Thursday, 24 October 2013

Brownie In a Mug!!

Bakers Ahoy!! :)
                        Today, we are going to bake something that will satisfy those midnight chocolate cravings in less than 5 minutes, and no, I am not joking. This quick and friendly recipe is so yummy and easy, that baking brownies will never be an arduous task again.
                       Along with being quick, this is kitchen friendly because all you need is a mug. No other vessel except for the measuring spoon/ cup that would be needing. And that means no excessive washing up post the baking! :D Isn't that amazing?!

So lets start with a list of ingredients,

1 small cup of flour.
2 tablespoons of cocoa powder.
4 tablespoons of either vegetable oil/ melted butter.
1/2 cup of granulated sugar
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 pinch of baking powder.
4 tablespoons of water
A variety of topping if you want (walnuts/ almonds/ cashews/ chocochips etc)


Procedure 
Mix all the ingredients in a microwave safe mug into a smooth consistency, till no lumps remain. the batter must be pasty and a little runny. Not dry.


Microwave the mix for around 1 minute at your microwave's highest setting. My microwaves highest is 900 degrees C. So accordingly, if your microwave has a higher setting, it should take hardly 40 seconds, similarly if your microwave has a lower temperature, it would take around 1 minute 20 seconds.
IMPORTANT- This is NOT a baked brownie. This mix must be microwaved. If you are unsure of how long to bake, check after 40 to 50 seconds, if the top is firm to touch, then your brownie should be ready. Also, if you happen to microwave it for too long, then your brownie will turn out dry and hard, which isn't very pleasant to eat.
The Finished Product :D


The brownie is best enjoyed with two scoops pf vanilla ice cream :D . You can also add whipped cream, chocolate sauce and fresh/ preserved fruits :) Simply dig in and enjoy. You can make these in lots so they serve as individual desserts. Ideal for parties and sit down dinners. 






I hope you liked this recipe!! I have got loads of posts coming up. Keep checking in  :)



Until next time,

Cheers!

Wednesday, 9 October 2013

The Splenda Tea Trail

Hello my lovelies,
                      Today I'm going to tell you all, about my conversion from someone who used to turn up her nose at tea to someone who can't wait to taste every variety that is available on this planet's surface! The complete credit of this goes to this brilliant tea- tasting event organised by Splenda (the artificial sweetner); I attended on the 8th of October at Cafe Zoe in Lower Parel, Mumbai...
                  I had good company in the form of fellow foodie Samina Patel (she runs - thecupcakeconfession.com , you must check her out!). On the basis of first impressions, Cafe Zoe is a place I would love to spend all my sluggy weekday afternoons eating fresh salads and creamy pastas. The area for the tea tasting event was all set and ready. I had a good time catching up with many people I had met at previous events. [a big hi! to Purabi, Pushpa Aunty, Aditi :) ]
                  Radhika Batra, was the tea connoisseur who was going to guide us through the entire event. She is one of India's most well known tea virtuoso who runs the brand called "Radhika's Fine Teas"-(http://radhikasfineteas.com/index/ ). We were one of the lucky few who were able to experience the wonderful concept of a "Tea Ceremony"  that Radhika had arranged for us. She had brought along such a vast variety of teas that a novice like me had never even heard of. With a tall glass of iced peach tea, thus began our rendezvous with the different teas of the world.    


       Along with gaining knowledge about the teas, and developing a taste for them :P , I was introduced to Splenda, which I was itching to try. Being a baker, I am on a constant lookout for healthier substitutes for my baked products so that no one (read - me) feels guilty while devouring them :) .
        We were treated to variety of teas... right from morning teas, to evening teas... the varieties we tasted were... Longjing & Oolong (both Chinese variants), a very delicious Black Rose tea from Darjeeling, some Sage tea (this one wasn't for my taste buds unfortunately), the visually enticing Rosella, Butterfly Pea tea, and the Blooming Tea as a befitting finale...  (Below is the collage, Top left to right- Longjing, Oolong, Radhika's pretty Chinese Tea set, Black rose, Middle- The pretty demonstration table, Sage tea, and Rosella. Bottom row - the Brewed Sage tea, the Butterfly Pea tea (both brewed and dry) and lastly the pitcher of Blooming tea.)


       With this being my first time with teas, it took a little more than a few sips to get accustomed to the warm, earthy and smoky tastes of the teas... All of us had a bowl of Splenda to add to the teas after tasting them as is, to see the difference. And what I experienced was unbelievable. one tiny spoon, no kidding.. something like a pinch was MORE than enough to sweeten half a cutting chai glass to my taste.. keeping in mind I have a sweet tooth and there is nothing like too much sugar for me. I was thoroughly impressed with Splenda especially after Nutritionist Naini Setalvad told us its benefits, when substituted with normal sugar... I'm certain that I will be using Splenda in more than one of my future dessert escapades. 

    Cafe Zoe provided us with delicious food that complimented the teas perfectly... there was a course for each tea type... The vegetarian options were brilliant (I am a vegetarian, if you haven't guessed by now :P ).
We had Cheesy Crostinis with the morning teas, Feta and baby tomato salad with the afternoon teas, for luncheon we had Cheese and Cucumber Sandwiches and some Tomato Pizza. And then lastly the dessrts, Oh my gosh, I would go back to Cafe Zoe only for their desserts. Delicious, light and elegant. We were served bite - sized cupcakes with either dark chocolate, chocolate buttercream or strawberry icing and some sponge cake with raspberry coulis on the side, It was just perfect! I loved their dark chocolate cupcake so much that I bought one to munch it on my way home! 


        Honestly, the experience was a changing one. I don't know whether you would believe me, but as I type this update, I'm sipping a mug of Darjeeling Green tea in the cutesy mug all of us were given in the pressie bag along with information on Splenda and a sample of Splenda tablets as well. 

      A special mention to Shruti Amin and Romil Zaveri, for a well organized event. They were gracious hosts and a delight to talk to!  Another thanks to my buddy Samina Patel for a picture of the Red tea (I was too busy eating to snap that one). 
       
      Lastly, I am so glad I decided to go for the event, because like I already mentioned a zillion times; I am not a tea drinker. But now, not only me, but my parents are glad (who are absolute tea lovers) that I've joined their club :) . I'm seriously thinking of using teas in baking, please drop me suggestions regarding the same in the comments, or you could email me directly at thesugarrushes@gmail.com.


So until next time,

Cheers.