Hallo from Belgium! – Nigella’s Chocolate Cookies

Hello folks! I’m back to Europe, more precisely in the country of chocolate, waffles, french fries – Belgium as post doctoral researcher, after a wonderful long break in India. Under extreme threats and social pressure I’m doing this blog post (read happiness included). Hopefully soon I will regain my enthusiasm for doing regular post, which I honestly want to. Belgium so far has been good, great chocolates, french fries with mayannoise (as a meal along with meat or veggies? hello excuse me? that’s what i felt for the first time), now I’m getting accustomed to it, rather liking it. But still would prefer on the rainy day with salt and pepper to nibble away! Very good dairy products straight from farm, fantastic oranges, I’m totally in love these fresh bright little ones……and I’m yet to explore others. Though I know we get pretty good beer’s here…. its never my territory! Aah and thanks to institutes I work, for being situated away from the city it gives me a chance to be in  picturesque cities.  Will promise to post some pictures! 
Anyhow people, this is a very basic post to say we are alive. Made this cookies to give me some energy  during tea time at work, this is third time i’m doing this cookies, totally chocolatey! Go for it, trust me it can be addictive!! To all those people who kept this space alive and running, a huge thanks. I have something very special for all my blog readers from India, so tune in for more in the coming weeks! First food pictures from Belgium, with no proper prop and setting, excuse the harsh lightings and deep shadows. 

For Recipe Jump to

Doll House – Zucchini chocolate cake

I finally started to go through my hard drive. These pictures are from summer 2010 (couldn’t skip though it is old) when I visited a friend’s baby girl’s first birthday party. A doll house was exclusively built for her, in their garden beside the lake. The doll house was extremely adorable, with little bed, dinning table, kitchen utensils, toys and chairs. Party was filled candies, chocolate, desserts and kids high on sugar. Those were the days when I was learning portraits, still learning, it is tough with kids, so it was a fun evening. The b’day girl was center of attraction, a social baby and she enjoyed her day completely. I had this cake at the party, I couldn’t come out without asking for the recipe simply because it was delicious, later I paid back her mum with party pictures. Today is writers block day for me, it took more than one hour to write this (in state of shock to see pic untouched from 2009). I tweaked this recipe to my own choice, but unfortunately didn’t note down the changes. So i’m giving you the original recipe, this makes a  large portion, coffee table at work saved me, feel free to half it or just go by this! Happy baking! 

                                       she wasn’t happy when so many were entering her territory

                                             She had great fun seeing what everyone gave her

Ingredients
(It is according to finnish conversion in a day or two will give the measurement in gram)
6 dl  wheat  flour
4 dl sugar
1.5 dl cocoa powder
2 dl oil
5 dl grated zucchini
2 teaspoons  baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons vanilla sugar
2 eggs
70 gram chopped walnuts
dash of cream

Preheat the oven to 175 C
Mix everything together, pour the mixture in a prepared large rectangular cake pan or any cake pan. Bake for 45 min till the knife inserted comes out clean. Could be served with whipped cream or vanilla sauce.

Happy New Year – Chocolate Caramel Cake

HAPPY NEW YEAR …Oh was that too loud being late since we are already in the new year? it doesn’t matter isn’t it? Hope you all partied hard, had fun and very warmly embraced new year.Myself and mum had a great new year eve. We were in fun filled Desi party, with enormous amount of food, fire crackers and gallons of fun. I made vindaloo chicken, spicy enough for the cold night and chocolate caramel cake for cake cutting ceremony. It was one of the longest parties (12 hrs) we talked, discussed, laughed, played games….and big hangover after that…:pAfter a day full of sleep I recovered. This year for the first time in my life I took a resolution, that was by hook or by crook I have to complete my PhD…..God are you listening? Fingers crossed.

