Sesame Kale Chips with Kale Stem Pakodas + the 100th post!

kale

As you know I am in India. And as I had mentioned in my last post briefly, I am here on emotional matters (my mom) and for work. I say work but it was more pleasure. A dear friend was getting married and she asked me if I’d like to take pictures of her special day. I, of course said yes, not only because she is a friend but because I am always so pleased when someone appreciates my style of photography, which is as real as it can get.

Now she was getting married to a famous Indian cricket player. Now I may not watch cricket actively but cricket runs in all our Indian veins. Even if you don’t really watch it, it is always playing somewhere in the background, or is in an advertisement or billboards. It really is everywhere around you. Everything you eat or drink is endorsed by some cricket player or the other. My fondest memories are of mom, sitting us down on her lap while she eagerly heard the commentary on the radio. There was no pulling her away from that radio set.

Everything in India revolves around food. We all know that. But when something as special as cricket is on television, then of course all the Indian snacks come out. The pakodas, the samosas. It is not unlike the Super Bowl in the US I guess. Cricket is a religion here, in India. As soccer is I suppose in Brazil or Argentina. It gives people hope and most importantly brings people together.

Well, food I think does the same.

I had a great time shooting the wedding. And I fell in love with the great darling that is Suresh Raina to the nation. When cricketers are treated as Gods, it is truly amazing to see someone, who as one of the best players on the national team, is as humble and kind as he is. He is the only cricketer to have hit a century (100 runs) in all formats of cricket. So it is only fitting that he should grace my 100th post!

So here I am, bringing the pakodas out. These are made from the stems of the kale leaves that we usually throw away. Don’t! Make pakodas!

And then make yourself some chai and sit back, put up your feet and enjoy a good game of Indian cricket! :)

kale

kale

kale

kale

for the chips
250 grams kale leaves
1 tbsp sesame seeds
1 tsp chilli flakes
rock salt as desired
a good splash of olive oil

to prepare
Preheat oven to 180°C/355°F.

Wash the leaves and pat dry with a kitchen towel. With a sharp knife cut the hard stems off and set aside. Do not throw these!

On a baking tray line with parchment, lay out out your leaves. You can either tear them into pieces of the size you want or you can leave them whole and crack them later.

Splash on the olive oil and massage into the leaves. Sprinkle the sesame seeds, the chili flakes and the salt.

Bake for 15 minutes and take out to cool.

for the kale stem pakodas
1/2 cup gram flour
1 tsp chili powder
1 tsp cumin seeds
1 tsp ajwain/carom seeds
a pinch of baking soda
salt as per taste
water for making batter
the leftover stems from your kale leaves
oil for deep frying

to prepare
Heat enough oil in a wok for deep frying the stems.

Mix the gram flour and the water to make a batter of pancake consistency (as you can see in the picture).

Mix in all the spices and whip with hands till there are no lumps. Dip the stems into the batter and make sure you cover the stems evenly. You could also could also cut the stems in rectangular pieces if you find that easier.

Drop a bit of batter into the hot oil. If it sizzles and rises your oil is ready.

Deep fry for a few minutes till golden brown.

Eat hot!

 

Guest Post: Mustard Bread with Petals and Garam Masala Toffee

Mustard bread with petals and Garam Masala toffee

I have been missing for a while from my space and I hate that. I take my commitments seriously, so when I am unable to make good, there this is horrible niggling feeling that keeps at me till I can come back to whatever it is that I don’t have time for, or for some reason am unable to attend to.

My blog is like my security blanket. I love being here. It is my little creative space.

I am here in India for mom and for work and the craziness here has kept me away from the blog. I also came here to shoot the wedding of a dear friend and the man she married, a famous and endearing cricketer. But that is another post. For now, a dear blog friend was kind enough to guest post for me today. I am in awe of this lady. She is can bake things like I haven’t seen before. Now I am awfully afraid of baking breads. But, Eva aka Mrs. Hudson can whip them out like magic. And she has done it again with a bread she has so wonderfully created, just for Boxofspice. Please check her blog out if you haven’t already at Bakestreet. She may write in Spanish but I think cooking is like music. It has no language. And Eva plays this music like a master.

