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Posts Tagged ‘chocolate’

For many lucky girls around the world, their Dad is their hero.


Dads teach us how to ride bikes and laugh from our stomachs.


They take us on adventures we can’t ever forget.


They protect us like a literal human shield, from all life’s bad things.


My Dad is that Dad.


Papa and me 1


And here are 10 things he’s taught me about life.


1. You can never be too early to catch a train or a flight. (2-3 hours before is mandatory, but anything above 3 hours, and you’re gold.)


2. Don’t worry if you can’t make it to a birthday party, but always make sure you attend a funeral.


3. Mixing a single malt with Coca Cola is a sissy thing to do. Drink it on the rocks. Like a boss.


4. Always do more than what is expected of you. Much, much more. And do not expect anything in return.


5. It is not nice to stand too close to boys in photographs.


6. If you have to read aloud at an event, the only thing to remember is to read slowly.


7. Try all the crazy things you want to. Just try them at home.


8. When you’re sad, watch The Tom and Jerry Show and you’ll feel better instantly.


9. If you really love something, chase it with everything you have. You will reach it.


10. Family always comes first.


There are so many more, but these are the ones I try to live by.
The ones that are now a part of me.
The ones I might pass on a daughter some day.


Mom says I am very much like my Dad. And nothing makes me prouder.


So this one is for you, Papa.


Papa and me 2


The first man I ever loved.
Baker of the softest cakes.
Granter of my every wish.
Protector from every pain.
Filler of my fridge.
Teacher of tough lessons.
Encourager of my every dream.
My biggest supporter.
My first hero.
My shoulder, my safe haven, my strength.


For everything you’ve taught me by example, and for everything you are, I love you more and more each day.
Thank you for being my rock.


I wish I could send you some of this wonderful Paleo chocolate, but it’d melt.


Paleo chocolate 5


This Paleo chocolate is THE only Paleo hack you need.


Just a few simple ingredients and some stirring will result in the most dark, bitter, smooth, silken chocolate ever.


Melted paleo chocolate


I feel like chocolate was the one thing I was really missing on my Paleo challenge and now I can eat it while being 100% Paleo!


This stuff is crazy rich though, so don’t eat a whole lot at once like I did. You’ll get a tummy ache :P


Since coconut oil is the base, you will be able to taste it a little, so I wouldn’t recommend it if you can’t stand the smell/taste of coconut.


You can make them in mini cupcake cases, and top them with nuts.


Paleo chocolate 1


Or cut up in haphazard shapes :)


Paleo chocolate 6


A little goes a long way – the piece will melt gently between your fingers as you nibble on it, so you can lick your fingers after as well :)


Paleo chocolate 3


Paleo Chocolate


Prep time: 5 mins
Makes: 20-30 pieces


Ingredients:


120 ml coconut oil, melted
100 g cocoa powder
2 tbsp wild organic honey (or maple syrup), plus more to taste if you want
pinch of sea salt
assorted nuts (optional)


Method:


Paleo chocolate 4


1. Pour the coconut oil into a medium mixing bowl. Add the cocoa powder a little at a time, stirring to mix well.
2. Add the honey and salt and stir everything togther until well mixed. Taste and add a little more honey if it is too bitter for you.
3. Pour into mini cupcake cases and top with nuts if you like, or pour over a parchment-covered tray and spread out to an even layer. Freeze for 2-3 hours. Roughly chop up the chocolate on the tray and store in a box in the fridge. The chocolate minis should also be stored in the fridge.


I’m telling you – Paleo never tasted this good!


Have a fantastic day my darlins :)


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A quaint little cafe has come to town.


le bistro du parc


It’s very French, complete with chalkboard menus, divine desserts, and a very charming half French-half Punjabi restauranter called Naina.


menu


Four of us from the CAL Blogger’s Table, stopped by for dinner one drizzly Saturday night. I wasn’t feeling well, but Sid convinced me to go anyway and I’m glad I did.


