Monday, April 19, 2010

A Chocolate Antidote

An apology to my readers.....*cough*....reader.
I am sorry. I have been away on one of my unexplained absences again. Playing traunt.

The reason, your honor, would be spring. For the first time in my life, I, of the no-green-thumb variety, suddenly and inexplicably opened my eyes to the wonders of spring. Flowers blooming, birds tweeting, green grass a-growing underfoot. I over-enthusiastically threw myself into my backyard, and to the garden stores that dot our main street. Much to their joy *ka-ching*, I now have this.

Spring Sprang Sprung
But then, your honor, I did not intend to incur this...just picture grubbier, un-manicured nails...
Full blown dander, pollen and even afore-mentioned green grass ALLERGIES. Which led to copious consumption of this.

And as a result, I have no sense of smell or taste. For a week.
I'm getting nervous, people. Will I ever taste again? My once daily regimen of 4 cups of milky, sugary tea came to a grinding halt when I realized all that hype was just for a stream of warm, brown water flowing down my throat. Not so appetizing anymore. As was the case with any other food.

I once worked with a gentleman who suffered a serious fall from a high beam in his youth. He landed on his ear, and along with losing some of his hearing, he magically lost his sense of smell. For life.
And the ramifications of that will be in another post. Or Hollywood movie plot. The Man Who Could Not Smell...Errrmmm...Through His Nose.

So before I star in a B-grade movie, let me pay homage to
Divya who profiled this luscious, chocolate cake, when I was hunting down recipes to make one (of two) birthday cakes for my little boy, who turned three this past week.
So first off, thanks to
MalluGirl at Malabar Spices who originally posted the recipe because this is a chocolate cake that will blow your socks off, even if you can't smell or taste it. Now, THAT's a recommendation that just can't be beat!
I made this cake for the first "family" party we had for my son, based on his exacting requests for chocolate and strawberries. Which was odd, because he doesn't even like strawberries. Future bakers and gourmands out there, do not take explicit cake requests from three year olds. Be warned.

So I followed the recipe verbatim save for the slight modification to make it a two-pan cake, so that I could add a layer of strawberries in whipped cream, and ice the cake with chocolate ganache and piped whipped cream on top like Divya. And of course 10 family members showed up all at once, so I had 15 minutes to decorate the cake, so do not ding me for the sloppy decor.
Only to have my son say when I was all done "But I didn't want the strawberries". See, I warned you.
Everyone who ate a.k.a. devoured the cake, could not stop raving about it. It was moist, it was rich, it was soft, it almost had healing properties. OK, I exaggerate. But even I thought it, uhmm, felt good in my mouth.

Malabar Spices' Rich Chocolate Cake (adapted slightly from Malabar Spices blog)

3/4 cup All purpose Flour
3/4 cup white wheat flour
1 1/2 tsp Baking soda
Salt – a pinch
3 heaped Tbsp Cocoa powder
1 1/2 cup Sugar
2 Eggs
8 Tbsp melted Butter
1/4 cup oil
1 tsp Vanilla essence
1 1/4 cup Yogurt
1/2 cup ground Almonds
1/2 tsp Cinnamon

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. Sift the flour with soda,salt and cocoa powder.
3. Beat the eggs slightly and keep aside.
4. Mix the sugar with the cinnamon and beat with the melted butter till the sugar dissolves.
5. Add in the beaten eggs and vanilla essence and beat well.
6. Blend in the oil and yogurt till well mixed.
7. Add the flour slowly blending it in as you go.
8. Now add the powdered nuts- do not overmix after this stage.
9. Grease two 8’ round cake tin and sprinkle with flour. Divide cake batter between two pans.
10. Bake for ~35 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Optional - Strawberry Filling
1 cup hulled and chopped strawberries
1/2 cup whipped cream
1 Tbsp icing sugar

Mix all three ingredients together. Spread on top of cooled cake, place second cake on top.

Optional - Chocolate Ganache (these measurements are approximate)
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
1/4 cup heavy cream

Mix both the chips and cream in a double boiler (over steam), let the chocolate melt compeltely. Remove from heat. Once cooled, stir and use to coat cake. If the mixture is too thick, thin out with more cream.


sayantani said...

get well soon dear. guess boys have a genuine disliking towards Hubby doesnt like and he thinks its too girly. better we girls get something solely for ourselves.

the cake looks mouthwatering. I love chocolate cakes with creams..and if its frozen thats heaven even for summer.

Simran said...

3 years olds can go from loving to hating strawberries while the cake bakes, I think!

Hope you can taste the milky sugary tea again sometime soon.

Faiza Ali said...

Get well soon dear...The cake loooks yummy...want to grab a piece right from my screen.

sra said...

Hope you're feeling better now and that your sense of taste is intact, after all! I did like the pic with the spoonful of pills, though I know it couldn't have been v pleasant.

Ann said...

Thanks ladies! Right now, I have partial taste back, but everything tastes metallic. Le Sigh!

Divya Kudua said...

I hope you get well soon Ann..!!

I loved this cake too..decadent and full of are tempting me to bake it again!!

Loved the way you've decorated it!!

An Open Book said...

get well soon ann....and belated wishes to ur lil boy :)
cake looks fab!

mallugirl said...

First off, hope u feel a ton better.. being without taste and smell for a foodie is like losing vision for a normal person!

If u read my blog post on that cake, u would know all the credit goes to one of my dear friend who generously shared the recipe. Great to know u all loved it!! I make a airier version of the same cake by adding one more egg some times.its less fudgy then.

Joanne said...

Ugh allergies are the worst! I hope you feel better soon. I always take Allegra when my allergies act up and I haven't really noticed any side effects. Maybe you should give it a go!

this cake looks delicious. I'll take my slice WITH strawberries. Thanks.

Me! said...

i feel your pain. this year my allergies seem to be manifesting as massive headaches, swollen sinuses so i can't breathe and extreme exhaustion. another month or so and it should get better (i hope!)!

Ann said...

Thanks all for stopping by! I'm glad I have company in the allergy department, slowly getting back to normal! =)