She has been more than kind in her words for me in her post to me below.

Mustard bread with petals and Garam Masala toffee

First of all I want to thank Rakhee for letting me be a part of her wonderful blog space in which we are accustomed to see real wonders.

For months I have known her blog and since then have enjoyed every one of her recipes, pictures … shame not to try them! Certainly I have several that I need to try.
One day I woke up to a pleasant surprise. Rakhee contacted me, requesting me to do a guest post on her blog. Of course, I accepted with pleasure. It’s wonderful to share one of my recipes here and it is certainly a great honor.

I asked Rakhee if she would like something special and she told me I could do whatever I wanted, just that she would like to see spices in the recipe if at all possible, since she is Indian. I found it a perfect proposal, since many fantastic combinations can be done with them.

At first I was not sure if I could do something sweet (she has many exceptional ones on her blog) or some variety of bread. Finally, I opted for the latter.

I thought about a mustard bread, very fragrant and perfect to combine with sweet or savory (though it may seem strange to combine savory with sweet, it is wonderful). The presentation took me some more time. I wanted to make something elegant, delicate, with impeccable presence so that I could capture the beauty of an Indian woman in elaboration.
Then I remembered this kind of bread that I learned to do with a master baker, Josep Pascual, and I just knew it was going to be perfect.

A bread that resembles a flower with petals and allows us to decorate the inside with seeds.

To accompany this bread, though you can eat it alone, I prepared a Garam Masala spiced toffee. I am speechless! This combination is pure pleasure. Full of aroma and great flavor for your palate.

The best way to enjoy it, and this reminds me of when I was child, a good slice of bread accompanied by a piece of black chocolate and a couple of tablespoons of spiced toffee.

Hope you enjoy it as much as I did creating it.

Mustard bread with petals and Garam Masala toffee

Mustard bread with petals and Garam Masala toffee

Mustard bread with petals and Garam Masala toffee

Mustard bread with petals and Garam Masala toffee

masa-2

Mustard bread with petals and Garam Masala toffee

for the sourdough
180 grams Levain, 100% hydrated and refreshed with strong flour (70 grams) and whole rye flour (20 grams)

rest of the dough
250 grams wheat flour (bread flour)
190 grams semolina
50 grams whole rye flour
295 grams water
11 1/2 grams coarse salt
3 tsp of mustard Maille A l’Ancienne or any coarse grained mustard
seeds: poppy seeds, sesame, pumpkin seeds

for the garam masala toffee
75 grams sugar
25 grams butter
150 grams cream
2 tsp mixed curry powder (coriander, cumin, cinnamon, cloves, bay, cardamom, nutmeg, ginger, basil, fenugreek and pepper)
1 tsp cinnamon powder
1 tsp ginger powder
1/8 tsp nutmeg

preparing the bread
In a bowl incorporate the 3 types of flour, mix lightly with a silicone spatula. Pour water* over the flour and mix again until a smooth dough forms. Cover with a cotton cloth and let rise for around 50 minutes.

*If your flours already have a lot of hydration, instead of adding 100% by weight of water, you can add 70-80% for rising, reserving the remaining water. Once you knead the dough, you can add the rest gradually. That way you can can see how much water you need for your dough.

Add the sourdough and integrate well into the mixing bowl scarping down the bowl well with a spatula.

Place on a clean work surface, and without any flour. Begin to knead. We will now proceed to make the French kneading or Bertinet Kneading. Resting in combination with kneading. The dough will develop the gluten without working it excessively. Knead 2-3 minutes and let stand 4-5 minutes. This step will be done once before adding salt.

Add salt spreading it over the surface. Integrate carefully and knead again. The dough will become strong gradually. Alternate the kneading with rests until the dough passes the membrane proof.

Once we have reached this point, add the mustard. Knead gently to distribute evenly across the surface. Prepare a large airtight container or a large bowl, greased with oil, and place the dough inside and cover. With a bowl cover with film.

Let the dough ferment for 4 and 1/2 hours at room temperature * with 2 folding sessions every 45 min. The 45 minutes starting in the beginning of the fermentation time.

