Tag

cocoa

Cocoa Mousse-a-Cotta “Eating more consciously now feels like a way of being. I actually think about how my food got to my plate.”
Oprah Winfrey

Cocoa Mousse-a-Cotta a food experiment that went off track, was however delicious! Yet the thought through the day was, “What do we eat today?”, the eternal question for the harried homemaker! Life is a food fight to the finish. Ever since I picked up food blogging, the entire algorithm  of what appeared on our table changed. Biggest change – carbs down, protein up!
Wholewheat Apple Walnut Cheddar Thyme Hand PiesStudying home science in school, nutrition, vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates ruled the text book, the interest obviously low. It was only much later as a young mother and food blogger that I connected with those wanton days in school. My food now made sense to me! Yet the protein struggle ruled. Tough fight.
Wholewheat Garlic Oat Soda BreadLife is tough when you are the provider. I sleep every night thinking of the ideal food to serve the next day. Mornings see me hit the ground running, no calories lost of course. With such an informed audience, the questions have changed. When I plan, different food groups run in my head. These Oat Walnut Trifles with Roasted Peaches & Plums for instance – oats, walnuts, clarified butter, low fat cream, fruit, herbs – quite balanced and always welcome.
Oat Walnut Trifles with Vanilla Roasted Peaches & PlumsIt’s often the mains that don’t stand scrutiny! From ‘Oooh this is delicious’, they now say “Looks yum, but first, what’s in it?” On comes a fitness app, the meal fed in, and much to my horror, stripped bare. It says more protein Mama. And I’m left thinking, there’s something missing. We’ve done the list – egg, cottage cheese, nuts, chicken, loads of dairy, fruit as much as I can push.The Sweet Potato Pound Cake with salted butter caramel sauce is a good example. Didn’t pass the protein test!
I beat a hasty retreat and mumble “OK, let me think of something”. More eggs perhaps but there’s a limit to how many! Ideas pop out of my head. The logical one goes like, “Skip dessert today. You’ve reached the sugar limit!!”.Don’t change the topic”, they holler as dessert is polished off! Now guess what? I’ve found the something missing. Protinex!! Happily enough, this gap can be bridged with the help of Protinex in your daily diet.

Chettinad Chicken CurryAs I wrap up for the day, I’ve gone from “What should I do?” to “I’ve got it figured out finally!”  Just a daily glass of Protinex bridges the protein deficiency gap.  Do take the Protein test which will help you figure out how much protein is present in food you create everyday. Maybe add some Protinex to your next dessert? I might!

Did you have days like these where you found something missing?

Tell me please. And while you think, here’s some more food for thought.

A dessert I made the other day, an experiment which went deliciously wrong. A panna cotta which failed, became a mousse-a-cotta, turning out sinfully delicious. Obviously it had something missing, and that seems to be the story of my life at the moment. It’s something that I will erroneously make again till I get the recipe right, and I think you should too! Watch this space while I figure things out!

Cocoa Panna Cotta
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Cocoa Mousse-a-Cotta, a failed panna cotta experiment that became a mousse. Deep, dark, indulgent dessert experiment which turned out deliciously wrong. It had something missing in the ingredients, but certainly not in taste! Try this you must, until I reach the right one!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
7 minutes 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
7 minutes 8 hours
Cocoa Panna Cotta
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Cocoa Mousse-a-Cotta, a failed panna cotta experiment that became a mousse. Deep, dark, indulgent dessert experiment which turned out deliciously wrong. It had something missing in the ingredients, but certainly not in taste! Try this you must, until I reach the right one!
Servings Prep Time
6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
7 minutes 8 hours
Servings Prep Time
6 people 30 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
7 minutes 8 hours
Ingredients
Servings: people
Instructions
  1. Warm milk to tepid and sprinkle over the gelatin. Leave to stand until soft.
  2. Place cream, sugar and cocoa powder in heavy bottom pan, whisk well to mix.
  3. Simmer over low heat until bubbles begin to appear around the edges, stirring constantly else the cocoa will get lumpy.
  4. Take off heat and stir in the gelatin. Whisk well to mix, cool for about 15 minutes, then pour into moulds to se.
  5. Chill overnight. Serve with grated dark chocolate.
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“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
Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  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
Ingredients:

  • 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

Method:

  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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