So how many of you eventually guessed right about what I made with those ‘yummy in the tummy’ Palak Pakoras? Yes, I made my version of Kadi Pakodi with them alright. Is that what you guessed I did? I know some of you did, from the comments you left me. Yoohoo! Full brownie points for knowing me well. No really, I mean the ‘brownie’ bit all the way. ‘Cos my dears, I have some piquant and divine brownies for you today. What’s more, they’re cocoa brownies so they’re really really easy-peasy to make as well. You cannot get away without making these. There’s no escaping now. Muhuhahaha! *evil roaring laughter* :D Continue reading
Posted in Cakes & Bakes
Tagged bake, Baking, Baking powder, brownie in under 30 minutes, Brownies, Butter, chocolate, chocolate fudge brownies, Cocoa solids, easy baking, easy baking in under 30 minutes, easy brownies, easy vegetarian brownies, Flax, Flour, Vanilla extract, vegetarian brownies
Sometimes, life throws so many curve balls at you, you just don’t know what to do. That’s what happened with me for a while, and I was completely disoriented to say the least. The only thing that I kept at was the Baking workshops, to ensure I retained my sanity. But hey, I’m out of the blues now and I’m back to being my normal self so y’all can forget this lull even happened. How about I put an end to my hiatus with something that is pure evil? Continue reading
Posted in Beverages/Mocktails
Tagged Beverage, chocolate, Coffee, cold coffee, Cooking, drink, Food, frappe mochacchino, Home, India, mochacchino, Types of chocolate, Whipped cream, Whipped topping
I know this blog has ‘chocolate’ written all over it. Sorry, I can’t help it. Some obsessions are not shaken off very easily, especially if they involve the C-word. I made these chocolate rum pots twice recently, and both times they were a big hit. So how could I not share it with you, right? Continue reading
Posted in Chocoholism
Tagged chocolate, chocolate dessert, chocolate pots, Chocolate Rum Pots, Confectionery, cream, Double boiler, easy chocolate dessert in under 30 minutes, Food, Ganache, Recipe, Refrigerator, Types of chocolate, White Chocolate
The first event of the Free-spirit Bloggers group is here. And wowie, what an overwhelming response you gave us for the introduction post! Thank you. Forget those extra 4 brownie points I mentioned. Just drop by… I’ll have those warm fudgy brownies waiting for y’all :) So are you ready for that first burst of free-spirit we’re sharing with you?
Posted in Cakes & Bakes, Free-spirit Bloggers
Tagged Baking powder, chocolate, chocolate cake, Cocoa solids, Corn starch, easy eggless baking, Egg (food), egg substitutes, egg substitutes in baking, eggless baking, eggless baking experiments, eggless chocolate cake, eggless chocolate pound cake, Pound cake, Sodium bicarbonate, Vanilla extract, vegetarian chocolate pound cake
You remember how I said some readers of the blog have now gone on to become thick pals? Remember Mittu and her Chocolate Truffle Cake? There’s another such friend who’s right here in Bangalore, and we even got to meet recently. I was so excited when I met Sree Vani last week at a taste-testing event we had all been to. Vani was another non-blogger who sent me her to-die-for chocolate creation for the Chocolate Fest. The minute I saw Vani’s email with the recipe and pictures, I told her I wouldn’t let her sit in peace till she made some for me. I’m still waiting to taste the tart Vani, and I hope I can get to lay my hands on some very soon!
It’s a wonderful feeling the way I share a really good bond with some of the readers of the blog. Some of them have gone on to become really good friends now. One of them is Mridubhashini, who is also fondly known as Mittu. We both end up chatting on IM almost everyday, and if I don’t catch her online anytime during the day, I feel like I’ve missed doing something important that day. Sometimes, because of our schedules and the different time zones we’re located in, its like playing hide and seek with each other, but we finally manage to catch up, and it feels so good. That’s how indispensable some friends become after a while, don’t they? Specially, when those friends are so like-minded! When I announced the Chocolate Fest event for CCN’s 1st Blog Anniversary, she immediately IM’ed me saying she would send me something nice for the event. And she definitely did! Mittu, am I glad we’re friends or what? For now, I’ll be content with the pictures, but when we finally meet, Im surely getting you to make this for me ;)
Now, over to Mittu -
“This is my entry to your choco-mania fest :D!!
I made this cake for my hubby’s birthday. The first one after we got married. It was pretty eventful that time, DC area was blanketed with snow and the whole place came to a halt and stepping out was a nightmare. I sent the birthday boy himself, to go get me the ingredients so I could bake it for him :D Teehee! This cake is a wonderfully chocolatey and not too sweet; its bittersweet chocolate and liqueur all the way. Hic!
