Of cakes that fall and rise

It is not a secret that I love eating. Cakes are inclusive to this love of mine. In fact not just me, but so many people love cakes that celebrations are not complete without cakes. Birthdays HAVE to have cakes for everyone most (I do remember a friend from school who used to cut pizzas instead of cakes). When I was younger, I would look at mum with my innocent eyes and ask her to bake a cake for me. Nothing fancy, just a simple vanilla sponge cake would do. To this day she makes a point to tell me that her arms and elbows would ache from all the batter mixing (her method involves mixing it all with hands for at least 20 minutes), and that she would never have enough cream left to make ghee. It would all end up in my weekly share of cake.

A dear friend of mine is a voracious reader, and a magic woman when it comes to cooking. I pity her neighbors who have to put up with the delicious aromas wafting out of her kitchen. Pure torture I tell you. As  good great as she is, she cannot exert divine control upon cakes to turn out how she wants them to. Not yet, at least.

One fine day, when she was busy making lemon cakes (for some Sansa Stark fans I hope), one of the cakes decided to be more than that. After all as Petyr Baelish teaches Sansa, “In the game of thrones, even the humblest pieces can have wills of their own. Sometimes they refuse to make the moves you’ve planned for them”. This particular cake came out with a big sunken cavity in the center.

The sunken cake

Not someone who will let food go to waste, she did what another friend suggested to her. Since this was a cake with perfect walls, she emptied out the gooey center and added chocolate to it. Instead of just a lemon cake, it was now a combination cake. Time and again I am reminded how wonders can be made of the accidents that befall us. The cake was soon packed and parceled to yours truly. I am having a bite of the solid lemon walls with a gooey, fudgey chocolate center. Absolute bliss.

Combo taste cake for the win

It is the best cake that I have ever had. I love the fact that it something that happened serendipitously. While it could have been another fallen cake, it rose to one of the first combination cakes to come out of the Weekend Kitchen. So much love for her :D. She is probably going to bonk me on the head for putting in A Song of Ice and Fire reference in this 😛

You can read her post about this cake at her blog here.

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Recipe: Chocolate Fudge

As part of the Diwali traditions, sweets are bought and shared with friends and family. As usual, we used the sweets I get from work, along with some sweet chiki we make at home. This year I thought of doing something new as well. Chocolate has long been a favorite of mine, and having a celebration without it seems unfair. This is the recipe of the chocolate fudge that I made:

Ingredients:

Milk Chocolate – 100 gms

Dark Chocolate – 50 gms

Fresh Cream – 1 table spoon

Nuts – 2 table spoons (Mixed and chopped)

Corn flakes/ Break fast cereal – 2 table spoons

Instant Coffee powder – 2 tea spoon

PS:

I used 44% Cocoa Dark Chocolate since the people I was to share with don’t like the bitter taste (:roll:). Please use 55% or 70% Dark Cocoa chocolates to get more of the bitter flavor.

Coffee powder has to be instant coffee/ freeze dry coffee powder you get which has to be only mixed in hot water/milk to be had. Do not use the coffee which requires the use of a filter.

You will also need 

Butter paper – 1 sheet

While you can directly pour the mixture into a vessel/bowl/plate for cooling and setting, it is better to use butter paper for lining as it will ensure that the fudge doesn’t stick to the walls and you can lick it off clean once you’re done. Licking off the remains is one of my favorite parts 😀

Process:

Chop up the chocolates. Mix the milk chocolate and dark chocolate slices.

fudge_choccut

Melt these chocolate slices either in the microwave or on the gas using the double boiler method.

Take a large bowl.

Fill with water, and put on gas till water starts to boil.

Place chocolates in a smaller bowl and place it inside the bowl with boiling water.

Use a spatula/spoon to press and mix the chocolates till they melt.

Do not expose the bowl with chocolates to direct heat.

Take a bowl and place butter paper on it. Press the butter paper so that it takes the shape of the bowl. Ensure that there are no cuts or tears.

Sprinkle all the nuts.

fudge_nuts

Add the coffee powder and cream to the melted chocolate, and mix well. Optionally you can add a bit of ground cinnamon or hazel nuts.

Pour the chocolate mixture on the nuts.

fudge_chocpour

We will keep the bottom layer crunchy with the nuts, and not mix them in the fudge.

