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

Cooler | Phalsa Berry Sharbat – ‘Blendit’ like Vikas Khanna #summer #cooler #inseason #kitchenaidindia

“The more you know, the more you can create. There’s no end to imagination in the kitchen.”
Julia Child

Phalsa ka Sharbat Phalsa Berry Sharbat … the much dreaded ‘loo‘ or hot summer winds, dry and dust laden, sweep across the plains of North India. Summer here becomes intolerable at times, with ‘fry eggs on the sidewalk‘ like temperatures threatening your very existence! Then along come some of the best fruit that nature has to offer … and life becomes worthwhile again! This Phalsa Berry Sharbat helps you survive…

Phalsa ka Sharbat With a slew of summer fruit now being offloaded by the truckloads, we could not have asked for more. Red, luscious, juicy cherries, mangoes falling off hand carts, watermelons piled sky high on roadsides, peaches just about beginning to surface, Indian java plums too. And then the phalsa berry, a beautiful, tangy, astringent much awaited native Indian berry!

Phalsa, Grewia asiatica Packed with vitamin C and antioxidants, this humble little berry, Grewia asiatica, brings alive childhood nostalgia. Back then, almost 40 years ago, the silent afternoon would be pierced by the shrill cry of the ‘phalsa wala‘. You’d find him with a wicker basket, topped with a very wet gunny bag which he gently peeled back to reveal the precious little berries. The very fragile and perishable phalsa would change hands for a few pennies. Washed gently and tossed in rock salt, we would hungrily suck them, trying to extract the most from the almost impoverished looking fruit.

Phalsa ka SharbatSometimes if we were lucky enough, we would be rewarded with phalsa ka sharbat! It was pain staking to make and a special treat. Life is a little easier now, with gadgets that make life in the kitchen a breeze. Just one sip of this amazing cooler, in colours that uplift the soul,  memories of a quintessential part of Indian summer comes alive! Sharbats or ‘fruit and flower based coolers‘ are the answer to the beat the heat!

Kitchenaid Blendappetit  with Vikas Khanna Hymns from the Soil This takes me to the launch of the KitchenAid Pro Line Cordless Hand Blender in association with Masterchef Vikas Khanna in Delhi. The launch is a part of multi city #Blendappetit Tour spanning across India starting from May 20, 2014. While, the cordless blender is a unique, first of its kind, versatile product, it comes with an ultimate experience of ‘anytime anywhere’ blending.

Kitchenaid Blendappetit  with Vikas Khanna Hymns from the Soil This new blender from Kitchenaid India is a magic machine, ergonomically designed, a thing of beauty. It comes equipped with a rechargeable 12V lithium ion battery which gives it the power to perform efficiently. The super blender can blend, mix, whisk, chop, froth, puree, shred and whip up anything in a flash.

Kitchenaid Blendappetit  with Vikas Khanna Hymns from the Soil The very sweet and charming Vikas {I was fortunate enough to shoot with him recently} blended a lip smacking good kiwi smoothie from his new book.  The chef was affable as ever; entertaining, engaging, humourous! He connected instantly with the expectant crowd and soon had the gathering mesmerised. Ripples of laughter flooded the studio in Gurgaon with Vikas holding court, spinning out one anecdote after another. Stories of his home, his mother & grandmother, his inspirations, his journey from cooking a Rs 20 meal in Punjab to a Rs 20 lakh meal for Obama … yet humble and grounded as ever, a philosopher at heart!Kitchenaid Blendappetit  with Vikas Khanna Hymns from the Soil The afternoon witnessed the launch of his book- .Hymns from the Soil, his first book on Indian vegetarian food and a tribute to Mother Earth. It is full of nostalgic tales of his childhood, and in many ways ‘our childhood’. The ‘mitti ki khushboo‘ or the smell of the wet soil, planting his own vegetable patch, the vegetable vendors with fresh vegetables, seasons that spelt fresh produce {unlike now when you almost get everything round the year} … a touching evocative connect with the soil of the land. The book is beautifully written, with stunning pictures and recipes that call your name.

Phalsa ka Sharbat With so much talk of the connect of the earth, including the shrill call of the vendor that pierced the afternoon silence then, it’s a good time to share this recipe. I make the Phalsa Berry Sharbat every year, changing the recipe as I evolve, always in panic like the berries might disappear or go out of fashion. The phalsa season is a short one here just through May and June. Juicing these in my Thermomix is a breeze … which is why I make this quite often.

Phalsa ka Sharbat 6Phalsa ka Sharbat Not sure if taste buds change as the years go by, or the flood of flavours available and sugar laden options in packaged juices snatch simple pleasure away. Maybe it’s the slightly astringent aftertaste, but unfortunately, this isn’t the kids favourite sharbat. The boy loves his aam panna or raw mango sharbat, the daughter her cranberry juice. Thankfully both also love the daily fresh watermelon juice & smoothies.

Phalsa ka SharbatThe Phalsa Berry Sharbat takes the summer heat away, refreshes the soul, gives you a generous dose of vitamin C and antioxidants … what more can you ask for in these ‘oven like’ months? Oh yes, and if it takes you on a trip down memory lane, that’s even better! I’m loving it!!

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

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