Oat Uncode

Monday morning chocolate and oat bars

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My mother insists on breakfast and I insist on a yummy breakfast. While flipping pancakes and waffles is a weekend affair in my household, on a weekday morning, I try to rustle up easy delights.

My ideal breakfast treat is the one that cheers me up when Monday morning blues need to be battled.  It should make me rise and shine and fill me up with energy enough to accompany Spiderman on his next expedition.

If you ask me more, I’ll say it should go well with my cup of milky-masalewali chai, hot chocolate, fruit juice, yogurt smoothie or whatever my choice of drink is on that particular day. It should be convenient to stock and easy to make as well.

Once such creation is the oat and chocolate bar. Filled with the goodness of oats, dry fruits, healthy seeds and coconut powder, the bars ooze chocolate and their sugar content is just enough to pep me up for the day to come.

I’ve called them Monday morning chocolate and oat bars because I promise they will brighten up the toughest seeming weekday for you. Continue reading

Melon-drama

Vanilla-scented goat cheese custard with fresh watermelon

I cannot think of a better way to beat heat than with a crunchy, cool slab of watermelon. While I spent last season guzzling down glasses of watermelon and mint nectar, the year before I was high on watermelon and cumin curry.  These days,  I have found a slightly more glamorous way to bring down the mercury.

The vanilla-scented goat cheese custard served with batons of fresh watermelon, is my take on the classic goat cheese and melon salad. I have always been amused by the way watermelon’s fresh juiciness gushes right into the exotic sour crumbliness of goat cheese. How effortlessly exotic.

Ingredients
Extract of 1 vanilla pod
50 gm goat cheese
10 ml milk
1 tablespoon powdered sugar
¼ cup chopped watermelon

Method
Simmer milk, sugar and vanilla extract for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from fire and let it cool.
In a blender, mix goat cheese with vanilla-scented milk and grind it into a fine puree.
Pour the mixture in greased ramekins and bake at 150 degree Celsius for 25 minutes.
Remove from the oven and refrigerate it for 2 hours.
Top it with fresh watermelon pieces and serve.

How sweet

Rose water and vanilla cupcake with chocolate and sea salt ganache

Chocolate blends with sea salt like Avril Lavigne and her high notes. Be it dark or sweet – salt cuts through the saccharinity in a way that it is hard to tell. The key is to use just a sprinkle, not going overboard and staying on the edge – for an edgy taste.

Today, I used a pinch of sea salt to spruce up my regular chocolate ganache. Unlike refined salt, sea salt leaves a  heavy, rustic taste when combined with chocolate.

The rest of the cupcake is infused with mild flavours such as vanilla and rose water. Continue reading

Raising the bar

 Ferrero Rocher bars

First things first. I’m happy (actually euphoric) to share with my readers that I’m now a blogger for Vogue, India. Last week, I got an invitation from their team to join the website’s blogger programmee.  In true Vogue style, the girls sent me a few badges to choose from (in case something didn’t co-ordinate with my website’s background).  I picked the one in brilliant yellow and just like that, I am now a blogger for Vogue.

Because all good things are incomplete without chocolate, I made something to for us to celebrate with.

Ferrero Rocher is something that I’ve been obsessed with ever since I school. When visiting cousins got me a box of this spherical chocolate from abroad, I made frequent trips to the refrigerator under the guise of drinking cold water. And within a day or two, a box of sixteen would magically disappear.

Now, Rochers are easily available in my city, but I still feel that joy when I throw open the golden, crinkled wrapper. The whoosh of hazelnut cream is almost addictive and I always secretly wished that it came with a little more.

Today, I set my own Rochers in bar form and to fulfil that little wish (on a good day like this), I  slathered them generously with smooth hazelnut cream.  Continue reading

Mad baker’s tea party

Chocolate and jalapeño brownies with sticky toffee cheese fondue

There are days when I adore subtle flavours that loiter around for a few seconds and make a quick exit. Like a pulpy, pink strawberry icecream or a lemon sorbet. At one moment you feel the burst of fruit and the other, there is only that calming coolness. And there are days when strong, lingering flavours, catch my fancy – like a cold wasabi or basil icecream.

Today, I wanted something of the later kind. When I mixed jalapeño with my regular brownie batter, the result was quite fascinating. At first, the brown, innocuous pieces seemed just like another cake – chocolaty and sweet. But a few seconds after biting into its gooey exterior, a jolt of zingy jalapenos shakes your palate. Since the flavour refuses to budge, I tamed it with a sticky toffee cheese fondue. Continue reading