Sprinkle the corn flakes / cereal of choice on top of this. As with the nuts, we will not mix them into the chocolate mixture but keep them as a top layer.

fudge_flakes

I mixed some Chocos along with my corn flakes for more flavor.

Cover this with the excess butter paper or plate and let it set in the fridge for 5-6 hours. You can peel off the butter paper and cut it into cubes before serving, or use a spoon to eat it from the butter paper it self. Since it takes the form of a disc, I just break it off and eat it with my hands.

fudge_final

(High on) Happiness

Have you ever had one of those days when you are happy? Not just happy, but high with happiness? When things just fall in place, when you meet nice people, eat good stuff, today was one such day.
To recount what lead to this day:
  •  I spent one entire weekend with mom without either of us saying anything stingy at the other.
  • We checked out some houses (we’re house hunting for a new place)
  • Mom made dahi puri for me in the evening. Now dahi puri is unhealthy because I have a sore throat, and the chutney and cold curd would not do me good. But eating unhealthy food is fun and she made it because I asked her to.
  • I spent some wonderful time at ‘The chocolate room’ in Ahmadabad. I had a large black coffee, an almond cold coffee, and a Chocó-chilli sandwich. It was a wonderful sandwich it had chillies and chocolate scrapings in it. The chocolate would clash with the chilly and it was oh-so-good. I got a nice table all for myself and wonderful internet speed to watch some of my favourite anime.
  • I saw this poster while searching for a new poster to buy. It gave me a sense of reassurance, that there is more to me than some of the problems I had recently started thinking on. 
  • On the way to Baroda from Ahmadabad I got a bus that had half the seats empty. I could sit on an entire three seat row all by myself and read. When the bus conductor turned off some of the lights he let two lights on so that I could read. He then got up from his single seat and sat on another empty row seat. Those of you who have travelled by GSRTC busses know of this seat. It is the single seat at the entrance which has handle bars in front of it for people to hold on to while climbing on/off. So when you sit on this seat, you can sink in a little and rest your feet on this handle bar. Such a comfortable position to read in. 
  • The window in front of me was open with a just little tiny gap that let a cool breeze in. The breeze would hit my naked feet and make me feel as if my feet were in a river of flowing cool water. And the best part was that no one complained about it or asked me to shut the window.
  • I thought of two women whom I admire. One is ofcourse this wonderful doting big sister whom I love as much as I can. The other is of course the is B to my A, the Alpha to my Omega, the Sheila to my jawani, the fevicol to my photo. They just cheer me up.
Now my views on god are not that religious. But if there is a god, I would give a nice tight hug. I would tell him to take some time off and come with me for drinks, my treat. I would ask him to listen to this song (Emotional Attyachar (attyachar is Hindi for torture) from Dev D). The song in itself is a sad song; however it has a special place for me. I had gone to watch this movie in a single screen local cinema house because we couldn’t get tickets anywhere else. Now this song has a nice beat to it. When this song came on screen I was just tapping my feet being as reserved that I am. But some guys in the audience just thought “Chuck it” and got up started dancing to have a wonderful time.
So the idea is to ask God to chuck it and not think of the people who are doing all forms of torture in his name. You know take a vacation with your goddess, and go relax and recharge. If you made this world, we gave it shape as it is now. You don’t have to take it on your shoulders.
Today is also an eventful day for another reason. The father of the Delhi-Gang Rape case victim shared his daughter’s name (Jyoti Singh Pandey). He said:

“We want the world to know her real name.

“My daughter didn’t do anything wrong, she died while protecting herself.

“I am proud of her.Revealing her name will give courage to other women who have survived theseattacks. They will find strength from my daughter.”

The word Jyoti is a Hindi word which means light. For some people, this case gives light and heat and casts out darkness and fear. Now I don’t her personally, but I cannot help but feel sorry. That in a free nation, this is the price she had to pay for being free, for just wanting to live her own life. You had every right to live on as you wanted, but a bunch of men thought you wanting to be free was an act of defiance against them, and raped and beat you to a painful death. They and other such people wrongfully believe that just because of being a woman, women have to yield to them as they wish.
I do hope that whether you’re reading this or not, whether we know of each other or not, that you have an equally wonderful day in your life.