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.

Sundae Funday at Lakeview Cafe: Renaissance Mumbai

Hello Friends!

I was overjoyed to be invited into the kitchen’s of the Renaissance Mumbai Convention Centre, yet once again.This time it was for the Valentine’s Day event at the Lake View Cafe.In keeping with the theme,I was asked to provide some of my favourite recipes for Sundae’s.The idea being,getting  diner’s at the restaurant to go ahead and make up their own creations for either themselves, their spouse or their friends. What a wonderful way of saying “Happy Valentines’s. Rhomesecrets is an initiative by the  Renaissance in collaboration with SecretIndianrecipe to bring traditional Indian home flavours to life in a five-star hotel kitchen.It was indeed a great experience to have participated in the home chefs event and I certainly look forward to many such opportunities.

Here is an image of the decadent Brownie A la Mode that I  whipped up..The event took place at the Hokey Pokey Ice-cream cart at the restaurant.The diner’s had a choice of making up Sundaes of their choice,pairing it with Brownie’s, assorted garnishes such as Blueberry Compote,Sour Cherries,Chocolate chips,Nuts and Fresh fruit too.Alternatively they could get their ice cream fix on the cold stone slab where multiple flavour’s could be  combined and topped off with sprinkles and sauce’s of their choice.

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Chocolate Pots & Raspberries: Will You be My Valentine?

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

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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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A Chef’s Recipe:Beetroot Halwa

 

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Bangalore, a city in southern India most popularly know as the Pub City is also host to a plethora of South India restaurants and eateries. The cuisine offered  can range from authentic Karnataka cuisine to even delicacies from Andhra Pradesh and Hyderabad.A recent trip turned out to be a quite a delightful one indeed with the hubs and me partaking in the ever famous Hyderabadi Biryani at Nagarjunas,the finger-licking good Dosa’s and Wada Sambar at MTR, going down the foodie trail at the ever so vibrant Fraizer Town and of course bar hopping in the evenings.We stayed at The Gateway Hotel which is located in the older part of Bangalore and is still as charming as ever. Since most afternoons and evenings were spent exploring the streets of the city,our breakfast most often would be a choice from what was offered at the hotel buffet. Now you are probably wondering why one would give such importance to a hotel buffet?

Well lets say his one was a quite an exceptional fare of a mix of Indian breakfast items and a reasonable selection to appeal to the International palette as well.On one such morning after having a small portion of the regular South India fare,I decided to indulge some Beetroot halwa that stood simmering on a burner at a central display of an assortment of desserts.Rather unusual to serve that for breakfast I thought! Just as well,it was the most delectable halwa I’ve ever sampled.Every morsel just a delicate hint of softened beetroot with hints of fresh Mawa and crunchy pistachios. I absolutely had to ask the hotel kitchen for this recipe.I went right ahead and let the wait staff know of my intentions and asked to speak with the Chef for the restaurant. Continue reading