Grilling with Dad: Chicken Seekh Kebabs

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We have been having a pretty rainy and windy summer so far. On Friday afternoon, I was on a tour of the Copenhagen canals with my team. Very optimistically, I sat at the back of the boat hoping to enjoy the sunshine, with a few other brave-hearts.

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And right on cue, just before the boat departed, the skies burst open and we barely made it into the cabin, before we got soaked. There was champagne inside though, so it was all right :D

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I am hoping July and August are better. In the meantime, I am chuckling at the various jokes about the (non-existent) Danish Summer that appear on social media, this time of the year.

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Today though, the weather was fabulous: blue skies, no clouds and beautiful, warm sunshine :D I don’t expect this glorious weather to stick around, so it was time to make the most of it.

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The Munchkin and her Dad both love eating outside when the sun shines, so it was perfect to fire up the grill, get out some beer and cold drinks and settle down for an al fresco lunch. The lunch was made up of some bacon-wrapped sausages, a quick tomato salad and these wonderfully succulent Chicken Seekh Kebabs.

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Minced Chicken mixed with fried onions, herbs and spices, formed into long kebabs on skewers and grilled over coals until just cooked. It results in the most tender, juicy kebabs, that yield deliciously at the first bite.

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They are not heavily spiced and easy to eat, so it is great for kids too. The munchkin loved them and enjoyed walking around the garden happily munching away. And her Dad loved them too, licking his fingers, making appreciative noises and all :D

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The best part: they are so easy to make and they need no marination! Simply mix all the ingredients, form them onto the skewers and grill! Easy-peasy… After all, when the weather is this good, wouldn’t you rather be outside soaking up the sun :)

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I am bringing over a platter of these mouth-watering kebabs to Angie’s Fiesta Friday being co-hosted hosted this week by Michelle @Giraffes Can Bake and Juju @ cookingwithauntjuju. Hope they love it as much as we did. Do you have any special Father’s Day traditions? Would love to hear from you :)

Here’s the recipe.

Chicken Seekh Kebabs

  • Servings: 5-6 persons
  • Time: Approx 30 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients:

800 grams minced Chicken
1 inch Ginger, crushed or ground to a paste
3-4 large cloves Garlic, crushed or ground to a paste
3-4 Green Chillies, chopped finely (adjust as per level of heat desired)
1 teaspoon Garam Masala powder
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli powder
200 grams fried Onion (I used store-bought, but you can also make this at home)
2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped Mint
Salt to taste
(You may also need: Upto 1/2 cup Bread crumbs + 1 Egg)

Chaat Masala and Lime wedges to serve

Directions:

In a large bowl, combine the minced chicken with ginger, garlic, chillies, the spice powders, fried onion, cilantro, mint and salt.
Mix well to form a uniform mixture.
Take a lime-sized portion of the mixture and using your fingers, slowly spread the mixture onto a bamboo or metal skewer to form a kebab-like shape.
If the mixture is too dry and you have difficulty forming it into kebabs, beat an egg in a small bowl and add it to the mince mixture and combine well.
If the mixture is too wet, add bread crumbs and mix well.
Repeat with the rest of the mixture to form more kebabs.
Cook the kebabs on the barbecue for about 5-6 minutes, turning regularly to ensure even cooking. You can also grill them in a pre-heated oven for about 5-6 minutes at 200 C.
Remove onto plates and serve hot sprinkled with chaat masala and a squeeze of lime.

Chicken Seekh Kebabs

Fiesta Friday Special: Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

So remember my ‘blues’ post? Angie contacted me right after and suggested I co-host Fiesta Friday to ‘beat the blues’ :D

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

That’s what I am doing today! Yippee!! Fiesta Friday is so much fun, how could I not jump at the opportunity! If you don’t know what I am talking about, well, you better come right over and check it out!

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

If you are a new blogger or would like to make new friends, it’s a great place to meet fellow bloggers, some experienced, some new… you will learn so much, I promise! And have fun, of course!!

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

My partner in crime for this week’s fiesta is Quinn @ Dad whats 4 dinner, who makes some amazing, healthy, kid-friendly food. If you haven’t been over yet, you better hurry :)

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

Now being the co-host I have to bring along something special to the pot luck, don’t I? Well, I’m bringing not one, but 2 scrumptious dishes, with one humble ingredient taking centre-stage…

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Hot from the pan Onion Bhajiya…Spiced Onion Fritters made with a chickpeas flour batter. A super simple, but super delicious treat that is made in most Indian kitchens.