We started with a Midinette salad – tender pieces of grilled chicken, topped with julienne of green apple and celery, studded with bright pomegranate seeds, and tossed in a very light parsley mayonnaise.


Midinette salad


Pan fried calamaris came next – a warm dish of delicious squid rings with garlic, baby potatoes, cherry tomatoes, black olives, and a red chilly coulis.


Pan fried calamaris


If you like liver, definitely try the Chicken liver parfait served with crispy pieces of baguette, a balsamic reduction, and confit onions. The pate is very delicate, and the sticky balsamic sauce is quite lovely with it.


Chicken liver parfait


The main courses are probably Le Bistro du Parc’s weakest link.


There was the average Grilled lamb with vegetables. It came with a mint-mango chutney and potatoes, but none of the flavours were memorable.


Grilled lamb, veggies


We also tried the Chicken and zucchini with olive tapenade – the tapenade was rich and slightly tart, but the zucchini was overcooked and mushy. Plus there was a little too much green on my plate :(


Marinated chicken, roasted zucchini, olive tapenade


The Pan-fried red snapper with ratatouille vegetables and in a bed of lemon foam was probably the most frou-frou dish on the menu. The vegetables were slightly sweet which I loved, and the fish had a gorgeous crispy skin, but the fish itself was a little under seasoned.


Pan fried red snapper, ratatouille vegetables, lemon foam


The big gun on the menu was the Rib of beef for two. After being asked how you would like your meat (we said medium-rare) it’s brought to the table like this.


Rib of beef 1


Then it’s taken back to the kitchen, cut into pieces, and brought back like this.


Rib of beef 2


The meat itself was too rare for our liking (we were told that “French” medium-rare was our “rare”) but it was taken back and cooked a while longer so it didn’t feel like we were cavemen gnawing at raw meat.


The hand-cut fries that came with it were excellent, as was the divine morel sauce, with little pieces of the mushroom floating in the golden sauce like succulent black jewels.


And now for the main event – the desserts.


Between the four of us, we choose 5 desserts to share.


all desserts


The Lemon tart with meringue, Raspberry Charlotte, and Plum and almond tart were excellent. Each one made with care, pronounced, unapologetic flavours, and excellent presentation.


But let me tell you about the two desserts that will most certainly make me return to Le Bistro du Parc.


This most beautiful chocolate mousse – made with Valrhona dark chocolate, and served with pomegranate seeds and a strawberry coulis. When you put that first decadent spoonful in your mouth, you understand why people often liken chocolate to sex.


chocolate mousse, strawberry coulis and pomegranate


The other stunning dessert I can’t stop thinking about was the Pistachio Paris Brest – a choux pastry bun filled with a luscious lime-green pistachio cream. The dessert gets its name from Paris–Brest–Paris – a 1200km bicycle race from Paris to Brest and back to Paris and is therefore shaped to match the circular circuit.


pistachio Paris Brest


Even Nachiketa, our reigning dessert queen was suitably impressed.


nachiketa


Le Bistro du Parc is a lovely place to perhaps go on your first date. It’s relaxed, the food is reasonably good, and the desserts will most certainly make that magical first kiss happen.


Here’s what the others there had to say:


Sid from Chef at Large
Nachiketa from Crazy over Desserts
Sushmita from My Unfinished Life


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I’ve made a certain discovery recently.


People. Are. Lazy.


And many of those people are my friends.


One is too lazy to boil eggs. Another is too lazy to turn on a gas stove. A third has pretend palpitations if a recipe has more than 3 steps.


Incidentally all these people love cake. Cake monsters each and every one of them.


So this recipe is for you lazy ones.


Almost zero effort = Melt-in-your-mouth chocolate cake.


Chocolate cake piece 1


You don’t need a fancy whisk. You don’t need to wash up multiple pots and pans. Heck you don’t even need to crack an egg.


Look, you can even entertain yourself with this scary cake face. It looks like it wants to eat something.
If you find this funny, we can be friends. Like totally.


Chocolate cake scary face


All you need is an arm. And the will to mix a few easy ingredients together. And of course, the desire for some sweet, sweet chocolate cake that’ll make you smile for a week.


