Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mommy, Me & Molten Chocolate Cake

Last month I was chatting with my mother and I almost fell off my chair when she said, “I just got this amazing recipe for Molten Chocolate Cake.. and it is so easy to make”. Now you might ask, why did I fall off the chair? Well, let me explain; in most traditional Indian families the woman is not only the queen of the house but most certainly the ruler of the kitchen. However, my family is a little different. My non-traditional mother has never entered the kitchen, as a result I was utterly surprised when she mentioned molten chocolate cake, cooking and easy in the same sentence. I slowly discovered that the cooking bug had bitten her; not only was she cooking cakes but also lemon meringue pies, asparagus soufflé and lamb stew. I now look forward to mother & daughter bonding over recipes which, until now, were restricted to father - daughter conversations (Yes, my dad is a fantastic cook!). Below are the pictures and recipe for MCC – pretty easy and a lot of fun !
455g best-quality cooking chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
50ml (less than quarter cup) hot espresso or good strong instant coffee
125g butter, plus extra for greasing
6 eggs, free-range or organic, separated
200g caster sugar
100g ground almonds
100g rice flour
1 small handful chopped hazelnuts, toasted
Melt 125g chocolate with the coffee, then pour into small ice-cube moulds and freeze until hard. Take 6 small 3 inch pastry rings, dariole moulds or cappuccino cups and grease well with some butter. Place in the fridge while you make your sponge mixture. Melt the remaining chocolate with the butter in a bowl over a pan of boiling water, then in a separate bowl whisk the egg whites with the sugar until firm. Fold the yolks into the cooled chocolate and butter mixture, then add the almonds and flour. Finish by carefully folding in the egg white mixture. Preheat the oven to 190ºC/375ºF/gas 5. Take your moulds out of the fridge and spoon a little mixture into each one, then push in a cube of the frozen coffee and chocolate mixture. Cover with the rest of the sponge mixture so each ice cube is completely enveloped. Bake in the preheated oven for about 18–20 minutes, then remove carefully from the moulds while hot. Serve immediately sprinkled with hazelnuts

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Rainy Day

If any of you were in New York today you would have experienced the downpour that refused to stop. I ventured out covered in plastic with my weather-sealed Olympus E3. Both the camera and I were drenched. As a kid I loved playing in the rain. Rain in India is always welcomed with open arms – it usually is a break from the scorching heat. Here in NYC it gets cold, damp and depressing. What I like doing when it rains in new york is either sit at home in PJs and watch many movies or go out and have a long brunch session. Today I did the latter and took some pictures along the way. Since the rains are here hopefully that means spring and summer are close by.        

Breakfast for a King or Queen

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAI am very passionate about eating and cooking food; but most of all I love to cook for people who enjoy food. After a late Friday night what was much needed was a scrumptious breakfast. I cooked a typical Parsi dish called “Wafer par Ida” – Eggs on Chips. It is yummy and really easy to make.

Ingredients: 1 bag of potato chips, 4 eggs, 1/2 a cup of minced coriander, 1/2 a cup of caramelized onions, 1 teaspoon of diced green chilies, a pinch of cayenne pepper powder, salt, a pinch of garam masala powder.

Heat a medium sized skillet.

Break open the bag of chips remove them one handful at a time – dip the chips in water for 30 seconds (you should have a big pot of room temperature water ready) as you remove the wet chips smoosh them together and start creating a layer on the skillet. Keep doing this one handful at a time creating a thin layer on the pan. Pat it down so that it is even. Let this layer simmer for 5 minutes.

Break the 4 eggs on this layer sprinkle the garam masala, salt, cayenne pepper, caramelized onions, green chilies and coriander. Cover the skillet till the eggs are cooked.

I paired this with a simple avocado, radish and tomato salad with olive oil, salt & pepper. It was the perfect breakfast!