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

They are generally deep-fried, but I’ve made them a bit healthier by frying them in an Æbleskiver pan. Much less oil, yet all the taste of the traditional treat.

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

To accompany it, my Mom-in-law’s utterly fabulous Caramelised Onion Raita. Seriously, this is my favorite raita. It makes a wonderful accompaniment to biryanis and pulaos too.

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

It’s hard to believe that something can taste so good with just 2 main components (I’m not gonna count a pinch of chilli powder and salt as ingredients!). But really, yogurt and onions magically come together here and approach perfection… you gotta try it if you don’t believe me!

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

Now, do join Angie, Quinn and me at this week’s Fiesta Friday. Remember to read the guidelines and remember to have fun :D

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

Here are the recipes.

Onion Bhajiya with Caramelised Onion Raita

  • Servings: 3-4
  • Time: Approx 25 minutes
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Ingredients:

For the Bhajiya
2 large Red Onions, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons chopped Cilantro
1 teaspoon Coriander Seeds, roughly crushed
1/2 teaspoon Red Chilli powder
1/4 teaspoon Turmeric powder
1 cup Chickpeas Flour
1/4 teaspoon Baking powder
Salt to taste
Oil for frying

For the Raita
1 cup Greek Yogurt, whisked
1 medium Red Onion, chopped
A pinch of Red Chilli powder (add more if you like it hot)
Salt to taste
2 teaspoons Oil

Directions:

Make the Bhajiya
Add the onions, cilantro, coriander seeds, red chilli powder, turmeric and salt to taste to a large bowl.
Sift the chickpeas flour along with baking powder into the same bowl. Now add just enough water to make a very thick batter.
Heat oil for frying. You can deep-fry the bhajiya or make them with less oil in an æbleskiver pan or appe pan.
Drop heaped teaspoonfuls of batter into the oil and fry on medium heat, turning over in between, till cooked through and golden brown.
Remove to a plate and serve hot with tomato ketchup, raita or your favorite dips.

Make the Raita
Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the chopped onions and a pinch of salt and fry on a medium heat till the onion is well browned, taking care not to burn.
Add the red chilli powder and cook for a further half minute on a low flame.
Keep aside to cool for a couple of minutes.
Then add the fried onion to the yogurt along with some more salt, as per taste. Mix well and serve.

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Light ‘n Luxurious: Rye Crispbread Bruschetta with Truffle Brie & Sweet Peppers

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Is it Summer yet?? We are finally getting some lovely warm days, though it has been crazy windy sometimes.

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Yesterday though was perfect! I had half a day of work and came home to the munchkin and her dad pottering about in the garden.

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We also put up a swing for her, so she is one giddy happy bunny :)

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While she was happily swinging, we cracked open a bottle of crisp Pinot Grigio and I quickly put together this luxurious bruschetta to munch on.

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I had on hand some pretty, colorful cherry tomatoes and sweet peppers. And a beautiful brie with specks of black truffle. And some crispbread made with Rye.

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They all went into this bruschetta along with plenty of fresh basil, a hint of garlic, a tiny bit of red onion and a drizzle of olive oil.

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We find many varieties of crisp bread in Denmark; it’s called knækbrød here and it is enjoyed with lots of toppings: cheese, smoked fish, egg salad… and it makes for a quick delicious light meal.

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I really love these rye ones… they are super-thin and so, so crisp. I love topping them with cream cheese and smoked salmon!

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This bruschetta was a fabulous collision of flavors: tangy tomatoes, sweet peppers, creamy brie with the bold flavor of truffles… Quick, easy and so delicious!

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I am bringing over these bites of luxury to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. This week’s fiesta is being hosted by two lovely bloggers, Laurie @ ten.times.tea and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook. Won’t you join us :)

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Here’s the recipe.

