Friday, September 19, 2014

Wholesome Whole Wheat Mocha Cake with Brown Sugar and White Chocolate

Exam time in our house is indeed stressful for all of us.
The only one who really enjoys exam times are sweet dog Romeo.
Peacefully and undisturbed , he sleeps as sweet child is busy with his books.
Or sniffs around waiting for cake crumbs to fall ...
Just in case you are wondering, he is a Lhasa Apso ,shorn of his mane to bear the summers.
Hubby dear is decidedly ignored, Sweet Child is forcibly glued to his chair and table and a whole lot of emotional black mail is piled on his young shoulders and poor ol'moi?? Well I am inundated with 150 odd answer sheets to check.The teaching part of a teachers job is fun but the correction bit is akin to walking on hot coals.
At the end of the day you realize how much time you wasted on each topic when you see an answer sheet like this .
Your body sure needs some kind of reassurance that the next term would be better.
Did I say body??? Oops, I meant mind.
Well, the best part of corrections is the time we get to keep our lips zipped.
And at home ,pressure is on .

Fruit is not a desired commodity here.
I am the only Fruitivore , the rest love their processed food stuffs. I just try to be contrary.But this is a peace offering.



One of these is a Wholesome Whole Wheat flour Mocha cake . I saw it here and substituted chocolate chips for dark and white chocolate. And of course oil for butter and gur ki shakker for brown sugar.
According to sweet child, the addition of the white chocolate was the manna from heaven.
I tried to keep it safe so that it would not be gone in 60 seconds, all seem to be eyeing the poor cake ,not really allowing it to cool .
I remember , my mum used to bake three cakes at a time. The first would finish as soon as it came out of the oven , straight from the cake tin ,the second was allowed to be demoulded from the tin and sliced, but was always eaten warm and the third waa kept as a treat for a rainy day...that too never lasted too long.
Here, sweet dog Romeo keeps up with sweet child and his desire for un frosted crusty cake. Only vanilla or chocolate.
These are specific instructions for me.
Always.
I like the dressing up , hence I frost.
However this one never lasted so long.

For the

Wholesome Whole wheat Mocha cake with Brown Sugar and White Chocolate...

You need

1 cup whole wheat flour
3/4 cup white and brown sugar plus 1 tbsp brown sugar for sprinkles
3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp soda bicarbonate or baking soda
Pinch salt
100 mils vegetable oil or melted butter
2 eggs
5 tbsp full fat yogurt or 80 mils
2 tbsp coffee powder I used Bru
50 mils milk
100 gms white chocolate chips
1 tsp vanilla essence

Grease and flour an 8 inch cake tin and set aside.
Preheat oven to 170°C .
Mix the flour which is simple atta or whole wheat flour and the baking powder and soda and salt and set aside.


Blend the sugar and oil or butter ,add in one egg at a time .



Add in the coffee and milk mixed in and them dump the yogurt and vanilla.
I forgot the vanilla, but no worries.


Now blend in the flour mix.
Fold in the chocolate chips or simple chopped white chocolate.  I added a wee bit dark chocolate too. I am not specifically fond of white chocolate.
Sprinkle the reserved brown sugar and oop into the oven for 35 to 40 minutes.

 Check with a knife and remove it from the oven.

 Allow it to cool about 15 to 20 minutes before you demould the cake.
And how that patience genuflects before the political science text book and stories of Augusto Pinochet and Saddam Husain and Nelson Mandela...

 Thank god Marie Antoinette asked the people to eat cake ( or not).
 That is sweet dog sniffing at the prospect of an errant slice of cake falling on his tongue...
At least the cake is healthy.
Well these are the only pieces left ,so another cake is going into the oven.
That's why they say, History does repeat itself.

That is pink guava flavoured green tea to  make it goodier.


So what are you baking today???

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Life's Game Chapter 3, A Saga by Crowning Glory

Crowning Glory

Please read the previous chapter here.

