“Food is a gift and should be treated reverentially,
romanced and ritualized and seasoned with memory”
Chris Bohialian

Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat CakeDark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake … a nostalgic favourite with ‘top of the milk cream’ or ‘malai’. It brings back memories of  the quintessential ‘malai’ or ‘top of the milk cream’ cakes from yesteryear. Decades ago, every Indian household use to boil milk, collect the top of the milk cream, use some as is and  make sweet butter of the rest. The more adventurous ones used to bake a delicious homey comforting cake with ‘malai’. This is my rendition of those good old days!Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake & Coffee I am possibly among the few who still boil milk everyday, collect the ‘top of the milk cream’ or ‘malai’ and religiously make sweet butter at home. Some butter finds itself being clarified into ghee, while some cream escapes into cakes like these. I first made this cake for Saffola Fit Foodie, and loved the way it turned out.Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake 3Just a few days back, the very large hearted Cookaroo shared some fabulous Danish cocoa powder with me. How generous can generous be, but she is! So is the very sweet Amrita who gave the boxes of cocoa to her! One look at my stash, and it was time to bake. I did the Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake first, this time using gur {jaggery} instead of sugar, and adding walnuts too. {Gur/jaggery is a type of unrefined, solid brown sugar made from boiling sugar cane juice until dry. It has deep, earthy undertones}.

Wholewheat & Oat Cocoa Chocolate Chippers I also experimented with some cookies, wholegrain and oats, and hopefully they will see light of day on the blog soon. I know the poor blog is being neglected, but believe you me, it is just too cold up here in the North to do anything. Hopefully this too shall pass, the weather will become a little bearable and I shall begin typing sweet nothings again! Baking @ PABThat’s not to say I am not baking. I am. Loads!

[print_this]Recipe: Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake
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Summary: Dark Chocolate & Walnut Wholewheat Cake … a nostalgic favourite with ‘top of the milk cream’ or ‘malai’. It brings back memories of  the quintessential ‘malai’ or ‘top of the milk cream’ cakes from yesteryear. This is my rendition of those good old days!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 1hour, 15minutes

  • 130g top of the milk cream / malai
  • 175g gur/jaggery {or brown sugar}
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 175g whole wheat flour
  • 50g cocoa powder
  • ¾ tsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking soda
  • 150ml plain buttermilk
  • 75g dark chocolate chips
  • 75g walnuts, chopped fine


  1. Preheat the oven to 170C.
  2. Grease lightly a 9 X 5” loaf tin. Line the bottom with baking parchment.
  3. Sift the whole wheat flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt twice. Reserve in a bowl.
  4. In a large bowl, with an electric beater, beat the malai and gur until light. Beat in the eggs one by one, followed by the vanilla extract.
  5. Add 1/3 of the dry mix. Fold in with a spatula. Add 1/3 of the buttermilk, fold in. Then add another ⅓ of the dry mix, fold in. Fold in remaining buttermilk, followed with the remaining dry mix.
  6. Fold in the chocolate chips and walnuts, reserving 1tbsp of walnuts for the top.
  7. Turn into prepared tin, sprinkle with reserved walnuts and bake for about an hour/ until tester comes out clean.
  8. Cool in tin for about 20 minutes, then gently take out of tin and place on cooling rack.
  9. Slice warm or serve at room temperature.


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“I am endlessly inspired and challenged by ingredients and flavors; the craft involved both in bringing them together and writing about the process.”
Alice Medrich

