I saw on someone "It is a brew that sees me through". Why 2 years you may ask? After getting back to work, I quite look forward to the "chai" delivered by the ayahs in our school in a small ever-silver tumbler. To say that the meager amount of liquid has become my healer for the day will not be an understatement.  Now I am a chai junkie, piping hot brew laced with a generous dash of minced ginger and a touch of cardamom is a solution to all the almost all the 
problems :D

Other than the hot chai, I kick-start my day with green tea. And yes I enjoy the occasional tall glass of iced tea during those sweltering days. So all this new found love for tea has culminated in me amassing knowledge on tea and yes I am going to share a few nuggets with you.
  • The second most widely consumed beverage now; had to wait for almost 3000 years till it could become an every day drink. Earlier it was used for medicinal purposes.
  • While many of us know that tea was discovered by the Chinese Emperor Shen Nung when a tea leaf accidentally fell into his bowl of hot water, do you know the history of Iced Tea? Well it does not have a grand legend like its piping hot counterpart but back in 1904, Richard Blechynden couldn't sell his tea in a fair because the day was hot and no one was buying. He thought of adding ice cubes and it was an instant success. 
Now coming back to Paper Boat's products, I am a fan of their Shake & Sip drinks and I looked forward to sample the two variants of tea that was delivered - the Tulsi Tea and the Ginger Lemon Tea. The team from Paper Boat has a quirky knack of attracting instant attention with their stylishly designed pouches and this one is no different. Both the pouches sing "an all natural/gluten free/free from any genetically modified material and a notch down on sugar tune rather strikingly" and I was instantly hooked.



The drinks are made from black tea leaves. I liked the drinks; they were good but to me it lacked the punch my taste buds craved for. A stronger hint of tulsi in tulsi tea and a power-packed dash of ginger is definitely required to make them a reinvigorating affair.



Drawing from the local flavours and brewing it to appease the taste-buds is the tagline of Paper Boat and I wish the team hears my humble pleas....



Looks & Cost :-

The drinks come in attractive looking pouches. Weighing about 250 ml, each pouch is priced at INR 30/- Both the drinks look almost the same.

Thumbs-up to:-
    • Thirst-quencher & refreshing if served chilled
    • Aesthetically packed 
    • Promises real drinks with no junk
Serving Suggestion:-

Shake well and serve chilled. 



Final Word:-

I love the passion and the attitude of the team and their products have great potential to be 'the go-to drinks'. I wish the two variants of tea could be reprocessed in order to capture the essence behind them. I also wonder how they would taste with green tea leaves as their base and yes I totally look forward to the team going the full throttle and showcasing the flavours of India.

Thank you Team Paper Boat for sending me the beverages for review. The views expressed here are strictly my own

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Britannia Nut & Raisin Romance - A Product Review

Sometime back I got a mail from Britannia, asking whether I would be interested in reviewing their latest offering - Nut & Raisins Cake. Well, I couldn't refuse, simply because I adore anything and everything that says "cake", and, of course, my kids are a huge fan of Britannia products! Another reason was that accepting to do the review would mean getting back to blogging and pay the richly deserved attention my blog merits! 

Cutting a long story short, the cake was delivered and promptly eaten and the need to post about it was forgotten. But then today, while flipping through the channels, I saw the ad for the cake and immediately remembered my promise to review the cake. And so here it is...

Browsing through pinterest the other day, I came across a quote that said,

"Fabulous is health, happiness, home and cake ". 

Well to me it sums up life beautifully. My earlier posts are an indication of my love for cakes and my son gets this 'genetically biased towards cake' syndrome from me! So the cake had to be reviewed.



How does it look ?

When a package screams Nuts & Raisins Romance, it literally sings paeans to eternal romanticists like me. So when the package arrived all dolled up in a shimmery brown & gold with cute lil doodles adding a quirky charm; it was a 'wow' moment indeed. I loved the nice packaging of the cake which was encased in a thin plastic case. The cake itself looked hot in dark brown and a pleasant nutty aroma wafting through it, spelt romance. The package clearly mentions the ingredients along with the nutrition information/100 gms and other mandatory details.



How does it taste?

