Go nuts over Nutella Brownies!

Nutella, a brand of sweetened hazelnut cocoa is everyone’s favourite, be it any age. It’s a versatile ingredient, isn’t it? Use it as a spread for toasts, filling for cupcakes, spoonful as it is.. or even Nutella Brownies.

I’m not here to promote it but it’s easier to call a Nutella Brownie a Nutella Brownie and not a Sweetened Hazelnut Cocoa Brownie, right!!! Going nuts over the name.. don’t. Instead, try your hand on these decadent brownies, they are so so so so so delicious that it’s not even funny!

Don’t believe me? Then give it a try now. It’s as easy as i don’t know what..

  • 1 1/2 Cup Nutella
  • 4 Tbsp Butter
  • 2 Eggs
  • 1/2 Cup Castor Sugar
  • 1 Tsp Vanilla Paste/Extract (use a pure extract pls)
  • 3/4 Cup of All Purpose Flour
  • 1 Tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 Tsp Salt

That’s about it. Now, let’s get on with making the Nutella Brownies.

  1. Line a rectangular pan (usually used for brownies) with parchment
  2. Pre heat your oven to 180 degree celsius for 15 mins.
  3. Sift all dry ingredients – flour, baking powder, salt and keep it aside
  4. Melt 1 cup of Nutella over a double boiler or in a microwave (for a 1 min) and add in the butter and mix well
  5. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla for about 2 mins – no point using fancy hand blenders and all. A traditional whisk is just fine.
  6. Pour in the Nutella and butter mixture to the eggs and whisk well.
  7. Add in the dry ingredients and mix with a spatula until thoroughly combined
  8. Pour in the batter in the lined tin and scoop in few tbsp of Nutella here and there.
  9. Bake this in a preheated oven at 180 degree celsius for 40 mins.
  10. Cool completely before slicing. Whenever you want to serve, just warm it up and drizzle some more Nutella goodness on top… may be with a dollop of Vanilla Ice Cream.

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Isn’t this a piece of heaven? Or rather pieces of heaven. Pls pls pls try this else you will regret it.. Then do not blame me 😉

Will be back with another recipe soon. Till then, keep cooking, keep loving!

Freshly Baked Whole Wheat Bread!

I am a bread fan and I am a working woman. So, when I’m running late, all i need to do is grab two slices, add peanut butter jam or butter and veggies and leave. But, i just can’t ignore the fact that the industry breads (available in the markets) are whole wheat only for the namesake. They use preservation chemicals and loads of color… Plus it’s not whole wheat.

Anyways, I love eating bread. Period. I need no reason to make a freshly baked whole wheat bread for my family and myself. So, here’s the recipe. All you need is –

  1. Whole Wheat Flour – 200 gms
  2. All Purpose Flour – 50 gms
  3. Salt – 7 gms
  4. Water – 130 ml
  5. Milk – 60 ml
  6. Castor Sugar/Regular Sugar – 14 gms
  7. Active Dry Yeast – 14 gms
  8. Oil – 10 ml
  9. Extra Flour for dusting
  • Sieve the dry ingredients and keep aside.
  • Warm some of the water (lukewarm) and add the sugar and yeast.. Let this rest for 10-12 mins until it starts smelling and foams up
  • Add the yeast water, milk and remaining water to the dry ingredients and need a soft dough.
  • While making the dough, if you feel the dough is tight.. Add little more water.
  • Once the dough comes together, topple the dough onto your kitchen surface $dusted with some flour) and knead for a good 10 – 15 mins (use the heel of your hands to knead and pull back the dough with your fingers – this basically releases the gluten in the flour thereby making your bread soft).
  • Ball it up and leave to rise in an greased bowl. Cover the bowl with a cling film. Let the dough rest for 45 mins in a warm area.
  • Uncover the dough and knock back to release the air inside. Add the oil and knead again.
  • Grease your bread mould and dust it. Tap outwards and remove extra flour. Roll the dough into a nice ball (close to the shape of the mould) and place it in the bread mould so it fits rights in.
  • Brush the top with oil and cover with a cling film and leave the dough to rise for 45 mins in a warm area.
  • Just before baking, brush some milk on the dough and bake in a preheated oven at 180 degree C for 20-30 mins or until the surface is golden (I used middle rack)
  • When you take out the bread from the oven, brush some butter on top.
  • Leave for 10 mins and then take it out of the mould and let it cool completely on a wire rack. Use a serrated knife to slice the bread.

