All posts tagged: chocolate

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Eggless Dark Chocolate, Almond and Roasted White Chocolate Tart

Eggless Dark Chocolate, Almond and Roasted White Chocolate Tart

I’m a sucker for something sweet after dinner. Like my dad, tell me you’ve got hot Gulab Jambu and ice cream for dessert and I’ll be like putty in your hands. This chocolate tart makes me feel that way too. A crumbly, sweet shortcrust pastry base (without eggs, might I add), ridiculously smooth and rich chocolate filling with the most incredible roasted white chocolate swirl which takes me back to the days of sitting on the steps of our family shop eating Caramacs… except there’s loads more chocolate involved. If you’ve never roasted your white chocolate, you’ve been missing out. Gone will be the days you insist dark chocolate is superior to white. This whole time you had forgotten one amazing detail… it is that white chocolate can be transformed into the most beautiful caramel you ever tasted.  Inspired by the baking guru that is David Lebovitz, I set to work making the roasted white chocolate, following his brilliant instructions to the letter – and you should too.     One tweak I made was that …

Vegan Peanut Butter and Cardamom Brownies

Vegan Peanut Butter and Cardamom Brownies

I’m obsessed with brownies; rich, chocolatey, fudgy, incredible brownies. I’ve also got a soft spot for peanut butter and in case you hadn’t noticed, I cannot possibly go a day without eating cardamom. It’s not often I go in to the kitchen completely sure of what I’m going to produce. I’ll have something in the fridge or cupboard I know I want, then I forage about until I find the perfect partners for what I fancy and they could be totally bizarre combinations I’ve never tried before. If I’ve learned anything from all my years of experimental cooking is that you have to be fearless. FEARLESS. Yeah sure, sometimes things don’t turn out the way you plan but that’s what takeaway pizza is there for. I’ve rescued even the most disastrous of dinners and 98% of the time, the antidote consists of lemon, salt and sugar. They are like magic for repairing even the spiciest of curries. Baking is different. As sweet as it can be, baking can also be very cruel – especially eggless …

Mint Chocolate Fondants with Fennel Seed Creme Fraiche

Eggless Mint Chocolate Fondants & Fennel Seed Crème Fraîche

There are some flavour combinations that just shouldn’t be messed with. Mint and chocolate is one of them. The Mr isn’t a fan of desserts. I’ll often spend hours in the kitchen trying to perfect eggless and vegan cakes, cheesecakes, cookies and brownies. Yet no matter how happy I am with how one might have turned out (which, I’ll be honest, doesn’t happen often), he still won’t touch it. Unless it’s mint chocolate. I’ve never met anyone who doesn’t like ice cream. That changed when I met my husband. I’ll be honest, I thought it was super weird. The one exception to his no-ice-cream rule is mint chocolate, it has to be totally frozen (soft serve is never an option), topped with strawberry syrup and hazelnuts. Just. So. Weird. So here I am. It’s Valentine’s Day – which for the record, I think is a load of old bollocks. We don’t do presents and ridiculous extravagant gestures – we never have and never will. However, it isn’t very often he doesn’t work weekends so when …

Salted Sesame Caramel Bars

Sesame Salted Caramel Bars

My name is Sanjana and I’m a caramelholic. Rich, luxurious caramel with a pinch of sea salt reminds me of the gooey-centered masterpieces I overindulged on in my favourite Parisian chocolateries some years ago. These days, whenever I hear the words ‘salted caramel’, my ears prick up like a meerkat on predator watch. And because it’s become so popular, this happens often. In this recipe, I’ve paired salted caramel with toasted sesame seeds, dark chocolate and a touch of coconut oil. Trust me when I say this flavour combo will take you straight to heaven. Nutty sesame seeds are ground and added into the biscuit base before being topped with a ridiculously-generous amount of salted caramel blended with coconut oil. The caramel is then set and crowned with sesame oil-spiked dark chocolate. Be sure to line your tin with plenty of greaseproof paper and groundnut oil to make sure they don’t stick. Try to chill overnight and cut with a super-sharp and hot knife. The deep, nutty flavours make these bars the perfect after-dinner treat …