Once we complete the folding, let it stand again until it has almost doubled in size. In my case it was 3 hours but keep a close eye. The temperature in my house was 22ºC.

After this time resting prepare the banneton (a basket that provides structure for sourdough breads), I used a round shape. Sprinkle the banneton with rye flour and set aside.

forming the shape
Before proofing, cut a piece of dough 160 grams and make a boule. Set aside.

Pre-form a ball with the rest of dough, and let stand 20-25 minutes covering the dough with a cloth.

After this time we form a boule with the big dough. With the small piece form a disc, stretching it using a rolling pin. Set aside.

Spray water on the big ball of dough and decorate with seeds. Brush the disk with oil without doing the edges and place it on the dough ball. The folds should be at the base.
Place the boule again in the banneton, covered with foil (covering the entire banneton to prevent moisture absorption) or place into a large freezer bag, closed well and store there until the next day. Total 14 hours in the refrigerator.

baking
Preheat oven to 250° C (475° F) heated up 30 to 45 minutes before. Put tray/stone at the bottom of the oven and a container with small tray with volcanic stones that must be put in before you turn on the oven. The stones must take on the temperature and be hot.

In case you use a stone I recommend to preheat the oven, for one hour.

Five minutes before placing the bread in the oven, warm some water (in a regular cup,  1/2 cup aprox). You can do this in the microwave.

Carefully take out the bread dough on a table which was previously in the banneton lined with foil.

Score the dough. Not a deep cut. Only the layer that is the disc.

Insert bread in the oven and pour the hot water over the tray with the stones and close the door. You need to do this fast to maintain the temperature inside the oven.

Leave it in for 15 minutes at 245° C (475° F) with heat only coming from below. Turn off the top heat.

After these first 15 minutes, open the door slightly to release all the steam inside. Be very careful so as not to burn yourself. Take out the tray/container with stones and close the door again.

Lower the temperature to 230° C (450 F) and turn on top heat. Leave for 15 minutes. Lower the temperature further to 190ºC (375 F) and leave for 10 minutes. Finally turn on the air at 190ºC (375 F) and leave for 5-10 minutes. This drying will favor and improve the bread crust.

Total baking time is 45-50 minutes.

Once we finish baking, turn off the oven and leave a few minutes in the oven with the door half-closed to help form the crust. About 15 minutes. Then remove and let cool completely on a rack before opening.

storage
This bread holds for between 3-4 days. Simply put it face down on a wooden board on the side where you have made the cut, to preserve the air or cover it with a cotton cloth. If this area is dry, just have to cut a thin slice and the interior will tender up.

garam masala toffee
In a saucepan add sugar and on medium heat, stir until it turns light brown and seems to caramelise. Then add butter, liquid cream, salt and spices. Keep stirring on medium low heat for 5-8 minutes.

Remove from heat and store in a glass jar. Let cool completely.

Enjoy a few slices of mustard bread with spiced toffee and black chocolate.
Bon Appetit!!

Mustard bread with petals and Garam Masala toffee

Mustard bread with petals and Garam Masala toffee

Indian Honey Soaked Cake with Rosewater and Coconut

Indian Honey Soaked Cake I Boxofspice

I come to you with yet another Indian cake. As you have heard me mention on this space before, there is no such thing as an Indian cake. Or so I thought. And I’m not the only with this preconception. An Indian friend called while I was making the cake and she too was shocked that there was such a thing as an Indian cake. Apparently there is a bakery in Bangalore called Iyengar’s bakery and it is their signature cake. I have been to the city of Bangalore when I was very little. I only have moms word that I did, since I remember nothing of it. It is supposed to be a beautiful city and these days a hub for IT professionals.

I just love the preparation of any recipe. Looking up how other people were making it, if at all, going in search of the ingredients and then the cutting, chopping, mixing, pouring, whisking. I so love it all.

So this cake was no different. After working out how I needed to make it, I went to one of my favorite grocery stores here in The Netherlands called marqt. They have the most wonderful produce and organic goods.

And I found these beautiful large coconut flakes. I could eat coconut in just about any form. It is absolutely one of my favorite things and it is such a pleasure to share the love of it with my guy. And the large flakes have that extra wow factor too!