Lazy person's chocolate cake


So move your lazy behinds. And make this cake.


One bite and you will send me many kisses. I know it.


The lazy person’s chocolate cake (One bowl, no eggs, no butter, no milk, no whisk)
Adapted from: Sweet Little Bluebird


Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 35 mins
Serves: 10


Ingredients:


170 g plain flour
3 tbsp cocoa powder
225 g caster sugar
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp white vinegar
1 tsp vanilla extract
5 tbsp vegetable oil, plus a little more for greasing
240ml water
100 g dark chocolate chips (optional)


Method:


1. Preheat the oven to 180º C. Lightly grease an 8-inch square baking dish with some oil. Add the first 5 ingredients and mix to combine.
2. Make three depressions in the dry ingredients – 2 small and 1 big. Add the vinegar and vanilla to the smaller depressions and the oil to the large one. Pour the water over and mix everything well until you have a smooth batter.
3. Stir in the chocolate chips to evenly distribute them. Bake in the oven for 35 minutes, remove, cool, and eat!


This cake is delicious as is, but if you want to really take it to next level, make this super easy, yet utterly divine ganache frosting.


Look at its glistening, gorgeous yumminess.


Baileys ganache


Baileys dark-chocolate soft ganache


Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 5-7 mins


Ingredients:


100 g good-quality dark chocolate
100 ml cream
2 tbsp Baileys (optional)
sprinkles (optional)


1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces and place in a bowl.
2. Heat in the cream in a pan, stirring constantly until small bubbles start to appear at the edges of the pan. Add the Baileys, stir well, and pour over the chocolate.
3. Mix well until the chocolate melts and you have a glossy ganache. Smother over the cake and top with sprinkles if you wish.


Chocolate cake piece 2



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Are you a cookie monster?


cookie monster


I bet you are.


What’s not to like, right?


Especially if there’s a surprise lurking inside the decadent chocolate exterior?


Like these double chocolate chunks with a super rich and super wonderful dulce de leche centre.


Cookies 3


I used some really adorable half and half chocolate chips. They’re half white and half dark chocolate.


Aren’t they pwetty?


Chocolate chips


Also, I used a lovely purple silicone mat my aunt gave me. I loved how easy it was to use!


Cookies 1


These cookie chunks aren’t delicate. They’re chunky. They’re hunky. They’re a little bit like Moto Moto. ( Go listen to his song :P)


I like ‘em big. I like ‘em chunky. I like ‘em big. I like ‘em plumpy.
I like ‘em round. With something something.


Still talking about the cookies here darlings! ;)


And the dulce de leche inside is the best caramel ever. It’s golden and thick and sweet, and stays gooey inside the cookie, until you take a bite and it melts in mouth, coating your tongue with its awesomeness.


Dulche de leche


Here’s the recipe. Go make your inner cookie monster proud! :)


Double chocolate cookie chunks with gooey caramel centres


Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Makes: 12
Recipe adapted from: Hip Foodie Mom


Ingredients:


115 g butter (salted is fine)
300 g caster sugar
60 g cocoa powder
3 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp baking soda
220 g flour
100 g chocolate chips (dark, white, milk, or mixed)
80ml or 1/3 tin Dulce de leche (recipe here)


Cookies 2


Method:


1. Melt the butter in a large pan and then stir in the sugar and cocoa. When slightly cool, mix in the eggs and vanilla extract.
2. In another bowl, mix the baking soda and flour together. Add this dry mixture to the cocoa mixture a little at a time until completely incorporated. Stir in the chocolate chips.
3. Place the dough in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Line a baking tray with parchment or use a silicone mat.
4. Preheat the oven to 180º C. Take about a heaped tablespoon worth of dough in your hand and shape it into a rough ball. Make an well in the centre and fill it with a teaspoon of dulce de leche. Cover the well with a flattened piece of dough to seal. Place these on the tray/mat and bake for 20 minutes or until the edges of the cookie are beginning to dry slightly but the centre is still soft. Remove and cool before serving.