It’s comforting, homely and undeniably delicious. Ohh.. and the smell of freshly baked bread is a trip to heaven !

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PS: you can even add sauted onion + spices/ fried garlic pieces + Italian season etc to make a flavoured bread.

The recipe might seem tedious but it’s not. Trust me and give it a shot. Happy Baking guys!

Fro Yo Love!

It’s been 18 years and i am still hoping to shed off the extra kilos from my body! My weight loss pattern has been a yo yo one. There have been times when I’ve lost 15 Kgs over 3 months and then, I’ve not even lost an ounce.

Over the time, I’ve realized that every individual is different and so is his/her body pattern. What works for you may not work for me and vice versa. It is important to keep trying. It is more important to never ever give up! Some people might encourage but mostly, you will come across people who will look down upon you. Ignore all and keep walking.

And to keep myself going, i need to treat myself once in a week. Trust me guys, whether you are on a diet or no diet, a tad bit of indulgence is essential. So, i made some delicious Chocolate Banana Frozen Yogurt. And this recipe is a healthy one and packed full goodness.

The below recipe will serve 4 portions.

  • Bananas – 2 (sliced and frozen)
  • Honey – 3 Tbsp
  • Yogurt – 3 Tbsp
  • Vanilla Extract – 2 Tsp
  • Cocoa Powder – 1 Tbsp

The ingredients are not very many but they are just the right ones.

  1. Put all the ingredients in a food processor and blend it all for 3-4 mins.
  2. Pour it in an airtight container and freeze for about 6 hours. Preferably, overnight… That way, you need not wait for the froyo to set.
  3. I garnished my portion with some walnut caramel crumble but you can enjoy it just like that. I somehow feel that one can never go wrong with Bananas, Chocolate and Walnuts.. it is after all, a classic combination.

Can this recipe get any simpler or what!

As quoted by someone “All you need is love. But a little chocolate now and then doesn’t hurt.” And if it is your favorite fruit whipped up with some yogurt, it wouldn’t hurt at all.

To new beginnings… Cheers!

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Last day at work today and i wanted to make something sweet for all my friends and colleagues at work place. I made Oreo Truffles. 

 

To make 30 pieces of Oreo Truffle, you will need.

  • 450 Gms of Oreo (original is the best)
  • 200 gms of Cream Cheese
  • 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Melted Chocolate for dipping the truffle
  • Sugar Beads for garnishing
  1. Using a food processor, crush together the Oreo biscuits. I bashed up mine in a zip lock and a rolling pin.
  2. Add cream cheese to the Oreo crumble and mix well. 
  3. Add a splash of vanilla extract and mix again.
  4. Shape the truffle mixture into small balls or into mini cups using tart mold and refrigerate for about an hour.
  5. Meanwhile, heat the chocolate over a double boiler or melt it in the microwave. If you are using the latter, ensure that you check after every 30 secs. Temper the chocolate and bring it down to about 35 degree Celsius.
  6. Put in the truffles and coat well with the chocolate. Drain off excess chocolate and place on aluminium foil. 
  7. Sprinkle the sugar beads on top and refrigerate for 3-4 hours or even overnight.
  8. Place the truffles in a mini cupcake liner and serve chilled.

 

Every single journey that I’ve embarked on, I’ve learned something new.
Hope the new journey i’m setting my foot on, turns out to be fruitful and may all of us succeed in all our endeavors. Wish me luck friends!

Most definitely, an underrated sweet treat.

A family get together at my place and I’m all twisted in my head. When there is a party, it’s mostly about food… And since my guests were picky (wont name them), I decided to call up my sister Vandana (a brilliant cook) for her suggestion on easy homemade Indian sweet treats. She recommended Chocolate Sandesh – a light, melt in mouth sweet made of cottage cheese and chocolate.  Idea sold.. 

To let you all know, sandesh is a very popular sweet treat Kolkata is famous for and there are endless varieties available. This one is a homely yet delicious take on it.

Like always, it is my pleasure to share this recipe with all of you. It is easy and very very tasty. 

For 10 pieces of Chocolate Sandesh, you will need. 

