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Archive for April, 2013

Sometimes, just sometimes, when you bake something, you know baking fairies are hovering around you in your kitchen.


There’s a magical feeling in the air. Everything works just the way it’s supposed to.


You’ll find yourself smiling.


And you’ll know because the cake will bake evenly, and to just the right degree – firm, yet soft.


The frosting will almost whip itself up into a fluffy bowl of creamy, delicious goodness.


And when you cut a slice and taste it, you’ll know you’ve been given special baking blessings.


This is what happened with this wonderful cake.


Baileys cake 1


Look how the yummy whipped frosting peeps out so sweetly.


Baileys cake 2


The cake itself was buttery and soft, with a hint of cinnamon and chocolate. The frosting, loaded with Baileys was sweet and so decadent.


Baileys cake 3


And look, just look at this slice.


Baileys cake 4


Come to Momma.


Baileys cake 5


If you love Baileys, you will love this. It’s an explosion of subtle flavours in your mouth- sometimes coffee, sometimes sugary, sometimes chocolaty.


Baileys cake 6


It’s really quite simple to make too! Give it a whirl and see πŸ™‚


The Ulimate Baileys Cake


Largely adapted from: Irish Genealogy Toolkit


Prep time: 25 mins
Cook time: 45-50 mins
Serves: 10


Ingredients:


For the cake


100 g butter, softened, plus a little extra for greasing
1 tsp salt
1 tsp cinnamon
1 heaped tsp cocoa powder
175 g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
200 caster sugar
2 eggs, separated
120 ml Baileys (any flavour)
a big handful of chocolate chips


For the frosting


75 g butter, softened
175 g icing sugar, plus a little more if needed
2 tbsp Baileys


For the icing top


100 g icing sugar
2 tsp Baileys, plus a little more if needed


Method:


For the cake


1. Preheat the oven to 180ΒΊ C and grease a 6 inch round tin (with a removable base) with butter. Sift together the the salt, cinnamon, cocoa powder, flour, and baking powder. Set aside.
2. Whisk the butter and sugar together in a large bowl. Add the egg yolks and mix well again. Now add the flour mixture and the Baileys alternately, in small quantities, mixing well until you have a smooth batter.
3. Whisk the egg whites until stiff. Mix one spoon of the stiff whites into the batter and stir vigorously. Then add the rest of the egg whites and fold into the batter very gently.
4. Pour the batter into the greased tin and bake for 45-50 minutes. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. Once cool, remove and leave on a wire rack, before slicing in half horizontally.


For the frosting


Whisk together all the ingredients, adding a little more sugar if you like it stiffer. Set aside.


For the icing top


Mix together the ingredients until you have a sludgy icing mixture. Set aside.


To assemble


1. Place the bottom layer of the cake on a serving plate. Spread the frosting evenly over this layer, and cover with the top layer.
2. Pour the icing over the top layer, and immediately scatter over the chocolate chips. Cut into slices and serve.


Thank you my baking fairies. Please make my house your home πŸ™‚


Baileys cake 7


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The Mughal empire gave India, among other things, literature, architecture, music and art.


It also left behind a lasting tradition of Mughal food – food fit for kings.


Royal red


The last emperor in particular, Bahadur Shah Zafar was known for his love of food. His royal kitchen witnessed food made with dry fruits, herbs and spices. Fresh fruits and vegetables were often prepared with meat, while unusual ingredients like orange blossom, jasmine flowers and pomegranate juice were used in special preparations.


To celebrate this very distinct cuisine, WelcomHotel Sheraton, New Delhi has an ongoing food festival called The Last Mughal – food from the kitchens of Bahadur Shah.


Sid, Aishwarya, Christine and I went to Baywatch, the all-day dining restaurant at WelcomHotel Sheraton for a taste.


There was an elaborate buffet (lots of choices for both vegetarians and non vegetarians), but here’s a look at what I enjoyed.


The Mahi Badam Qaliya was a rich dish of sole shaped into small balls with a slivered almond centre.


Mahi badam qaliya


The Murg Dilruba was chicken cooked in yogurt and spices with dry fruits. What was interesting was that the chef told us the chicken was marinated and then cooked in the marinated juices without the addition of anything else.