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Darkest-Ever Vegan Chocolate Cake with Biscoff and Chai-Spiced Buttercream

I remember being six years old and fascinated by cake. Today, I’m 26 and still obsessed with it. I once had a tragic experience with Death by Chocolate Cake. I begged and begged for it until my parents gave in, probably knowing I’d regret it the next day. Needless to say, it did exactly what it said on the box. I didn’t look at another cake for a very long time. These days, I prefer my cakes with far less sugar… but still packing heaps of chocolate. There’s nothing better than the marriage between intense chocolate sponge and subtle chai spices. This four-layer cake stays super moist because the sponge is soaked with a little bit of dark rum. If you don’t want to use rum, you can use a bit of gingerbread syrup (like the kind you add to coffee) or just leave it out. As the layers are thin, the buttercream will do a great job of keeping it moist. For a rich chocolate kick, two teaspoons of good-quality instant coffee works a …

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Eggless Banana and Nutella Hazelnut Cake

As I set up a cocoa-dusted tile under the skylight in our attic room, ready for a rich, chocolatey banana loaf, cream and hazelnuts, it struck me how much writing this blog has become ingrained within my very bones. From developing recipes, to jotting down measures on the butter-splattered pages of my notebook, and the photography and digital journey I love so much, the process of maintaining it has helped me achieve focus in almost every aspect of life. So you can imagine how much taking a six-month blog break for wedding planning bothered me. Of course the only way to make things right is with Banana and Nutella Hazelnut Cake. When it’s baking in the oven, the entire house smells like the Sunday afternoons of my childhood when mum and I would be experimenting with flavours and egg replacements. This recipe uses sweetened condensed milk which slightly caramelises in the oven, filling the entire house with the smell of how Banoffee Pie tastes. As for the egg replacer, the bananas, cornflour, baking powder, cocoa and …

Devnaa

Devnaa – Indian Inspired Chocolates

You, more than anyone know how much I love Indian-inspired desserts. When the lovely guys at Devnaa sent me a box of their spice-infused chocolates, I couldn’t wait to get stuck in. Cinnamon-laced dark chocolate, chocolate burfi and cardamom truffles sent me into a very welcome sugar coma. The first thing I noticed was the beautiful packaging. Deep purple and orange mendhi-inspired patterns, crepe paper and gold emboss – this beautiful box of chocs felt like it was created especially for me and my passion for fusion flavours. The caramels were by far my favourite. And they weren’t just any caramels – they were silky smooth and full of rich, buttery flavours. I’d devour an entire box of these, without a doubt. Another delicious surprise was the dark chocolate, cardamom and coconut number. With one little corner dipped in desiccated coconut, the coconut flavour wasn’t overpowered by the cardamom flavour which I was at first sceptical about. Other flavours included strawberry burfi covered in white chocolate, chai masala milk chocolate, crunchy cinnamon praline, saffron and …

How to Make Cupcakes in a Blender

How to Make Cupcakes in a Blender & More

This month I had my first taste of fame, albeit, a little taste (my hands did all the work). Maybe I’ve got the hands for telly, but a face for radio! Working for Food Network has opened up so many doors for me and my passion for food continues to grow every day. September saw the launch of a brilliant video series for Magimix which I was lucky enough to be able to produce and star in. The ten tutorials show some pretty nifty ways with Magimix’s nifty new food processor, including how to make gorgeous chocolate cupcakes, spicy sweet potato mash, banana sour cream pancakes and more in a food processor. As always, I’d never not share my food adventures with you so here they are. Check them out and let me know what you think of my handy work!   Video: How to Make Cupcakes in a Blender (click pic to watch)   Video: How to Make Pancakes in a Blender (click pic to watch) Video: How to Make Pastry in a Blender …

