Blog Event | “Cook for a smile” … with The Smile Foundation & Michelin starred celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna

“You’ll find that life is still worthwhile, if you just smile.”
Charles Chaplin

Cook For A Smile with Chef Vikas KhannaThe Smile Foundation and 3-time Michelin starred celebrity Chef Vikas Khanna came together today to create a unique charity cookout – “Cook for a Smile” hosted by Hyatt Hotels in India on Sunday, July 27th, 2014, at Hyatt Regency Delhi. Funds raised from the campaign will be used to provide education and nutrition for 1,000 children for one year. Chef Vikas Khanna is associated with the Smile Foundation as a Goodwill Ambassador for its “Nutrition for Better Literacy” initiative.

Cook For A Smile with Chef Vikas KhannaDelhi’s top corporate leaders spent their Sunday busy testing their mettle at Hyatt’s cooking stations under the guidance of the MasterChef judge Vikas Khanna. The CEOs took to recreating some of their favourite recipes in support of Smile Foundation’s ‘Nutrition for Better Literacy’ initiative. Each CEO was accompanied by a child from the Smile Foundation who acted as sous – chef and helped these leaders stir up their own magic.

Cook For A Smile with Chef Vikas KhannaThe event, anchored by Chef Vikas Khanna, was a collaborative effort between Hyatt, Smile Foundation and its partners Cleo County, Western Digital, Philips Kitchen Appliances & CNBC who share the same passion for bringing underprivileged a healthier lifestyle. True to his effervescent nature, the chef  held the audience captivated by his humour and witty banter. Time just flew by …Cook For A Smile with Chef Vikas KhannaElaborating on his fondness for the initiative Chef Vikas Khanna, Goodwill Ambassador – Nutrition For Better Literacy, Smile Foundation said, “Lack of proper nutrition is a fundamental issue and one of the biggest roadblocks for the growth and development for children in our country. I Am proud to be associated with Smile Foundation as their Goodwill Ambassador for Nutrition for better literacy and I hope I am able to sensitize many more people about this issue that faces us as a developing country. Cook for Smile has been a big step in helping us reach out to stakeholders and by end of this year I pledge to benefit around 5000 kids under this initiative.”

Cook For A Smile with Chef Vikas Khanna

Smile Foundation is a national development organization working with a lifecycle approach toward children, their families and community. With a belief that education is the means as well as the end, the Foundation is reaching out to more than 300,000 underprivileged children, youth and women directly every year through 158 welfare projects on subjects such as education, healthcare, youth employability, and women empowerment across 25 states of India.

There were a million smiles that day!!

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Baking | Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake … wholesome and delicious #wholegrain #cake #chocolate

“Always keep a smile on your face, a rainbow in your heart, and some dark chocolate on hand!”

Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake … seems like a load of dark chocolate and wholegrain happening on PAB of late. That’s where my heart lies. Whether it’s brownies, cookies or biscotti or then cake, wholegrain is the preferred choice, and often dark chocolate the perfect partner in crime!

Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake I must confess that I begin with ‘no chocolate‘ in my intentions, but somewhere along the way cocoa and chocolate find their way into the mix or batter. It’s happened umpteen times, and now I wonder if I function on ‘auto chocolate’?

Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake So this Dark Chocolate Wholegrain Brown Sugar Cake is inspired by the Muscavado Sugar Cake in a brilliant book ‘Good To The Grain‘. I bought the book a few years ago, and it continues to hold pride o f place on my book shelf. I might not bake out of it often, but its a constant source of inspiration alright. Just leafing through the pages gets my creativity going!'food-o-graphy' by Deeba Rajpal. A Food Styling workshop at the Indian Food Bloggers Meet 2014Talk about inspiration. So while I was making the cake, unsure of course whether it would work out fine or not, I thought I’d experiment with the styling.  I sometimes find chocolate challenging to shoot so figured I would experiment a little. You see I am headed off to the IFBM in Bangalore to host a food styling workshop. With just a clutch of days to go, the butterflies in my stomach flutter non stop.

Food Styling @ PABIt’s just an hours workshop and my first dedicated food styling one. I am super excited and want to cram everything I know into that one precious hour. That’s not going to happen of course, but I am trying. Food styling is so personal, it reflects a bit of you, yet it is so infinite.

food photographyThat’s the thing about food photography. Just keep experimenting with different, styles, different porps, changing light… it’s this practice that helps you grow. The possibilities are infinite. Much like the pleasure you get from seeing the results! So while the recipe is to feed the blog, the few different snapshots head off to the IFBM!

Wholegrain baking I enjoy using wholegrains in my recipes, and this one is a hearty and delicious one. Getting amaranth in there made it even better. You can experiment with different combinations, even skip the cocoa like in the original recipe from the book. Oh yes, and try and use unrefined mineral sugars. Make it a habit. I have!

 

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

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Baking | Peaches & Cream Cake … light summer cake. Trifles too #stonefruitlove #dessert # cake #summer

“Cake is happiness! If you know the way of the cake, you know the way of happiness! If you have a cake in front of you, you should not look any further for joy!”
C. JoyBell C.

Peaches & Cream CakeIt was a Peaches & Cream Cake for my father’s birthday last week. Everything was going according to plan,and I toyed around with summer cake ideas in my head. Summer is for stone fruit, and the cake would most certainly have some! Peaches! I had a kilo of them in the fridge. Cream? Yes of course; there’s always some on hand. Time for peaches and cream!!

Peaches & Cream Cake Despite knowing that whipping cream in miserable summer heat is sure to fail, I marched ahead. At 43C, life was never going to be a cake walk in the record breaking heat and humidity we have had this summer. That the rains failed added to my misery. 75% humidity and everything looks like it’s condensing! Not the best weather to work with cream cakes in …… Peaches & Cream Cake 4…and then it was time for a power breakdown. It had been assembled but a cake needs chilling you know. I stuck the cake into the fridge and we finally left for dinner. The cake survived as power was back when we returned. I thanked my lucky stars that it held together until we cut it, well almost. It was YUM! Oh, did I tell you I never got to my kilo of peaches? Peaches & Cream Cake 3Yes that happened too. With all the unnecessary drama of no power, I just reached out for a tin of canned peaches; probably my best idea that day. Another good idea was the  Crème patisserie I made for the frosting … finger licking good.

Peaches & Cream Trifles

Peaches & Cream TriflesI saved some cream and peaches; enough to make a few trifles. Layered the same way as the cake, they were fun to assemble … and eat of course! The goblets are one of my favourites from Urban Dazzle. I use them often for different stuff like Dark Chocolate Mousse, Peach Lime Coolers & Stone Fruit Salads.

Peaches & Cream Trifles

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

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