AND, so here it is and it is so so sooo good. And deliciously simple too. I was a little skeptic of all that drowning of the cake in the honey syrup but seriously, the moist goodness is incredible and that sweet scent and flavor of the rose water, intoxicating.

I was lucky to find these large thin coconut flakes but you could just the regular dessicated kind. And if you would like (this is optional) add some wonderfully dried fruit along with the coconut. Another round of drenching the cake and you are ready to go!

This recipe is adapted from a blog I’m loving right now, from the talented Asha of Food Fashion Party.

Indian Honey Soaked Cake I Boxofspice

Indian Honey Soaked Cake I Boxofspice

Indian Honey Soaked Cake I Boxofspice

Indian Honey Soaked Cake I Boxofspice

Indian Honey Soaked Cake I Boxofspice

Indian Honey Soaked Cake I Boxofspice

Indian Honey Soaked Cake I Boxofspice

Indian Honey Soaked Cake I Boxofspice

adapted from here

for cake
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/2 cup dessicated coconut + 1/2 cup for decoration
4 large eggs
250 grams butter
180 grams sugar
4 tbsp milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
handful of dried fruits for decoration (optional)

for the honey rosewater syrup
1/2 cup honey
1 1/4 cups water
50 grams sugar
1 tbsp rosewater

to prepare
In a pan heat the sugar and, honey and water. While mixing, bring to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, lower the heat and continue mixing for a few minutes. Turn off the heat, let cool for another few minutes and then add the rosewater. Mix well and set aside.

to prepare
Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C. Butter and flour a cake tin. Mine is a round 7″ shape.

In a mixing bowl, whip the butter till light and fluffy. Add sugar a little at a time and whip well.
Add one egg at a time and beat well to mix. Mix the dry ingredients well with the butter egg mixture. Whisk till the batter forms and mixes evenly. Add the milk a tablespoon at a time and continue to mix. Lastly add the vanilla extract.

Bake the cake for 40-50 minutes. Once a skewer comes out clean from the center, your cake is done.

Let the cake cool for about 20 minutes. You want the cake completely cooled before soaking.

Pierce the cake with skewer randomly and soak the cake, with 3/4 of the honey rosewater syrup. Top the cake after soaking with some shaved coconut, or just plain dessicated coconut. Top with some dried fruits (optional), Once you have decorated the cake, pour the remainder of the syrup.

This cake is gorgeous the next day, once the syrup has permeated every little bit of the cake!

 

 

 

Marble Cake

marble cake I boxofspice

My mom, for me is the worlds best cook. But she never quite was into baking. Or maybe that was because, growing up in India and at that time, no one really made cakes at home. It was much more a western thing. After all we have such an amazing plethora of Indian desserts.

It could also be that we didn’t have an oven back then. And when we did buy one, it was one of those really small puny looking things and it was a wonder anything good came out of there. But sometimes when mom felt like it, it did.

Till today the fragrance of cake is not complete unless it has vanilla in it. That for me epitomizes cake. If vanilla wafted up to my nose I knew it was going to be a special day! Mom hated the after smell left behind in a cake because of eggs, so we were treated to an extra amount of vanilla essence. The cakes were always simple pound cakes but they were so ridiculously delicious.

This cake too is very very simple. Putting it together takes a little time but it is extremely simple. I love marbling, because it gives that little bit of dimension and makes it a little bit more special. You will need to go in a swirl in the batter to your hearts content. I was a little too cautious so I didn’t get enough marbling. Tip: don’t be afraid and mix away!

marble cake I boxofspice

marble cake I boxofspice

marble cake I boxofspice

marble cake I boxofspice

Both cake batters are prepared exactly the same with slight adjustments only.

adapted slightly from here

for the mocha buttercream
3 cups butter, at room temperature
4 cups powder sugar
6 tbsps cocoa powder
2 tbsps espresso coffee dissolved in 2 tbsps of hot milk
1 tbsp vanilla extract

to prepare
Whisk together the butter and the sugar till it is smooth and is fully incorporated. Add the cocoa powder and continue to whisk. Lastly add the vanilla extract and the espresso mixture and mix well. Set aside.

for vanilla cake batter
115 grams butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/3 cups cake flour
1 1/2 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

for chocolate cake batter
115 grams butter, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 large eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup milk
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup cake flour
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1 1/4 tsps baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt

to prepare
Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F.

