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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

Chocolate is soul food for me, chocolate is the most delicious thing on earth. There is no equivalent to the experience of placing a perfectly shiny piece of chocolate on your tongue, letting it melt slowly in your mouth till it goes all around and then chewing it when it becomes too irresistible. I love cooking with chocolate mostly because I end up eating a lot of it neat while chopping.

That said I don’t exactly start my day with hot chocolate – its one of those things I make when I am particularly tired mentally. Every bit of making hot chocolate is invigorating – starting with the aroma of chocolate that is beginning to melt to the whisking of chocolate to a smooth shiny consistency. I like my hot chocolate dark and rich with not too much milk or flavourings.

Ingredients (for one serving of hot chocolate)

  • Dark chocolate – 2 ounces (I use 2 1/2 ounces for darker hot chocolate)
  • Water – 1/4 cup
  • Warm Milk – 1/2 cup (adjust as per taste)
  • Honey – 1 tsp
  • Vanilla extract or flavouring of choice – 1/2 tsp

Method

  1. Chop chocolate with a serrated knife.
  2. Warm water in the microwave for 20 seconds on high. Add chopped chocolate, whisk and microwave on high for 1 minute or so. Stir once in between after the first 30 seconds.
  3. Whisk the chocolate well till its smooth and shiny. Add honey and vanilla and mix well.
  4. Pour into serving cup. Let it cool to lukewarm.
  5. Warm slightly, pour warm milk and serve.

Other Recipe Marathoners:

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Cinnamon Chocolate Pudding

No prizes for guessing that this post is going to Sunita for Think Spice, Think Cinnamon.

Cinnamon and I have so far never been on talking terms – as a spice it usually remains safely tucked away in an unreachable dark corner of my rack only to be grudgingly removed for an occasional Bisi Bele Bhaath or Ghee Rice.

Chocolate and Cinnamon, however, I have discovered are another story altogether. Cinnamon added a rather interesting note to the standard chocolate pudding, making it smell warm and luxurious.

Cinnamon Chocolate...

Adapted from this recipe at Epicurious

Ingredients

  • Dark Chocolate – 125 gms
  • Fresh Cream – 3/4 cup (can be replaced with Milk+1tbsp of cornflour)
  • Milk – 1/2 cup
  • Sugar – 1/3 cup (adjust as per taste)
  • Corn flour – 1 tbsp
  • Honey – 1 tbsp (gives the pudding a sheen, original recipe uses butter)
  • Cinnamon – 1 tsp (powdered) (can be replaced with flavouring of choice)
  • Nuts or Chocolate shavings or whipped cream (for topping)

Method

  1. Chop chocolate into small pieces. Mix the milk and cornflour and set aside. Mix the honey and cinnamon and set aside. Set aside 4 to 6 cups with plastic wraps to cover them.
  2. Whisk the cream and sugar well and bring to a boil over medium heat in a heavy saucepan. Add chocolate pieces and whisk well till its melted, blended and shiny. Keep on a low to medium flame.
  3. Stir the milk-cornflour and add to the saucepan. Add the honey-cinnamon to the saucepan.
  4. Keep whisking and bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat. Keep for an additional 30 seconds to a minute till the mixture reaches custard consistency.
  5. Remove from heat and pour into individual portions in cups. Place a plastic wrap over each cup and freeze until set about 45 minutes to an hour.

Garnish with nuts, chocolate shavings or whipped cream before serving.

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Wicked, Wicked Chocolate

This post is a tribute to Chocoholics (not so)Anonymous because – ummm – you’ll figure why by the end of this post.

The Kitchen is in reality a well concealed battlefield. I am not talking writing off topic here, this is where the story of my adventure with chocolate begins. And so, the kitchen is a rather deceptive battlefield, it ravages war on you when you least expect it; when you are deeply mesmerized in the wonderful dishes that you’re experimenting with everyday.

No brownie points for guessing that I am going to rant about my latest (mis)adventure in the kitchen that involved a character called chocolate. Extra brownie points for guessing that din’t have anything to do with the dish – anything with chocolate can’t go wrong in terms of taste.

I have a serious chocolate addiction – each time I see the word chocolate splashed across the computer screen, I yearn to have some. I am fanatical about chocolate, so fanatical that I can order a large portion of a dessert that is dunk in oodles of chocolate and call it dinner. I specially have a weak spot for sinful brownies and all brownie based dishes. So when Kamini posted her quest for the perfect chocolate brownie and I followed this up with some reading, I had to make myself a sinful chocolatey treat.

I have been wanting to try this recipe for Warm Walnut Brownie Pudding at Epicurious for sometime and this seemed like a perfect opportunity. The recipe was perfect with no need for substitution, I had all ingredients on hand and successfully put them all together into one yummy tasting cake batter that was so eager to be baked. For a change clever prepared me also made the chocolate syrup the recipe required in advance.

And so I took the perfect batter made from a perfect recipe in a perfect baking dish to put into my beloved oven. Splash!!! I have no idea what happened – I have been scratching and scratching my head, but my memory fails me. In an instant, half of the syrup along with half the batter was all over the kitchen. The baking dish with the rest of the batter (now mixed in parts with the syrup) was still in my hand suspended between my bewildered face and the open oven.

