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food

‘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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Comfort food … food that reassures is different things to different people.”
David Tanis

Crudites with Creamy Garlic Dip and Seedy Buckwheat Crackers might well be one of my favourite ways to rustle up something simple and quite addictive for an everyday healthy nibble, a small get together, or even a lunch box snack. The dip is as simple as it is finger licking good, and is a great way to get your protein fix for the day.  Crudites on the side, in every colour, make this complete! Comfort food for the soul!The recipe is a no brainer, a simple very simple whisking together of staple cooking ingredients that will possibly already be in your kitchen. These are ingredients that were meant to be together. The recipe is adapted from a very old one that I got while in college in Delhi University. A friends grandmother made a basic version often, and I gleefully went back home to recreate the recipe then much to the amazement of the family. This was in the late 1980’s!!Much changed since then, the recipe evolved gradually. This is its current form. When Mother Dairy asked if I’d like to take do a few recipes for #CreamOfAllFood and taking over their instagram handle for a week, I knew this had to be shared too. This is our favourite dip, and is worth every share! Mother Dairy products have been a part of my growing up years, bringing up the kids, my kitchen, my culinary life. I am quite sure they are in your life too!While I absolutely love doing sweet desserts and dishes, my heart belongs to savoury. Add garlic, fresh herbs, a dash of lime juice to any savoury dish and I’m a happy camper. Add cream to it, and now we’re talking. This Creamy Garlic Dip is possibly the simplest example of taking something delicious to finger licking good addictive! The cream made that happen!!Use this as a basic recipe. I added garlic and garlic greens to it. Sriracha might be really nice in here too. Maybe tahini, maybe grated red radish, or even finely chopped walnuts, fresh coriander and chilies. Who knows what might hit the chord with you. I urge you to try.Begin basic. Hung yogurt, cream, grated garlic and salt is a good beginning. Then build as you go. And so many more reasons to enjoy this. Dahi/yogurt, garlic, fresh herbs, lime juice … think good gut bacteria and protein, think minerals, think garlic and its health promoting phytonutrients, think Vitamin C. As always, above all, think S I M P L E!! As simple as the Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits which I did in the #InstaCookingClass #1.So wait no further. I whisked together the recipe on Instastories the Mother Dairy Instagram handle that I’ve taking over this week. This was #InstaCookingClass #2. Catch me there, or on the Mother Dairy FaceBook page later this week. Love to hear if you liked it {or not}, what recipes you might like to see in future, and what you’d like to make with the #CreamOfAllFood!And oh, did I tell you that I love pairing dips with wholegrain crackers? So I turned the oven on, and began throwing in stuff of all sorts into the Thermomix. One seed followed another, one flour followed another, and luckily enough the ending was good. The experiment worked!The crackers were a ‘cracker of an idea’! The dough was so good and loaded with SEEDS! It behaved beautifully so I made some savoury shells in the my favourite mini pie pan from Kitchen Aid too. Seedy wholewheat & buckwheat canapes filled with a creamy garlic dip, and pickled radishes are as delicious as they sound! Do make these as well if you are a passionate baker like me. Else crudites in  seasonal colours like bell peppers, cucumbers, radishes are great too!

Creamy Garlic Dip and Seedy Buckwheat Crackers
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Crudites with Creamy Garlic Dip and Seedy Buckwheat Crackers might well be one of my favourite ways to rustle up something simple and quite addictive for an everyday healthy nibble, a small get together, or even a lunch box snack. The dip is as simple as it is finger licking good, and is a great way to get your protein fix for the day. Crudites on the side, in every colour, make the platter balanced!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 2-3 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 2-3 hours
Creamy Garlic Dip and Seedy Buckwheat Crackers
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Crudites with Creamy Garlic Dip and Seedy Buckwheat Crackers might well be one of my favourite ways to rustle up something simple and quite addictive for an everyday healthy nibble, a small get together, or even a lunch box snack. The dip is as simple as it is finger licking good, and is a great way to get your protein fix for the day. Crudites on the side, in every colour, make the platter balanced!
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 2-3 hours
Servings Prep Time
6-8 people 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 2-3 hours
Instructions
Creamy Garlic Dip
  1. Whisk the cream + yogurt + olive oil + salt + lime juice until smooth.
  2. Finely chop remaining ingredients including the stalks of the coriander and greens of the green garlic.
  3. Stir in.
  4. Taste & adjust seasoning.
  5. Tip: Use as a dip, on crackers, on canapes, in a roll, as a marinadeSeedy wholegrain buckwheat crackers
Seedy wholegrain buckwheat crackers
  1. In the bowl of a food processor, grind together 65g sunflower seeds, almond meal, flax seeds, white & black sesame seeds.
  2. Add the smoked sea salt, buckwheat flour and wholewheat flour. Stir to mix, followed by the clarified butter. Mix again on high speed to distribute the fat evenly.
  3. Add the additional 35g sunflower seeds and stir to mix {low speed}.
  4. Stir the honey into the water, and slowly drizzle in enough to make a stiff yet pliable dough. Add more if required. {All flours have a different absorption capacity.If the dough is soft, add a tbsp or two of buckwheat flour}.
  5. Allow the dough to rest covered for a bit while you preheat the oven.
  6. Divide the dough into 4. Roll out one portion as thin as possible between 2 sheets of parchment paper.
  7. You can either cut into shapes using a pastry wheel/pizza cutter/knife, or leave it as one whole and roughly break it up. Alternatively, you could stamp out into fluted round shapes with a cookie cutter, and bake into tiny bite sized canape shells. I used the KitchenAid mini pie tray for some.
  8. Bake until they feel firm and begin to colour. Keep an eye on them after 20 minutes as they can colour and burn petty quick.
  9. Cool completely on cookie racks, and store in an airtight container
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“Fussing over food was important. It gave a shape to the day: breakfast, lunch, dinner; beginning, middle, end.”
Robert Hellenga

Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits … couldn’t be a better way to begin the morning. All this while I thought granola was just one of the best ways to start the day, so I made that a lot. It was simple. Granola + Milk + fruit = done! Then along came cream, an idea crossed my mind and breakfast got a makeover, a fun and colourful one at that. The parfait is showing up as dessert at home too now, made with just cream, no dahi! Folk who know me, know of my love for dairy. Everything and anything dairy hits a home run for me, and that speaks pretty much for everyone at home.The neat little tetrapacks of Mother Dairy cream  have changed the way I work in the kitchen, cooked and baked. The ease, the taste, the quality stepped up what I do in the kitchen in exciting ways. I am sure if you are like me, and love to cook and bake, your pantry’ll never be without this handy staple. It literally finds its way into everything I make, especially sweet!So when Mother Dairy Creams asked if I’d like to take do a few recipes for #CreamOfAllFood and taking over their instagram handle for a week, I could hardly say no. There was nothing I’d have liked to do better! Mother Dairy products have been a part of my growing up years, bringing up the kids, my kitchen, my culinary life. This was just going to be an extension of what I enjoy doing most – experimenting in the kitchen.A ton of ideas tumbled out of my head. I settled for this one first – Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits because I love the idea of layered desserts, cakes etc. Because the family had just returned from NYC and one of them described a delicious parfait they had for breakfast there. Because I had a sackful of granola at home that someone had sent as a gift. Because I love fruit in food, and lastly, I love playing with my food recipes…

One thing led to another. Some twitter conversations later, before I knew it, I was baking granola for the parfaits. I have always been charmed by doing things from scratch, granola being one of them. I find it difficult to understand why you wouldn’t bake something so simple at home? Please try baking some once, and you’ll do it over and over again. It makes life simple, you feel great, the kids get addicted to it, you can use it for energy bars, for breakfast…and for dessert too. Throw some into smoothies, scatter it over fruit salad or ice cream, or just munch on some as a snack. It is so customisable too. That done, a nice big batch smiled at me as I thought of putting the parfait together. It’s the simplest thing to do. As things go, I love the edge of subtle indulgence these Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits offer. There is little guilt for two reasons. No, make that three! Maybe more!!Cream is good fat. The granola is 100% wholegrain, glutenfree and home made. Last but not the least,the parfait has a generous portion of seasonal fresh fruit in there. And so many more reasons to enjoy this. Dahi/yogurt, honey, chia seeds … thing good gut bacteria and protein, think natural sweetener, think superfoods that are also called seeds of life. Above all, think S I M P L E !!So wait no further. I played out the recipe on Instastories the Mother Dairy Instagram handle that I’m taking over this week. This was #InstaCookingClass #1. Catch me there, or on the Mother Dairy FaceBook page later this week . Love to hear if you liked it {or not}, what recipes you might like to see in future, and what you’d like to make with the #CreamOfAllFood!

Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits
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Dessert for breakfast! Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits where wholegrain homemade granola meets creamy goodness and colourful seasonal fruit.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 15-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 15-30 minutes
Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits
BigOven - Save recipe or add to grocery list
Yum
Print Recipe
Dessert for breakfast! Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits where wholegrain homemade granola meets creamy goodness and colourful seasonal fruit.
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 15-30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
4 servings 5 minutes
Cook Time Passive Time
0 minutes 15-30 minutes
Ingredients
Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits
Homemade Granola
Servings: servings
Instructions
Fruits with Cream & Granola Parfaits
  1. Whisk the cream &and yogurt until smooth.
  2. Add honey. Whisk again.
  3. Stir in chia seeds. Leave to stand for a while.
  4. Layer... Granola, cream mix, honey, fruit... and& repeat!
  5. Tip: Use a piping bag or ziploc to pipe in the cream mix to make it neat.
  6. Tip: Use any seasonal fruit you enjoy eg Banana Strawberry Parfait, Black Forest Parfait, Banoffee Parfait.
  7. Tip: Great idea to make a parfait bar and get kids to 'build their own' colourful parfaits
  8. Tip: Use more cream, less yogurt and turn this into a dessert with the cream.mix, fruit & nuts!!
Easiest Homemade Granola
  1. Preheat the oven to 160C. Line a large baking dish with parchment.
  2. Stir together all the dry ingredients EXCEPT the dried cranberries and chocolate chips in a large bowl. {Tip: Use the mixer bowl from The Kitchen Aid Stand Mixer as it is convenient to use and very big}.
  3. Whisk the honey into the olive oil.
  4. Pour the wet mix over the dry mix, and give it all a good stir.
  5. Turn it into the prepared pan, press down lightly, and bake for approximately 45 minutes until light golden brown. Stir 2-3 times while baking.
  6. Once baked, stir in the dried cranberries while still hot, and chocolate chips once cool.
  7. Store in an airtight container.
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