Category

Chocolate

Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping “Anything is good if it’s made of chocolate.”
Jo Brand

Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up low fat cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe and my new favourite light buttercream.Eggs and chocolateIt’s been a busy last few months and I stare at a hungry blog. We’ve had a great food styling workshop just recently, packed to the gills, on one of the hottest days of the season. It was a LOT of work and planning, but it was all so worth it. The venue {Lodi – The Garden Restaurant, New Delhi}, the folk who attended, the food we ate and shot, was all great fun. A great learning experience too.Food Styling Workshop, The Lodi, New DelhiThen of course there is obsessive everyday shooting, something that keeps me so engrossed, I often lose track of time. Some work for others, some for myself, yet all a learning process. Add to that Sunday Stills where I join Simi as she shoots stills. Pitcher #sundaystillsAmaltasThe Masala Dabba with Dolphia has fallen prey to procrastination but I will get back there soon since spices is what I enjoy shooting a lot! Gundu Chilies from Karaikudi

Masala Dabba, spices

The Masala Dabba #2Getting back to baking and this wonderful cake, here’s something I recently discovered. I often find a lot of folk these days baking out of a box and frosting the cake with ready made cream,  ingredients loaded with preservatives, enhancers, emulsifiers and what not. Read the label and you’ll figure out. Baking  or cooking ‘from scratch’ conjures up images of cooking with fresh ingredients and lovingly preparing meals. Boxed meals emphasize just the convenience. Add a few ingredients and then you’re done. Making a cake from scratch gives you control over the quality of the ingredients, also allowing for a bit more creativity. Wholewheat Dark Chocolate Fudgy Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting 3 1000 1Creativity and experimenting go hand in hand. The revelation that I could use clarified butter / ghee instead of normal butter has made life really simple for me. The recipes need to be adapted a little here and there, but the huge plus is that clarified butter stays good on the shelf for long. You don’t need to melt and cool in summer as it doesn’t set hard at warm temperatures. The convenience of use is indescribable in weather like we have here these days at 45C! That’s how I got the low fat 20%  cream to whip up so I could pipe it.  Wholewheat Dark Chocolate Fudgy Cupcakes with Buttercream Frosting 2 1000 1Worked each time but once when it was really really hot and humid. Whip chilled low fat cream to medium soft peaks at a high speed. Then drizzle in about a teaspoon of cool melted clarified butter / ghee for every 100ml of cream and continue to whip at high speed, you will notice the cream gradually firming up and holding shape. This is because you’re putting the fat back into low fat cream. I have also seen this works better with the ‘Go’ brand of fresh cream as compared to ‘Amul’ {in India}. Do let me know if it works for you!Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping Well everyone can’t ‘do it from scratch’, and even though additives etc are often considered part of the package when it comes to boxed meals, it really doesn’t have to be. Interestingly enough, at least one company thought that way. San Francisco-based food tech company Hampton Creek offers a new take on shelf-ready foods, striving to take out additives and other unnatural ingredients from common, off-the-shelf goods. For eg, their premade cookie dough doesn’t contain common additives, is an eggless dough mix that is also dairy-free. Baking from a box or a premade mix can be as mouth-watering as a meal made from scratch; guess you need to know what to look for.

Until then, here’s my Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping Cake!

Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping
Print Recipe
Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up the cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping
Print Recipe
Moist, dark and absolutely delicious are words enough to describe this Dark Chocolate Layered Cake with Almond Meringue Topping. The base is a simple chocolate genoise sponge, layered with a low fat whipped cream. The top is a brown sugar meringue topped with slivered almonds, quite optional if you are torn for time, but it does add a lovely touch to the final look. The secret to the moist cake and whipping up the cream is melted, cooled clarified butter/ghee. This is my new favourite sponge recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Servings Prep Time
8 people 20 minutes
Cook Time
40 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 1
  1. Preheat oven to 180C. Line the sides and bottom of 2 8" spring-form round tin with parchment. {I have just 1 tin and an oven that fits only 1 cake at a time. I kept the parchment ready while the first sponge baked}
  2. Place 4 eggs and 1 egg yolk in the bowl of the stand mixer with 125g brown sugar and vanilla extract. Whisk on high speed until light, very mousse like and tripled in volume, about 8-10 minutes.
  3. Sift the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt 2 times. Reserve.
  4. Place cooled clarified butter in a medium sized bowl. reserve.
  5. Once the eggs are whisked and mousse like, sift over 1/3 of the flour/cocoa mix and gently stir in in figure 8 moves so that the beaten air doesn't escape. Repeat 2 more times.
  6. Take about a cup of this batter and fold into bowl with melted ghee to loosed the mixture. Now turn this batter back into main batter and gently mix through taking care not to release the beaten air.
  7. Turn into prepared tin and bake for approximately 40 minutes, untl a pick inserted comes out clean.
Chocolate Genoise Sponge 2
  1. Repeat as above, turn into prepared tin and top with brown sugar meringue spreading gently and uniformly with an offset spatula. Scatter slivered almonds over and bake for approximately 40 minutes, until a pick inserted comes out clean.
Brown sugar meringue
  1. Whisk the egg whites with brown sugar on high speed to stiff peaks, about 5 minutes.
Frosting and filling
  1. Place chilled cream, icing sugar, clarified butter in bowl of stand mixer. Whisk at highest speed for 7-9 minutes until stiff peaks form. Adjust sweetness if required.
Assemble
  1. Gently cut each cake into two horizontal layers. They will be very moist and delicate.
  2. Place one layer on the cake platter, top with about 1 cup of whipped cream, spread evenly. Repeat with remaining 3 layers. Frost the sides of the cake with remaining frosting, maybe pipe a border around.
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Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies “Empty?! You took all the cookies!”
“They were crying to get out of the jar. Cookies get claustrophobia too, you know!”
Charles M. Schulz

Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies. These are cookies that spell “P U R E  C O M F O R T”. Cookies are often the best bites to happiness, the shortest route to instant gratification. Even better if you bake them at home. These were just that and more. Some afternoons, I want need to just steal into the kitchen and bake myself into oblivion. There are a few hits and misses on days like these.Curry tree blossomsDid I tell you that summer is practically here? Yes we’re on the border where spring meets summer. That means a few days of precious mulberries, curry tree blossoms, lime tree blossoms, kumquats too. Tomatoes that will hopefully ripen to a sun kissed red, then we look at notoriously high temperatures of 45C and above.

Spring

MulberriesMulberriesWith the summer heat increasing, and the mercury literally rising by a degree everyday, summer baking needs to be minimal, quick and very fuss free. These cookies were surprisingly all this and more. They turned out darned delicious too. Inspired and adapted from a popular cookie by Deb @ Smitten Kitchen, I made mine wholegrain.

Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies 4My obsession with the #makehalfyourgrainswhole often works well. With cookies, it’s a near 100% pass rate. I’ve really never understood why brownies or cookies should use refined flour since they taste really great with wholegrain. I recently made wholewheat shortbread too, a recipe I still have to share. That was another winner.Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies These are as simple as can be. Stir a dry mix, whip the wet mix, stir gently to mix the two and you’ve got great tasting cookie dough. If the eggs are pasteurised, you could eat the dough by itself!! It tastes that good! I know because I had a little helper who was stealing away bits of dough!

Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip CookiesSo here we go. Get the stand mixer going, and in 2 minutes you have cookie dough. I love the big handy bowl of the KitchenAid. Best design ever. If cookies are comfort food, the KitchenAid is equally comforting, magical too!

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies that come together in a matter of minutes, fuss free and absolutely delicious. That they are 100% wholegrain makes them a winner. Swap the chocolate chips for raisins, maybe add some walnuts, or make them coffee chocolate chip cookies. Either way, these will disappear before you know it! This is pure comfort food.
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies
Print Recipe
Wholegrain Oatmeal Cinnamon Chocolate Chip Cookies that come together in a matter of minutes, fuss free and absolutely delicious. That they are 100% wholegrain makes them a winner. Swap the chocolate chips for raisins, maybe add some walnuts, or make them coffee chocolate chip cookies. Either way, these will disappear before you know it! This is pure comfort food.
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Servings Prep Time
20-24 cookies 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
15-20 minutes 5 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: cookies
Instructions
  1. Place all the dry ingredients in a large bowl and stir to mix.
  2. Place all the wet mix ingredients in bowl of KitchenAid Stand Mixer, fitted with the paddle attachment, and process for 2 minutes on speed 3.
  3. Add the dry mix and stir with paddle attachment on slowest speed for 30 seconds.
  4. Let the mixture stand/rest while you preheat the oven to 180C {15-20 minutes}
  5. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment.
  6. Place scoops of cookie dough on the parchment, 2 inches apart,12 on each sheet. Flatten gently with the tines of a fork. {Sprinkle over a few more chocolate chips if you are feeling particularly indulgent}
  7. Bake for 15-20 minutes, until the edges are done, light golden brown, and the centre is still a little soft. {Bake further 5 minutes if you like crisp cookies}.
  8. Remove tray from oven, allow to stand for 5 minutes, then cool the cookies completely on the rack.
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Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes “That is one good thing about this world
…there are always sure to be more springs.”
L.M. Montgomery

