My post today is going to be as short and sweet as these chocolate pie pops. “Are you in a hurry?,” you might ask, and “yes” will be my answer. My discourse is usually long, I know, but today I have to get in and get out as I have a long, long day ahead of me!
Category Archives: Chocolate
I am done with reading health articles, really. Before looking at pictures of fruits, flat abs and a measuring tape on a page, I pause for a moment and wonder if I should continue. These articles never end on a positive note. And it’s not the question of “truth hurting”. How is refraining yourself from all the good things in life true?
Now there is a new theory doing the rounds. Apparently your cholesterol intake has nothing to do with the cholesterol in your body. Thank you very much for flouting this idea after years of banishing butter! The information overload on health is unwarranted and people really have to calm down.
This is the first time in six months I’ve taken such a long break from my blog. Blogging rule #1 says never to ignore your ardent followers for too long. I have been absent for a few days, I know and I have a genuine explanation. I was fever bound and stepping into the kitchen was not an option. Continue reading
For someone like me, weather is hardly a determinant of my hunger. Hail storm or scorching sun, if there’s something delicious in front of me, I can just eat. But I don’t know what it is about the rain and food in general, my hunger button is perennially on or should I say cravings button? And then a new chapter of gluttony unfolds.
After days of baking cakes and pies, people have begun to acknowledge me as a baker. At gatherings and social dos, that’s the first line of introduction these days “oh she’s an amazing baker.” And then there’s this funny mixed feeling that creeps in; this gush of happiness sets in but soon I wonder if I’m worthy of all that praise.
May be I am but there’s nothing greater than “doubt” for someone who wants to travel leaps and miles ahead from where they are standing. I often ask my husband to criticize me, I ask friends for honest feedback, I look at bygone posts and kick myself for not being able to deliver the best and this is not a modesty exercise where I try to fish for compliments. If you have a look at the growing community of food blogging and the kind of beautiful things people put up, you’ll know what I mean.
The word “tempering” throws many people off and rightly so. That too in noncommercial kitchen setups (Indian homes) were humidity is at its peak, tempering chocolate can be even more daunting. I’ve done a little bit of research, pulled up information from great places and collated it together for you. We need to get down to basics though; you can’t just buy a piece of chocolate and begin to temper it. You have to know what tempering is and more importantly you need to know your chocolate.
What is tempering?
To use chocolate for dipping or coating, your chocolate needs to be tempered. What you essentially do when you temper chocolate, is making the chocolate stable so that it remains solid without melting even at room temperature. Chocolate is also tempered for that lovely gloss and a brittle snap, characteristics that we find in chocolates we buy from a store. The key is to not get intimidated by the physics of chocolate tempering – just blindly follow the instructions, warming, stirring, cooling, warming, so on and so forth.
I was at the market the other day to buy vegetables. I was looking for my usual suspects – my pushy spinach guy who always tries to trick me into buying other things along with spinach, my-sweet-talker-salad-guy, who sweet talks me into spending a few hundred bucks on him, my big-hearted tomato-onion guy, who for some reason always gives me onions and tomatoes at a cheaper price (I don’t bargain)and then I also have my exotic fruits guy; if I am looking to buy seasonal fruits, he’s the man I count on.
I know I lash out chocolate recipes at least twice a month. I am not a diehard chocolate fan like some people. I know folks who’ll eat anything made out of chocolate. I indulge in a chocolate dessert only if it’s really, really good.
Even as a child, I preferred my birthday cakes to be vanilla or strawberry based rather than chocolate. Having said that, I do have a few exceptions – “that really tiny chocolate cake” from Sandy’s, Madras, the chocolate biscuits that were sold in my school canteen and the wicked chocolate burfi my childhood friend’s mom would make any time we had a school excursion or a pajama party.
For my grandmother, cooking was never a chore. It was a habit that she took great pleasure in. A day without the heat from the wok or effortlessly tossing a pinch of salt into rasam wasn’t a day at all. There were no cookbooks or measuring cups, cooking was intuitive for her, something she knew all her life without actually ever properly learning it.