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Stepping Into a New World- Dotty Chocolate Chip Cake

My friend Esther’s daughter turns thirteen today, she is stepping into a whole new world! What significance could I have given to her on this unique day of her life, that her approaching days in her life will  only be multi-coloured, vivid and vibrant just like our dreams.  To celebrate and honour this occasion, I made this moist and rich dotty chocolate chip  cake for her, not to mention oh so delicious and oh so dream!!.
175 gms soft margarine,
17gms caster sugar,
3 eggs beaten,
175 gms plain flour,
1 tsp baking powder,
1 tsp baking powder,
2 tbsp cocoa powder,
55gms white chocolate chips,
40 gms small coloured sweets to decorate
For the icing
175 gms milk chocolate or plain chocolate,
100 gms unsalted butter,
1 tbsp golden syrup
Preheat the oven to 170C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Grease a 20 cm/ 8 inch round cake tin and line the base with baking paper.
Place the margarine, sugar, eggs, flour, baking powder and cocoa powder in the bowl and beat until just smooth. Stir in the chocolate chips, mix evenly.
Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and spread the top level. Bake in the heated oven for 45 minutes, until risen and firm to the touch. Leave to cool in the tin for5 minutes, then turn out and finish cooling completely on a wire rack.
For the icing, place the chocolate, butter and golden syrup  in a saucepan over a low heat and stir until just melted and smooth.
Remove from the heat and leave to cool until it begins to thicken enough to leave a trail when the spoon is lifted. Pour the icing over the top of the cake, allowing it to drizzle down the sides. Arrange the sweets over the top of the cake!

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Indian Korma, the British Way

Life is full of suprises. Sometimes amusing ones. When I came to Britan years ago, it was shocking but at the same time so marvelous to see Indian restaruants more in number than Fish Chips.  I was enormously elated to see Britan’s affection for Indian curries. But life had a one more surprise to unfurl.  A couple of weeks ago, I came across a British Chef, who was just not passionate about eating Indian food, but totally zealous about cooking authentic Indian curries. This was my opportunity of learning the much loved victuals of natives around, the Root Vegetable Korma being one of them. This mild and creamy curry is a vegetairan’s delight, the freshness bursting from the fresh herbs  and sweetness from the nuts makes this dish so splendid.

1 large or 2 small parnship, peeled rough , 1 inch cubed,
1 medium swede, peeled and rough, 1 inch cubed.
4 medium carrot, peeled rough 1 inch cubed,
1 tin cocunut milk,
6 cardomon pods, dehusked and ground,
2 inch cinnamon bark or stick,
2 tsp minced chilli,
2 tbsp vegetable oil,
2 onions, roughly chopped,
3 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped,
1 inch piece of ginger, grated,
2 tsp ground cumin,
2 tsp ground coriander,
2 tsp tumeric,
Season to taste salt; 2 pinches sugar, black pepper,
50 ml single or double cream,
100 cashew nuts, roughly chopped,
2 tbsp Fresh coriander, chopped

Place vegetables in pan, add cocunut milk, cardomon, cinnamon and chill and bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Cover and allow to stand. Heat oil in a heavy bottomed pan, add onions and allow to soften but not to color. Add garlic and ginger and cook gently for 2 minutes.
Add cumin, coriander and turmeric, toast the spices for a couple of minutes. Add the spice mix to vegetables along with half the cashews, salt, pepper and sugar. Cook for further 10 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Allow to cool for  2 minutes then stir in the cream. Toast the remaining cashews and sprinkle these and chopped coriander over the dish, serve immediately.

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White Chocolate Coffee Gateau

It’s my very dear friend Jane’s birthday today and yes ofcourse I am the girl who bakes cakes for all the birthdays in my family and for my friends around, and as much as I thought I am cheeky enough to unearth what would be the best flavour the birthday girl’s favourite cake, today I was left surprised to see my friend waiting for her favourite cake because she was smart enough to understand what was the process of me discovering out her favourite flavour. Well, surprises for a surprise coffee gateau birthday cake!!!
40 gms unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing,
85 gms white chocolate,
125 gms caster sugar,
4 large eggs, beaten,
2 tbsp very strong black coffee,
1 tsp vanilla extract,
125 gms plain flour,
Chocolate curls, to decorate
For the Frosting
175 gms white chocolate,
85 gms unsalted butter,
125 gms crème fraiche,
125 gm icing sugar, sifted
1 tbsp coffee liquer or very strong black coffee

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas Mark 4. Grease two 20-cm/ 8-inch sandwich cake tins and line the bases with baking paper.
Place the butter and chocolate in a bowl set over a saucepan of hot, but not simmering water and leave on a very low heat until just melted. Stir to mix lightly, then remove from the heat.
Place the caster sugar, eggs, coffee and vanilla extract in a large bowl set over a saucepan of hot water and whisk hard and with an electric whisk until the mixture is pale and thick enough to leave a trail when the whisk is lifted.
Remove from the heat, sift in the flour and fold in lightly and evenly. Quickly fold in the butter and chocolate mixture, then divide the mixture between the prepared tins.
Bake in the preheated over for 25-30 minutes, until  risen, golden brown and spring to the touch. Leave to cool in the tins for 2 minutes, then run a knife around the edges to loosen and turn out onto a wire rack to cool.
For the frosting, place the chocolate and butter in a bowl set over a saucepan of hot water and heat gently until melted. Remove from the heat, stir  in the crème fraiche, then add the icing sugar and coffee liquer and mix until smooth. Chill the frosting  for atleast an hour, stirring occassionaly, until it becomes thick and glossy.
Use about one third of the frosting to sandwich the cakes together. Spead the remainder over the top and sides,  arrange the chocolate curls over the top of the cake and leave it to set in the refrigerator for another hour.

