Category

Dessert

‘Let’s face it, a nice creamy chocolate cake does a lot for a lot of people; it does for me’
Audrey Hepburn

Dark, divine, sinful, creamy, chocolaty and as simple as can be, these Mini Dark Chocolate Cheesecakes are just the answer for chocolate cravings of all types. If you’re looking for a quick bake ahead ‘sweet something’ for the one you love, look no further.  This is my to go recipe minimally adapted from a winner by Ruchira @ Cookaroo.Of course you can always bake one large cheesecake and be done with it, like I’ve done here with this Dark Chocolate Cheesecake with Wine Macerated Strawberries. Yet, IMHO, there is something entirely charming and lovable about small petite desserts.So make single servings, or double as your heart might signal, dress these up with a swoosh of whipped mascarpone spiked with a liqueur. That was my initial idea but I ran out of time as usual. So I fast tracked and gave these a dusting of cocoa powder, a topping of fresh strawberries, some dark chocolate shavings…and a mint sprig just for the pop of colour.And yes, in my hurry to get this dessert ready for friends who were over for lunch, I forgot to add cream to the cheesecake batter. I baked for a slightly lesser time, hoping things would behave. They did. The little bites were richer, denser and more chocolaty…which isn’t really a bad thing though!So here you go, the recipe as I did it that day. And as I said, this is a foolproof recipe, my firm favourite, tried by several folk. So when are you going to make it?

Mini Dark Chocolate Cheesecakes
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Dark, divine, sinful, creamy, chocolaty and as simple as can be, these Mini Dark Chocolate Cheesecakes are just the answer for chocolate cravings of all types. If you're looking for a quick bake ahead sweet something for the one you love, look no further. Recipe minimally adapted from Ruchira @thegreatcookaroo.com. This is my to go recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 4-5 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 4-5 hours
Mini Dark Chocolate Cheesecakes
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Dark, divine, sinful, creamy, chocolaty and as simple as can be, these Mini Dark Chocolate Cheesecakes are just the answer for chocolate cravings of all types. If you're looking for a quick bake ahead sweet something for the one you love, look no further. Recipe minimally adapted from Ruchira @thegreatcookaroo.com. This is my to go recipe.
Servings Prep Time
8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 4-5 hours
Servings Prep Time
8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
30 minutes 4-5 hours
Instructions
Biscuit base
  1. Whiz the biscuits, brown sugar and cocoa in food processor until you get a fine meal. Add butter,whiz again to mix. Press into 8″ loose bottom tin. Chill in the freezer while you get the filling ready, and the oven preheats.
Dark Chocolate Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Place all ingredients of the filling in bowl of food processor, and blend well to mix, 1-2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Pour into crust, and bake for 30 minutes hour. Leave to cool in the oven, then cover and chill for 4-6 hours, better overnight.
Topping
  1. Dust with cocoa powder, top with diced strawberries and dark chocolate flakes. Garnish with mint. Serve cold, or leave at room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.
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“It didn’t matter how big our house was; it mattered that there was love in it.”
Peter Buffett

Gingerbread Garam Masala House – some things in life take long, some miss the date, yet any project made with love is better late than never. I had plans to make a Gingerbread House over Christmas. It was something I have longed to make again for along time. With travel and other commitments it never happened. Until now….In Bangalore in November I chanced upon a billboard from Casa Grande, and it talked about a dream house. An acquaintance had booked one of those and was quite thrilled. Talking to her about her dream home, for some reason this bakers mind connected to a gingerbread house, a dream I had nurtured for long, something I longed to bake again. That set me thinking about how my dream home might be.The elements danced in my head, plans to bake moving forward. First the foundation, or oops main flavours! A recent trip into Old Delhi meant a shifting of gears from ginger to garam masala in flavouring. Such is the power of inspiration. My dream home would have garam masala aromas wafting through it. I often bake my Christmas cake with garam masala, and I can tell you that it is wonderful sweet & warm!Hence I set to work at my first free moment. Can I tell you that building a gingerbread house is a lofty project, needs a couple of hands to help, is an arduous task, yet you fall in love with it once it’s made? Yes, all that and more. 