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At precisely 2pm every afternoon, post my lunch, I’m hit with an unavoidable sugar craving.


Usually there is a way to fix it – I take a quick walk with a friend and pick up a small pudding cup.
Or I remember there’s chocolate in my bag. Or maybe some blessed soul has brought mithai to office.


But on the days when there is nothing sweet around, I’m a little like this:


Grumpy cat


So I’ve always been on the lookout for something healthy + sweet that I can keep by my desk for those pesky sugar cravings.


And you’ll be please to know – I have found it, my sweet peas.


And here they are.


Mini chocolate discs 1


Made with just dark chocolate and an assortment of dried fruit and nuts, they’re the perfect healthy sweet fix.


Mini chocolate discs 2


You can experiment with what you want to put on the discs – I did coconut, almonds, cashews, prunes and raisins.


Mini chocolate discs 3


Once you have the ingredients, all you have to do is happily plonk the dry fruit and nuts over the chocolate. Or you could arrange them with precision and artistry. Just have fun with it!


Mini chocolate discs 4


Mix and match to make each one look different.


Mini chocolate discs 5


They’re the perfect size when you want a hit of sweetness.


Make some now! :)


Mini chocolate discs 6


2-ingredient mini dark chocolate discs
Adapted from: Undressed Skeleton


Prep time: 5 mins, plus setting
Makes: 12


Ingredients:


125 g dark chocolate
a handful of your favourite dried fruits and nuts


Method:


1. Melt the chocolate in a microwave or in a double boiler. Line a tray with some grease-proof paper.
2. Using a tablespoon, scoop out melted chocolate and create small circles on the paper, flattening gently as you go. Add a mix of dried fruits and nuts over the circles and leave to set in the fridge for about 30 minutes. Remove gently from the paper and eat, or store in a sealed container in the fridge.


*GIVEAWAY ALERT*


Have you guys heard of Food Panda? A website that allows you to order food online, these guys have scouted your city and put together the menus of hundreds of restaurants in your area. It’s super easy to use, really fast and they’ve even listed places with discounts and special vouchers together for your convenience. Pretty cool, right?


Food Panda wants to offer 6 lucky readers a 150/- INR voucher to use the next time you’re hungry! All you have to do visit Food Panda, and tell me which restaurant you’d love to order from. Yup, that simple.


I’ll pick 6 winners by a random draw and announce them in my next post :)


Have a fun week ahead, lovelies!


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You guys know HOW much I love eggs. I first revealed my undying love for them in this post on Creamy baked eggs.


I love their versatility – how you can bake, fry, boil, steam, and poach them. I love how they add their wonderful creaminess to everything you drop them in. They make soups yummier, pies glossier, sandwiches dreamier, and no self-respecting dessert is ever egg-less.


Or so I thought.


I’m the first person to stick up my nose at “egg-less” cakes. I view them with great suspicion, kinda how I view math.


Math problems


But a couple of days ago, I had to bake an egg-less cake. It was for my cousin’s birthday and some of her friends don’t eat eggs. (I need to meet them and set them straight.)


I wanted this cake to be gooey and moist. And that’s quite the opposite of what egg-less desserts usually are.


Then I chanced upon this blog. One look at the picture and I knew I had to try it.


The batter was the first sign this was going to be good.


Egg-less cake batter


The cake came out crazy moist and utterly chocolately. I could not believe that it had no eggs. How was this possible?


Egg-less cake 1


I think the magic ingredients are the yogurt and the coffee mix. Whatever it is, this has become my favourite chocolate cake and you’ve got to try it.


Egg-less cake 2


Sorry, eggs. I still love you. I promise.


