mohabhoj

Guilt-free summer cake

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Guilt-free summer cake

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Rosogolla and the first day of the Bengali New Year.

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Rosogolla and the first day of the Bengali New Year.

Rosogolla — a cottage cheese ball dipped in sugar syrup — is the quintessential Bengali sweet. Here’s to a sweet beginning!


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The ‘Parfait’ Breakfast, Snack & Dessert

Parfait for me: Blueberry yogurt, granola and fresh berries.

Parfait is French for ‘perfect’, and my taste buds have taken a fancy to yogurt parfaits lately.

While the word ‘breakfast’ sounds very comforting, I must admit that the thought of toiling over pots and pans, early in the morning, to dish out one is rather discomforting. When it comes to breakfast, I prefer something that doesn’t involve the use of the stovetop, microwave or oven. And yogurt parfaits adhere to my preference.

Under 300 calories: Blueberry yogurt – 140 calories; half-cup fresh berries – about 40 calories; a generous sprinkling of granola – about 100 calories.

A medley of fruits (go for seasonal [organic?] fruits); yogurt of your choice (plain or flavored) and a generous sprinkling of granola (I get mine from Whole Foods [really?] )has the potency to kick start your day in a healthy way.

With homemade parfaits you have control over the calorie intake and also partake in the “know your food” part of the “Know your Farmer, Know your Food” campaign. Buy the ingredients from your local farmers’ market and you will get to “know your farmer” too.

TASTE your Temptation!

The parfaits act like analgesics in calming down cravings in-between-meals and also does a commendable job in pleasing your sweet tooth, in the guise of a dessert.

The smooth and luscious yogurt combined with sweet berries, interlaced with bursts of tartness, and the crunchy granola won’t disappoint you!


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Berry-smitten

Baking with berries is akin to playing with colors. Berries, like colors, add vibrancy.

Today I baked a batch of blueberry muffins to satiate my obsession with berries. As I watched the muffins slowly rise in the oven, the berries began to burst and sprayed the muffins with a bluish-violet color — like a painter embellishing his canvas with strokes of creativity.


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Fun with baking

When it comes to baking, experimenting with ingredients can yield fabulous results. Every time I prepare chocolate cake I make sure to add some instant coffee powder as well as freshly brewed coffee to the batter. Today I went a step ahead and added some buttermilk to it. And the result was a super moist batch of chocolatey goodness.

What added to the fun was these funky baking pans. Garnishing with shaved chocolate curls and raspberries added a special touch.

And talking about presentation, individual dessert servings always look overtly tempting.


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Berry-licious!

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Fresh & sweet organic strawberries, as bright as thunder.

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Roaring red, sliced halves.

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A light dusting of sugar.

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Generous dollops of ice creamy clouds.

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A downpour of non-fat milk.

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…all set to drench my throat — it’s gulp down time!

Christmas, cakes and memories…

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It was a week before Christmas when a friend of mine told me that she couldn’t wait for Christmas.

“Me too, I love the plum cakes,” I said.

I was only ten.

“Cakes?! No you fool, I am excited about the gifts that I would get from Santa this year,” she said.

“Santa brings you gifts! What are you talking about?” I asked her.

She explained how each year Santa Claus brought her gifts. I was bewildered and hurried home to tell my parents about it.

What dad said bewildered me further. But I wasn’t ready to accept the truth.

I hung a small plastic bag from the almirah knob the night before Christmas.

I woke up the next morning and looked inside the packet to find a math book staring back at me!

Dad was right…

 

But I didn’t want my sister to miss out on the fun and anticipation. So I started playing Santa to my little sister from the year after.

From the beginning of November I used to start telling her about how careful she should be while preparing her wish list, for Santa had a budget of no more than Rs. 20.

Fancy erasers, stone stickers, glitter pencils, gel pens, candies and a Christmas card – were the things that Santa would bring for her.

I still remember her saying, “Look didi Santa’s handwriting is the same as yours,” after reading the card, signed: To Bony, from Santa Claus.

 

Today it’s just another Christmas day. A flood of memories, some snow flurries and a chocolate cake with chocolate raspberry frosting made it brighter.

But I still miss plum cakes…

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