Whisk the butter till light and fluffy. Add the sugar and continue whisking till smoothly incorporated. Add eggs, one at a time, blend until mixed and scrape bowl as needed.

Mix together the milk and vanilla in a separate bowl.

In a big bowl, mix the dry ingredients. Add this to the butter mixture, alternating with the milk mixture. Start and end with the dry ingredients.

Butter and flour three 7 inch pans. Pour a ladle of each batter. (mine took 2 ladle fulls for each baking pan). And then go to town with the swirling.

Bake each cake for 20-25 minutes or till a skewer comes out clean when you pierce the cake with it in the center.

to put together
Lay one layer on a plate or cake stand and spread 1/3 of the buttercream on top. Add next layer and repeat. Lastly spread the buttercream on the sides and level out with a spatula. Decorate and pattern as you desire.

Refrigerate for about an hour so that the buttercream sets on the cake.

 

 

Jal Jeera / Spicy Cilantro Mint Thirst Quencher

jal jeera I boxofspice

It is Holi today. The festival of color. Like some of the festivals in India, this one too is is about the good winning over evil. And we celebrate it in India with what we love most, food. Every festival has its own traditions with food in India and Holi is no different. Today I am going to make a drink that is happily drunk in gallons on this day. It’s a drink that is also used as a filling for a popular street food called gol-guppas, but that is for another post!

On Holi you are supposed to wear white clothes so that everyone can see all the colors that fall on you. The dry, the wet, the sticky, all sorts of colors. Mostly people go from house to house meeting and covering anyone that comes in their paths with color. And when someone doesn’t want to take part, they are dragged out. And its all in good fun.

holi

When someone comes to your home to greet you with color, and after everyone has doused each other with color, its customary to offer the person, Holi sweets and drinks. And so it carries on till around midday when everyone sort of has had enough. And then comes the wonderful lazy lunch in the sun.

Growing up I of course loved Holi. My dad was not a fan just because it didn’t appeal to the inner barbarian in him! I do have to admit, it is a rough festival. Some people more enthusiastic than the other. But we didn’t care as kids. I mean what’s not to like about a festival where you get to hide and attack grownups and kids alike with water balloons and water pistols and throw color indiscriminately at all and sundry?! I think the only thing that marred our fun was because Holi almost always comes bang in the middle of the final examinations. That used to be a bummer. You play and play and play till you wanted to drop. Then came the shower and after that the most delicious lunch. Now eating lunch in the warm sun, after taking the longest shower, with the thought of impending nose diving into the books to study, could only lead to one thought. Unhappiness. Oh how delicious it would be to sleep after this glorious day, we would think? But it invariably was not to be.

Now Jal Jeera which literally means cumin in water is like a heavenly glass of liquid. When it is hot outside and your throat is parched, this is the drink you want. It is sometimes topped with boondi, which are deep fried chickpea flour balls. You can add some fried peanuts to the left over boondi and eat as a snack. To me this drink was like a meal in itself. Divine. And very healthy.

jal jeera I boxofspice

jal jeera I boxofspice

jal jeera I boxofspice

jal jeera I boxofspice

for the boondi (optional)
1/2 cup fine chickpea flour
1 tbsp vegetable oil
pinch of salt
1 cup water + more if needed

to prepare
Prepare a wok with enough oil for deep frying. Let the oil get very hot on high heat.

Put the chickpea flour in a bowl and slowly add the water. Don’t add the water all at once. Once the consistency of the batter is as shown in picture above, you can go ahead and add the oil and the salt.

Test if the oil is hot enough by dropping a little bit of the batter in. If it sizzles and rises to the top, your oil is ready. Reduce the heat to medium.

Take a slotted spoon and position it over the oil. Take a spoonful of the batter and pour it on the slotted spoon whilst rubbing the batter into the slotted spoon in a circular motion. You will see how droplets of the batter fall into the batter. Let fry for a minute til you see them turn a golden yellow.