Here is the recipe in the order I made it:
Chocolate Truffle Cake
(Recipe Source: Cakes: 1001 Classic Recipes)
For the Truffle:
- Bitter-sweet chocolate (broken into small pieces) - 1/2 cup (4 oz)
- Heavy Cream – 3 tbsps
- Unsalted Butter – 1 tbsp
- Confectioner’s Sugar – 1/3 cup
- Orange liqueur – 1 tbsp (I used frangelico, hazelnut liqueur)
- Cocoa – 1/3 cup
For the Cake:
- All-purpose flour/Maida – 2 cups
- Cocoa – 1/4 cup
- Baking powder – 1 tsp
- Baking soda – 1/2 tsp
- Salt – 1/4 tsp
- Bitter-sweet chocolate (broken into small pieces) – 1/4 cup (2 oz)
- Butter – 1/3 cup at room temperature
- Sugar – 3/4 cup
- Cream Cheese – 1/3 cup (3 oz), at room temperature
- Eggs – 2 nos, at room temperature
- Orange liqueur – 1 tbsp (I used frangelico, hazelnut liqueur)
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
- Water – 3/4 cup
For the Filling:
- Bitter-sweet chocolate (broken into small pieces) – 1 cup (8 oz)
- Heavy Cream – 1/3 cup
- Orange liqueur – 2 tbsps (I used frangelico, hazelnut liqueur)
For the Frosting:
- Bitter-sweet chocolate (broken into small pieces) – 1/2 cup + 2 tbsps (5 oz)
- Butter (softened) – 10 tbsps
- Confectioner’s Sugar (optional) – 1/3 cup (adjust as per taste, or avoid altogether)
- Vanilla extract – 1 tsp
For the Truffle:
- Melt the butter, chocolate and cream in the microwave, or on a double boiler, over barely simmering water.
- Add the confectioners sugar ( I sifted it once before adding) , liqueur until its smooth.
- Refrigerate for about 30 mins atleast.
- On a plate put about 1 tbsp of cocoa powder.
- Roll spoonfuls of mixture into small balls and dust your hands with cocoa powder and coat the balls with the cocoa powder on the plate. Refrigerate till needed.
For the Cake:
- Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter two 9-inch round pans and set aside.
- Into a large mixing bowl, sift the flour cocoa, baking powder, soda and salt.
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave or on a double boiler and set aside to cool.
- Beat cream cheese, butter and sugar till creamy (at medium speed).
- Add the eggs one at a time, until blended after each addition, reduce the speed to low and add in the melted chocolate, liqueur and vanilla extract.
- Add the dry mixture gradually alternating with water.
- Spoon the batter into the prepared tins and bake for 25 -35 mins or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
- Cool the cakes in the pan for 10 mins and remove from pans and cool on the cooling rack.
- Once cooled, cling-wrap the 2 cakes and put them in the freezer for atleast 1/2 an hour. The cake is very very fragile and when splitting, the cake could come apart. plus this way you can avoid crumbs on the frosting and filling!
For the Filling:
- Melt the chocolate and the cream in the microwave, or on a double boiler over barely simmering water. Add liqueur, stir well and set aside to cool.
For the Frosting:
- Melt the chocolate in the microwave, or over a double boiler of barely simmering water.
- With the mixer at medium speed, beat butter and confectioners sugar in a medium-sized bowl until creamy.
- Beat in the melted chocolate until glossy and smooth. Set aside
To assemble the cake:
- Slice each cake horizontally into two layers.
- Place one layer on a flat base/serving plate, and spread 1/3 rd of the filling on top of it.
- Repeat with the 2 other layers till you have one last cake layer left.
- Top with remaining layer and spread the cake with the readied frosting evenly on the top and sides, using an offset spatula.
- Decorate the cake with the prepared truffles and sprinkle with sifted cocoa.”
