Baking | Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles … a coffee high!

“To me, the smell of fresh-made coffee is one of the greatest inventions.’
Hugh Jackman

Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream TriflesChocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles. The deep, sensual aroma of coffee steeping won me over! Are you devastated by the smell of fresh bread or cookies baking? Or onions in gently frying in butter? Roasting garam masala? Fruit stewing with vanilla beans? Or maybe coffee beans roasting? Fresh herbs? Freshly plucked tomatoes? I absolutely am. It’s an olfactory explosion of sorts.

smells 2When I was young I often woke up to the delicious smells of onions frying, a chocolate cake baking, a clarified butter/pure ghee dal tadka … but the most vivid memory was of the smell of wet earth after the first monsoon showers. To this day, the smell of wet earth takes me back to those childhood days when we used to race out to play in the rain. Pure nostalgia!Whole wheat coffee dark chocolate pound cakeNow more than ever before, my world is ruled by food aromas. Does your nose lead you to the kitchen? At home here, all day long, you’ll find folk following their nose into my kitchen. It’s the most happening place in the house. I baked a chocolate cake 2 days ago. Yet this coffee pound cake was on their mind. ‘Why didn’t you bake another coffee cake?’. The  teens pestered me! Annoying? Yes!Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles I’m an out-and-out coffee sort of person! The family is too. Fresh coffee beans roasting … nirvana. Takes me back to days down south. Every house would roast their own coffee. Ours did not, but the neighbours generously shared the aromas. What a beautiful heady feeling to wake up to. Instant upliftment.

Vanilla beans in bakingI’m also a vanilla sort of person, mostly paired with fruit. The fragrance of splitting a plump vanilla bean and scraping the insides makes my day. That morning was good! Once the thermomix got down to making the creme patisserie {7 minutes is all it takes}, I had ample time to sit and take in the fragrance. My hands smelt so good.

Balsamic Vanilla Basil StrawberriesTry reducing fresh strawberries and vanilla bean for a compote. The whole house smells beautiful. Seriously … never underestimate the power of smell. Walk into a good coffee shop and if you’re like me, you’ll fall into a trance! 
hocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles So to cut a long story short, I was MAD that my chocolate cake didn’t go down well. I counselled myself a little. I knew what went wrong. I had tweaked a good recipe and added more baking soda than necessary. Extra baking soda always plays spoil sport. Note to self : BEWARE in future!hocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles I almost trashed the cake yet knew the crumb was light. It was a good cake basically, so trifle was on my mind. I love it when cake obliges with neat little squares. Two minutes later, I was in coffee creme patisserie mode. Time to win the coffee lovers back! Pastry cream that smelt like heaven, felt smooth as silk. Asked the daughter to check for sweetness. She couldn’t wouldn’t stop spooning it into her mouth! Just one last spoon, she begged!

Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles Trifles are great make ahead desserts. Also a lovely way to use up leftover cake. We love fruit trifles and we loved these Chocolate Cake & Coffee Patisserie Cream Trifles too. Deep coffee flavours, great pairing with chocolate, nice play of textures. The cake cubes soaked in a coffee syrup. A swirl of whipped cream might have completed the trifle. CoffeeSo tell me dear reader, is your life is ruled by good food aromas? What are the smells that awaken your senses? Are you convinced that if something smells divine, it must taste even better? Do you eat with your eyes first? And do you believe, like me, that the sense of smell, sight and taste are all interlinked to make our world more delicious?

Smells of everyday

Food,  ingredients, aromas, the folk, the garden, the venue, memories, the ambiance … the entire connect weaves a delightful ‘spread’!
~For Indiblogger and Ambipur  … ‘Smelly To Smiley!’ ~

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

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Baking | Layered Coffee & Cream Cake … coffee genoise with coffee cream swathed in a dark chocolate ganache

“Only one thing is certain about coffee…. Wherever it is grown, sold, brewed, and consumed, there will be lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation.”
Mark Pendergrast

Layered Coffee & Cream CakeLayered Coffee & Cream Cake. It was that time of the year again. June already here and almost gone. With it, another birthday. Before you know it, the years gallop by. From what was a tiny knee kissing, naughty toddler, to an even naughtier, much taller, cookie & brownie monster cum food loving teenager, time does fly! How they change, the challenges they offer, and yet the smile that seems to make things easier!

Layered Coffee & Cream Cake 2Sometimes I wish we could have hung on to those days where life seemed simpler. Then again, teenagers are mixed packages. You never know when the next surprise is going to hit you. In many ways, the challenges keep us on our toes. And in even more ways, quite exhausted.

Layered Coffee & Cream Cake Nothing can prepare you enough…. nothing! That said, there are good times galore too! Who could have thought ‘he‘ would write poems? Now he has a blog that pops out a poem, sometimes few and far between, but does! I would have never expected him to play mother to the dog. He does.