Remove and place in a bowl which is lined with kitchen towels. This will absorb the additional oil. Your boondi is now ready.

for the jal jeera
1 cup tightly packed cilantro leaves
1/2 cup loosely packed mint leaves
1 green chili
1 1/2 tsps powder of dry roasted cumin
1 tsp black salt
1 tsp amchoor (mango) powder
1 tsp chaat masala
juice from one lime
2 cups of water
salt to taste
1 tbsp boondi (optional)

to prepare
Place the cilantro, mint, lime juice, chili and salt in a blender and blend till smooth.

To this mixture add all the dry ingredients. Mix well and strain through a fine sieve.

Add another glass of water to this mix.

Take a tall glass, fill it with ice, sprinkle the boondi generously and then pour the green juice (the jal jeera) on top. Sprinkle some additional chaat masala on top and serve immediately.

 

 

 

Kerala Fruit Cake

Kerala Fruit Cake I Boxofspice

This post is about a cake that is Indian. Now I am Indian and we have a staggering variety of food but we don’t really makes cakes. I mean we have a ton of Indian sweets but no real cakes. So I was surprised when I heard about this cake. Now it is meant to be made around Christmas and therefore I’m guessing (because I tried to find where its origins may lie), its an import from Europe. This is a cake you need to prepare for, at least a month ahead. Why you ask? Because it has dry fruits and nuts in it that need soaking in rum a month in advance. Did your eyes light up like mine did when you read that?! Now I am not much of a drinker. In fact I can get drunk on a glass of wine.. oh yes I’m a cheap date! I eat really little too! hehe. So, I was saying, I’m not much of a drinker but when you talk about liquor in desserts you’ll have me running to get a bite. :)

I like how you have to prepare in advance for this cake. I love love love the whole preparation part of cooking or baking. This is a rich cake and I read some people start on it in November and then once the cake is made, make holes in it and every few days till Christmas arrives, soak it with the rum again! How wonderful is that? Now I haven’t done that with this cake because, ehm… I was likely to get drunk on a slice! But I did soak the fruit and nuts for a month. Gave it a shake every now and then and couldn’t wait to get the rum drunk fruit in the cake. :)

The name of the cake comes from the South Indian state of the same name. Kerala is supposed to be beautiful and its back waters are famous. It’s been a long time desire to go there one day and I hope it happens but for now I find satisfaction in making something from there.

I don’t fully agree obviously that this cake is only good at Christmas time. I think it made a perfect Valentine gift. It sure is advantageous to get some liquor in your honey’s tummy! ;)

Kerala Fruit Cake I Boxofspice

Kerala Fruit Cake I Boxofspice

Kerala Fruit Cake I Boxofspice

Kerala Fruit Cake I Boxofspice

Kerala Fruit Cake I Boxofspice

Kerala Fruit Cake I Boxofspice

Kerala Fruit Cake I Boxofspice

for soaking
1/4 cup pistachio
1/4 cup cashews
1/4 cup pecans
1/4 cup almonds
1/4 cup dried strawberries
1/2 cup mixed golden and black raisins + prunes
6 dates
6 apricots
1 1/2 cups dark rum

to prepare
Chop all fruit and nuts roughly and put in a jar. Pour the rum over the fruit. Make sure they are all drenched with the liquor. Cover jar and leave in a cool dark spot for a month.

for the caramel sauce
1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup hot water

to prepare
In a non stick deep pan, melt the sugar on medium fire. Do not be daunted by the task of making caramel, it really is very simple. You need to stir the sugar every now and then. It will first form clumps and then start to melt. At this point do not leave it for a second and stir continuously. Once there are no lumps, add the hot water. Be careful as the sugar will sputter because of how hot it is. The sugar may become lumpy but continue to stir, lower the heat to low and let it melt in the water. Once its a smooth mix, turn of the heat and set aside to cool.

for the cake
2 1/2 cups flour
240 grams soft butter
1 cup sugar
2 tsps baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp ginger powder
1/2 tsp cinnamon powder
1/4 tsp clove powder
1/4 tsp nutmeg powder
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs, separated
2 tsps vanilla extract
1/4 cup hot water

to prepare
Preheat oven to 350°F/175°C.