That looks like a very piquant dessert Mittu! Thanks so much for sharing it with us, and also for sending it over the Chocolate Fest :)
All you folks, Sree Vani’s Chocolate Tart is coming up next so keep those pretty peepers peeled, cos that is one big mamma of a chocolate tart. Vani, unless I get some of that tart, the giveaway book ain’t reaching you ;) Just kidding, but I’m coming over for that tart sometime soon, so please make some for me. Oh yes, Vani and I live not too far from each other, so we like to exchange our baked goodies once in a while. Do I see your face turning green with envy? Muhuhahahaha ;)
Posted in Cakes & Bakes, Tales from Your Kitchen
Tagged Baking, Chocoholism, chocolate, chocolate baking, chocolate truffle cake, chocolate truffles, cook curry nook, cook curry nook tales from your kitchen, guest blogging, guest posting, mittu, mittu mohan, mridubhashini mohan, tales from my kitchen, truffles
“Other things are just food, but Chocolate’s Chocolate” - Patrick Skene Catling
Did you all have a great time drooling at/making all those delectable chocolate goodies last month? I sure did! And boy, what fun it was to make treat after treat, and share them with people around me. It was even better when each one of you left me a comment with your entries to the Chocolate Fest…I was so full of glee, child-like, jumpy and excitable. Nothing makes me happier than chocolate. There, I’ve said it. Now that I’ve so explicitly fessed up, you know what my weak point is, so please do take advantage of it ;)
The Chocolate Fest has been the best thing that has ever happened to Cook-curry Nook so far, and I thank each and every one of those who were part of it. There were 26 people who turned up at the Fest, 3 of which were non-bloggers. And there is this one non-blogger who sent in a whopping 9 entries to the Fest, and she sure swept me off my feet! Archna Venkatesswaran, you are truly the ‘Chocolate Queen‘ of this fest! Oh and yes, nobody can even think of ignoring Anu Nandu’s big mamma of a Black Forest trifle; The chocolicious Trifle wins the ‘Chocolate porn queen‘ Award! I also have another something for you Anu, but lets save it for later shall we? You know how I love to build the suspense ;)
There’s a small twist – I’ve received 11 entries from 3 non-bloggers, and seeing the amount of interest each one has taken to send me their entries along with a wonderful write-up, I’ve decided that instead of including all 11 recipes in this round-up, each of their entries deserves a separate post. So Mridubhashini, Vani and Archna, I will be featuring all your entries as individual posts under ‘Tales from Your Kitchen‘. I will link your posts in this post once they’re all up; that way, anyone coming to this round-up will automatically get to see your featured posts as well. I hope this idea of mine is well-received by you guys.
So shall we get to the round-up now? Dive away, it’s a pretty exhaustive list. Levitate in the chocolate nirvana!
- PJ - Chocolate Milkshake
- Megha - Vegan Chocolate Burfi
- Megha - Orangettes
- Sneha Rao - Sunflower seed and Chocolate-chip speckled Banana Cookies
- Sneha Rao - Chocolate Cheesecake
- Sneha Rao - Super-quick No-bake Oatmeal Chocolate Cookies
- Deepti Pawar - Black Forest Cake
- Deepti Pawar - Quick n easy White Chocolate Mousse
- Deepti Pawar - Black Forest Cupcakes
- Deepti Pawar - Mocha Cream Gateau
- Preetha Karthik - Chocolate Cake balls
- Preetha Karthik - Easy Choco Cupcakes
- Pavithra Srihari - Pistachio Chocolate Fudge
- Nags - Easy basic Chocolate Brownie
- Aliena Verghese - Basic Chocolate fudge Pudding
- Denny - 2 min Microwave Chocolate Cake
- Swapna - Red Velvet Cake Pops
- Swapna - Chocolate Rasberry Cake
- Suma - Queen of Sheba Cake
- Vanishri Bhat - Chocolate
- Divya Kudua - Instant Triple Chocolate Mousse
- Divya Kudua - Mocha Chocolate-chip Muffins
- Divya Kudua - SoNo Brownies
- Divya Kudua - Black-forest Trifle Pudding
- Arundhuti - Easy Dark Chocolate Brownie
- Aparna Mallya - Eggless Chocolate Cake
- Aparna Mallya - Milk Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies
- Aparna Mallya - Zebra Cake
- Shubhada - Chocolate Mocha Dip
- Anu Nandu - Black Forest Trifle
- Sarah - Chocoholic’s Dream
- Geetha - No-bake Cookies – Bachelor’s Buttons
- Nithu Bala - Bourbon Biscuits
- Nithu Bala - Eggless Chocolate Cake
- Nithu Bala - Chocolate Cake Truffles
- Veena Aravind - Choco fruit and nut bars
- Veena Aravind - One-bowl Cocoa bars
- Veena Aravind - Black Forest Cupcakes
- Nachiketa - Chocolate Tiramisu
- Nachiketa - Flying Tiramisu Cupcakes