dark chocolate fennel seed cheesecake

Eggless Dark Chocolate Truffle Fennel Seed Cheesecake with Almond Pralines

Velvety, bitter chocolate cream cheese sits on top of a crisp base of almonds and ground ginger biscuits. Top with nuggets of crunchy almond and fennel seed-studded praline and drizzle with luxurious homemade caramel sauce.  Have we died and gone to cheesecake heaven? Maybe. The fact of the matter is, once you’ve tasted chocolate and fennel seeds together, you’ll never look back. My love affair with the delicious duo all started as a curious fourteen year old when my family were dreaming up desserts to take to our temple for Diwali. My mum made chocolate cupcakes topped with chocolate and fennel ganache and that was all it took; I’d found my first love. Ever since that sweet little Diwali, I’ve been stuck in a little bubble experimenting with chocolate and fennel desserts. This is my most delicious creation so far. Are you ready? My original baked cheesecake recipe is adapted from Kurma Dasa’s Great Vegetarian Dishes. This book helped inspire my love for cooking and I doubt my passion would have grown the way it …

cashew-nut-fudge

Cashew Nut and White Chocolate Burfi

A love of sweets must run in my blood. Back in Kenya my grandfather worked in a sugar cane factory, boiling up vats of syrup bigger than a fully-grown wildebeest. He even knew syrup temperatures without having to use a sugar thermometer. My grandad’s passion for cooking with sugar led him to become one of the best sweet makers and teachers I’ve ever known. My other grandfather was head chef to one of the most well-known sugar merchants’ in East Africa. He’d rustle up the most spectacularly orange chickpea flour fudge and be ready to teach anyone willing to learn. Being just a tot when he passed away, my mum passed on his wonderful recipes to me. Indeed, the very nature of both my grandfathers’ livelihoods depended on the sweet stuff, which is why I put my love of sugar down to it pumping through my veins. What the fudge? These diamonds of sweet fudge have a delicious, crumbly and chewy texture from the ground cashew nuts. Laced with ground cardamom and vanilla extract, floral …

rose-cupcakes

Eggless Chocolate and Rose Cupcakes

 Eggless Chocolate and Rose Cupcake recipe   I’ll always hold eggless baking close to my heart. The level of science involved in baking, eggless baking in particular, is beyond me.  These eggless Chocolate and Rose Cupcakes were made especially for Food Network UK’s month of cupcakes – the most delicious tribute imaginable.   They’re light, airy and not to sweet. I added a little bit of plain yogurt to keep them moist inside because dry chocolate cupcakes are a big no no in my book. This eggless cupcake recipe has never failed me and the addition of rose syrup gives it that exotic twist I crave so often. You however, can use any flavours to like.   My frosting is chocolate cream cheese and rose cream cheese, swirled together using a piping bag filled with both flavours. It’s super simple and give you a perfectly pretty finish. Get the recipe    >> Get my top tips for eggless baking  So how have you been? The new site is coming along nicely and I’m hoping to …

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Eggless Milk Chocolate and Raspberry Puddings

Happy Thursday, readers. You’re probably wondering why on earth I’m posting on a weekday. No, I don’t have a day off to chillax with a steaming cuppa chai. Sob. Ingredients 200g milk chocolate, chopped finely 120ml double cream 2-3 tsp framboise liqueur Raspberries and icing sugar to decorate For the shortbread 125g butter, room temperature 180g plain flour 1 tsp lemon zest 2 drops of lemon extract (optional) 65g caster sugar, plus more for sprinkling on top of the shortbreads   Method 1. To make the puddings, heat the cream in a saucepan until just before boiling point. Remove from the heat. 2. Add the chopped chocolate and framboise liqueur to the cream. Stir the mixture very gently until all of the chocolate has melted. 3. Pour into small ramekins (they’re very rich!), top with a few raspberries and allow to cool. After around 20 minutes, place the ramekins in the fridge until 30 minutes before you’re ready to serve. 4. To make the shortbreads, preheat the oven to 150°C. 5. Cream together the butter …