Archive | December, 2013

A German Delight!

27 Dec

Tucked away in a quaint little nook in Whitefield is a refreshingly charming Café that will make you travel miles away into Germany. Joy Basu, who learnt baking during her stay in Germany wanted to create a place with food that makes people feel at home. Inspired by German flavours and baking techniques, Joy realized her dreams with ‘Café of Joy’ in Bangalore after bidding adieu to a successful corporate career.

From the time my friend and I walked into this café with pristine white walls and a hint of purple thrown in, we knew there was some good food in store.  The aroma of fresh bakes in this cosy café only affirmed our belief about what was in store for us.

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This time I wasn’t on a dessert mission alone so we decided to catch a bite before getting to the desserts. We went by the first option suggested by Joy – a German flat bread pizza. With a generous helping of cream cheese and  roasted capsicum, caramelised onions and goat cheese topping, the perfectly baked ‘Flammkuchen’ (flat bread pizza) was undoubtedly the highlight of our meal.

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Soon as I bit into the last bite of Flammkuchen, I had already short-listed the desserts in my mind. No dessert expedition is ever complete without some chocolate, and so the ‘Sacher Torte’ was the first to arrive on the table. The rich chocolate cake with subtle layers of apricot jam is topped with dark chocolate ganache, true to the traditional recipe. It’s a must try for chocolate lovers.

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Just when I was convinced that chocolate was going to be the winner yet again, Joy brought us some Fruhstuck Kuchen (muffins) in two flavours – Pineapple & Oatmeal and Blueberry. What happened next is something that has never happened before – I abandoned the Sacher Torte for the Fruhstuck Kuchen (alas, chocolate lost this time)! Though muffins are common in most coffee shops in Bangalore, these German muffins are easily the most moist and flavourful ones, specially the Pineapple.

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After a satisfying meal I walked out of Café of Joy  learning something new about my sweet tooth – chocolate doesn’t always have to win, given a fair chance other flavours can win over my sweet tooth too 🙂

A ‘Berry’ Red Christmas!

24 Dec

When I think Christmas, I picture a burst of ‘red’ and comfort food with rich aroma in the air. That’s why while thinking of a Christmas dessert recipe I wanted to bring these three elements together – red, rich aroma and a melt in the mouth experience. That’s how I put together the recipe of my ‘Red Velvet Brownies with Strawberry and Cinnamon Jam’. This new recipe could well be the winner of your Christmas meal 🙂

Ingredients for the Red Velvet Brownies (Makes 12 mid sized brownies)

150 gms flour

60 gms coco powder

120 gms caster sugar

75 gms butter

2 eggs

½ teaspoon salt

Red food colour

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Ingredients for the Strawberry-Cinnamon Jam

24 mid sized strawberries (finely chopped)

25 gms unsalted butter

50 gms caster sugar

1 cinnamon flavored teabag or fresh cinnamon powder

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Step 1

For the brownie, mix all ingredients together and pour it on a buttered tray to form an even layer. Ensure semi liquid consistency. Once the mixture is in the baking tray, place it in a pre-heated oven and bake at 180 degrees for 20-25 minutes. Insert a toothpick after 20 minutes to see if it’s done. Take it out of the oven only if the toothpick comes out clean. Let it cool.

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Step 2

For some rich aroma I chose to add cinnamon in the jam. You could use fresh cinnamon powder but I used one of the best flavored tea I’ve tasted (a treasure I brought back from my trip to Sri Lanka). Place the Cinnamon tea bag in 1/4th cup of water till it turns dark and has soaked in the cinnamon flavours.

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Step 3

Now for the jam, heat a pan and add butter and caster sugar. Now add the finely chopped strawberries and cinnamon flavoured tea. Let it cook at medium flame for 10-15 minutes or until the strawberries have turned soft. Now pour the jam in a bowl, let it cool and place it in the fridge.

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Step 4

When its dessert time, cut the brownie and place the aromatic, flavorful jam on it. Trust me, it’s going to be one awesome treat for the taste buds 🙂

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The good part about this recipe is that you don’t have to scramble on the last day to bake your dessert, this can well be made a day or two in advance but will still taste fresh when you serve it.