Rye Crispbread Bruschetta with Truffle Brie & Sweet Peppers

  • Servings: 2
  • Time: Approx 10 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients:

4 Rye Crispbreads (substitute with baguette slices or other bread slices, toasting time will be a bit longer)
10 Cherry Tomatoes in various colors, halved or quartered
2 Sweet Peppers, chopped
1 teaspoon chopped Red Onion
1 small Garlic pod
50 grams Brie (I used Brie that had black truffle in it, you can use plain or other flavors)
5 Basil Leaves, sliced thin
Olive Oil to drizzle
Salt & Pepper to taste

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 170 C.
Rub th crispbread or bread slices with the garlic pod and place on a baking tray.
Top the bread with tomatoes, peppers, onion and basil.
Crumble the brie over the slices.
Sprinkle over the basil. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Drizzle with Olive oil.
Place in the pre-heated oven and toast for 5 minutes. If using bread slices, toast till the bread crisps up.
Serve warm.

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Spring Blues & Happy Hues: Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

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I’m feeling blue, how about you? Would you believe today we are on the last public holiday of the year (not counting the half day off we get for the Danish Constitution day) until Christmas!!

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All the holidays here are concentrated around Spring and then there is a complete drought till Christmas. Well, the 6 weeks of annual vacation do make up for it though, so I really shouldn’t complain :D

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At least the sun was shining for most of the weekend and I took the opportunity to finally get around to painting a board with this pretty shade of aqua.

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I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. Makes me think of the sea and summer vacations even when it is raining outside :D

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In the meantime, I am keeping myself and the family happy with this luscious frozen yogurt. Raspberry and dark chocolate are made for each other, aren’t they?

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This is a no-churn, no cook recipe, that takes 5 minutes prep and a couple of hours to chill. And pretty healthy too, since it contains a bare minimum of sugar and no cream.

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Deliciously creamy from the greek yogurt, pretty pink and tart from the raspberries interspersed with dark chocolate chips, this fro-yo is sure to put a spring in your step (yes, yes, I love my puns!)

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I love the fact that it does not need an ice cream machine. Just be sure that you leave it out of the freezer for about half an hour before you want to serve it and muddle it up a little bit with a fork.

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 And serve it with some ripe juicy raspberries on the side. So delicious and so refreshing with the added delight of dark chocolate chips!

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How ‘Springy’ is it in your part of the world? Blooms and blue skies all around? Or rainy and gray? Or are you baking in the sweltering heat? And what are you cooking up? I would love to hear all about it :D

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Here’s the recipe.

Raspberry & Dark Chocolate Frozen Yogurt

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: Approx 5 minutes plus chilling time
  • Print

Ingredients:

2 cups Greek Yogurt (10% fat)
2 cups fresh Raspberries
1/4 cup Sugar (add more if desired)
1/3 cup Dark Chocolate Chips
More Raspberries to serve

Directions:

Place the Greek yogurt, raspberries and sugar in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
Press the mixture through a strainer to remove the raspberry seeds.
Fold in the dark chocolate chips.
Pour into a container suitable for freezing, close the container and put the container in a freezer bag.
Freeze for a couple of hours.
To serve, take out of the freezer and leave the container at room temperature for 30 minutes.
Mush up the frozen yogurt with a fork and serve with more raspberries.

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Pucker Up: Rhubarb & Port Crumble

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Hmm… so we are in the later part of May, almost summer. It should be getting warmer, shouldn’t it? The weather is nicer, sure, but errr… 15 C is not quite what I have in mind for a garden party!

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I hope it gets hotter soon, though I’m sure when it does, I will complain about how hot it is ;)

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In the meantime though, we have rhubarb in the farmers’ markets and supermarkets and it is gorgeous!

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It is the perfect weather to make some wonderful Rhubarb Crumble. An Autumn dessert in a Spring avatar, using Spring produce :)

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The tart, hard rhubarb gets transformed into a gorgeous soft, tangy mush in this crumble and when topped with a crisp layer of oats, walnuts, flour and butter, it makes for an utterly irresistible dessert.

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 Baked to golden perfection… isn’t that delectable?

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I poured in a dash of port to the rhubarb while it was stewing and it deepened the color of the rhubarb and added another layer of flavor.

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It was so good, we managed to finish off that entire pan in 1 day, going back into the kitchen, for seconds and thirds :D

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It was absolutely delicious and perfectly accompanied by vanilla ice cream! I can imagine how brilliant it will be with some thick homemade vanilla custard… there’s always next time :P

DSC_0161I am bringing this luscious taste of spring to Angie’s Fiesta Friday. This week’s co-hosts are the supremely talented Juju @ cookingwithauntjuju and Amanda @ The Chunky Chef. If you haven’t visited their blogs, you seriously need to! And while you are at it, do join us at the Fiesta :D

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Here’s the recipe.