Cocoa wholewheat almond brownies Cocoa Wholewheat Almond Brownies are a sweet opening to October, plated on the  new Diwali/festival gift collection from Urban Dazzle. Baked out of desperation since I had no good quality baking chocolate on hand, the wholewheat brownies were good unbelievably good!! They are adapted from a recipe by Alice Medrichauthor, dessert chef, chocolatier.Cocoa wholewheat almond browniesAlice Medrich is an iconic baker who changed the way we looked at food, desserts, chocolate and baking of course. She’s written a series of  cookbooks, the latest one Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts. Of the 9, Bittersweet and Pure Dessert are two of my favourites. Cocoa wholewheat almond browniesFood weaves a magical pattern. I baked an adaptation of her Orange & Olive Oil Cake in 2008. Some time later I made delicious  Dark Chocolate, Walnut & Craisin Scones from a recipe @ David Lebovitz , another hugely talented cookbook author, dessert maker, ice cream man, story teller. Turned out that recipe was an Alice inspired one too.Caramel cake and sconesIn late 2008, me, a very timid and shaky food blogger in far off North India, virtually met Alice via the Daring Bakers Caramel Cake with Caramelised Butter Frosting. Her Golden Vanilla Bean Caramels was an optional part of the challenge. Those caramels didn’t happen as we were just back from a trip to Sydney where the daughter fell ill with jaundice, was hospitalised …. and what not! Yet, it was another intriguing window into the creative world of Alice Medrich.Did I just forget to mention the Pebbly Beach Fruit Square cookies pictured above? Adapted from her cookbook “Chewy Gooey Crispy Crunchy: Melt-In-Your-Mouth-Cookies”, these are typical Alice style. Classic, comforting and high on taste. The fruit squares recipe is highly adaptable.Cocoa wholewheat almond brownies

Buono Decoration Plate Silver

So when I craved baking brownies and googled for a cocoa version, one of the first matches was a Medrich recipe. There was no looking further. I experimented with substitutions mainly because of the high-ish butter content. Using just whole wheat flour and almond meal instead of plain flour, they turned out to be brownie heaven – deep, dark, chewy, moist! Importantly, one bowl cocoa wholewheat almond brownies; hand whisked and with minimal clean up! The bell rang while the brownies were cooling off, and it was the new festive Diwali range of products from Urban Dazzle. Seemed like an early Christmas as I got a staggering array of their recently launched festive ware which includes stunning stoneware, ceramics, porcelain and much more.Cocoa wholewheat almond browniesStoneware is right up my street and the colours and texture hold instant appeal, the quality excellent too!  The soothing blue stoneware platter above with a Mediterranean appeal; and cups, mugs, soup bowls all in pretty colours, stuff you can mix and match. The good thing is the almost inexhaustive choice. You feel like grabbing it all. And that’s the good part! If you love it, others will to.Cocoa wholewheat almond brownies Urban Dazzle is quite a dynamic online option. An e-venture based in New Delhi, they are constantly adding aesthetic, stylish and reasonable  kitchen accessories and home decor items. With Diwali around the corner, they promise to take some burden of gifting off your shoulders… though the extensive range promises to overwhelm you with what to choose & what not!You might like these stunning glasses, or a banquet footed platter, chic Borgonovo bottles, pot bellied  jugs and carafesthe variety is endless!A while ago someone inquired about these white ribbed fruit plates that I recently used for the Empanada Gallegas. I got mine all the way from Sydney two years ago. Imagine my surprise when I saw them on Urban Dazzle a few days ago! Raise a toast,  browse the topsellers, … or then just hit the ‘Sweet Spot’!

 [print_this]Recipe: One bowl Cocoa Wholewheat Almond Brownies
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Summary: Single bowl cocoa brownies. Dark, deep, chewy, moist, chocolaty … and made with whole grain. Makes 16-20 squares. Recipe adapted  from Alice Medrich.

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

  • 140g unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 80g cocoa powder {3/4cup}
  • 110g raw sugar {1 cup}
  • 2 eggs
  • 30g wholewheat flour {1/4 cup}
  • 25g almond meal {1/4 cup}
  • 1tsp baking powder
  • pinch salt
  • 100g dark chocolate chips


  1. In a large heat proof bowl, melt the butter, cocoa and sugar in a microwave for 1 minute. Whisk well until smooth.
  2. Whisk in the eggs firmly one by one.
  3. Whisk in the flour, almond meal, baking powder and salt and then whisk briskly for about 1 minute until the mixture becomes smooth and glossy.
  4. Fold in the chocolate chips and pour batter into prepared tin
  5. Bake at 180C for about 25 minutes.
  6. Cool for about 20-30 minutes before slicing {if you like them warm}, else cool, chill and then slice.


