Baking | Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake … for the love of baking & blogging

“Bake with love…”
Manuela Kjeilen

Dark Chocolate Mousse CakeChocolaty, chocolaty, chocolaty, this Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake is a chocolate lovers delight. Make ahead and not very difficult, it’s a lovely cake to make for a special occasion.The instructions might appear a little involved, but once you read them a couple of times, you can see it’s not to difficult. After all, a special occasion cake must have ‘some work’ to make it special!

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake So the other day Simi asked on FB…I think valentine’s day dessert is more to feed the blog than the valentine. Seriously, who agrees with me ??? It was quite interesting {and quite predictable too} to see blogs well fed over V Day! It’s been a trend for a few years now. Come V Day and loads of RED pops up across the globe! Such fun to see the creativity.

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake I am quite the same. The blog must be looked after, in turn the love shared with the readers. That the family gets to eat the goodies is just purely coincidental and good fortune IMHO!  I don’t think I could’ve attempted so many different techniques and desserts religiously over the years had it not been for this little blog!

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake This cake happened also because of the KitchenAid contest. I spoke about it when I recently shared the Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies recipe. It’s a fun contest, even if only for participation sake, and Ruchira’s been telling us for long to send our entries in. I think I got lazy, until the bakeware arrived. Then the mind began to think.Kumquat & Strawberry Tiramisu Charlotte I first thought a Charlotte like the Kumquat & Strawberry Tiramisu Charlotte. With strawberries really painting the bazaar red, chocolate seemed a good pairing. So the saviordi went chocolate, and eventually I settled for a dark chocolate mousse filling. The mousse might make for a really nice stand alone mousse dessert too, after you play around with quantities a bit. That seems a likely possibility in the near future.

Kumquat & Strawberry Tiramisu Charlotte The saviordi recipe is based on a basic one I used a while ago when I did a tiramisu from scratch, zabaglione, mascarpone from scratch and all. That was one marathon baking session, and I can’t imagine what possessed me! As compared to that, this cake is an absolute cake walk!

Dark Chocolate Mousse Cake So go on, try baking this cake someday. Be creative, take a leap of imagination. Do a genoise sponge base if you like, with a liqueur spiked mousse. Maybe a coffee chocolate combination, maybe vanilla orange, or a salted butter caramel swirled in there somehow. The possibilities are infinite, with baking fun galore!

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

Baking | Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies … KitchenAid – bakeware review & the quest for Probaker

“There was a mood of magic and frenzy to the room. Crystalline swirls of sugar and flour still lingered in the air like kite tails. And then there was the smell-the smell of hope, the kind of smell that brought people home.”
Sarah Addison Allen

Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies … chewy, fudgy, mildly gooey and full of buttery goodness. Once you try these you just might get cured of your dark chocolate brownie passion, for a bit of course. I’ve made blondies in the past, yet somewhere along the way the charm waned off. This one bowl recipe turned out to be a different story altogether. A wholegrain and healthier version too!

Baking, eggs, oatsThen quite some time back I read of someone making blondies with coconut in them. I’ve harboured a grudge against coconut for long. Since we were studying down south, everything had some form of coconut in it. I’d had enough of it. As time passed, each time I reached for a chocolate in a box, you guessed it, always coconut. Bleh!Coconut Milk Based DessertsThanks to food blogging and more exposure than I could ever dream of, I gradually overcame my dislike for it. I discovered coconut big time in cooking. Curries, smoothies, even dessert. A Coconut Buttermilk Kaffir Lime Panna Cotta recipe developed for Saffola Fit Foodie … I knew that coconut and I could be good friends.

Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies I now liberally use dessicated coconut and always have some on hand. The husband visited the US a short while ago and thanks to Ruchira, his list for shopping included cinnamon and butterscotch chocolate chips. The cinnamon of course went to her … take a look at her Chocolate Chilli Cinnamon Chip Cookies. The butterscotch chips stayed home with me and are mean little bits, addictive to boot. And they make some really mean blondies too! Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies With healthier twists and wholegrain baking the war cry at home, I took a chance with these blondies … wholewheat flour, healthy good oats, brown sugar instead of white and some coconut in these. Of course a generous dose of the deeply flavoured butterscotch chocolate chips and magic was created. The son couldn’t get enough of them. YUM! Mama, these are the best ever. Trying to stretch my now dwindling supply of butterscotch chocolate chips, I am careful how often I bake with them. The batches are rationed now.Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies Then one day some really good quality bakeware arrived from a new line that KitchenAid India recently launched. It was time to bake another batch of the Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies to try out the bakeware. The quality speaks out loud. Heavy weight, durable, great finish! So while I was baking the blondies, ideas began forming in my head as to what I could send in for the contest they are running. Currently thinking something chocolate, let’s see what I can come up with.

KitchenAid India is hosting a nation-wide campaign for Pro- Baker, the first ever national campaign which targets passionate home bakers from across the country. They are inviting entries through  their micro-site and we will host regional competitions at each level with a finale in New Delhi.KitchenAid ProBaker KitchenAid has been delivering premium standards of quality, versatility, and precision to the home kitchen for almost a century now and has everything you’ll want to stock in your baking armour. Providing oodles of culinary inspiration and convenience to the passionate baker, this year KitchenAid decided to find India’s first ProBaker. This search is far and wide to 4 cities, where KitchenAid with the help of its celebrated chef jury will mentor and judge the first KitchenAid Probaker. Lots on stake; nationwide spotlight, amazing prizes at every quest, a chance to meet your favourite chef and the opportunity to be the next baking legend.

