Mahanandi

Living in Consciousness ~ Indi(r)a’s Food and Garden Weblog

Chocolate Cherry Cake for July 4th

Chocolate and Cherry

Warm and juicy cherries from farmers market. Unsweetened Chocovic baking chocolate from Trader Joe’s. Hazelnuts from last winter. Combined with all-purpose flour and baked together. This cherry chocolate cake has strong bitter taste. Almost like medicine, and I love that kind of choco-potency. A rare extravagance that puts in a mood for an equally decadent holiday weekend.

A chocolate cake shouldn’t be cloyingly sweet. That is the manthram I applied when I put together the following ingredients. It’s an easy recipe and the results are very bakery like.

Chocolate Cherry Cake:

8 oz unsweetened baking chocolate (Chocovic)
2 cups - fresh, sweet cherries
1 cup - all purpose flour
½ cup - sugar
¼ teaspoon each - baking soda & baking powder
¼ to ½ cup - melted ghee
¼ teaspoon - finely crushed cardamom
¼ cup - hazelnuts, finely chopped
9-inch loaf pan

Chocolate: I broke the chocolate bar to small pieces and placed them in a bowl in a microwave oven. Heated the chocolate until it melted to smooth lava like. It took about two minutes of microwave heat and two stirrings for lump-free consistency. (The chocolate can also be melted by double boiler method on stovetop setting.)

Cherries and Hazelnuts: While chocolate is cooling, I removed the pits from cherries using fingers. Cherries were very ripe, so it was quick with fingers, and I didn’t have to use knife or special gizmos like cherry pitter.

Baking Time: Kept the oven at 350 F to preheat. Lined the loaf pan with parchment paper. While oven was getting hot, flour got sifted into a vessel. To the flour, I added sugar, baking soda and baking powder. After stirring with a spoon, I added ghee, melted chocolate, and cardamom powder and combined them well together with a sturdy spoon. Pitted cherries and hazel nuts went in next. Mixing one more time, and then poured the whole thing into baking pan. The batter was fairly dense (see the images below), but manageable.

Placed the pan in preheated oven and baked the cake at 350 F for about 45 minutes. When a fork inserted in the middle of the cake came out clean, I turned off the oven and removed the pan to cool the cake. After the photography session, I finally took a break and had a small piece. Loved the bittersweet experience.


Melted Chocolate and Pitted Cherries…. Dense Choco-Cherry Cake Batter, Ready for Baking


Cooling off - Cake and Kittaya…… Reversed and Ready to Slice - Baked Cake Loaf

Chocolate Cherry Cake with Hazelnuts
Chocolate-Cherry Cake with Hazelnuts ~ for Chocolate Craving

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Cherries, Chocolate (Thursday July 3, 2008 at 10:00 am- permalink)
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Chilled Cherry Yogurt

Diminished appetite and constant need for something cool, it’s that kind of hot day here in Seattle.

To revive the sweltering spirits, I had to prepare something pleasant. Sweet and juicy, in rich mahogany color, Washington state’s own beautiful bing cherries came to the rescue. Few cherries halved, pitted and mixed with yogurt, then refrigerated for half an hour. Preparing chilled cherry yogurt at home is a simple process with delightful results.

Yesterday’s ratatouille reheated with pasta and freshened with mint, plus chilled cherry yogurt ~ Our meal today

Recipe:
(for two)
2 cups fresh homemade yogurt
15 cherry fruits
Salt and Sugar ~ a pinch each
********
Rinse and cut the cherries in half. Twist, separate the halves and pullout the pit.
Add salt and sugar to yogurt. Whisk the yogurt to smooth or buzz in a blender.
Stir in the cherries. Refrigerate for about half an hour. Enjoy the chilled cherry treat!

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Fruits, Cherries, Yogurt (Wednesday July 11, 2007 at 9:05 pm- permalink)
Comments (18)

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Mirchi Bajji ~ Hyderabadi Style

Some foods I cook for healthy body and some for mental health. Mirchi bajji belongs to later category for me. Cravings and nostalgia motivate me to cook this deliciously hot recipe. Hyderabad, the capital city of my home state Andhra Pradesh has a unique recipe for stuffed bajjis. I have already blogged about mirchi bajjis with different stuffing’s from different regions in India but thought this famous Hyderabadi style mirchi bajji deserves one more post dedicated to it.

Chilli bajjis, the popular street food are incredibly easy to prepare at home and make an excellent way to begin almost any special meal or they can be served as a light meal/snack on busy days. Because we remove the middle thick white vein that carries the seeds, these chilli bajjis are surprisingly mild and not that hot at all.