Egg-less chocolate cake
Largely adapted from: Maria’s menu


Prep time: 10 mins
Cook time: 35-40 mins
Serves: 10


Inside the cake


Ingredients:


For the cake


220 g plain flour, sifted
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
6 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
165 g sugar
110 ml vegetable oil, plus extra for greasing
1 tbsp strong coffee powder dissolved in 50 ml boiling water
50 ml milk
50 g yogurt
1 tsp vanilla extract


For the frosting


60 g butter, at room temperature
2 heaped tbsp cocoa powder
150 g icing sugar, plus more if needed
2 tbsp hot milk, plus more if needed
1 tsp vanilla extract
sprinkles, optional


Egg-less cake 3


Method:


For the cake


1. Preheat the oven to 180º C. I used a foil tray to bake this cake since I had to transport it, but you can also you a regular 8-inch round cake tin. Grease and line with parchment.
2. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients. Make a gap in the centre and add the wet ingredients. Whisk everything thoroughly until well combined. You should have a smooth batter with no lumps.
3. Pour into the greased tray/tin and bake for 35-40 minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack.


For the frosting and assembling


1. Mix all the frosting ingredients (minus the sprinkles) and whisk together thoroughly till you have a smooth frosting. You can add more icing sugar to make it stiffer, or loosen it with more milk if you like.
2. Once the cake has cooled, transfer it to a serving plate (if you baked in a tin) and cover the top with frosting. Scatter over sprinkles if you wish. This cake is gooey, and doesn’t slice very neatly, but that’s a small price to pay for the yumminess :) If you prefer neat slices, chill for about an hour before slicing.


Look at this happy face. This is why I bake :)


Happy face!



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This is my 100th post.


That means I have sat down in front of a computer exactly 100 times, writing and sharing my recipes and life with you all.


This post is a big, big thank you to all of you for reading, and commenting, and chatting, and being so encouraging. I love you guys!


Now when I asked everyone what they want my 100th post to be about, most said a decadent recipe, others said an embarrassing story, and still others said a top ten list of something fun.


A 100th post is a pretty big deal right? So what do you say we do ALL 3! And I’ll throw in a giveaway for good measure! :D yay!


First up, since we’ve just had Valentine’s Day and all that, I present my romance-themed top ten list.


Here’s my top ten list on How to be irresistible to women. (Since I’m a woman, clearly, I am an authority on this subject. Men I hope you’re reading :P )


1. Cook us a meal. Even if it’s just once in a while. Men who cook are sexy.
2. Be clean. Like not just fancy clothes, but the parts you think no one notices, like your toes and behind your ears.
3. There is no such thing as too much cologne. There is however, a thing as too little.
4. We may pretend we don’t care about things like flowers and chivalry and little surprises, but we secretly do. So be a gentleman.
5. Be good at something. Writing, dancing, being funny, mountain biking. Anything. But definitely something.
6. Love animals. Especially puppies. Don’t cringe when they lick your face and give you kisses. Smile instead.
7. Be an excellent hug giver. Hugs are important. Hugs are crucial. Just hug. And lots. Okay?
8. Read. Non fiction, Game of thrones, Asterix, 50 shades of Grey. Just read. (Don’t pretend you’ve not been tempted to read that last one there.)
9. When we ask you to sing us song, just sing it. We know you’re not Michael Buble. Just sing anyway, won’t you?
10. Be honest. Bare, naked honest. There is nothing we want more.


Ladies, do you agree?


Men, are we asking for too much? No, right? :)


Okay, now for the decadent recipe you wanted. When my friend Stuti brought me back this divine Balsamic vinegar from Modena, I knew I had to do something special with it.


Balsamic vinegar


What did I do? I soaked some strawberries in it and used them to top this Chocolate cheesecake.


Chocolate cheesecake 1


The cheesecake has an oreo base, a chocolate cream cheese centre, is topped with cream, and then balsamic-soaked strawberries with their juices over that.


You ask for decadent, and I deliver decadent baby.


Chocolate cheesecake 2


Eat only one sliver at a time, unless you enjoy passing out from over-eating in the middle of the day.


Mostly I just stared at this gorgeous thing.


Chocolate cheesecake 3


It was sinfully smooth and creamy.


Chocolate cheesecake 4


And the slightly tart and sticky strawberries were such a wonderful foil to the rich, dense, cream cheese.