  • 1.5 liters of Milk (use full fat and not skimmed) 
  • 1 Lemon
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • ½ cup Chocolate syrup (i used Hershey)
  • 1/ tsp Vanilla Extract
  • Some Crushed Chocolate Oreo (to roll the sandesh in)
  • Some Chocolate Chips for garnish
  1. Heat the milk and bring it to a boil. Patience is a virtue…so, ensure that the milk is kept on low flame.
  2. Cut the lemon into halves and squeeze the juice directly into the milk (through a strainer)
  3. The milk will start to curdle and you will see the whey separate itself from the milk solids.. this is the easiest way to make cottage cheese at home. When they whey separates completely, strain the cottage cheese through a muslin cloth. Squeeze to release all that excess water. Keep aside and let it cool for 5 mins. Cottage Cheese is also called Chhena (in India) and is used across the nation to make paneer and a variety of other delicacies. 
  4. Put the cottage cheese in a  mixer. Add sugar and blend for about 30 secs. Add some of the chocolate sauce to get the grinder going. Once blended, the cottage cheese will resemble a smooth creamy lump. Empty the mixer in a bowl and allow the chocolate mixture to set in the fridge for about an hour.
  5. Take the mixture out of the freezer and add the remaining chocolate sauce. Add in the vanilla extract and mix well. Keep the mixture in the fridge for another 15 mins. 
  6. Take the mixture out and shape them into little balls. Roll them in crushed Oreo or any chocolate biscuit of your choice. 
  7. Garnish with chocolate chips and refrigerate till you serve.

 

PS: You can even make Vanilla Sandesh – just skip the chocolate syrup and add sugar instead (while mixing in the blender). Add vanilla essence and roll into balls. Garnish with saffron strings and pistachios. 

Chocolate Sandesh is a very healthy, protein rich, delicious sweet. It is definitely not as fancy as other sweets available in the market but nothing beats a homemade delicacy.

Before i sign off – Thank you Vandana Di for sharing this wonderful recipe! 

Mallow Fudge – A Gift for all Seasons!

It is 2016 and January has already gone! So much has
happened in this one month that just flew by. Never mind, I am a positive
person and I believe in looking forward to what’s coming… Like, my wedding anniversary!

But even before that, is the beginning of the Chinese New Year! Did you know
that Chinese New Year is also known as the Spring Festival? For any New Year,
the 3 F’s are a must – Fun, Frolic and the most important one, FOOD! All of us
just need a reason to celebrate happiness and give gifts to each other. So, I
thought, why not make li’l jars of absolute heaven for gifting – Marshmallow
Chocolate Fudge! You can gift it to people when they visit you or the other way
round… You can also serve it as a dessert over ice creams!

The recipe below is all yours. Do try and let me know if your friends and family like it.

To make 8 small jars, you will need:

  • 500 gms Dark Chocolate (use 70% Cocoa Content as that gives a better flavour)
  • ¾ of a Tin of Condensed Milk
  • 1 Cup Nuts (Mix bowl of dry roasted nuts
    like Peanuts, Hazel Nuts, Almonds; anything that is available at hand)
  • 175 gms Mini Marshmallows (you can even use the bigger ones but I prefer the mini size)
  1. Line a rectangular/square baking dish with parchment paper and keep aside.
  2. Take a saucepan, pour in your condensed milk and add in your chocolate (broken into small pieces).  
  3. Put your saucepan on low heat and allow the chocolate to melt. Keep stirring
    occasionally because sugar burns very quickly and you do not want to ruin these
    blissful bites in making.
  4. Once the chocolate has melted, stir well so the condensed milk is well combined with the chocolate. You will now notice the fudgy consistency.
  5. Remove the saucepan from heat and cool for a minute. Keep stirring the fudge. Add in your roasted nuts and marshmallows. Mix well.
  6. Pour the fudge into the lined dish and spread it evenly. Refrigerate the dish for
    about an hour and a half.
  7. Take the dish out and turn it over a chopping board and remove the parchment paper from all sides. Divide the fudge into equal portions and cut into small pieces
    (as you like it). I personally like small pieces as I enjoy that tiny bite
    leaving me craving for more.
  8. Pack into decorative jars or gift boxes. Depending on the temperature outside, store
    in a cooler place till you gift these.

 

 

Isn’t the recipe easy? And believe me, it is even easier to make it. So, here’s wishing all my friends, fellow bloggers and readers, a very Happy Chinese New Year! Welcome the new morning with a new spirit, a smile on your face, love in your heart and good thoughts in your mind.