Time flies. It is already our second Christmas in Delhi. We arrived in winter last year not knowing what to expect. The husband started by underestimating the cold and dismissing suggestions that we place a blanket on the bed and lie over it. When the temperature dipped a little he marched to the cupboard, pulled out the blanket, and laid it on his side of the bed. I kept my grin to myself. We were also faced with an interesting problem in our rented apartment. The tiles in the drawing room were slowly shifting one at a time. I first noticed it in end December. Slowly, a sizeable chunk of tiles were shaking every time we walked over them. In Jan, I asked a carpenter to drop by and survey the problem. He said that the tiles in the whole room (we have a drawing-cum-dining) had to be replaced and the whole job would take anything between to five days! I conveyed this to the husband and emphasized on the need to act on this. He kept putting it off week after week. Many a fights took place over this. Then miraculously, when the mercury rose, the tiles slowly slid back to their corners. Come summer, the tiles were fit phaat! The problem seems to have taken care of itself with a little assistance from the husband’s inaction.
This winter when the first tile starting shaking, the husband and I looked at each other and grinned widely. We hope to get by this shaky winter soon!
I decided to try two recipes from Nigella Lawson’s How to be a Domestic Goddess. This book was a gift I received on my birthday from two dear friends. We spent Christmas eve at their place and I thought it’d be nice to carry some goodies along. We are all chocoholics and so I zeroed in on a Dense Chocolate Loaf and an easy peasy Cornflake Crispies. I also attempted a Coconut Macaroon which flopped and was dubbed a coconut laddoo by the husband 😦
Here are the recipes extracted from the book:
DENSE CHOCOLATE LOAF CAKE
225 g soft unsalted butter [I bought unsalted butter from Morning Store in GK -1, M Block Market]
375 g dark muscovado sugar [My boudi sent this for me from California]
2 large eggs , beaten
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
100 g best dark chocolate , melted [I used Morde’s Dark Chocolate]
200 g plain flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
1. Preheat the oven to 190C/gas5. Grease and line a 23x13x7cm cm (9x5x3in) loaf tin. Cream the butter and sugar. Add the eggs and vanilla, beating in well.
2. Next fold in the melted and cooled chocolate, taking care to blend well but do not overbeat.
3. You want the ingredients combined: you don’t want a light airy mass. Gently add the flour, to which you’ve added the bicarb, alternately spoon by spoon, with 250 ml of boiling water until you have a smooth and fairly liquid batter.
4. Pour into the lined loaf tin and bake for 30 minutes. Turn the oven down to 170C/gas mark 3 and cook for another 15 minutes. The cake will still be a bit squidgy inside, so an inserted cake tester or skewer won’t come out completely clean. I did not have a loaf tin and used my round springform pan instead. Also, the convection mode on the micro did not have 170C or 190C. I put the cake in at 180C for 30 minutes and then at 160C for 15 minutes. It came out absolutely fine.
5. Place the loaf tin on a rack and leave to get completely cold before turning it out. It improves if left for a day or so before eating. This cake will probably sink in the middle because of its denseness. I totally agree about it tasting better the next day!
100g milk chocolate [Morde’s Milk Chocolate]
25g unsalted butter
1 teaspoon Golden Syrup [Solar Golden Syrup bought from Le Marche]
50g cornflake [Kellogg’s K cornflakes – healthy :)]
Melt the chocolate and butter and then add the golden syrup. Fold the cornflakes into this mixture and place them in petit-four cases. Since I did not have these, I put them in cupcake liners. Put it in the fridge and let it set for at least an hour or two. As you can see, I put K Cornflakes to some good use!