Reducing the spice kick of chillies by removing the white vein with seeds.

Recipe:
(for 20 chillies)

Preparing the filling to stuff the chillies:
Sesame seeds - 3 tablespoons
Dried coconut powder - 3 tablespoons
Coriander seeds (dhania) - 1 teaspoon (dry roast these 3 to pale gold color)
Salt - ¼ teaspoon
Tamarind juice - 1 tablespoon
Take them all in a blender or spice mill - make a smooth paste without adding water. Remove to a cup.

Mirchi (Chillies) Preparation:
Pick 20 straight, plump, healthy looking chillies. Wash and dry them in a kitchen towel. With a sharp knife make a vertical slit in the middle of chilli on one side. Keep the ends intact (see the photo above). Insert the knife tip and pluck the thick white vein in the middle along with the seeds. Usually it will come off nicely with a sharp knife. After preparing all chillies in this way, start stuffing. Fill the gap with the sesame filling nice and evenly one by one and keep them aside on a plate.

Preparing the batter to dip stuffed chillies:
Besan (gram flour) - 2 cups, sieved
Rice flour - ¼ cup, sieved
Salt, cumin and ajwan (vaamu) - ½ tsp each
Take them all in a vessel, mix to combine. Adding water, prepare medium thick batter of thick buttermilk consistency.

Deep-frying:
Take about 3 to 4 cups of peanut oil in a deep bottomed skillet or kadai. Heat the oil on medium-high. One by one dip the bajjis in batter and gently drop from the sides of kadai into hot oil and deep fry until golden. Remove to a paper towel covered plate and let cool a minute or two. Serve with some limejuice sprinkled and finely sliced onions and tomatoes on the side.
(I’ve dipped the bajjis in batter again and double fried them for that true taste.)


Mirchi Bajjis with Chickpea Guggullu and Watermelon Granita (Ice) with Cherries
Our Comforting Meal and My Entries to
Santhi’s JFI~Flour and also to Revathi’s FMR~Comfort Foods

Watermelon Granita with Cherries
Watermelon juice, limejuice mixed and frozen for about 4 hours. The ice is crushed (gently with a hammer) and cut cherries are added before serving

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in Green Chillies, Amma & Authentic Andhra, Flour(Pindi), Gram Flour (Besan), Rice Flour, Cherries, Peppers, Jihva For Ingredients (Monday July 31, 2006 at 3:18 pm- permalink)
Comments (46)

The New Home of Mahanandi: www.themahanandi.org

Cherry Clafouti

What can one do with cherries, when they are purchased at $1.19 per pound. Of course, bake them with all purpose flour, the only recipe I know using cherries. Giant Eagle, the chain grocery shop, near my home is selling bing cherries for 1.19 a pound this week. No, they are not damaged. They are perfect, plump, sweet and irresistible as always and as good as the cherries I bought at farmers market last week for 3 dollars a pound.

After downing about 3 pounds, we decided to make some sort of dessert with the remaining cherries. So I baked Cherry Clafouti or more like Cherry Custard or two-inch pancake filled with cherries. This is such an easy dessert that is very simple and quick to put together.

Recipe:

Half-pound cherries- cut in half and pits removed
Half-cup pancake mix (or all purpose flour)
One-cup whole milk and one egg
2-4 tablespoons of sugar
For flavoring I added dried and powdered ginger (sonti)

Removing the pits from Cherries Cherries flaoting in flour-milk batter

Preparation:

I’ve added the pancake mix, milk, egg, sugar andsonti in a mixing bowl and whisked them by hand until all the ingredients are well combined and the batter was smooth.

This was only for us two so I used a small 6-inch oven proof-serving dish for baking. After greasing the dish, I filled it with batter and arranged the cherries, more like jam-packed. Baked this in the preheated oven at 350° F for about 40 minutes, until risen and golden. The top will be browned like a pancake and the insides will be gooey with cherry sweetness.

Cherry Clafouti

I didn’t add lot of sugar. The sweetness is all from cherries (I did the quality control by tasting half of each cherry:)). With mild sweetness and a texture falling between a custard and a pancake, cherry clafouti was such a delight. We loved this simple dessert.

Taking a bite of Cherry Clafouti
Cherry Clafouti

Posted by Indira©Copyrighted in All-Purpose Flour(Maida), Cherries, Molasses, Milk & Products, Eggs, Milk (Thursday June 30, 2005 at 3:45 pm- permalink)
Comments (13)

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