Sieve the dry ingredients, the flour, baking powder and soda, spices and salt twice and set aside.

Beat the butter with the sugar till light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks only one by one. Add the vanilla extract and the cooled caramel sauce and mix till it is smooth creamy mixture.

Add the 1/4 cup hot water to the pan in which you made the caramel sauce. Let any left over caramel dissolve into the water and then pour this mixture into the butter-egg mixture. Mix again. Slowly add the dry ingredients and blend in.

Drain the rum soaked fruits and nuts. Don’t throw away the rum left over.

Fold in the fruits and nuts into the batter.

In a separate clean bowl, whisk the egg whites till soft peaks form. Fold in the egg whites gently.

Pour the batter into the prepared cake tins or bundt form and bake in the oven for 50 – 55 minutes or till a wooden skewer comes out clean.

Let cool completely before pouring the leftover rum on the cake.

Ferrero Rocher Cake

ferrero rocher cake I boxofspice

My last post was anything chocolate, which I associate with Valentine’s day. Since I’ve never really celebrated this day, I guess my knowledge is coming from television and advertisements which are inundated with the red hearts, and pictures of shiny beautiful couples who seem madly in love. Ugh…

I have promised myself a cliched Valentine. I just am going to do it! I started with the Apple Crumble which I know my guy loves. Easy! But what is a day like this (as I am reminded everywhere I go) without the chocolate. And as I know he may not appreciate it too much, ehm… this one is for me. I was never much of a chocolate lover but these days I can’t get enough of it. I allow myself one piece of chocolate every day. It’s good for health of course… :)

This cake follows my love affair with hazelnuts. I think its the most gorgeous combination. And, in my present state of mind (feeling naughty?) I can’t get enough of it.

And what an easy cake this is. And it looks magnificent doesn’t it? It literally is slapping stuff together. You can make this. And girl, eat it for you. Don’t wait for your guy to buy  you chocolates, make this cake! Put the chocolate in your mouth, pour the chocolate on the cake or… (hehe)

Let’s get started. <3 <3 <3

ferrero rocher cake I boxofspice

ferrero rocher cake I boxofspice

ferrero rocher cake I boxofspice

ferrero rocher cake I boxofspice

ferrero rocher cake I boxofspice

ferrero rocher cake I boxofspice

ferrero rocher cake I boxofspice

for cake
100 grams hazelnut flour
120 grams cake flour
210 grams brown sugar
3 tbsps cocoa powder
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
3 eggs
1/2 cup milk
90 ml coconut oil
1/2 cup freshly brewed coffee
2 tsps vanilla

to prepare
Preheat oven to 175°C/350°F.

Grease and flour a baking pan.

Grind the hazelnuts till very fine. (Tip: to prevent the oil from separating, add 2-3 tablespoons of the sugar from the recipe to grind along with the nuts).

Mix all the dry ingredients except the sugar. Whisk the sugar with the eggs till light and fluffy.

Now add the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and make for 35-40 minutes or till your tester comes out clean. Rotate the pan halfway through the baking. Let cool completely.

for cream in between the cake
200 grams soft butter
200 grams dark chocolate
200 grams milk chocolate with hazelnuts
100 grams hazelnut wafers, broken roughly ( you can also use vanilla wafers)

to prepare
In a double boiler melt the chocolates. Bring to room temperature once melted. Add the butter and whisk till everything comes together. Add the broken wafers and fold in.

for ganache
200 grams dark chocolate
100 grams milk chocolate
50 grams butter
100 ml creamferrero rocher chocolates to decorate

to prepare
Melt the chocolates and the butter in a double boiler. Mix in the cream.

to put the cake together
Once the cake is completely cooled down, slice it in half with a sharp knife. Don’t fret if its not neat, you wont see anything of it once we pour the chocolate on top!

Spoon the cream for the layer on top of one of the layers of cake. Spread evenly and place second layer of cake on top. Press down gently and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes to set.

Take out the cake after 30 minutes and pour the ganache on top.

Place the Ferrero Rocher chocolates on top as you like and however many you like.

Slice and place in mouth!!!