- Nachiketa - Coffee Chocolate Raisin Cake
- Radhika Vasanth - Chocolate Granola
- Mridubhashini Mohan (Non-blogger) – Chocolate Truffle Cake
- Shree Vani (Non-blogger) - Chocolate Tart
- Archna Venkatesswaran (Non-blogger) – Chocolate Truffle Tarts
- Archna Venkatesswaran (Non-blogger) – Zebra Cake
- Archna Venkatesswaran (Non-blogger) – Chocolate Mousse
- Archna Venkatesswaran (Non-blogger) – Dark Secret
- Archna Venkatesswaran (Non-blogger) – Dotty Chocolate Cake
- Archna Venkatesswaran (Non-blogger) – Brownie
- Archna Venkatesswaran (Non-blogger) – No-bake Cookies
- Archna Venkatesswaran (Non-blogger) – Choco hearts in White Chocolate Sauce
- Archna Venkatesswaran (Non-blogger) – Chocolate Star Cake
- Madhuri Kumar - Double Chocolate chip Cookies
- Madhuri Kumar - Chocolate Fudge Brownies
- Madhuri Kumar – Eggless, Butterless 5-minute Microwave Chocolate Cake
- Madhuri Kumar - Flourless Chocolate Cake
- Madhuri Kumar - Rich Chocolate Cake
- Madhuri Kumar - The 2-Minute Chocolate Wonder Cake in a Mug
- Madhuri Kumar - Vegan Chocolate Cake
- Madhuri Kumar - Black Forest Gateau
- Madhuri Kumar - Dark Chocolate & Orange Gateau
- Madhuri Kumar - Triple Chocolate Mousse Cake
- Madhuri Kumar - Chocolate Mousse
- Madhuri Kumar - Chocolate-chip Muffins
- Madhuri Kumar - No-fat Sugarless Double Chocolate Muffins
- Madhuri Kumar - One-minute Vegan Microwave Black Forest Cupcakes
- Madhuri Kumar - Home-made Chocolates
- Madhuri Kumar - Chocolate-coated Biscuits
- Madhuri Kumar - Rocky Road Bites
- Madhuri Kumar - Eggless Triple Chocolate Whipped Cream Cake
Here’s some eye-candy for you all to drool at -
And now, comes the biggest thing…something we’ve all been waiting for – The Winner of the GIVEAWAY! You ARE ardently waiting to know who’s walking away with a copy of Alice Medrich’s ‘Chocolate Holidays‘ aren’t you? Here’s the book cover again, to help you remember and drool at it one more time before I reveal the winner.
Got a good look? Good!
Before I get down to the winner of the giveaway, I must say that every entry was the best, and I thoroughly enjoyed every one of them. Thank you all once again, for making CCN’s 1st Anniversary a truly chocolicious one! Now, to the winner (finally, yes!) – I made a list of the entrants in order of receiving them and picked a winner using random.org. And the winner that random.org picked is… Entrant no 18!! And who exactly is that? Scroll down! (I definitely LOVE to build the suspense ;))
Anu Nandu of Mriganayani! Yayyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy Anu, heartiest congratulations, and a big hug! I hope you enjoy the book. Look forward to many many more chocolate-porn queens adorning Mriganayani! Please send me your address. I have a friend coming to the US from India in a month from now, and I will have her ship it to you once she gets home :)
Now for another surprise!! Oh yes, I’m loving this second build-up of suspense now ;) When I saw how much interest the 3 non-bloggers had taken and sent me their chocolicious creations, I just couldn’t leave it at that, could I? I just HAD to give them something for their enthusiasm and spirit. So I’m giving away to each of the non-bloggers, ie – Mridubhashini, Vanishree and Archna, a copy of Nita Mehta’s ‘Chocolate Recipes‘! The book is loaded with Chocolate treats and I hope you guys enjoy it as much I think you would.
Girls, please mail me your respective addresses. I will arrange to have it couriered to you right away. Mridu, I guess I will send your copy along with Anu’s, through my friend travelling back to the US next month.
Alrighty then folks, I’ll leave you with a parting shot of a collage of some more eye-candy before I sign off. Do I hear all those splashes you’re making? Go on, have the chocolicious time of your life!!
Posted in Chocoholism, Events
Tagged Baking and Confections, chocolate, chocolate nirvana, chocolate nirvana recipes, chocolate recipes, Cook, cook curry nook, Cook-curry nook, cookcurry nook, Home, The Chocolate Fest, Types of chocolate
“The 12-step chocoholics program: Never be more than 12 steps away from Chocolate!!” – Terry Moore
I simply adore lazy, got-nothing-to-do weekend getaways. Specially if those involved swimming pools! I love to spend all day splashing about, or just floating on my back in a bright blue pool of icy cold water, watching the sky and the plethora of various shaped clouds drifting about. Does that tell you of how much I love being in water, or of how much I love watching the clouds? Does it matter though, ‘cos I love both. And if I can do them both together, all the more better!!