Drawing the same parallel, so is the home you choose to live in. Make it a good choice. It’s a lofty order to build it together like this Gingerbread Garam Masala House, so it’s best left to safe hands. A good company like Casa Grande a Chennai based real estate enterprise which is driven by a strong belief in building aspirations and fulfilling them. It designs and develops quality livings spaces and operates in niche residential segments like luxury villas and apartments in Chennai, Bangalore, Coimbatore and Cochin.Well they take care of all the hard work, quality work, delivering on time all part of the deal, leaving me to take care of my edible dreams. And baking this dream home wasn’t easy by any standard. You need a firm cookie dough to keep it all together, like a good foundation does a dream home. I adapted an earlier gingerbread recipe, made it a 100% wholegrain and smelling sweetly of garam masala. Wasn’t sure my house would stand but here we are. Looks like it came together.It has all the elements I’d like in my dream home. A rustic look, simple lines, sloping roofs, loads of windows that would let in light, and a ton of greenery. The roof is covered with flower cutouts. A few snowflakes too just because it was just Christmas, and just because I love how beautiful they look. And oh yes, how could I forget to mention the beautiful aromas of garam masala cookies wafting through my kitchen.I had real fun putting this together with the daughter. You do need more hands than one to bring together this sweet little home. What would your dream home be like?

Gingerbread Garam Masala House
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The Garam Masala Gingerbread House is my wholegrain take on traditional Scandinavian Gingerbread House. Sweet, spicy and warm and fun to build, this little dream house is well worth the time and effort!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Gingerbread Garam Masala House
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
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The Garam Masala Gingerbread House is my wholegrain take on traditional Scandinavian Gingerbread House. Sweet, spicy and warm and fun to build, this little dream house is well worth the time and effort!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 15 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Garam Masala Biscuit dough
Sugar glue
Servings: people
Instructions
Garam Masala Biscuit dough
  1. In the bowl of the food processor, process the chilled butter and jaggery for 1-2 minutes on high speed until you get a breadcrumb like mix
  2. Add the cinnamon powder and garam masala. Stir the baking soda into a 1/4 cup of boiling water Mix the baking soda with the boiling water and add to the dough along with the flour. Mix to make a stiff dough. If necessary add more water, a tablespoon at a time. Chill 2 hours or overnight.
  3. Preheat the oven to 375’F (190’C). Bake for 12 to 15 minutes until the cookie dough feels firm.
  4. Cut patterns for the house, making patterns for the roof, front walls, gabled walls, chimney and door out of cardboard. Roll the dough out on a large, ungreased baking sheet and place the patterns on the dough. Mark off the various pieces with a knife, but leave the pieces in place. {I rolled out the dough on a floured bench, roughly 1/8 inch thick, cut required shapes and transferred these to the baking sheet. Any scraps I saved and rerolled at the end.}
  5. After baking, again place the pattern on top of the gingerbread and trim the shapes, cutting the edges with a straight-edged knife. Leave to cool on the baking sheet.
Royal icing
  1. Beat all ingredients until smooth, adding the powdered sugar gradually to get the desired consistency. Pipe on pieces and allow to dry before assembling. If you aren’t using it all at once you can keep it in a small bowl, loosely covered with a damp towel for a few hours until ready to use. You may have to beat it slightly to get it an even consistency if the top sets up a bit. Piped on the house, this will set up hard over time.
Sugar glue
  1. Place in a heavy bottom saucepan and simmer over low heat just until the sugar dissolves. Take off heat. Dredge or brush the edges of the pieces to glue them together. If the syrup crystallizes, remake it.
  2. Note: Please be very careful while working with hot sugar syrup as it can burn the skin.
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So much chocolate. So little time!