Rhubarb & Port Crumble

  • Servings: 6
  • Time: Approx 60 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients:

500 grams Rhubarb, chopped into 1 inch chunks
100 grams Sugar
3 tablespoons Port

For the crumble topping
100 grams All Purpose Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
85 grams Rolled Oats
85 grams Butter, chilled
50 grams Dark Muscovado Sugar
50 grams chopped Walnuts

Directions:

Put the chopped rhubarb into a saucepan with the sugar and Port.
Cover and simmer on a very low heat for 15 mins, adding more sugar if you want.
When soft (but still holding its shape) and sweet enough, pour the rhubarb into a medium baking dish.
Heat oven to 200 C.
To make the topping, rub the flour and butter together with your fingers until you have a soft, crumbly topping.
Now add the sugar, rolled oats and nuts, mixing together with your hands.
Scatter the topping over the rhubarb and bake for 30 mins or until golden brown on top.
Serve warm by itself, or with Vanilla Ice cream or Custard.

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Mango Mania: Basil-infused Aam Panna

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Mango, that most luscious, most divine, most celebrated of fruits… oh how I miss mango season!

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When markets overflow with the sea of golden-hued fruit and the enticing, heady aroma of mangoes fills the air…You can almost smell mango season before you see it :D

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Mango is an important part of the Indian culture. It is our national fruit after all! The mango motif is very closely related to the Indian paisley motif and the leaves of the mango tree are used in many auspicious ceremonies.

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I am utterly crazy about ripe, sweet mangoes, especially the Alphonso and Kesari varieties and can have them at anytime of the day or night and in many, many forms: simply sliced, in milkshakes, ice-creams, kulfis, aamras puri…

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But I am also nuts about sour, raw mangoes. Slice them open and sprinkle some salt and chilli powder on them and enjoy the sharp tartness… drool-inducing deliciousness!

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As soon as raw mangoes appear, pickling frenzy begins too and the smell of fresh pickling spices is everywhere. These spicy, tongue-tickling pickles are carefully stored, sent to loved ones across the country and cherished at every meal, throughout the year.

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Besides pickles, the other summer favorite made with raw mangoes is this fabulous, healthy cooling drink called Aam Panna. Raw mangoes are cooked and then ground with sugar and spices to make a drink that is delicious and nourishing at the same time.

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I can’t remember the last time I saw raw mangoes, so when the husband came home one day with some of these green lovelies, I did a happy jig and decided to make some lovely, refreshing aam panna with them.

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Generally mint is added to this drink, but I decided to go with Basil, as I just love the flavor of basil in drinks and I must say it was a really delicious combination! The tart mangoes, the hint of spice, the fresh basil, the sweet jaggery…a perfect warm weather drink.

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I hope the lovely bloggers at Angie’s Fiesta Friday with join me in raising a toast to the golden king of fruits with this wonderful thirst-quencher! Today’s party is being hosted by Justine @ Eclectic odds n sods and Jhuls @ The Not So Creative Cook. Can’t wait :D

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Here’s the recipe.

Basil-infused Aam Panna

  • Servings: 5-6
  • Time: 35 minutes
  • Print

Ingredients:

3 large green, unripe Mangoes
1⁄2 cup grated Jaggery (substitute with brown sugar)
1⁄2 teaspoon freshly ground Black Pepper
1⁄4 teaspoon Black Salt (Kala Namak; optional)
1⁄4 teaspoon freshly ground Cardamom
1⁄4 teaspoon ground Cumin
10 Basil leaves
4 cups ice-cold Water

Directions:
Combine mangoes and 8 cups water in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce heat to medium and cook until mangoes are tender when pierced with a knife.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer mangoes to a plate.
Chill until cool enough to handle.
Peel, pit, and transfer pulp to a blender. Add basil leaves, jaggery, pepper, black salt, if using, the cardamom, cumin, and ice-cold water.
Purée until smooth and serve in ice-filled glasses, garnished with more basil leaves.