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“Success is not the key to happiness. Happiness is the key to success. If you love what you are doing, you will be successful.”
Albert Schweitzer

Chocolate Almond Olive Oil & Whole Wheat Biscotti These are cookies born out of thankfulness, inspiration and amazement at the constant love I receive from readers of my blog. This Chocolate Almond Olive Oil & Whole Wheat Biscotti is the delicious result of the cocoa that Sheetal mailed to me a few days ago. Roasted Almond Double Chocolate BiscottiThe package had things I love – stuff to bake with … muscovado sugar {my first bag ever}, baking chocolate and cocoa powder. Sheetal said she really hoped I would bake something with the stuff she sent me. … and promised to make the same at home far away! Might as well keep you busy Sheetal, so if you are done with the tart, here’s the next bake!Roasted Almond Double Chocolate BiscottiI left the contents of the parcel on my table and looked at them every morning feeling a strange sense of inspiration and desire to bake. The muscovado sugar was the first bit I used, out of curiosity, in this absolutely divine Vanilla Plum Frangipane Tart. The muscovado made the frangipane earthy and different, pairing beautifully with the plums!Roasted Almond Double Chocolate Biscotti The success of the Plum Frangipane Tart adventure inspired me to think cocoa. As the dieting diva is still swinging back and forth on her yo-yo diet {as I call it} I thought I’d do some biscotti! It’s been ages since I made some, and this time I adapted a David Lebovitz recipe of Chocolate Almond Biscotti that I had made earlier.Roasted Almond Double Chocolate Biscotti Substituted some plain flour with whole wheat, and made the firm cookie like dough in my Thermomix. Reduced the sugar a bit, and I think I could further reduce it a little more the next time. The end result was wonderful; the whole wheat not taking any yumminess. Toasted almonds and chocolate chips do make for delicious biscotti. The teen and pre-teen were seeing visiting the cookie jar quite often while the cookies lasted!Roasted Almond Double Chocolate BiscottiThe Valrhona I used in my earlier biscotti, coincidentally was a gift from a sweet foodie blogger, Shayma @ The Spice Spoon. Hintz was what I used here, and it made this twice baked Italian cookie absolutely addictive. Do remember to use good quality cocoa

Recipe: Chocolate Almond Olive Oil & Whole Wheat Biscotti your picture

Summary:An already healthy Italian cookie, made even healthier with the use of some whole wheat flour. Adapted minimally from David Lebovitz, this is an addictive biscotti for the cookie jar. Makes 30-35 cookies

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 60 minutes

  • 1 1/2 cups plain flour
  • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
  • 3/4 cups top-quality cocoa powder {I used Hintz}
  •  1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 3 small eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/8 cup extra light olive oil
  • 3/4 cup vanilla sugar, or plain granulated
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, scraped {optional}
  • 1 cup almonds, toasted and very coarsely-chopped
  • 3/4 cups chocolate chips {I used dark}
  • For the glaze
  • 1 egg white
  • 1 sachet vanilla sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to 180C. Line a cookie sheet with baking parchment.
  2. Sift the flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt in a bowl.
  3. In a large bowl, beat together eggs, olive oil, sugar, vanilla beans and vanilla extract. {Thermomix: Speed 4 / 7-8 seconds}
  4. Fold in the dry ingredients, followed by the toasted chopped almonds and chocolate chips in the till well incorporated, and the cookie dough comes together. {Thermomix: Add the dry ingredients : Speed 3 / 10 seconds. If the dough is too firm, turn into a large bowl and  add the nuts and chocolate chips. Mix to incorporate. Else, Reverse Speed 2 / 15 seconds}.
  5. Divide the dough into half, and form into logs using slightly damp hands. Brush with egg white and sprinkle with vanilla sugar. Bake for 25 minutes or until the dough feels firm. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes.
  6. Slice and place sides down on the cookie sheet and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, turning the baking sheet midway during baking, until the cookies feel mostly firm.
  7. Cool completely and store in an airtight box.



This recipe featured on Huffington PostDark Chocolate Recipes

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