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake with Wine Macerated Strawberries is really as good as it sounds and looks, and tastes even better. The cheesecake is a chocolate lovers delight – deep, dark, rich, sensuous, indulgent, sinful. With so many superlatives, I might well throw another in. It’s dead S I M P L E too! Make it ASAP and you’ll know just what I mean.It’s a recipe I’ve minimally adapted from Ruchira @ Cookaroo. She’s quite the best ‘chef’ I know. Her recipes are always quick, simple and foolproof. I’ve made this Dark Chocolate Cheesecake before and it was SO GOOD that I couldn’t wait to make it again.The recipe now lives in my head. I go about tweaking it here and there depending on what I have on hand. It’s a keeper!  Minimal fuss, maximum taste! I throw it together in my Thermomix and it takes under 20 minutes to come together. I used digestive biscuits the last time. Didn’t have digestives on hand this time, so I threw in Hobnobs instead. Just as good! I do a lot of chocolate desserts, simple ones mostly. Simple recipes like these leave you a lot of time to think about what more you can do. I could have just gone naked {ahem} with the cheesecake, but a luscious rich chocolate ganache takes this beautiful Dark Chocolate Cheesecake to a delicious new level. How could I skip it. The cake was for a birthday, so now something had to be celebratory, I mean a little more celebratory. Also, so much time on hand makes me fidgety. I just have to do something more!

I thought maybe salter butter caramel and had visions of gooey goodness dripping off the edges. Yet when I opened the fridge, I saw a box of juicy fresh strawberries and I knew I had to have them on some way. Maybe do strawberries in balsamic vinegar? No, no, strawberries in red wine screamed the bottle of Shiraz at me.You might remember these Lamb Chops with Red Wine I made recently, best I’ve ever made. Rosemary, garlic, and a limited edition Shiraz came together ever so beautifully to create this dish with so much character and loads of depth. There was some wine left over, so red wine macerated strawberries it was going to be.Anything on my kitchen counter becomes an ingredient in my recipes. Loads of fresh oranges and star anise sitting pretty on the counter could only mean one thing. They would help flavour my macerated strawberries. In went the zest of an orange and a few star anise. They created delightful undertones as you can well imagine.The result was a flavoursome, beautifully coloured red wine topping which tastes as good as it looks. Here you go, the recipe is a must try. For me, it’s the only chocolate cheesecake recipe I’ll ever need! Thank you Ruchira ♥!

Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Red wine macerated strawberries
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Dark, divine, sinful, creamy, chocolaty and above all, as simple as can be, this Dark Chocolate Cheesecake will leave you wanting for more. Recipe minimally adapted from Ruchira @ thegreatcookaroo.com. You won’t need another recipe ever! Can be made 2-3 days ahead of time.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 12 hours
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 12 hours
Dark Chocolate Cheesecake Red wine macerated strawberries
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Dark, divine, sinful, creamy, chocolaty and above all, as simple as can be, this Dark Chocolate Cheesecake will leave you wanting for more. Recipe minimally adapted from Ruchira @ thegreatcookaroo.com. You won’t need another recipe ever! Can be made 2-3 days ahead of time.
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 12 hours
Servings Prep Time
8-10 people 10 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
1 hour 12 hours
Ingredients
Ganache
Red wine macerated strawberries
Servings: people
Instructions
Biscuit base
  1. Whiz the biscuits, brown sugar and cocoa in food processor until you get a fine meal. Add butter, whiz again to mix. Press into 8″ loose bottom tin. Chill in the freezer while you get the filling ready, and the oven preheats.
Dark Chocolate Filling
  1. Preheat oven to 160C.
  2. Place all ingredients of the filling in bowl of food processor, and blend well to mix, 1-2 minutes on medium speed.
  3. Pour into crust, and bake for an hour. Leave to cool in the oven, then cover and chill for 4-6 hours, better overnight.
Red Wine Macerated Strawberries
  1. in a non reactive bowl, put in the strawberries, star anise, orange zest and brown sugar. Stir to mix, then pour in the wine. Stand covered in the fridge overnight.
  2. Discard the star anise, and strain the strawberries. Reserve in a bowl. Place wine in a small saucepan with a quarter cup orange juice, and simmer until thick and syrupy. taste and adjust sweetness if required. Cool slightly, then pour over the strawberries.
  3. Ladle the strawberries over the ganache. If the syrup is thin, reduce it further until nice and thick. Cool and pour over strawberries.
Ganache
  1. Place chocolate and cream in a heatproof bowl. Heat in microwave for 1 minute. Whisk​ with a balloon whisk​ until smooth. Cool about 30 minutes, then whisk​ again​. Chill until a little f​irm. Whisk once again till glossy and smooth, and holds peaks. Spread over​ chilled cheesecake.
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