Perfectly Chocolate Cake

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Perfectly Chocolate Cake

 

There are some celebrations which call for indulgence and this cake adds to the joy. It is chocolate nirvana in every bite.

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Perfectly Chocolate Cake Slice

 

It has been really long since I baked a chocolate cake. Also, I have been repeatedly asked by friends and family to share a recipe of an easy chocolate cake for beginners. This cake is simple to bake and the results are awesome.I adapted Hershey’s recipe for the cake and went with a simple ganache for frosting. I made a two layered cake and soaked the layers in softened homemade caramel sauce, but will be skipping this in the recipe mentioned below.

I made the frosting earlier and stored it in the freezer to assemble the cake quickly. You can alternately dust some icing sugar or pour chocolate sauce over the cake, if you don’t wish to frost the cake.

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Use the best chocolate/ cocoa you have as this is all about chocolate.

For the CAKE

Dry Ingredients

1 cup Sugar – powdered

1 cup All-purpose flour / Maida

1/4 cup cocoa powder

3/4 tsp baking soda

3/4 tsp baking powder

Pinch of salt

Wet Ingredients

1/2 cup thick curd (dahi)

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup neutral oil

1 tsp vanilla essence

1/4 + 1/8 cup boiling water

Preheat the oven to 170 degree Celcius.

Sieve together all the dry ingredients in a bowl.

In another bowl mix well all the wet ingredients except the boiling water.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry in two parts and mix well. Do not over mix the batter.

Lastly add the boiling water and mix well. The batter will be very liquid in consistency. Do not worry as this is expected.

Grease a 7” dia pan and place a parchment paper at the bottom. Pour the batter and bake in a preheated oven for 35 mins or until the toothpick inserted in the center doesn’t come out clean. Each oven is different so the time may vary accordingly.

Cool in the pan for 15 mins and then onto the wire rack to cool completely.

For the FROSTING

200 ml cream (I used 25% Amul cream)

250 gms Dark Chocolate

1 tbsp butter

Chop your chocolate in equal sized shards.

Take the cream in a vessel, add butter and heat till just before it reaches the boiling point and take it off the flame.

Add chocolate pieces to it and see that all chocolate is covered with cream and let it rest for few minutes. The heat of the cream will melt the chocolate. Wisk it to form a soft homogenous and lump free mixture and let it cool completely.

Hot ganache (above mixture) will be quite liquid but don’t worry it will become stiff as it cools. Once it cools to room temperature freeze it in air tight container for future use. You need to thaw the ganache to be able to use it.

Fill the cooled frosting  in the piping bag with desired nozzle and pipe the design as per your choice.

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Have fun making this and treat you friends and family . . . .

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Amaranth Coffee Walnut cake

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Amaranth Coffee Walnut Cake

 

Finally the summer vacations are here!!! YAY !

Well, it’s actually Avvi’s vacation . . . . I am still going to office, but still life’s becomes a bit easier. No getting up early, no home work, basically time to explore things other than the routine. I always loved long summer vacations as a kid, even though it used to be really hot and humid in Mumbai. Our days during vacations would start with early morning badminton session, continuing with board games in the afternoon and would finally end with cycling or cricket in the late evening.

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Amaranth Coffee Walnut Cake

 

So, let’s celebrate this year’s vacation with this perfect and wholesome Amaranth Coffee Walnut Cake. I have been trying to include alternative grains in our everyday food and this is an extension of the same. Amaranth is gluten-free, protein-rich and is especially good for children. You can read more about benefits of Amaranth here.

The cake smells heavenly . . . . just out of the oven

The cake smells heavenly . . . . just out of the oven

This is the first time I have baked with Amaranth and it was very satisfying to see the cake rise in the oven.

As I am not a fan of frosted cakes, I have kept it simple by just covering the cake with some icing sugar. I am sure this cake will pair well with some whipped cream or coffee buttercream frosting. Avvi enjoyed it with some chocolate sauce.

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Below mentioned recipe will give you one 7” diameter cake.

Dry Ingredients

 1/2 cup Whole wheat flour

1/4 cup Amaranth flour

little more than 1/4 tsp Baking Soda

pinch of salt

4 tsp of powdered walnut

Wet Ingredients

1/4 + 1/8 cup granulated sugar

1/4 cup yogurt / thick dahi

1/8 cup milk (add 1 tbsp more if required)

1/8 cup neutral oil

1.5 tsp instant coffee (or as per your taste)

 

Preheat the oven to 170 Celcius

Sieve the dry ingredients together except walnut. Then add powdered walnut and mix well.

Blend together all the wet ingredients in a separate bowl. Mix till the sugar dissolves completely.

Now add the dry ingredients to the blended wet ingredients in two parts. Wisk lightly till everything just starts to come together and then gently fold with a silicon spatula. Do not over mix the batter.

Pour the batter in the greased tin and put it inside the preheated oven at 170 degree Celcius for 23 to 27 mins till the toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Once done let the cake cool in the pan for 5 mins and the put it on the wire rack to cool completely. Frost it as per your wish and serve with love.

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Launji (Raw mango dip)

There are some things which tastes perfect only and only when mom makes it, even though you make it using the same recipe.  . . .  Laungi is one such recipe from my mother. This is made every season in our house as soon as small raw mangoes make their appearance in the market. I am not a great fan of panha (raw mango cooler) but this Laungi is a definite visitor every summers.

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Launji

 

The variety of spices used in the recipe come together to give a unique flavour. Laungi is sweet, sour and spicy at the same time. I know it sounds crazy, but believe me it’s true !!! I use laungi as a spread while making a roti n sabzi roll for Avvi’s lunchbox, mix it in everyday dal, use it as a dip with my Savoury Cookies or just eat it plain.

It’s quick to make and stays fine for almost a week and half at room temperature here in Mumbai.

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To make this dip you shall require following ingredients;

250 gms raw mango

Green chillies as per your taste (Here I have used 3 nos of less spicy chillies)

1/4 tsp methi seeds (fenugreek)

1/4 tsp kalonji (nigella seeds)

1/4 tsp jeera (cumin)

1/4 tsp rai (black mustard)

Pinch of hing

1/2 tsp saunf (fennel)

2 tbsp oil (I have used groundnut oil)

Salt as required

1/8 tsp haldi (turmeric powder)

4 tbsp  sugar

Peel, deseed and chop mangoes in cubes along with green chillies.

In a heavy bottom non reactive pan, heat oil and add methi, kalonji, jeera, rai and hing. (Use low to medium heat) Lastly add saunf and soon after add chopped mangoes and chillies. Stir well and close the lid. Add couple of tbsps of water over the lid.

Cook for 2 to 3 mins till the mangoes start to become soft. After removing the lid, add haldi, salt, sugar and mix well. Let the sugar melt completely and remove the vessel off the burner. On cooling completely transfer into a clean jar.

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