The blurb on the package promises a rich & delightful shower of almonds and raisins whilst the orange peel in it suggests a burst of citrusy freshness. I loved the fact that every bite of the cake gave a surge of raisins & almond. However, my taste buds did complain of dryness in every bite. Whilst it cannot be denied that artificial flavours are required to prolong its shelf life, it did play havoc with the moistness and the taste. 

The cake was a nice tea-time companion.

What does it cost?

Priced moderately at INR 50/- the cake is a rich addition to the variety in snacking. 

Serving Suggestions:-

Indulge in it as such or pair it with your evening cuppa. It also acts as a wonderful recess snacks for your kids.

Thumbs up to :-
  • On-the-go snack
  • Mass appeal to kids & adults
  • Good idea for entertaining guests
  • Can serve as an ideal product in gift baskets
Final Word:-

All those moments of what to eat at 4 P.M that hits my kids regularly was driven away by a generous slice of the cake.



Note:-

It contains eggs, so it might be a deterrent to Vegans, Vegetarians and anyone who does not eat egg. My hubby also felt a strong taste of the egg in the cake and didn't enjoy it very well.

Thank you Britannia for sending me the cake for the review. The views expressed here are completely my own. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

"Happy Deepavali to all" - enjoy Thenkuzhal - A Savoury Snack

Whenever I think about the festival of lights, I look back with great fondness and remember those days when the festivities was synonymous with hogging! Yes - eating as if there was no tomorrow. Deepavali or Diwali, "the festival of lights", was a great excuse to raid my mom's overflowing pantry and my partner in crime, aka my lil sis was a great ally. I remember my mom would start making all the yummy savouries and sweets a good fortnight in advance and the pantry would groan with those utterly scrumptious goodies waiting to be hogged and we woulds do just that! We were never satisfied with the eating curfew that was imposed and rightly so; those were the days when even an over-flowing plate meant a half-satisfied belly and a thoroughly dissatisfied mind! So attacking the larder it was! My sis & me would invent all those impossible-to-detect codes, to signal that mom was sleeping or that she was awake or in the battlefield (kitchen). Thereafter we would do those snack-vanishing acts with immense pride and joy! Ah! those days; now when I see my son slowly creeping into the kitchen and tiptoeing his way to the pantry to plunder the loot, I feel life has come back full circle!



Diwali is such a joy to behold - a home decorated with lovely diyas placed all over.The festivities signifying the victory of light over darkness and knowledge over ignorance. 


                          (Source:here)

On Diwali nights, after a puja invoking the Goddess of Wealth, Lakshmi, the joyous and rather sonorous affair of bursting crackers follow. Between all of them is the constant flipping of channels to catch in the latest flick or whatever and then of course snacking!

Talking of snacks, this festive season I am with my in-laws to celebrate. Though it is a rather muted affair with hubby's aunt passing away some time back, there is no shortage of activities in the kitchen and hence there are snacks galore. My mother-in-law made this rather ubiquitous "thenkuzhal" and I had to blog about it and break my absence from the blogdom with this crunchy snack. I call the snack ubiquitous coz it is a must in every household and because of its easy breezy preparation. Made with rice flour and paired with either urad dal flour / moong dal flour or coconut milk, the snack is versatile in nature and can be easily made into delightful variations. It needs the press/murukku naazhi as we call it along with the mold/thenkuzhal acchu. My mother-in-law has this rustic looking wooden/copper based press that I really liked.



Making the snack needs all of a half-hour time at your disposal. Once the flour is ready and mixed, they can be dumped into the greased press and made into thenkuzhal.



Fried gram or roasted chana or the pottukadalai (பொட்டுக்கடலை) is grounded in to a powder to give this variation of thenkuzhal a unique taste.



What's in it :-
  • Rice Flour - 1 cup
  • Fried Gram Flour - 1/4 cup (Instructions follow)
  • Cumin Seeds - 1 to 2 tsp
  • Til Seeds (Black/White) - 1 tbsp
  • Salt - to taste
  • Asafoetida - a generous pinch or two
  • Hot Oil / Ghee / Dalda - 2 to 3 tbsp
  • Water - as required

Here's How :-

Lightly roast the fried gram in a tava and blend it to a fine powder. In a big mixing bowl add all the ingredients and gently rub them to form a damp mix. Then slowly add water as required and knead it into a medium dough (neither too hard nor too soft).

