Chocolate Is The Key To Happiness…Easy Chocolate Gateaux

Chocolate is the key to happiness…

It’s been a hectic and busy  start to 2017 to say the least. I realise we are into May already.I can’t recall when I last sat  down with my cup of coffee and got down to posting for my blog.

I now teach at a Hospitality Institute here in Mumbai and head  the Bakery & Patisserie program. It’s been one fabulous year and I love what I do…which is teach of course.

Teaching: A Rewarding Profession

Keep Calm and Bake on! The quintessential mantra in my kitchen as I begin my day at The RPH Institute of Hospitality Management. A sense of utmost tranquility prevails when I come in to commence preparation for the class.

Of course this is the calm before the storm. Welcome to my world of elevated excitement interspersed with high decibels of noise and commotion, as I take on my task of instructing a bunch of enthusiastic bakers that are keen on bakery specialization The students arrive and I begin with a talk on how Baking is a Science.

“Measure, Measure and Measure”, accurately I chime in a high-pitched tone to set the rule for the baking session, as getting things done to perfection is what I strive for, when I teach. After all baking is all about measuring to the T. The advice is heeded by most and it’s a pleasure to see some very talented baker’s in my class. Each session of the bakery practical covers various hands on methods of Bread making, Various Cakes & Pastries and Desserts.

Teaching is indeed a rewarding profession. The reward is more emotional, especially when your students excel and create exceptional work.

School’s out and I’m on a month’s summer break now. This morning I managed to take a quick peek into my blog account after ages. I have been meaning to share my favourite to go  recipe for an easy and decadent Chocolate Gateaux smothered with  an equally rich and creamy Chocolate ganache, dusted with chocolate shavings and garnished with fresh raspberries. an absolute  show stopper and perfect for summer entertaining.

Hope you all are having a wonderful summer.

Chocolate Gateaux with Ganache Frosting (Serves 8)
INGREDIENTS:
• 2 cups sugar
• 1-3/4 cups all-purpose flour ( 218 grams)
• 3/4 cup Cocoa (96 grams)
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking powder
• 1-1/2 teaspoons baking soda
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 2 eggs
• 1 cup milk
• 1/2 cup vegetable oil
• 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
• 1 cup boiling water 

Directions:
1. Heat oven to 180 C. Grease and flour one 9 inch round baking pan.
2. Sift flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Then stir in the s
ugar. Add eggs, milk, oil and vanilla; beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans.
3. 3 Bake 30 to 35 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes; remove from pans to wire racks. Cool completely.
4. Divide the cake into two halves using a very sharp knife.
5. Frost with chocolate ganache. Dust with some chocolate shavings and garnish with fresh raspberries.


FOR THE GANACHE:
• 250 grams(9 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips
• ½ cup water
• ¾ cup butter
1. Place the chocolate chips and water in a small saucepan .Now place this saucepan over a pan filled with water and place on medium heat .Keep stirring till all the chocolate melts.
2. Once the chocolate has melted. Keep aside from fire.
3. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the melted chocolate till completely incorporated.

Decadent & Delicious: Chocolate & Peanut Butter Truffles

Anything is good if it is made with Chocolate…

Chocolate & Peanut Truffles

 

Chocolate and Peanut butter lovers are in for a treat with these oh so delicious mini truffles.I have been experimenting with a couple of recipes now.The recipe below is one which has been adapted from deliciouslyyum.com. All though ,I have tweeked the recipe and added my own twist by coating them with some crushed peanuts and sprinkles.Die hard chocoholics may even choose to leave them with a smooth chocolate coating.

Well those of you who  have been following my blogging journey have probably seen me make these up for a kids at a no bake workshop a couple of years ago.They absolutely love getting their hands messy with chocolate and making up these truffles.The creamy peanut butter interior is perfectly paired with a delicious dark chocolate coating.I also like to use an alternative recipe that uses Cream cheese,Peanut butter and Melted Chocolate.Either ways they turn out great.The summer holidays are upon us,so do go  ahead and make these up with your kids.The flavours of Chocolate and peanut butter are sure to evoke some of your best childhood memories.The combination of these contrasting flavours are quite  similar to the Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.Now that is probably my son’s childhood favorite treat while growing up in Toronto.

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Chocolate Pots & Raspberries: Will You be My Valentine?