Chocolate cheesecake 5


Make it on a special occasion and watch it vanish before your very eyes.


Chocolate cheesecake 6


Chocolate cheesecake with balsamic-soaked strawberries


Prep time: 30 mins
Cook time: 65 mins
Serves: 10


Ingredients:


For the cheesecake


2 packets of Oreo cookies, cream removed
2 tbsp butter, melted
250 g dark chocolate
900g cream cheese
225g caster sugar
2 tbsp flour
1 tbsp vanilla extract
4 eggs


For the topping


200ml thick cream
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp caster sugar
about 15-20 strawberries


Method:


For the cheesecake


1. Preheat the oven to 160º C. Put the oreos in a ziplock bag and bash with a rolling pin until you have crumbs. Pour into a bowl, add the melted butter and mix well. Layer the base of a 9-inch springform tin with the crumbs, pressing down well so they are packed tightly. Bake for 5 minutes.
2. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or double boiler and set aside. Using an electric whisk, mix together the cream cheese, sugar, flour, and vanilla extract. Add the melted chocolate and continue mixing. Then add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until everything is well blended. Do not overmix.
3. Pour the cheesecake batter into the tin and bake for 1 hour. Switch off the oven and leave the tin inside until the cheesecake is completely cool. Run a knife around the inside edge of the tin to loosen the sides of the cheesecake and then refrigerate for 2-3 hours once cool.


For the topping


1. Thicken the cream by whipping it well.
2. Mix the balsamic vinegar and caster sugar together. Pour over the strawberries, give it a gentle mix, and set aside for a few minutes.


To assemble


1. Remove the cold cheesecake from the tin carefully and place on the serving plate.
2. Top with the whipped cream and balsamic-soaked strawberries. Pour the juices over and serve in slices.


Chocolate cheesecake 7


For those who wanted to see something embarrassing, I’m sharing this video of my colleagues and I doing the Gangnam style. We performed in front of the whole office and it was crazy amounts of fun. I’m the one in a dark pink tee :P


And now for the **GIVEAWAY**!!! I thought long and hard about what to give away this time, and I finally decided on this book by my most favourite chefs in the whole world.


Your Place or Mine Book


I still can’t believe I cooked for them a few months ago.


The book is full of easy recipes and really cute cartoons, and it’s written in George and Gary’s inimitable style.


To win this wonderful book, just comment below and tell me which is your favourite post on my blog. Yup, that’s it.


I’ll announce the winner by a random draw in 2 weeks time, so comment away :)


Now here’s one last look at the cheesecake. You know you want to.


Chocolate cheesecake 8


Thank you for being so wonderful. Have a happy, happy week ahead!


Love and hugs,
Storm


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It’s one month to Christmas. Welcome to what I call my looney-with-excitement month.


Here’s a taste of some of the Christmas craziness in my life:


- Last Saturday Mom and I bought (wait for it), 10 kilos of dry fruit. Yes, 10.
We got raisins in all colours, shapes, and sizes which will be mixed with walnuts and other stuff and then baked into some deadly good cakes by Dad.


- I’ve done some preliminary gift scouting and 2 3 5 lists have been made. I always struggle with present ideas for men – dad, brothers, uncles, friends. What do you buy the men in your life? Tell me please!


- Mom and I are discussing Christmas party menus every time we talk. Seriously. Every. Single. Conversation. Let me tell you now, some fantastic ideas have been born. If you’re invited to my home for Christmas, you’re in for a treat.


- I’ve changed my ring tone to Baby it’s cold outside. I ADORE Christmasy music. I asked a friend the other day if it was too early for Christmas music and I was laughed at. It isn’t too early, is it? Come on!


- My Christmas madness is totally understood by some adorable friends of mine. I’m discussing gift options with Abhik and decorations with Varun who has already put up his tree! They’re fabulous btw and totally looney about Christmas like me. You should say hello to them on Twitter!