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A Munchkin’s Delight: Devil’s Food Cake with Strawberries & Violas

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I have been ridiculously busy the last few weeks, with work, exams and life in general and blogging has taken a backseat as a result. I hope that will improve, especially since I am itching to cook with all the beautiful spring produce in the stores :)

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Last weekend, our lovely munchkin was baptised, just like her dad was many moons ago, and we threw a small party for some of our closest friends to celebrate her baptism and fourth birthday.

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With my crazy ironic sense of humour, I thought it would be fun to make a sinful devil’s food cake to celebrate a baptism. Perhaps I need treatment!

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This cake sure delivered on all its promises: a tall, triple-layered, moist, super-chocolatey cake with oodles of glorious, fudgy, chocolate frosting…

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 The recipe is from the queen of over-the-top deliciousness, Nigella herself, so you know it is going to be can’t-stop-myself-from-tucking-in-at-midnight good!! To take it up a notch, I added lots of ripe, juicy strawberries and some violas. Perfect for a spring soiree, don’t you think?

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The munchkin could barely wait to cut into this cake! She was dressed in a gorgeous, new, white dress which combined with this rich chocolate-brown deliciousness, was a recipe for disaster, but I think we escaped with minimum damage :D

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The day after was Mother’s Day, which I unfortunately spent at work, wrapping up some projects, but it was wonderful to come home to the munchkin, her dad, delicious leftovers and a slice of this heaven :D

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Doesn’t it look utterly divine? I am off to check the fridge if there’s any of this gorgeousness left! You guys, please try making this fabulousness at home! Seriously, so, so good!!

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Here’s the recipe (adapted from Nigella).

Devil's Food Cake with Strawberries and Violas

  • Servings: 20-24
  • Time: 2.5 hours
  • Print

Ingredients:

For the cake
100 grams Cocoa powder (sifted)
200 grams Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar
500 ml boiling Water
250 grams soft Unsalted Butter (plus some for greasing)
300 grams Caster Sugar
550 grams plain Flour
1 teaspoon Baking Powder
1 teaspoon Bicarbonate of Soda
4 teaspoons Vanilla Extract
4 large eggs

For the Frosting
250 ml Water
60 grams Dark Brown Muscovado Sugar
350 grams Unsalted Butter (cubed)
600 grams best-quality Dark Chocolate (finely chopped)

Strawberries and Violas to decorate

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Line the bottoms of three 20 cm/ 8 inch round spring-form tins with baking parchment and butter the sides.
Put the cocoa and dark muscovado sugar into a bowl with a bit of space to spare, and pour in the boiling water.
Whisk to mix, then set aside.
Cream the butter and caster sugar together, beating well until pale and fluffy. This will be faster in a stand mixer with a whisk attachment.
While this is going on – or as soon as you stop if you’re mixing by hand – stir the flour, baking powder and bicarb together in another bowl, and set aside for a moment.
Dribble the vanilla extract into the creamed butter and sugar – mixing all the while – then drop in 1 egg, quickly followed by a scoopful of flour mixture, then another egg. Continue till all eggs have been added.
Keep mixing and incorporate the rest of the dried ingredients for the cake, then finally mix and fold in the cocoa mixture, scraping its bowl well with a spatula.
Divide this fabulously chocolatey batter between the 3 prepared tins and put in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until a cake tester comes out clean.
Take the tins out and leave them on a wire rack for 5–10 minutes, before turning the cakes out to cool.

As soon as the cakes are in the oven, get started on your frosting:
Put the water, muscovado sugar and butter in a pan over a low heat to melt.
When this mixture begins to bubble, take the pan off the heat and add the chopped chocolate, swirling the pan so that all the chocolate is hit with heat, then leave for a minute to melt before whisking till smooth and glossy.
Leave for about 1 hour, whisking now and again – when you’re passing the pan – by which time the cakes will be cooled, and ready for the frosting.
Set one of the cooled cakes, with its top side up, on a cake stand or plate. Slice off the bulgy bits, so you are left with a nice flat top.
Spread with about a quarter of the frosting, then top that with the second cake, also with the top bulge sliced off.
Spread with another quarter of the frosting and top with the third cake.
Spread the remaining frosting over the top and sides, swirling away with your spatula.
Top with lots of strawberries and violas, if desired.
Refrigerate until you are ready to serve.

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