April '2012

The smell of the winds changed.
From the pleasant smells of palm trees and the paddy fields and the salt sprays of the seas, Jennifer was now beginning to smell the dry, cakey ,muddy smell of a long train journey. As the train wound through the Konkan Coast,Jennifer could well imagine what Mumbai would have in store for her.
God bless the lead photographer of Marie Claire magazine who had decided to elope at this very moment. Fortitude always rewarded those who worked hard. But Jennifer knew that this time she had to prove herself to be worthy if she wanted to dictate terms. Photography was an expensive job and someone had to pay for it.
The last job had lasted only 30 days and it had cost her precious money to settle down in a new city. Precious money she could not afford to waste. She could think  of the new lens and the software up gradation she would be needing if she could not augment her finances soon. It always costs so much to make money, she thought. Another thing her Ex had warned her about. With her background you'd think she needed no warning.
A restless night later , morning dawned close to Mumbai Central.
Gradually the train screeched into the busy station and the compartment was filled with Coolies offering to carry her luggage to the taxi stand. "One bag only??",drawled the coolie disbelievingly. He shook his head with disgust and chewed on his Kheni.
She tossed back her somewhat undone plait,she was used to this disdain coming from men.
Jennifer stepped into a sea of humanity and unbearable stench of unwashed bodies and skipped down the stairs past the dirty walls to the taxi stand. She would have to tackle the Mumbai Locals from tomorrow.
One last indulgence ,she thought as she closed the door and hugged her camera to her,it was becoming her raison d'etre. Women generally reserved such fondness for their babies...


***

Malad was a long drive away, but that was where the cheapest paying guest accommodation was available. Fortunately her PG accommodation was a few of stops via local train away from her office.
Jennifer was starving and she could smell the tantalising aromas of  kadhi bubbling away in the corridor,when the landlady smiled and asked her to freshen up and join her for lunch.
The landlady seemed motherly,but then you never knew with wardens.
Her ex had once told her that she exuded positive vibes that attracted people. Jennifer had coyly accepted it as flattery then,she hoped what he had observed was true. She really craved some flavoursome food.

After a much needed bath and a hot meal,Jennifer sat down to survey her new home and sanctuary till her current job lasted. The room was clean and the bedsheets and curtains were faded,but looked freshly washed.
She plugged in her laptop and thanked her stars that the room rent included a wifi connection. She just couldn't afford the roaming charges right now.

It was almost midnight when Jennifer had finished editing and photo shopping the pictures she had taken in Kochi Fort of the Chinese Fishing Nets and tourists enjoying the days catch and the by lanes of Jew Town . Jennifer made a mental note to approach some art galleries to attempt to sell a few prints. Mumbai was an expensive city and her salary would take a while.

Bright and early she headed towards her swanky office in Ville Parle. At least the address was posh. The local trains were not bad at 7 am, there was ample space to sit and observe her co passengers and that made for a comfortable ride. It was imperative that she avoid crowded trains. Her camera was too precious to bear the jostling of the indifferent commuters.
With the address in her hands,Jennifer walked the two kilometers to her office building. 
Glass facade, swish set of doors , a superbly effective air conditioning and green plants at the foyer greeted her while the guard looked on in askance. After a simple enquiry,he told her that only the boss came to the office so early and he led her to the elevator bay.
The luxury of her surroundings made her aware of the simplicity of her blue jeans and plain shirt. Thank god ,she had chosen to wear smart shoes today,she really didn't want to make a bad impression.

With trepidation,she knocked on the bosses door,only to find him walking towards her with a cup of steaming hot liquid in his hand. With a smile ,he extended a hand and introduced himself. he even remembered her name.
And this time Jennifer Joseph sounded nice.
Jennifer gratefully sipped some hot coffee while the Boss spoke about the assignment she had been hired for. 
The magazine was scheduled to do a series  of articles on successful women entrepreneurs and /or bosses and their lifestyles. The articles were to be supported by an 8 page photo spread and the onus was on her as to how she intended to conceive and execute this project.
This would be her big break, as they were to say and as the write up was to be minimalistic,she would be working independently.
No one to cramp her style. 
Wardrobe Planners ,Stylists, Make up crew and rest of the entourage would be at her beck and call.
Finally.
But then the Boss added a footnote. He expected perfection and nothing less.
"But that is what I am always seeking Boss. I will not let you down.Ever",replied Jennifer.
Handing her the list of the ladies she needed to photograph, Boss led her to a cubicle and en route acquainted her to the coffee station.
Company password scribbled on the  paper, she sat down on the swivel chair to enjoy the feel of her new office. First office would be more like it.
Maybe the pink slip from Kochi had not been such a  bad omen...
Names...
Hmmmm...
Most of them sounded familiar.
All except the first one. Ms Tara Dutta, CEO ,Lucky One TV.
She plugged in her battery charger to charge the extra batteries she always carried and waited for the computer to boot.
Jennifer googled her first subject and watches as the search engine spewed out the results.


Interested? Follow the story here


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