Love Stone FruitMy first choice of cake for his summer birthday is always a fruit based one. With summer threatening to singe us as the earth is literally on fire, stone fruit are true saviours. The colours, the lure, the juiciness …  You will find a abundance of stone fruit recipes here on PAB.

CalcuttaUnfortunately we flew in really late from Calcutta the evening before his birthday and the loads of laundry took its toll. There was no way I was going grocery shopping. Thought I’d do a Bittersweet Fallen Chocolate Gateau but that wouldn’t offer an element of surprise. I like the air of expectancy around birthday cakes at home. Makes it so much fun!

Love coffeeThe lack of time made me think coffee. Cake of any kind, flavour, texture is welcome. Chocolate was my first choice but the Camisoni coffee extract helped me decide. The deep heady aroma of coffee that emanated from the bottle sent me packing to make a coffee genoise. Coffee is something we all LOVE!Layered Coffee & Cream Cake A four egg cake is never enough for birthdays. Keeping in mind ‘forever hungry for seconds’ teenagers, I whipped up two coffee flavoured genoise sponges. My love for coffee has been inherited by both the kids. Often their natural choice for dessert when we go out is anything with coffee!

Layered Coffee & Cream Cake What shall I say about the end result? It was so good that we couldn’t get enough of it. It got over before we knew it. Seconds yes, but there was no chance for thirds {as the birthday boy rued!}. If I had had the energy and the ‘get up and go‘ the next day, IF, I would have happily whipped up another.

Layered Coffee & Cream Cake I’ve done the genoise sponge before for my birthday a few years ago. That is one of my favourite cakes, an Espresso Coffee Cream Cake. A while later there came about another delicious combination with coffee genoise sponge and chocolate quark. The latter sounded strange when I made it, but tasted great!

Layered Coffee & Cream Cake So here we go, sharing some deliciousness with this coffee laced cake. And in case you’ve missed it, Camisoni has a giveaway of their extracts on Passionate About Baking. Do stop by for a minute if you’d like to be part of it.

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

Dessert / No bake | Bru Coffee Panna Cotta … for hectic days of endless work

“Only one thing is certain about coffee…. Wherever it is grown, sold, brewed, and consumed, there will be lively controversy, strong opinions, and good conversation.”
Mark Pendergrast

Bru Coffee Panna CottaI love the theme for the latest Femina. It’s an issue celebrating the art of slowing down. Rat races and deadlines threaten to burn us out. I screamed a big hearty YES in my head, and then decided to get the better of life! Of course it didn’t happen. The Bru Coffee Panna Cotta did though! It gave me an opportunity to use the beautiful mason jars that Finla sent.

Bru Coffee Panna Cotta

Bru Coffee Panna CottaIt was for a shoot for a magazine in China, they were doing a feature on fridges and lifestyles. Yours truly was contacted, and yours truly said YES! NEVER say yes to a fridge photoshoot! I was spring cleaning till kingdom came, discovering things I hadn’t seen in ages, scrub-a-dubbing forever … and cursing my poor foresight! At the time I really wished I hadn’t said yes!

Photoshoot On the brighter side, I have a sparkling clean fridge that looks almost as good as new, I now know every little crumb that lives in there. It’s so organised that it barely looks like mine! In there too was some Indian Coffee Panna Cotta that I made that day. I am on a coffee overdrive, what with the recent Coffee Vanilla Bean Layered Cake.

Wholewheat baking with chocolate.There’s been a chocolate overdrive of late too, but then, no one seems to be complaining! In the past few days I also made Whole-wheat Mocha Brownies for the kids. They were delicious. And on the trot yesterday, Whole-wheat Chocolate Lava Cakes in 4 and a half minutes in the Philips AirFryer. Some gadgets are such a blessing. 

Bru Coffee Panna CottaBru is my morning cup of coffee, my coffee connect! It’s instant, a mix of chicory and coffee, and I love its deep flavour. It’s been a favourite for years and years. Anything Bru works for me, the original Bru that is.  None of the new flavours appeal to me like the old rustic original!

Bru Coffee Panna Cotta A coffee panna cotta has been tempting me for long ever since Cookaroo posted one with an espresso syrup. What’s not to love about this quintessential Italian dessert of ‘cooked cream’? It’s one dessert where all flavours work magically and very few people would refuse a serving … the kids always want seconds and thirds!

Bru Coffee Panna CottaSo without further ado, here is one of my all time favourite desserts, a Bru Coffee Panna Cotta … make ahead, indulgent and deliciously coffee! For those who have known me over the years, sorry it’s coffee again. For those who don’t know me – nothing wins my palette over like coffee in dessert! My guilty pleasure, my relaxation. {And if coffee is not your thing, I have a whole string of other flavours ... Dark Chocolate & Orange, Saffron Caramel, Strawberry Tangerine Quark to tempt you with!} 

Coco, the cocker spanielOh, did I tell you that the sun is back? It is indeed. The horrid smog has finally cleared and ‘lazy creatures‘ are enjoying the morning sun!

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The Rabid Baker, The Times of India


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