Can’t wait to be part of this epic quest? Click here to Participate and visit website to know more!

Wholewheat & Oat Butterscotch Blondies If you are a passionate home baker and are up for the challenge, you must join in too. I think it’s going to be fun, and a great learning experience as well. Culinary inspiration is always welcome. Hurry up and participate, last day for the entry is 28th Feb! There’s not a lot of time left!

Oh… and I hope you’ve participated in the Philips Rice Cooker Giveaway. Do remember to leave a comment here!

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

Feature | A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, the Hyatt Regency, Delhi …behind the scenes for Valentines Day

“Recipes don’t work unless you use your heart!”
Dylan Jones

A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef BunglaIt isn’t everyday that you get to shadow a corporate pastry chef at a hotel, so I was in for a pleasant time. The Hyatt invited me to spend ‘A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla‘ … a behind the scenes of the chefs at work! I’ve met the ever so sweet, down to earth and very humble Chef Bungla before, and was more than happy to peep into his happening kitchen.

Valentines Day, Hyatt Regency, DelhiMore so since it was close to the red letter day of love, Valentines Day. I knew the creative chef would be painting his kitchen red, and I wasn’t disappointed. In fact I was overwhelmed. Overwhelmed at his creativity, the ease which which he churns out the best of goodies to ‘feed’ Sidewalk. It was a virtual Charlie’s Chocolate Factory in there behind the steely cold kitchen doors.

A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi In the kitchen at 7am every morning, a well oiled schedule and a well choreographed team, he is at his creative best. It’s pin drop silence in here. Everyone on his team knows what to do, and they go about doing it professionally and perfectly.

A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi A candid moment sometimes comes by with an old hand carrying a vintage willow basket that catches the eye. I want to grab it and make a beeline for the door. Oh yes, the envy for old rustic things! I try to ‘capture‘ the man and his basket and the whole kitchen peeps in to see what caught my eye! Then they get back to their routine…

A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi A giant Isfahan macaron is being prepared under the chefs watchful gaze. Handpicked red strawberries, each chosen of the same size, tops neatly sliced off, then hulled and filled with cream. With clockwork precision, the team works around the huge white marble counter tops as I smile seeing deft hands gently pulling trademark Hyatt red ribbons to complete the V Day look. Ribbons are such a feminine thing in my humble opinion… here you see how male dominated the kitchen is! A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt DelhiThe chef gives his look of approval, then does the honours. A sprinkle of slivered pistachios, a dusting of red rose petals… and we are all set for V day! This is just one of the surprises that they are creating. My favourite of course is the English Mix Berry Cake topped with colourful fruits, decorated for V Day. So European, and to my delight, one of the most popular cakes that comes out of the kitchen.

A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi The other very popular one and a huge V Day favourite is his luscious Red Velvet Cake. You can tell that V day is around the corner as strawberries paint the kitchen red. Strawberries in white chocolate lay in neat rows on the counter. Not just those. There’s beautiful raspberry mousse for two as well! So much love in the air, what’s not to love a kitchen like his!

A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi What’s also not to love about a kitchen that has huge loads of bread dough being kneaded, sourdough the all time call. Chef Bungla treats each loaf as his baby, proudly tells me that no yeast is ever used. All bread is baked using sourdough, the culture over a 100 years old! He walks me through the ‘bread basket’ pointing to the slightly bubbled crust one some loaves. This is a sign of good bread he says.

A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi Having honed his skills mostly in Europe, Chef Bungla is one well traveled chef. He’s been in the Hyatt since 1982, and has mastered every baking and patisserie technique in his time here. To my absolute amazement, ten years ago he even worked under the God of macarons, Pierre Hermes! Yet he is so humble, so nonchalant, so passionate about the bakery.

A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi We talk about heart shaped chocolate truffles, macarons, choux pastry, profiteroles, recipe development, European trends, Japanese bakeries, panna cotta sans gelatin {you should have seen the twinkle in his eye}, bagels {sourdough again}. He relies on his authenticity, techniques, tradition and finally his intuition to invent his creations. The passion shines through, his humility endearing.

A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi He accompanies me to Sidewalk, and as I take pictures of his creations, you can sense his pride. Take a shot of this one quick he says. Cakes get sold very fast here. After 4pm we don’t bake. Only the days’ bakes reach the counters, never anything from the the previous day. Sure enough, a patron stops by at Sidewalk and orders 7 cakes. Goodbye beautiful cakes, all boxed and expertly packed on their way to delight someones taste buds!

A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi We stop by the Café for a bit. It’s buzzing with activity. At the heart of the cafe is the dessert bar, like a candy shop! It’s close to 3pm and there is a heightened sense of activity around it. The chef hovers around, a keen eye, a quick look over, then we head back for Sidewalk where a guest is waiting for him.

A day in the kitchn of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi After a happy animated chat, he calls the kitchen below to hurry up and get ‘the cake for the lady from South Africa’. With a huge grin across his face he tells me that she has been a guest at the hotel for years, and the Orange Almond GF Cake is her favourite. She knows him by name, he knows what she’ll ask for… and he always obliges. A day in the kitchen of Corporate Pastry Chef Bungla, Hyatt Delhi In all this, I am the very fortunate onlooker who benefits. I get served a slice as well. I have to say, this is the best cake ever! Simple, flavourful, decadent. My type of cake. No frosting, no unnerving sweetness… just good good flavours. It’s one I like to bake myself, but being served by the chef himself, makes it the best ever!

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

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