- I bought some sparkly metallic red and green cupcake wrappers. So pretty and perfect for this season! Festive cupcakes shall be made.


What I’m saying is, this is a wonderful time. The build-up to a time with family and friends and celebration. A time of joy and warmth and sharing.


I wish everyone would get into the spirit already!


I know, I know. You’re tired and grumpy and lazy and it’s cold and you just want to curl up and sleep, but if you have 12 minutes and 3 ingredients, I can show you a shortcut way to feeling wonderful.


Make these Nutella brownie bites.



All you need is flour, eggs, and the food of the Gods: Nutella. Everyone has flour and eggs at home. Oh you have jar of Nutella too? You may be my soulmate.


These little bites are fudgy, full of that rich hazelnut chocolate flavour we all love, and delicious both warm from the oven or at room temperature.



Could there BE a simpler way to eat something yummy and ring in the festivities? (Yeah, I totally said that like Chandler :P)



3-ingredient Nutella brownie bites
Recipe adapted from: Laura’s Sweet Spot


Prep time: 5 mins
Cook time: 12 mins
Makes: approx. 30 mini bites



Ingredients:


2 eggs
1 jar (350g) Nutella, at room temperature
10 tbsp plain flour


Method:


1. Preheat the oven to 180º C. Line mini cupcake trays with mini cupcake paper cases. I used about 30.
2. Mix the eggs and Nutella together. Then stir in the flour until everything is well combined. The batter is quite thick and sticky. Don’t worry- it’s supposed to be like that. Spoon about 1 heaped teaspoon full into each paper case and bake for 12 minutes. Cool on a wire rack and eat!



Happy pre-Christmas my lovelies :)

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Dark chocolate tartlets

Much has been said about chocolate.


I’m pretty sure wars have been fought over it.


A box of it is what life is like. (Yes Forrest, I agree.)


It melts at body temperature, which is one reason why we are so completely under its spell.



It’s a proven weapon against Dementors, and I have a feeling it would work equally well against werewolves.


Chocolate fixes things. When I’m having a bad day, 90% of the time, chocolate can make me feel about 75% better almost instantly.


(Okay that was too much math. I feel a bit dizzy.)


I think chocolate is in the same family of things as puppy kisses, mommy hugs, and lazy Saturdays. It brings the kind of happiness that makes you close with eyes with a sigh. It makes you feel like everything is right. Even if it’s just for a while.


In my opinion, the BEST way to eat chocolate (other than straight from a packet) is as ganache.


I’m always looking for ways to eat chocolate ganache in non-crazy manner. Seriously, it’s dangerous when there’s a bowl of silky, dark chocolate ganache around. You could look the other way for 2 minutes and I would have inhaled it.


So I try to be grownup and use the ganache as a cake filling. (Smart, right?)
I sometimes drizzle it over cupcakes. (Genius, I know.)
And then I also roll it into truffles. (Whaaa? You love me? I love you too.)


Always thinking of new ways to transfer ganache from the bowl to my mouth, I decided to try tartlets!


A crisp, slightly salty, pastry shell would be the perfect vehicle for the deliciously chocolately ganache.


I didn’t want to do a butter pastry, since I was already getting my gazillion calories from the tub of ganache.


I decided to try pastry with Canola oil instead- a MUCH healthier alternative and so much quicker than working with butter.


The results were super. The pastry was just right- crumbly and soft, with a touch of salt. It was the perfect foil to the sinful, sweet ganache poured into it.



Chocolate win!