Another unforeseen surprise was I bagged DMBLGiT’s originality award for my picture. It gave me a great motivation to start the year and brought the feel good atmosphere around me :D. With all goody goody thoughts around me one thing that struck my mind was “reflection”. I reflect the deeds I do, my soul reflect the thoughts I think and my reaction reflects the action I do. I’m going to keep a constant check of all these within myself to get a clear reflection of self and there by put a foot forward for a clear world. Possibly you will see that in my pictures in this post.

With the end of “just my thoughts” I wish you lovely people a blessed, glorious, successful, wealthy, healthy and cheerful happy new year.

I adapted the recipe from here. Made some mild modification. My addition was caramel cream layers to the cake.

Caramel Cream
35gram Castor sugar sifted
25gram Brown sugar
2tbsp Butter
3tbsp Milk
1/2tsp Vanilla extract
Method
In a saucepan, melt the butter, add in milk and brown sugar. When they start to melt take them away from heat. Very slowly whisk in sifted caster sugar until it is uniformly mixed. Let them cool for about 2 to three hours. It will become like a thick creamy texture.
(I made two batch of caramel cream)
Chocolate Ganache
250ml Fresh cream
250gram Dark chocolate chopped (But I used milk chocolate)
30gram Butter
Bring the cream to boil in a sauce pan. Remove from heat and throw in the chocolate and let them rest for 2 minutes then add butter and let aside for about 5 to 10 minutes and very gently mix the chocolate till they become glossy let them rest for about two hours they will gradually thicken up.

Ingredients
Chocolate Cake.
5 eggs
75gram Sugar
70gram All purpose flour
30gram Cocoa Powder ( I used organic)
40gram Cooking Dark Chocolate
50gram Butter
1/2 tsp of Baking powder (due to coldness I preferred to add some baking powder)
1/2 tsp Vanilla extract

Method
Melt the chocolate in a double boiler till they are melted and let them aside to cool down.
Separate yolk and white part of the eggs.
Sieve cocoa powder, all purpose flour and baking powder
Beat butter and sugar until light and airy. Add egg yolk and beat until they become creamy and fluffy. Now add dry ingredients by three parts and very gently fold into the mixture. Now add the melted chocolate and fold in gently. Next beat the white egg until single peak is formed. Now fold in the egg white to the cake batter. Pour the cake batter into the 18cm prepared cake pan. Bake them in to preheated oven at 170C to about 25 to 30 minutes.

(I made two batches so that i could get four layers)

Assemble
I baked the cake the previous day so that they would cool down to room temperature. 
Very carefully halve the cakes. Select one good bottom part of the cake and let them aside to use it as a top layer.
Place one halve of the cake, then pour in one batch of caramel cake and spread uniformly. Then place next half (upper part) of the cake pour in chocolate ganache spread uniformly. Then again place next upper halve of the cake. Pour in next batch of caramel cream spread uniformly. Now place the good bottom part of cake. (Make sure bottom part of the cake is facing upwards this helps to get the uniform spread of ganache.)  Now generously spread the ganache and do any kind of decoration of your choice :)

For caramel basket check this dam good video :)

Heaven on earth! Finnish summer cottage Part2-Lemon Chocolate pound cake

After a great holiday in Vienna, was on vacation hang-over for almost week, the reason for late part2. Coming back to summer cottage, yes this time we were again on the lake side, but weather Goddess was in bad mood, we had gray clouds and showers! We spent evening indoors. Sitting in front of large window we could see whole lake thro’ trees. Trust me I could sit hours staring. Sometime silence are best for humans, I had time for introspection, clearing my wandering thoughts finally some peace. within few hours I felt like my mind was devoid of thoughts, which is very rare. God heaven, felt light relaxed and happy.
                                                                          Curtain in my room

Chocolate Raspberry Cupcakes

Writing the first line of your first blog is harder than writing a thesis or book. I’m extremely self-conscious right now, hoping it to fade away as the journey of new conversation evolves. Will slowly unfurl my thoughts, experience and how I came up with such a far-fetched idea.

Gorgeous blend of two dark yummies