I’ve always found watching clouds a very engaging thing to do. Trying to fathom shapes and figures, from the tufts of clouds gradually changing shape; imagining creatures, faces, objects from real life and weaving stories from them, trying to connect stories you’ve read with the stories you’re weaving, suddenly wishing you’d actually see tufts of clouds shaped like Harry Potter and his friends Ronald Weasly and Hermoine Granger fighting their way through, destroying Horcruxes, bringing the downfall of Lord Voldemort… Alright, ok, I hear you…I’m coming back to ground reality. You must have guessed by now that I’m an ardent Potter fan and oh yes, I’m very lucky to have already watched ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows – I’, thanks to a close friend of mine, another ardent Potter fan. Thanks heaps P! Did I love the movie? I certainly did! So much so that it rekindled Potter mania in me, and as soon as I got home from the cinemas, I brought out my dusty copy of ‘Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows’ and started reading it all over again, and finished reading a 600-something pages in one day too. I’m still definitely living in Potter world. It will take me some time to come out of it and back into our Muggle-world. But till then, I’m going to enjoy imagining the clouds to be replaying scenes from the Potter movie while you can drool like a shameless puppy over these decadent chocolate-y babies!
ROCKY ROAD BITES
- Dark Chocolate – 250 gms
- Mini-marshmallows – 1/2 cup, heaped (I just used strawberry flavoured, regular-sized marshmallows cut into 1/2-inch pieces)
- Walnuts – 1/2 cup, chopped
- Black currants – 1/4 cup
- Rice crisps – 1/2 cup
- Butterscotch chips – 2 tbsps, coarsely powdered/crushed
- Strawberry Essence (optional) – 1 tsp
- White rum (optional) – 1 tbsp (If you’re adding this, don’t share the rocky road bites with the one who’s driving, on the pretext that they’ll end up doing some risky drunken driving ;))
- You can pretty much make your own desirable combos with the chocolate, marshmallows and the other ingredients. The other ingredients/flavours can vary as per choice. Chocolate marries well with pretty most everything, so get creative all you like!
- I used strawberry essence to highlight the same flavour of the marshmallows I used, and the chocolate combined with the tart flavour of the berries turned out to be really good.
This proportion makes about 20-22 bites.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment and set aside.
- Break/cut the chocolate into small pieces and place in a large microwave-safe bowl. You could either melt the chocolate in the microwave, or on a double boiler. To know how to do that, lookie here.
- Melt the chocolate till it is completely molten and a liquidy glaze. Make sure the chocolate doesn’t seize. Chocolate seizes when it is heated too much, for durations longer than required.
- While the chocolate is melting, assemble the rest of the ingredients except the strawberry essence and rum (if using) in a bowl.
- Once the chocolate has melted, stir-in the essence and rum (if using) and incorporate into the molten chocolate.
- Stir in the mixture of marshmallows, walnuts, black currants, rice crisps and coarsely powdered butterscotch chips, and toss in the melted chocolate until well covered.
- Place heaping teaspoons of the mixture onto the prepared baking sheet. I lightly oiled my cookie scoop and dropped the mixture onto the baking sheet.
- Chill in the refrigerator until set, then carefully remove from the baking sheet. When they had partially set, I rolled them into balls, cos I somehow fancied them round. Once I rolled them into balls, I let it set fully till done.
- Place the balls/bites in paper petit-four cases if you wish, and serve. I covered mine with thin brightly coloured chocolate foil wraps. I love anything bright. I love anything chocolate. And when anything chocolate is wrapped in anything bright, try stopping me from not making them disappear!! ;)
I actually made these rocky road bites since we had planned to go to a resort over the weekend; I wanted some quick and non-messy snacks for the long drive, but we unfortunately ended up not going at all. We did end up gorging on these decadent pick-me-ups nonetheless; rocky roads or not, the bites didn’t get a chance to delude us. And now, I’m sitting all guilty for having given in to my chocolate cravings. Oh don’t you dare look at me like that now, ‘cos I know you’re no better than me. Atleast Im shamefacedly admitting it…will you? :P
Posted in Chocoholism, Sweet treats
Tagged chocolate, Cook, easy rocky road bites, Food, Harry Potter, hoildays, holidays, Home, long drives, Lord Voldemort, road trip, rocky road balls, rocky road bites, rocky road bites easy, Sheet pan, Shopping