Dark chocolate tartlets


Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 15-25 mins
Makes: 6-7 tartlets or 1 large tart


Ingredients:


250 g plain flour, sifted
1 tsp salt
125 ml Canola oil (I used Hudson), plus extra for greasing
50 ml cold milk
1 egg, beaten


For the chocolate ganache


500 g good-quality dark chocolate
1 tbsp milk
200 ml cream
2 tbsp Cointreau (or any other liqueur of your choice), optional
sugar flowers to decorate, optional


Method:


For the pastry


1. Preheat the oven to 240º C. Mix the flour and salt together in a large bowl.
2. Add the oil and milk and stir vigorously with a fork to combine everything. Then use to your hands to bring the dough together. This will happen quite easily (it’s not a sticky dough) so be careful not to overwork it.
3. Grease small tart tins or one large tart tin (with removable base/s) with oil. Divide the dough and place in the tart tins. Work the dough into and all around the base and sides of the tin using your fingers. Try to keep it in as even a layer as possible.
4. Cover the tins with a piece of baking parchment and top with baking beans. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 10 minutes (small tarts) and 15 minutes (large tart).
5. Remove the parchment and beans. Make a few holes on the base of the pastry with a fork, brush with egg wash, and bake for another 3 minutes (small tarts) and 5 minutes (large tart). Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.


For the chocolate ganache and assembling


1. Chop the chocolate into small pieces. In a double-boiler, melt the chocolate with the milk. Remove and set aside.
2. In a separate bowl, heat the cream over low heat, stirring. Add the Cointreau and stir well. Remove from the heat and pour into the chocolate mixture. Stir well until you have a shiny ganache.
3. Pre-heat the oven to 180º C. Pour the filling into each tart, and pop back in the oven for 2-3 minutes. Remove and cool, before decorating with a sugar flower and placing in the refrigerator for about 2 hours to set.




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You know when you’re having one of those days.


Crawling out of bed requires superhuman strength.


Your hair decides to play a cruel joke on you.


You pull out a shirt to wear and discover a button is missing.


Usually more awful things compound your already miserable day.


Things like paper cuts, annoying emails, vegetarian lunches, and people with too much attitude and too little intelligence.


It often leaves me wondering:



Sometimes I lose it and do a Dory:



Then I call my mom and she doesn’t answer the phone. Then I call my dad and he doesn’t answer. Then I call my brother and he doesn’t answer.


And I’m all like:



Then they all call back and I yell and then I feel sad because the truth is I really miss them :(


I realise I’m being very specific here, but you get the general feeling don’t ya?


When you’re feeling like that, this cake is what you need.



There is a scientific reason behind it: the proportion of the frosting to the cake is directly proportional to the good feelings you will get once it’s in your belly. And this cake is all about the frosting, baby.



Now we could just eat the frosting. And although that sounds soo wrong and soooo right at the same time, we will do the adult thing and smear it over some cake before sticking our face in it. Okay?



Look at this piece. Come to Momma.



More frosting than cake. That is my new motto. It’s a good one, wouldn’t you say?
Have a super super weekend, my darlins!


It’s-all-about-the-(coffee)-frosting cake


Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 25 mins
Serves: 8


Ingredients:


For the cake


80 g plain flour, sifted
40 g cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
120 g caster sugar, sifted
120 g butter, melted and cooled
2 eggs
4 tbsp milk
2 tbsp coffee powder
1 tsp vanilla extract


For the frosting


120 g butter, at room temperature
150 g icing sugar, sifted, plus more if needed
2-3 tsps coffee powder dissolved in 2 tsp warm water
edible sprinkles (optional)


Method:


For the cake


1. Preheat the oven to 180º C. Line a 9-inch square tin with baking parchment and grease lightly.
2. Mix the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and sugar in a bowl. Then add the butter, eggs, and milk, and stir well till you have smooth, glossy batter.
3. Add the coffee powder and vanilla extract and give it another mix.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and bake for about 25 minutes or until the cake moves away slightly from the sides of the tin. Remove from the oven and let it cool a little in the tin. Then remove from the tin, peel off the parchment, and leave to cool completely on a wire rack.


For the frosting


1. For the best frosting evaaaaa, mix the butter, icing sugar, and coffee together. Depending on how stiff you want it, add more icing sugar and continue to mix well until you have your desired consistency. I like it quite gooey and fabulous as you can see :P
2. Smear this delicious stuff over the cooled cake and decorate with edible sprinkles, if you want. (Also, lick the bowl clean. Go ahead, I won’t tell. :D)



Feel better, don’t ya? :D



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