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Sunday, 22 August 2010

Anniversary Cake. Chocolate, of course!

Made this cake for our Anniversary early this month. There is something very inherently sexy about Chocolate cakes, don’t you think?. This was no exception. Seemed like just the right thing to bake for the anniversary.

Simple, rich and very satisfying ! This is a mix of many recipes. I think what did the trick was the use of Lindt chocolate and Almond meal. The latter added a beautiful texture, the former, richness and personality :).






  • 200g Lindt dark chocolate
  • 200g butter, softened
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 3 -4 eggs (use 3 if they are extra large ones)
  • 1 cup self-raising flour
  • 3/4 cup almond meal
  • 2 tablespoons cocoa powder
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the icing

  • 200g dark chocolate – Lindt or Nestle, chopped
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream




  1. Preheat oven to 170°C. Grease and line base of a round cake pan.

  2. Place chocolate in heat proof bowl and microwave, uncovered, on 50% heat/medium for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute, until it melts and is smooth. Set aside to cool for about 6 minutes.

  3. Using an electric mixer, cream butter, sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy. Add eggs, 1 at a time.  Add melted chocolate, combine well. Sift flour and cocoa together. Fold half the flour mixture into butter mixture, little at a time. Add half the milk. Stir gently to combine. Repeat with remaining flour mixture and milk. Spoon into pan and level the surface of the mixture. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean.

  4. Chocolate icing: Combine chocolate bits and cream in a  microwave-safe bowl. Microwave, uncovered,  for 1 to 2 minutes, stirring every minute with a metal spoon, until almost melted. Stir until smooth. Set aside for 15 minutes .

  5. Spread over cake only after the cake has completely cooled down.

  6. Decorate with fresh fruits or chocolate shavings.


Surprise spouse :)!

Tuesday, 3 August 2010

Pui chorchori >> Ma’s favourite

I found just a few stems of Pui or Malabar Spinach in the Indian store. Its rather difficult to get it here in Sydney. Any Sydneysiders reading this, who know where I can get Pui in abundance, please do let me know! :-)


So Pui as its referred to in Bengali and Poi in Oriya, is a family favourite.  Sharmila’s recipes on Pui are awesome, if you haven’t already read them. Pui at home is made with lots of veggies in ‘chorchori’  (mix vegetable) style. I think chorchori, especially with Pui must be had on Sunday afternoon for lunch with lots of hot steamed rice accompanied by a chicken, mutton  or fish curry, followed by an afternoon siesta! No Sunday lunch is complete with out the quintessential siesta :)




You’ll need:


  • 11/2 tablespoons mustard oil
  • 1/2 tsp of Paanch Phoron ( a pinch of each- Nigella, fenugreek, cumin, fennel, radhuni/celery seeds)
  • 3 slit green Chillies
  • 1 inch fresh Ginger- grated
  • 3-4 stems of Malabar spinach/ Pui – roughly chopped with the stem
  • 1/4 diced pumpkin
  • 6-7 cauliflower florets (you can also add french beans and other vegetables of your choice. Just don’t miss out on pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup Peas
  • 1 diced Potato
  • 1-2 Carrots – chopped length wise
  • 1/2 tsp turmeric powder
  • 1 tsp chilli powder
  • salt to taste
  • 1/2 tsp sugar (optional)
  • Paste of 2 tablespoons of Poppy (poppy) and 1 tsp mustard seeds (soak for 2 hours and grind to a thick paste)




Heat oil in a wok/kadhai. Add panchphoron and let it splutter for a few seconds. Add slit green chillies and grated ginger and sauté for 4-5 seconds.  Add the diced pumpkin first of all the vegetables and sauté it for 2 minutes.  Add cauliflower and let it soften a little. Add the rest of the vegetables and mix well. Cover the wok and on medium flame let it cook for 3-4 minutes. Uncover and add the dry masalas- chilli powder, turmeric, salt, sugar). Mix well and its now it’s time to add the Malabar spinach/Pui. Mix well and leave it covered for a few more minutes. Don’t over cook it. Remember Pui is made best on low to medium flame. That’s what ma says!

Once the Pui softens, and all the other veggies are cooked, add the poppy-mustard seed paste to it and mix well. Cook for a further 2 minutes. Turn off heat and let it stand covered for sometime. Transfer to bowl. Serve hot with rice and ghee.




Until next time!

Very Berry, Strawberry >> Strawberry Mousse!

I wanted to make chocolate mousse. But my Pink rascal, erm…princess, insisted on a ‘pink’ mousse. Ok, your highness, here you go.
The man at home tried it first and said the flavour of Strawberries were over powering and the mousse was not subtle. But my guests loved it :). Just because he managed a one week challenge and I humoured him on my ‘exclusive’ blog, he thinks he can critique anything I make. Who are you, dude? Anthony Bourdain?

strawberry mousse

strawberry mousse3

Well, I did use extra strawberries.  So, if you want your mousse to taste subtle, then just add a little less. :-)

You’ll need:
  • 400 gms strawberries, pulped
  • a little more than1/2 cup, icing/castor sugar
  • 2 tablespoons cold water
  • 1 tablespoon gelatin
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 2 egg whites
  • 1 tsp lemon juice


  1. Combine water and gelatin in a  small bowl over a larger bowl of  boiling water. Do not dissolve it over direct heat. Wait until it completely dissolves. Allow to cool to room temperature.

  2. Pulp the strawberries and add sugar to it. Mix well until combined. Add lemon juice and the cooled Gelatin to this. (Don’t let the gelatin cool too much, then it sets and hardens.)

  3. Using a beater, beat the egg whites till soft peaks are formed. In a separate bowl repeat the process with the thickened cream.

  4. Slowly add the egg whites into the strawberry mixture. Fold.

  5. Add the whipped cream to this. Fold again.

  6. Spoon into little ramekins or bowls of your choice and refrigerate for at least 4-5 hours.

  7. Before serving top with mint and strawberries.

If you have a different method of making Strawberry Mousse, do share!
So long, then!