Murgh dilruba


I really liked the slow-cooked Subz Haleem. Being a strong supporter of the non-vegetarian version of this dish, I myself was suprised by how similar it tasted to the meatier version.


Subz Haleem


Tursh-e-paneer was a delicate, white almond gravy in which sat melt-in-the-mouth paneer rolls stuffed with dried plums and spring onions.


Tursh e paneer


The Yakhani pulao was a good accompaniment to all the dishes, as was the crispy Garlic naan that was brought to us at the table.


Yakhani pulao


There were also 3 types of raita – beetroot (sweet), cucumber (fresh), and Bhurrani (spicy). All three were distinctly flavoured and very refreshing.


Lauki raita


Here’s a look at my plate. As you can see, it was a complete meat feast.


My plate


Another dish I enjoyed was the Qeema Hari Mirch, although I thought it looked and tasted like chicken and not lamb as the chef mentioned.


To end, we had a delightfully creamy Phirni – not too heavy and not too sweet. Just right.


Phirni


If you want to try these dishes and more, here are the deets:


Venue- Baywatch, WelcomHotel Sheraton, New Delhi
Date & Time – Dinner (Buffet)- 15th-21st April
Price- 1750/- plus taxes


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What does the word “brunch” conjure in your mind?


Lazy afternoons? Sun-kissed tables? Family time?
Mimosas? Bellinis? Bloody Marys?
Cheese platters? Fresh bread? Garden-fresh salads?


Brunch is interpreted in many unique ways across the world, but it usually is a languorous meal between 11 am and 3 pm, involving all kinds of food and drinks.


This is why I was intrigued by the idea of the Sunday Brunch & Sundowner at the 24/7 Restaurant in The Lalit, New Delhi – which starts in the afternoon and melts, most blissfully, into late evening.


Let me paint you a picture.


You begin at 1 pm.


Start with a colourful salad. How do you like kiwi, mandarin and beetroot?


1. fruit salad


Now a nibble of sushi.


2. sushi


How about a crumbling of stinky blue cheese?


3. blue cheese


Perfect with a warm spinach bun.


4. warm bun


Let’s wash this down with some champagne, shall we?


5. champagne


Now, maybe we step out for a while. I love Alfresco seating on a pleasant day πŸ™‚


6. al fresco seating


Sausages, lamb, fish, paneer, kebabs – all barbecued up in front of us.


7. barbecue


Oh you know what I’m missing? A plump prawn.


8. prawn


Step back inside for a slice of pizza now?


9. pizza


Or a swift slice from the revolving shawarma stand?


10. shawarma


The chef can rustle up a Chinese stir fry just for you.


11. chinese stirfry


Or would you prefer Indian tawa veggies?


12. indian tawa veggies


Maybe you feel like the creamiest pototoes ever?


13. creamy potatoes


With a piece of chicken, a side of pork, some button mushrooms, and some crispy skinned fish?


14. meat feast


This place does the BEST salsa. These are the four types on offer: Pineapple (my fav), cucumber, sun-dried tomato, and regular.


15. salsa


Time for a another glass of bubbly.


16. bubbly


Now we shall sit outside for a while. Don’t we look happy? πŸ™‚


17. happy faces


Gossip and conversations with old friends who are family are an essential brunch component.


Dessert time! Fruit tarts, carrot cake, pistachio cake, or the creamiest panna cotta you’ve ever eaten. Once of each, I say!


18. dessert


We’ll wind down with some green tea please. And suddenly- it’s 6 pm.


19. green tea


What a wonderful, wonderful way to spend a Sunday. The brunch price at The Lalit also includes the use of the pool (perfect for hot summer days) and a complimentary pedicure/manicure at the hotel spa- Rejuve (really takes a relaxed brunch to the next level!).