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes, indulgent little treats for days when you want something to go from simple to simply delicious in a matter of minutes. These wholegrain cupcakes are just that and more. Easy to stir together with almost staple pantry ingredients, they are light, moist and full of chocolaty flavour. Have them as they are ‘naked’ if that’s your call, else spruce them up with a sinful dark chocolate ganache, some sprinkles if you like, and voila! You have magic {if I may say so myself}. That these are wholewheat, use jaggery as a sweetener and top of the milk cream or ‘malai’ make them worth the try!!

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes These cupcakes are inspired by the very sweet Shikha of Cocoka, a friend for life, one I met at my very first food styling workshop with Darter. She’s been difficult to shake off, and has attended each one of the other workshops, the sweetheart that she is. So she baked these absolutely delicious cupcakes in these absolute stunning liners, with the most delicious ganache on top for our last food styling workshop at Lodi.Darter Food Styling Workshop, The Lodi, New Delhi

Food Styling Workshop Lodi 3

Food Styling Workshop Lodi She also gifted me some of those beautiful Spring like cupcake wrappers when I waxed eloquent about them. Non stop! I couldn’t believe how pretty they were. So here I was, armed with the prettiest ever cupcake wrappers and a need to bake that very day. Maybe something chocolate, possibly brownie cupcakes. With Spring here, the weather brilliant, these cases were all I wanted to use.

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes Setting off to make home made butter in the KitchenAid Stand Mixer, which is a BREEZE by the way, I stole some cream just because. Just because I suddenly remembered this top of the milk cream {malai} cake, Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake I had made a while ago, falling prey to a similar feeling then. So here you are, cupcakes adapted from that cake, cupcakes that came out really YUM. Wrappers like these must be the reason because they inspire you to excel!Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes Honestly, good aesthetics give me a spring in my step, a reason to enjoy what I do a little more. What I didn’t manage very well was the piping as I haven’t piped ganache onto cupcakes in eons. Guess that’s what I will be practicing next, in my dreams immediately if not on cupcakes. Shikha received several SOS calls and now I am a little better educated. Her tips – let the ganache rest a bit, then whisk it again before piping. Notes taken for next time! Oh and by the way, Shikha @ Cocoka has the most fun baking classes in Delhi. You can read more about that at NDTV Food.

Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes
Recipe Type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Author: Deeba Rajpal
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
Serves: 6 cupcakes
These Dark Chocolate Wholewheat & Walnut Cupcakes are easy to stir together with almost staple pantry ingredients, they are light, moist and full of chocolaty flavour. Have them as they are ‘naked’ if that’s your call, else spruce them up with a sinful dark chocolate ganache, some sprinkles if you like, and voila! You have magic {if I may say so myself}. That these are wholewheat, use jaggery as a sweetener and top of the milk cream or ‘malai’ make them worth the try!!
Ingredients
  • Cupcakes
  • Wet Mix
  • 85ml top of the milk cream {malai}
  • 75g jaggery
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Dry Mix
  • 85g wholewheat flour
  • 30g Cocoa
  • Pinch salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/8 tsp baking soda
  • 50g walnuts, chopped
  • 50g butterscotch chips, optional
  • 75ml buttermilk
  • Ganache
  • 225g 52% dark couverture chocolate, chopped
  • 100ml low fat cream
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Place 6 cupcake wrappers on a baking tray {or line a 6 mold muffin tray}
  2. Place dry mix ingredients in a bowl, and stir well to mix
  3. Place the wet mix ingredients in bowl of stand mixer, and whisk at speed 4 for 2-3 minutes. Mixture might look slightly curdled but that’s OK.
  4. Gently fold in 1/3 of dry mix, followed by half buttermilk. Repeat ending with dry mix.
  5. Spoon into cupcake/muffin cases, 3/4 full. Bake for 35 minutes, until tester comes out moist with a few crumbs hanging. Cool on racks.
  6. Serve warm or at room temperature if sans frosting. If you are frosting them, cool completely before piping the ganache on.
  7. Ganache
  8. Place chopped chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl and run at high in the microwave for 1 minute. Stir until smooth, then leave it to rest to cool and thicken. Whisk again before piping.
  9. Pipe onto cupcakes with a star nozzle.
Serving size: 6-8

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Also find me on The Rabid Baker, The Times of India