Theobroma Cacao, my nemesis and my kryptonite. Who doesn’t love chocolates, at least the good ones? I LOVE chocolates. So, couple of years back I took interest in learning the art of chocolates and did a lot of on line research plus book reading. But then, there is only so much one can learn from these resources. There is nothing like hands-on experience, witnessing trained professionals work methodologically and share their wealth of knowledge gained over decades. Hence, I opted to do a course in the ‘Art of Chocolates’ from Le Cordon Bleu, San Francisco. I’ll be sharing some of the chocolatey things I learned in LCB.
I baked cookies today. So I shall call myself cookiewali!
For the non-Indian readers, ‘wali’ is the suffix for female gender and ‘wala’ for male gender. Recently, I came across a thread in an online forum where a home baker was addressed by her client as ‘cakewali’. Going by the same suffixation, an IT personnel is computerwala/wali, an oscar winning actor is nautangiwala/wali, a chemist is dawaiwala/wali, a renowned chef is bawarchi, a pâtissier/ chocolatier is halwai and so on.
It sounds funny, right? Politically and technically it’s not wrong. At the same time, it’s about being sensitive and respectful to your fellow being. Addressing someone by their name is a kind gesture. Trust me, it costs nothing!
CHOCOLATE, this is something I’m never bored of. I mean it! How can anyone be bored of chocolates? You can unfriend me if you dislike chocolates.
Good chocolates always have a place in my pantry. And good strawberries are seasonal. I’m wary of buying strawberries off the shelf. Rarely, I land up with sweet strawberries. Anyway I picked this pack of organic strawberries just to find out that it wasn’t sweet enough for snacking. I was not in a mood to bake anything. But, I had to use these berries before it started rotting in the refrigerator.
I didn’t have anything in mind. Since we were going to Gilroy for a day long shopping, I wanted to take something to snack on the way. The berries became bars!
Basil Cardamom White Chocolate Chantilly! This is lethally rich, sweet and airy petite sized dessert which leaves you wanting more. A light dessert that takes care of your sugar cravings when you’re on a diet like me 😉
Chocolate Ganache is amazingly versatile in baking. It’s indulgent taste and rich velvety texture has lots of uses. Ganache can be transformed as a glaze, poured over any cake as a frosting/ icing , truffles, piped into canapes, sauce for ice cream, filling for patisserie, topping for cookies, chocolate fondue, chocolate coating, chocolate mousse, chocolate drinks and more. Usually, Ganache is made with equal proportions of cream and chocolate. But, I use little butter and/or liqueur that gives ganache a desirable shiny texture and wonderful flavor. The taste of the final product depends on the chocolate used. Hence, it is essential to use a good quality chocolate to make gorgeous ganache.
Here’s my St.Patty’s Day dessert – Guinness dark chocolate cupcakes with sweet boozy buttercream frosting. Let the luck of the Irish shine on you.
As I’ve mentioned in one my previous post I don’t fancy having Guinness neat. As an additive in cakes, breads or stews, it makes the final product flavorful. I adapted Nigella’s Guinness Chocolate Cake and tweaked a wee bit. I used dark chocolate instead of cocoa powder and replaced the cream cheese frosting with a green colored boozy frosting. First time I made this cake, I was amazed at it’s super moist texture and deep chocolate flavor.
These cupcakes are fluffy and airy, not beery as it gets baked out in the oven.The real kick comes from the frosting made with ‘Jack Daniel’s Whiskey Honey Liqueur’. I didn’t have Jamesons to make these cuppies top to toe Irish. The frosting is like the creamy head (I made a green one for St.Patty’s day) on a pint of guinness. The mild chocolate and coffee notes of guinness marry well with 100% dark chocolate to produce these delicate and incredibly moist cupcakes with a tangible richness of the draught.
A chiffon cake is a composite of a butter cake and a foam cake. The eggs give the fluffiness of a sponge cake and the oil gives the moist texture of a butter cake. This cake does not have butter, but has liquid fat (oil). Chocolate adds a richer taste. I covered the cake with shiny ganache and decorated with handmade truffles and milk chocolate covered almonds. Continue reading