Two weeks ago I left my mobile home when I was rushing to meet a doctor. It was the day on which my parents were flying from California to Delhi. Once at the clinic, I knew I had hours to kill before my two minutes with the doctor would come. I was not carrying a book and the only thing to do was to fiddle with the phone. Unfortunately, no phone! I had a panicky one minute in which I considered heading home, getting the mobile, and coming back. But, what if I missed my turn? It wasn’t worth it. With nothing else to occupy my mind, I began fretting. What if my brother was trying to reach me in connection with my parents’ flight? What if my father was trying to reach me? What if my friend who was approaching her due date called? What if there was any other family emergency? I calmed down and began to wonder how we managed to live without a mobile phone for so many years? I remember making plans with friends to meet at a particular time and place. We always did meet up without calls flying forth asking about our location. Life without a mobile phone is unimaginable now. The only two friends who had resisted owning one, have also given in. Anyway, 3.5 hours later (yes, that’s how long I had to wait to get a glimpse of the doctor) I reached home, unlocked the door and rushed to check the mobile. I broke into a huge grin when I saw that I had no missed calls or unread messages waiting for me. I am seriously considering switching off for at least a day or two.
Coming to pertinent subject-matter, I baked Nigella’s Old fashioned chocolate Cake for a dear friend’s birthday. I actually wanted to make a chocolate mousse cake. I scanned several recipes but decided to settle with Nigella’s tried and tested recipes. Plan was to make Nigella’s instant chocolate mousse and top the cake with that. I did make the mousse. I was apprehensive about whether it would set atop the cake. I did not want to take a huge risk as this was a birthday cake. I settled with using the mousse to ice the cake instead and carried the mousse separately.
Here are the recipes extracted from Nigella’s website:
Ingredients FOR THE CAKE:
200g plain flour
200g caster sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
40g best-quality cocoa
175g soft unsalted butter
2 large eggs
2 teaspoons real vanilla extract
150ml sour cream (I used regular cream, not Amul cream)
- Take everything out of the fridge so that all the ingredients can come to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C and line and butter two 20cm sandwich tins with removable bases.
- Now all you have to do is put all the cake ingredients – flour, sugar, baking powder and bicarb, cocoa, butter, eggs, vanilla and sour cream – into a food processor and process until you have a smooth, thick batter. If you want to go the long way around, just mix the flour, sugar and leavening agents in a large bowl and beat in the soft butter until you have a combined and creamy mixture. Now whisk together the cocoa, sour cream, vanilla and eggs and beat this into your bowl of mixture.
- Bake for about 30-35 minutes.
Nigella says that the batter should be divided into two and should be baked separately. I, however, did not divide the batter. Once the cake was done I sliced it through and then topped the layers with mousse.
Watch this to see how it’s done
Here is the recipe extracted from Nigella’s website:
150g mini marshmallows
50g soft butter
250g good dark chocolate (minimum 70% cocoa solids), chopped into small pieces
60ml hot water from a recently boiled kettle
1 x 284ml tub double cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Method – Serves: 4-6 Put the marshmallows, butter, chocolate and water in a heavy-based saucepan. Put the saucepan on the hob, over heat, though keep it fairly gentle, to melt the contents, stirring every now and again. Remove from the heat. Meanwhile, whip the cream with the vanilla extract until thick, and then fold into the cooling chocolate mixture until you have a smooth, cohesive mixture. Pour or scrape into 4 glasses or ramekins, about 175ml each in capacity, or 6 smaller (125ml) ones, and chill until you want to eat.