In the meanwhile, heat oil in a kadai for deep frying. Now fill the dough in the press and squeeze it directly onto the kadai in a circular motion. This does need you to be a pro in the kitchen what with tackling the bubbling oil et al. Do take care that the steam dosen't hit your hands when squeezing the dough.

Another easier way is to squeeze the dough in a circular motion on top of an inverted plate or a ladle and then sliding it carefully into the hot oil.




Deep fry both sides till there are minimal bubbles. Take it out and let it cool. Now store this in an air tight container and enjoy the deliciousness!


Chef Notes :---

• Keep the dough covered to ensure it stays moist if you are making a huge quantity/batch. 

My mother-in-law used rice flour that was ground freshly from the mill. You can us store bought flour too.

Using dalda enhances the taste according to my mother-in-law.

Other than hot oil/ghee you can add butter too.

You can grease the inner of the press before dunking the dough. It ensures easy whisking down of the dough. Ensure that the pan is not crowded while frying and top-up the oil if required.




E.N.J.O.Y ! Wishing all my readers a sparkling Deepavali !

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Chocolate Baileys Mud Cake

"Chocolate doesn't ask silly questions; chocolate understands"

Chocolates works wonders whenever I am down & out. Soothing frayed nerves, it instantly send across shots of joy and happiness throughout. My fridge is packed with a variety of them and they are my 3 am buddy, late night pal and a comfortable shoulder to cry bite on. Many researches have shown evidence of what a healthy amount of chocolates can do to your system--- reducing the risk of heart disease, improving brain power et al. Not that I need any scientific evidence for digging in to it; but, do you know that chocolates contain Serotonin - a mood lifting hormone found naturally in the human brain. No wonder, they are great mood elevators... 


That brings me to my another love - cakes! My previous post and so many of my other posts would vouch my love for the cakes; if the cakes are chocolaty then surely it is a ticket to heaven and back! The unopened Irish cream bottle in my pantry was begging me to use it for quite some time. And while eyeing a few recipes in the net I came across a mud cake recipe all glammed up with the Irish Whiskey. And yeah, the kitchen hummed a tipsy tune....


This chocolate mud cake with Irish Cream is truly a killer recipe. And my work-mates will vouch for it. 


The recipe from Citrus and Candy has been tweaked a little to accommodate the ingredients my pantry had. This cake boasts chocolates with a liberal splash of the Irish liqueur making it jazzier.


The bailey ganache to top the cake added to the pep. I used fresh cream for the ganche. The quantity of the liqueur in the ganache is as mentioned in the recipe but like the original recipe says you can make a boozier version of it sans cream or you can totally skip the whiskey and make it a chocolaty ganache!


In the midst of all these, I had to prevent my chocolates and the cake mix to be hunted down by a tiny predator! Look who's prowling!!!!




What's in it :-

For the cake
  • Unsalted butter - 150 grams
  • Dark chocolate - 100 grams (chopped)
  • Caster sugar - 200 grams
  • Cocoa powder - 50 grams (sifted)
  • Bailey's Irish Cream  - 180 ml
  • Plain flour - 170 grams
  • Baking powder - 1.5 tsp
  • Baking soda - 1/2 tsp
  • Salt - 1/2 tsp
  • Eggs - 3 (room temperature)
For the Chocolate Baileys Ganache
  • Good quality dark chocolate - 200 grams (finely chopped)
  • Cream - 100 ml (I used Amul Fresh Cream)
  • Baileys Irish Cream - 100 ml
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Unsalted butter - 1 tbsp (softened to room temperature)

Here's How :- 
Cake

Preheat oven to 160°C. Grease and line a cake tin.

In a pan over low heat, add the butter, chocolate, sugar, cocoa powder and Baileys. When chocolate and butter has melted, whisk together to combine till the mix is free of any lumps. Remove from heat and leave it to cool for a few minutes.

Meanwhile, sift together the flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and set aside.

Add the eggs to the slightly cooled chocolate mixture and whisk to combine. Gently fold in the sifted flour mix until free of lumps. Scrape into cake tin then bake for about 40-45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. Do not over bake. And it is ok if the top of the cake is a little cracked as the top will be trimmed to accommodate the ganache.



Remove from oven and let it cool for some time before demoulding. Once the cake cools down completely trim the top of the cake to pour the ganache all over.