Love is just Love…It can never be explained.♥

Watermark

Ah yes, if it’s a decadent chocolate post  mingled with sweet nothing’s and love, it’s got to be that special time of  the year. Valentine’s Day is just around the corner and everything seems like looking through rose-tinted glasses.Right from heart-shaped boxes filled with chocolates, red roses,cards professing undying love, special romantic dinner’s, exotic getaways’ and pink champagne on ice.

Yes,I’ve done it all.I have been wooed,wined and dined in style on various Valentine’s with my darling hubs.However the one memory closest to my heart is my first Valentine’s with him  many years ago.We were newly weds and I was moving to live with him in the Middle East. Not knowing what to really give him ,I got him a bright Red heart-shaped pillow that had “I Love you”, embroidered in white, and I picked  up one for myself as well. He had planned a  special home-coming for me too.A table setting for two with a lovely meal all laid out , a dozen red roses, some bubbly  and a sweet little note stuck on the Kitchen counter that read “Welcome home Shy”.The simple joys of life that I cherish till this day.

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Baked Brown Butter Doughnuts with Chocolate Glaze

 “Between the optimist and the pessimist, the difference is droll. The optimist sees the doughnut; the pessimist the hole!

   

Doughnuts watermark

Yes I’m insanely mad over chocolates and desserts and cake. But never have been much into doughnuts. While a chocolate glazed doughnut and a coffee is a match made in heaven for most, It has  never grabbed my fancy.Perhaps a Crueller with a coffee once in away at a Krispy Kreme and that was as much I would indulge in them. However I’ve  often toyed with the idea of making some up for the dear son. My mum would make the fried mini ones when we were kids and sure I could borrow her recipe.But just the thought of a deep-fried greasy as ever doughnut was enough to keep me away. ( Mind you I loved the ones she made ,as a kid) Why cant one bake them instead, is something I’ve often wondered?

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Chocolate Cake: This one’s for you JD

Today I got down to baking this moist and gooey Chocolate cake.I’d rather call it “THE ULTIMATE CHOCOLATE DECEDENCE”.The best ever chocolate-y cake ever.Quite an easy one to put together.This one’s actually the celebration cake in our home.Sure enough for very Birthday,Anniversay and now even on Valentines,I land up baking this one.No special day today….just thought to myself…well chocolate needs no occasion right? Also given the fact that everyone in my family is a Chocoholic this one wont last that long.

The icing is a smooth,dark and velvety one.I’ve used dark chocolate(70%) cocoa.Lindt makes a good one for the icing.I’ve used some roughly chopped walnuts over the icing(that’s just me,love walnuts in practically everything) And then dusted it with some icing sugar…

 Love at First Bite….

Irresistable Chocolate decadence….I’m going to have to join the Chocoholics anonymous soon.Hope you find an occasion in your homes to bake this gorgeous cake.

INGREDIENTS:

  • 9 tablespoons Cocoa powder
  • 11/2 cups All Purpose Flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 ounces unsalted butter
  • 11/2 cups sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coffee(instant)
  • 1/2 cup milk

For the icing:

  • 1 bar(9 ounces) cooking chocolate(70% cocoa)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter(11/2 sticks)

METHOD:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350F
  2. Grease two 9″x2″ cake pans and line then with parchment paper.(cut out in circles)
  3. Sift the cocoa,flour,baking powder and the baking soda into one bowl.
  4. Beat the sugar and butter together till light and creamy.It should be pale yellow in colour.
  5. In a separate bowl beat both the eggs together till mixed well.
  6. Mix the coffee and milk in another bowl.
  7. Mix the dry ingredients with the butter a little at a time till nice and smooth.
  8. 8.Add the coffee mixture to the above and lastly add the beaten eggs.
  9. Divide this batter into the 2 pans and bake for about 25 minutes or till done.

FROSTING:

  1. Melt the chocolate by using the double boiler method.
  2. Stir occasionally.
  3. Remove from pan when fully melted.
  4. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk it into the melted chocolate.
  5. Keep whisking this till the mixture is nice and smooth.
  6. Cool and spread over the cake.
  7. Sprinkle chopped walnuts
  8. Dust gently with some icing sugar.

Enjoy browsing through my blog…with love from my kitchen to yours.Look forward to your comments.