Roasted Almond Chocolate Cake

A super soft, heavenly chocolate cake with just the right amount of crunch!
A super soft, heavenly chocolate cake with just the right amount of crunch!

Last Saturday saw me pulling out food for 30 people, over two different meals! One was a birthday dinner for a friend’s 45 birthday, that’s where this cake was baked, and the other was just a meal for friends. And believe you me this 1 and a half kg cake wasn’t enough to feed 15 not-so-hungry mouths!

It was a dear friend’s 45 birthday and somehow i always end up baking the cake and bringing along at least 3-4 main course dishes and an equal number of starters :) This time was no different, not that I am complaining…I think cooking for people you care about only shows your love for them!

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Steamed Lentil and Sprouts Cake

The sprouts bump up the protein content of this dish, making it perfect for dinner too!
The sprouts bump up the protein content of this dish, making it perfect for dinner too!

I’ve decided to add a travel section to my blog! I’ve realised If I didn’t need to worry about paying bills, I would be the hippie I was born to be :) A healthy hippie, that serves healthy low cal food in a bed and breakfast that’s tucked somewhere deep in the forests where the aromas of pine sap run through the air! You get the picture, right ;)?

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Barley Flour Walnut Brownie

Chunky and healthy barley flour chocolate walnut brownie
Chunky and healthy barley flour chocolate walnut brownie

Just the word brownie, somehow has the knack of turning a horrible, horrible day into one that you can sail through. even if it involves, measuring, baking and just basking in the aromas that lilt through the kitchen. This Thursday was no different. Home alone, i was bored out of my wits, gym routine done, cooking done, grocery shopping done, I had more than half the day on my hand, completely free! The oven yet again became my best go-to-friend! :) Doesn’t it always…

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Grapefruit Salad with Chinese Beans, Cherry Tomato and Granny’s Apple

A fresh and light salad, perfect for a light lunch or as a side with a steak
A fresh and light salad, perfect for a light lunch or as a side with a steak

The monsoon has already started receding, and has left behind this crazy unbearably hot days! The soups will soon be forgotten and in its place a huge bowl of salad will make dinner light, bright and healthy. Last week whilst driving across our end of town, I came across these delicious grapefruits at the local market, thankfully not as expensive as some food baskets sell it at. The salad was planned right there.

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Apricot and Blueberry Greek Yoghurt Cake

You can use fruits of your choice...i've used apricot and blueberry
You can use fruits of your choice…I’ve used apricot and blueberry

I was completely out of ideas. I knew I wanted to bake a soft, springy, light cake, but had no idea what!…it was just one of those days when you have a party at home and want to bake to destress..I finally let my colleagues at work decide the dessert. Within no time they were all of Pinterest pulling out the most amazing cakes. This one by Julia won my heart…it had two of my favourite ingredients blueberry and peaches. Sadly I didn’t get any fresh peaches and had to use fresh apricots instead…

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Chocolate Sandesh

Delicious two-layered chocolate sandesh
Delicious two-layered chocolate sandesh

The most difficult thing about being on a diet is staying away from breads, cakes, cookies and everything else that comes out of an oven! But dieticians also give you cheat dates…and I made the most of it with this Chocolate Sandesh that has more proteins than fats!

I actually made a sugar-free low-fat milk version for the husband, but a full-fat and sugared version for the girls at my workplace! This dish is turned around in less than 30 minutes, that is if you’re making  cottage cheese too, otherwise it takes less than 10 minutes!

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Lemon, Cinnamon, Cream Cheese, Barley Flour Pound Cake with Cherry and Plum Compote

This is one cake you will kill for :)
This is one cake you will kill for :)

This rich buttery but healthy pound cake has always been on my must do list. I’ve often used oats to bake with but never experimented much with flours and cake, so this was a first for me. So with gingerly steps I actually followed Martha Stewart’s recipe to a point and then well, then my second nature got the better of me. I went experimental :) What emerged was a delicious, soft, dreamy, pillowy pound cake with all the goodness or barley and the richness of the cream cheese.

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Sweet and Spicy Onion Pickle

Perfect with parathas or even rice and dal fry!
Sweet and spicy madras onion pickle: perfect with paranthas or even rice and dal fry!

I’ve always wanted to have a kitchen shelf lined with homemade pickles…but somehow that vision has never found the right bottles or shelves. Mango pickles are made in plenty–some spicy, some sour, some plain marinated, some made Goan style with vinegar, green chillies and carrot but this time it was these gorgeous madras onions that got me thinking about a good pickle recipe. I mean just plain onion pickled in vinegar was boring and was done to death. When dad handed these gorgeous onion pearls over to me, he had that “put some magic into these” look in his eyes…so that’s what I did! (more…)

Chocolate Martini Cake

The perfect cake for this glorious weather: dark, super soft, moist and filled with hazelnut and almonds delicious nut-iness!
The perfect cake for this glorious weather: dark, super soft, moist and filled with hazelnut and almonds delicious nuttiness!

Now that the monsoon has set in, the kitchen is a friendlier place to get into and bake! Hats off to the chefs who slog by the heat every single day and turn out delicacies by the dozens. I stuck to the basics all through summer! Yup it tells on the blog too…I mean who wants to sweat it out in the gym and kitchen too!

So the back to the blog recipe is a Chocolate Martini Cake dressed with ganache, hazelnut cream and almonds…I went out all the way, it was my best friend Sreeja’s birthday!

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Date and Prune Chocolate, Peanut Butter and Nutella Brownie

Chunky peanut butter, nutella, date and prune brownies
Chunky peanut butter, Nutella, date and prune brownies

I was supposed to make some energy bars to help me tide through the horrible, horrible summer. Wouldn’t life be easier if all you needed to do was unwrap a home-made bar and chomp on it for breakfast, lunch and dinner…no sweating it out at all! But that was not to be… All my chopped, stirred, melted ingredients found their way into this gorgeous, chunky, chewy, chocolatey, peanut buttery, nutty brownie!

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