20. al fresco


Head over to The Lalit, New Delhi, Barakhamba Avenue, Connaught Place for a blissfully lazy and decadently delicious Sunday πŸ™‚


Prices: 3000 +taxes for the Alcohol buffet, 2200 +taxes for the Non-Alcohol buffet, and 1500 +taxes for Kids.
Timing: 1 pm – 6:30 pm
Venue: 24/7 restaurant and Al fresco
For reservations, call + 91 11 4444 7777, Ext. 331


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Meeting David Rocco

One of the best parts about food blogging is the opportunity to meet brilliant, talented chefs who have so much to share.


I have a thing for chefs. And I have Pinterest board to prove it.


But I have an even bigger thing for chefs with no hair or not much hair. Yes, I’m weird.


So I don’t need to tell you what happened when I met this man.


David Rocco 1


David Rocco, for those of you who live under a rock, is a fabulous Italian chef. He’s done several tv shows, but my favourite is called David Rocco’s Dolce Vita. In it, he roams the Italian countryside with his friends, family, and miscellaneous cute animals, cooking up honest, fresh, home-style Italian food.


David is currently in India shooting a brand new tv show that’ll be on air later this year. ITC hotels have been hosting him and I had the fantastic opportunity to meet him twice!


The first meeting where I was all goo-goo eyed happened at ITC Rajputana in Jaipur.


With David Rocco


You can read about it here.


The second meeting (where I was still goo-goo eyed) happened just last week at ITC Maurya in Delhi.


A group of Delhi food bloggers had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to enjoy an intimate sit-down lunch with David Rocco at Westview in ITC Maurya.


We ate some delicious Italian food (all David’s own recipes) paired with Fratelli wines.


Here’s a look at the yummies.


First course was Rigatoni con Pomodori e Melanzane (Neapolitan style pasta with eggplant and Mozzarella sauce) paired with Fratelli Sauvignon Blanc.


Neapolitan style pasta


The pasta was an example of how just a few simple ingredients can result in a delicious, wholesome dish. The sauce was the right mix of cheese and tomato, with small bits of fried eggplant.


Second course was Saltimbocca di Pollo (Chicken with prosciutto and sage, cooked in Marsala), beet risotto, and baby carrots with cilantro, paired with Fratelli Sangiovese.


Chicken with prosciutto and sage


The pretty pink beetroot risotto was perfectly done – the right amount of bite and full of flavour. David was a little skeptical about whether we’d find it underdone to our taste, but we assured him we loved it.


To end, we had Torta Caprese (flourless chocolate cake) and Zabaglione con Frutti di Bosco (mixed fruits with espresso zabaglione). I enjoyed the dense cake and the bits of almond that I happily discovered in every bite. The zabaglione however, was a bit too egg-y for my taste, though I loved the coffee flavour.


Zabaglione


Through the meal, David shared his experiences with us in his signature candid, lovable style.


We chatted about olive oil in India and Italy. He told us how some working professionals in Italy, take a week off work and go olive picking. They then get paid for their labour in top-notch olive oil which they use for the rest of the year. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to have something like that here? I love the idea.


David Rocco 2


He also spoke about the importance of making the best of the ingredients you have. David himself often shops at the “back of the store” where you get ingredients that have been on the shelf for a few days, and are past their prime. For things like tomatoes that have to go into a sauce or eggplant that can be fried, you can use produce that is not in the front of the store (and the most expensive). It’s such a great way to discourage waste and learn how to cook delicious food with whatever is at hand. I just love the fact that a world-famous chef, who can have his pick of the best ingredients, still chooses to do this.


David Rocco 3


These days there is much talk about making your own pasta – so I asked David what he thought about it. I learnt from him, that making fresh pasta isn’t something that is always preferred. It works for some dishes, but for some, dry pasta is certainly preferable. If store-bought pasta is good enough for David Rocco, it’s good enough for me baby!


I can’t wait for his show to be aired in India – it’s going to be awesome.


A big thank you to ITC for this wonderful opportunity.


And thank you David, for being so warm and wonderful.


DSC_0757


We need more chefs like you- chefs who are passionate about their food, and want to share that knowledge.


Oh one last thing. David Rocco gives the best hugs ever. Just look πŸ™‚


David and me


Here’s a collage Sangeeta made for me. (I love her btw) You can see how smitten I am πŸ˜›


David and me collage


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