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Corriander Garlic Naan

This soft and chewy naan bread is a just right accompaniment to any Indian curry, my much-loved being the Korma, i totally love how the bread puffs up and bubbles at certain spots. It looks delicate but copes to be soft, chewy and fluffy even when dished in the most creamiest of curries.
This naan is so scrumptious, the contemplation of baking it always cowed me, but yummy things are not always intricate. The bread is in the oven just for 5 minutes and for less than 3 minutes in the grill. When the bread comes out fresh and warm there is something so satisfying about baking these naan breads!

280 gms strong white flour, plus extra for dusting,
1 tsp salt,
1 tbsp ground coriander,
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped,
1 tsp easy-blend dried yeast,
2 tsp clear honey,
50 ml lukewarm water,
4 tbsp natural yogurt,
1 tbsp vegetable oil, plus extra for brushing,
1 tsp black onion seeds,
1 tbsp chopped fresh coriander

Sift the flour, salt and ground coriander together into a bowl and stir in the garlic and yeast. Make a well in the centre and pour in the honey, water, yogurt and oil.  Stir well with a wooden spoon until the dough begins to come together, then knew with your hands until it leaves the side of the bowl. Turn out onto a lightly floured surface and knead well for about 10 minutes, until smooth and elastic.
Brush a bowl with oil. Shape the dough into a ball, put in the bowl, and cover it with a damp tea towel. Leave it to rise in a warm place for 2 hours, until the dough has doubled in volume.
Put the baking tray in the oven and preheat to 240C/475F/Gas Mark 9. Preheat the grill, turn out the dough onto a lightly floured surface and knock back with your fist to get rid of the air bubbles during the rising process. Divide the dough into three pieces, shape each piece into a ball and cover two of them with oiled Clingfilm.
Roll out the uncovered piece of dough into a teardrop shape about 3/8 inch think. If the dough has become too soft use a little bit of flour to roll it out. Place the rolled out naan on the preheated baking tray and sprinkle with the onion seeds and chopped coriander. Bake in the preheated oven for 5 minutes, until puffed up. Transfer the naan bread to the grill pan, brush with oil and grill for 2-3 minutes. Repeat the same process for the other two naans.

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Lets do the Salsa!

There you are in the produce walkway. And you find a huge, vibrant, evidently ripened and succulent pineapple.  You try to walk past, but it buzzes ‘buy me’, who could resist?
But now that I have gorgeous fruit in my refrigerator, what do I do with it swiftly?
This pineapple, salsa is one of my much-loved recipe. I totally adore the balance of the heat and sweetness in this dish. And it hardly takes any time to get it ready.
Why the sugar? It helps to pull out from juices from the fruit, as well as to balance the power of Serrano and jalapeno. Feel free to mishmash any other peppers.
This salsa is a grand equal for any meal. With its hearty, fruity, tang, this gorgeous salsa will power your meal from the start to finish.
1 cup diced fresh pineapple,
2 tablespoons finely chopped red onion,
1 tablespoon finely chopped cilantro,
1 tablespoon sugar,
2 tablespoon finely minced Serrano chillies,
2 tablespoons finely minced jalapeño peppers,
2 tablespoon juice of fresh lemon,
Pinch of salt
Mix together all the ingredients and refrigerate for over an hour for the flavours to mature.

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Devil Visits the Church!

Sometime some things in existence cannot be articulated with terms like thank you or welcome. Some events are purely so out of the ordinary, there has to be a unique approach of conveying it. It was time for such a juncture in my life.  After a extended wait of months, we were geared up to hail a new pastor to our Church.  What could it have been other than this wonderfully moist and beautifully flavored of fluffy layers stacked with the velvety ganache in middle? Pure comfort food!
Yes the devil’s trip to our Church made the reception of the Pastor yum yum!!!
140gms plain chocolate,
100 ml milk
2 tbsp cocoa powder,
140g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing,
140 gms muscavado sugar,
3 eggs, separated,
4 tbsp source cream or crème fraiche,
200 gms plain flour,
1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
For the Frosting,
140gms plain chocolate,
40 gms cocoa powder,
4 tbsp sourced cream or crème fraiche,
1 tbsp golden syrup,
40 gms unsalted butter,
4 tbsp water,
200 g icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 160C/325F/Gas Mark 3. Grease two 20-cm/ 8-inch sandwich tins and line the bases with non-stick baking paper.
Break up the chocolate and place with the milk and cocoa powder in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water, then heat gently, stirring, until melted and smooth. Remove from the heat.
In a large bowl beat together the butter and muscovado sugar until pale and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolks, then the soured cream and the melted chocolate mixture. Sift in the flour and bicarbonate of soda, then fold in evenly. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites still enough to hold firm peaks. Fold into the mixture lightly and evenly.
Divide the mixture between the prepared tins, smooth level and bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes or until risen and firm to the touch. Cool in the tins for ten minutes, and then turn out onto a wire rack.
For the frosting, place the chocolate. Cocoa powder, sourced cream, golden syrup, butter and water in a saucepan and heat gently, until melted. Remove from the heat and sift in the icing sugar, stirring until smooth. Cool, stirring occasionally, until the mixture begins to thicken and hold its shape.
Spilt the cakes in half horizontally with a sharp knife, to make four layers. Sandwich the cakes together with about a third of the frosting. Spread the remainder over the top and sides of the cakes.

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