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February 26, 2011


"This is the sort of cake you'd want to eat the whole of when you'd been chucked. But even the sight of it, proud and tall and thickly iced on its stand, comforts." what do you do when the cake is described as such?Bake it and frost it and eat it and go to heaven :-)
Well worth all the rave reviews on the net..this one is a keeper!The cake itself is pretty easy to pull together and has a fine, tender crumb but the buttercream frosting is a bit over the top, it calls for 250gms of butter which is a bit too much by any standards, I made it anyways but used it just to sandwich the cake and chucked the rest!, instead I opted for a lighter Chocolate frosting from one of my previous posts and also topped the cake with some fresh fruit, basically black grapes and kiwis, the end result...absolutely delicious!!.
Here's the recipe from Nigella's own website-


  • 400g plain flour
  • 250g golden caster sugar
  • 100g light brown sugar
  • 50g best quality cocoa powder
  • 2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 3 eggs
  • 142ml/small tub sour cream(I used yogurt with 1/2 teaspoon of lemon juice)
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract
  • 175g unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 125ml corn oil
  • 300ml chilled water
  • 175g dark chocolate, minimum 70% cocoa solids
  • 250g unsalted butter, softened
  • 275g icing sugar, sifted
  • 1 tablespoon vanilla extract


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  2. Butter and line the bottom of two 20cm sandwich tins.
  3. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugars, cocoa, baking powder, bicarb and salt. In another bowl whisk together the eggs, sour cream/yogurt and vanilla until blended. Using an electric mixer, beat together the melted butter and corn oil until just blended, then beat in the water, at this stage I was quite amused and excited to use chilled water, something I have never used before, it did cause the butter to harden up again but continue and things will be fine. Add the dry ingredients all at once and mix together on a slow speed. Add the egg mixture, and mix again until everything is blended and then pour into the prepared tins.
  4. Bake the cakes for 50-55 minutes, or until a cake-tester comes out clean. Cool the cakes in their tins on a wire rack for 15 minutes, and then turn the cakes out onto the rack to cool completely.
  5. To make the icing, melt the chocolate in the microwave - 2-3 minutes on medium should do it - or in a bowl sitting over a pan of simmering water, and let cool slightly.
  6. In another bowl beat the butter until it's soft and creamy and then add the sieved icing sugar and beat again until everything's light and fluffy.DO NOT SKIP THIS or the icing will be unsoothingly lumpy. Then gently add the vanilla and chocolate and mix together until everything is glossy and smooth.
  7. Sandwich the middle of the cake with about a quarter of the icing, and then ice the top and sides too, spreading and smoothing with a rubber spatula.
  8. I did use a quarter of the icing for sandwiching the cake but used a lighter, glossier frosting(recipe here) for the top.Top with fresh fruit.
Serves: 10. Or 1 with a broken heart!

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February 6, 2011


The craving for dessert intensifies during Winter months, and I find myself hunting for a bite of something sweet especially after meals, gajar ka halwa/meetha is one such dessert without which Winter months seem incomplete, it is an absolute must-have!, mostly cooked in large quantities and stored in the fridge, small quantities are then taken out over time and heated till piping hot before consumption.Here's how to make this delicious dessert-
  • Carrots- 3/4 kg
  • Condensed Milk-1 can
  • Milk- 1 liter full fat
  • Cardamom (green)-2-3 crushed
  • Mixed dry fruits-1/2 cup
  • Clarified butter(desi ghee)-1/2 cup+1 tbsp for frying the dry fruit
  1. Wash, peel and grate the carrots.
  2. Heat ghee in a heavy bottom pan and fry grated carrots till fragrant, about 15 minutes,this is very important to impart a good flavour to the halwa
  3. Add the Milk, condensed milk and cardamoms and cook on a slow flame, stirring carefully till Milk is absorbed, this will take about half an hour, do not stir too much or you will end up with a mush, but be careful not to burn it also.
  4. Adjust sugar, fry the dry fruits and garnish the halwa with them, you can also add some khoya/mawa to the halwa at this stage.
  5. Enjoy the halwa hot :-)

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