When I say “all over the kitchen” I mean literally all over. On all the racks, on top of the oven, near the sink behind me, on the floor, on the fridge, on all the washed and drained vessels and on the ceiling (I am not kidding, I swear there was a spot). Chocolate had invaded my kitchen. It was 11 pm in the night – my perfect baking time and not so perfect cleaning time.

Here’s a left over piece of the Warm Walnut Brownie Pudding. I did bake with the rest of the batter. My other half had dug into routine chunks from the kitchen and was at work on this last piece before I begged him to stop for a precious photograph for the blog.

Update: I have edited the photograph (original is here) for brightness to prove that the object pictured  isn’t a piece of meteorite. See there are walnuts on top.

Not a Meteorite

As you can see the pudding turned out, errrrr, rather flat – though it was the richest, most moist chocolate bake I have ever had.

It took me three hours in total to wash all dishes and scrub the kitchen. It took another two hours to organize the kitchen. But then we all know that the adages around “hard work” are stuff that fairy tales are made of – don’t we? Sigh, I was rewarded with the sight of a few spots of chocolate near the kitchen sink today morning. I am now firmly resigned to my “kitchen with chocolate spots” destiny. It’s been four days since the disaster and I can still smell chocolate in my kitchen – not that I mind, it’s the perfect antidote for my chocolate addiction. I am off chocolates for a while now.

The story doesn’t end here though. Now that I have shared my harrowing experience in the kitchen, I tag Asha (so what if you just did a few memes, please dedicate a post to this one), Hema (trying my friend’s tactic of waking up QTOL), Padma (have you ever ever gone wrong sometime?) and Raaga (tit for tat, you tag me, I tag you) to share their worst kitchen disaster and pass on the tag. The “Nightmare in the Kitchen” tag begins.

PS: Being off chocolate and other such claims are meant to be dismissed as lies – a big bag of lies. Just writing this post makes me want to go have some chocolate.

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I am awful at Math, especially for someone whose parents eat mental arithmetic for breakfast, lunch and dinner. But as far as cooking is concerned, this is how my math works:

A series of chocolatey posts at Emily’s ROL blog + a double chocolate treat at Jugalbandi+ a follow on @ Arundhati’s Escapades + a Madrasi’s chocolate indulgence = “I need to cook some Chocolate before I go mad”.

Now the elements of my eco system have this compulsive need to conspire against me at the most unnecessary hour – the nearest store ran out of cooking chocolate stock and chose to remain closed the following day. Hmph!!! Dear conspiring elements, FYI, there is ancient recipe which makes it possible for me to make brownies without the cooking chocolate. I chose to make the eggless version, since I have developed strong disliking for the smell of egg after my failed attempts at making poached and boiled eggs a part of the breakfast menu.

I am yet to invest in a convection oven (Dont ask me why -My parents furnished my kitchen exactly a year ago), so I made these in the microwave. Microwave Brownies aren’t as crusty as the ones made in a convection oven, but make delightful pudding bases.

Preparation: 10 minutes, Baking: 5 minutes, Yield: lasts two gluttons 10-15 days.

Chocolate Cake for Brownies

Chocolate Cake for Brownies
The above photos are each a portion of batter cooked. I baked in two installments. If you plan to do this, please refridgerate the remaining batter.

Ingredients

  • All Purpose flour – 2 cups
  • Cocoa Powder – 1 cup (increase or decrease as desired)
  • Sugar – 1 1/2 cups
  • Butter – 1/2 cup
  • Milk Powder – 1 cup
  • Milk – 1 cup
  • Curd – 1/2 cup
  • Nuts of your choice – as desired (I din’t add any)
  • Flavourings of your choice – 1 tsp (Vanilla, Instant Coffee, Almonds)

*cups= 225ml or 8oz
Method

  1. Line an Oven Proof Dish with Wax Paper. (or spread 1 tsp oil over a normal white paper lined in). Note: Dont choose a deep dish, thick brownies may end up becoming very fluffy and more cake like in the microwave.
  2. Powder the Sugar. Mix all ingredients into a smooth batter.
  3. Pour batter into the Oven Proof Dish. Microwave on high for 5 minutes. Check after the 4th minute for doneness by inserting the back of a spoon or fork through the cake. (Timings are for a 900 watts oven).
  4. Set aside for cooling. Invert into a flat plate and cut into pieces. Store in an air tight container.

Note: Overcooking or cutting while its still warm can make the cake very crumbly.

Is there a vegan version? No clue, though I dont see why one couldn’t try this with soymilk substitutes. Is this low fat? No idea, though I dont think 1/2 a cup of butter spread over 10-15 days of pure joy could be sinful. And if I cant burn that many calories, I must be a really lazy bum.

I like mine drenched in Apple Sauce and topped with some fresh cream.

Pudding

Ingredients

  • Apples – 4
  • Bananas – 2
  • Honey – 1 tsp

Method

  1. Slice Apples and Bananas.
  2. Microwave Apple on high for 2 minutes.
  3. Add in Bananas and Microwave on high for 1 minute. Mash lightly.
  4. Add Honey and Microwave on high for 3 minutes. Mash lightly and set aside to cool.
  5. Pulse to a puree in a blender.

Like Rava Idlis and Ghee Cookies, this is yet another recipe, my mom and I will cook up at any time of the day or night. Chocolate Indulgence in 15 minutes.

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