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Brown Butter Hazelnut Cake – The Changeling

This is about a hazelnut cake that lead the life of a the Bollywood film, Highway. The concept started out distinctly exciting, baked into a bit of a disappointment before then surprisingly redeeming itself at the end. What a deceptive little fellow, this.

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Eating in Penang. Warning: Food porn ahead

 

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I love this image for what it captures of my memory of the food streets in Georgetown. The fresh food being cooked, tourists and locals mingling to sample the local fare or just get their evening meal and all that simmering action. I clicked this picture in the minute I could tear myself away from hogging with a couple of local friends.

This is a post on a bingeing trip in Penang, from over a year ago.  By the time I settled in, I was eating everything I could lay my hands on. Typical to me in my moments of greed, I didn’t often get around to doing the sensible thing and writing down the names of what I was eating even though I asked for them, discussed techniques and ingredients and sometimes lingered around just to watch the fascinating action. I do however remember so much of the atmosphere, the flavours, the educational experience that eating Penang was. So here’s the post I wrote but never did publish..  Writing this and wading through the hundreds of other pics of Penang that I clicked, has left me with a craving for unfamiliar, exciting food. A longing for the inimitable experience of being a in a truly unfamiliar place, with unfamiliar flavours, smells, sounds and sights. I’m going to have to travel soon, I can see. Read more

The Best Doughnuts you will ever eat OR big things we learn from little ones

Just look at how lovely and light the inside of that doughnut is. And that's my beautiful homemade custard cream oozing out..

Just look at how lovely and light the inside of that doughnut is. And that’s my beautiful homemade custard cream oozing out..

It was one of those painful summer vacation visits to Kerala. I was about to turn 16 and spending the summer among relatives in god’s-own-forsaken land (or as it seemed to my action-crazed teenage eyes) wasn’t a prospect I was happy at. Away from home, school, Delhi and all my friends, in the maddening midst of hoards of relatives was the last place I wanted to be. Any of you who have had scores of smirking distant relatives walk up to you and ask, “do you know who I am”; only to be offended at your embarrassed but honest reply that you have no idea whatsoever (and frankly couldn’t care less) know the pain of those excruciating summers in the lap of beauty. The only significant silver lining was the impending delivery of my favourite aunt… That and the prospect of the yummy food ofcourse! Read more

Vetekrans – For butter or worse.

photo (14)After ages, I felt like myself in the kitchen yesterday. That is to say, like a baking obsessed maniac. Cooking up a storm for no rhyme or reason, with no mouths to feed. A massive cinnamon and cardamom wreath, an absolutely fantastic lunch of noodles with mango and aubergines with an abundance of herbs (which I must share just cos it was so so good), and a creamy meaty gravy with what I hoped would be tender, flaky biscuits that heartbreakingly turned out to be flat, slightly bitter slabs of sorrow. And last night, in my zeal and determination to give myself and the world a delicious, easy, true 100 percent whole wheat recipe, I found the night turn into morning in a whirl of time-lapse as my brain and laptop kept ticking.  Read more

When baking gets peachy

I’ve long been a fan of Dorie Greenspans Dimply plum cake and when I recently saw an enormously tempting pic Rutvika Charegaonkar had posted on Facebook, I knew I had to rustle this one again ASAP.

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Now, when I need to bake, I need to do bake and not having any plums wasn’t going to stop me either. To kill two birds with one stone, I decided to use up some peaches that I wasn’t in the mood to eat as God (pr Man) made them. After all, fruit MUST be consumed. Everyday.

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To take the whole thing up a notch and accentuate the peaches, I ditched the cardamom and vanilla and replaced them with 2tsp finely chopped basil leaves, 4 cloves, zest of 2 limes and half an orange. The eureka moment for me, though was when I held above four together in my hand, trying to smell them together and get a sense of wether I thought it would work. Did you know that cloves have a note that distinctly echoes the spicy notes of basil? And this is the same note that brings out some complexity in peaches! Meanwhile, citrus , especially lime underlines the fresh tart sweet juiciness of the fruit. How can this not be exciting? It’s such joy to see what flavour combinations can do. The fragrance of the cake alone was payoff enough and the layers of aromas, more delicious because of the unusual herbiness of basil. Perhaps it was the citrus and spice combo but for me, this cake tasted distinctly of Christmas.
Suffice to say, this is a much better way to eat peaches.

Do check out the recipe on Smitten Kitchens blog.

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