For the ganache:-

Bring the cream, Baileys and the salt to a simmer in a pan. Pour over the chocolate and sit for a minute. Gently stir to combine then beat in the butter. Set aside at room temperature and cool until it is thick enough to spread over your cooled cake. I refrigerated the ganache for some time as I felt that it was a little runny. To keep the ganache smooth gently stir the ganache occasionally.



E.N.J.O.Y !

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Chocolate Orange Marble Loaf - for those teatime cravings

'I eat cake because it is somebody's birthday somewhere'

Came across this cheeky quote in pinterest today and couldn't stop grinning about it. This quote must have taken shape because of people like me who just fancy eating a cake or a pastry almost every day. When it's not the local bakeries that gets my attention, then the baking paraphernalia of yours truly, a modest collection to hoot teases me aplenty. Whatever be the reason, there is something magical about baking cakes and then devouring it with gusto like there is no tomorrow. Pretty much what happened with this Chocolate Orange marble loaf. 



I am not going to wax eloquent about how the marbled loaf was perfectly achieved and how the cake looked a stunner. The light and dark streaks in the cake was decent and nothing that speaks of a professional touch. But then the taste and texture of the cake was a rocking success. So much that I have already made the cake twice this month and yes both times the delectable loaf was polished off with gay abandon. Cocoa + Orange is indeed a match made in heaven. They pair off excellently well and add a depth to the flavour and taste.

Besides the mood while making the loaf was a mix of earthy humour. I set out making the cake around noon and by the time the loaf was out hubby dearest had come home for lunch.

Hubby : Divine smell, you baking?
Me : Yeah, a marbled loaf. It has an equal mix of sugar,flour and margarine, but then it also has the rind of an orange and a teeny-weeny portion of orange juice.
Hubby : {eyes rolling]. Look what's in my hand. April's Readers Digest with the cover story being 'GET SLIM'
Me : {putting on a mock offense} You spoil-sport !
Hubby : Let's eat in haste and repent in leisure
Me : Nodding vigorously

And so began the feasting of the cake....


Well jokes apart, I had eyed this recipe from BBC Good Food sometime back and fell in love with the very rustic looking loaf peeping out from the picture. And when I set out making the loaf my pantry was missing butter, but then the margarine more than did the job. I substituted equal amount of margarine as mentioned in the recipe. The orange rind in it added to the pep.The recipe calls for self-raising flour. While I generally follow Nigella's method for the same, this time around I added salt and reduced the amount of baking powder :-


For Self raising flour :-


  1. Plain Flour - 150 grams
  2. Baking powder - 1 tsp
  3. Salt - 1/4 tsp

Add 1 tsp of baking powder and 1/4 tsp of salt for each 150 grams of plain flour. Combine and sift them  together into a bowl before using to make sure the baking powder is thoroughly distributed. Your self raising flour is ready. Measure the quantity of flour as required for the recipe and store the rest in an airtight container. Do not make a lot of self raising flour in advance as the raising agent may shed its property over time.

Now for the recipe adapted from BBC Good Food


What's in the loaf :- (Prep Time : 20 mins; Baking Time : - 55 mins)
  • Margarine - 225 grams (@ room temperature) + plus extra for greasing
  • Caster sugar - 225 grams
  • Self raising flour - 225 grams
  • Eggs - 4 (beaten)
  • Milk - 2 tbsp
  • Cocoa powder - 3 tbsp (sifted)
  • Orange zest of 1 medium sized orange
  • Orange juice - 1 tbsp
Here's How :-

Heat oven to 160 C. Grease and line the base of a loaf tin with baking parchment. Beat the margarine, sugar, eggs and flour together in a large bowl with an electric whisk or in a food processor until lump free. Split the mixture into two bowls. Beat the milk, followed by the cocoa powder into one. Beat the orange juice and zest into the other.



Spoon alternate dollops of the mixture into the cake tin, then use a skewer to create a marble pattern by dragging it through the mixture in swirls. Don’t over mix and smooth the surface if necessary. Bake the cake for 45 - 55 mins until golden and risen and a skewer poked in comes out clean. Leave the cake in the tin to cool and cut out slices. 



You can also drizzle some chocolate sauce over the loaf if you so prefer. It is a perfect accompaniment for tea time or for those anytime cravings.

Enjoy !