I love macarons, period. Some call it too sweet for their taste, some call it overrated, some call it overly celebrated, but for me, its a dream, how a mere egg white, when married to some sugar and almond meal gets transformed into these beautiful little kisses, i guess the process fascinates me more than the outcome :) , and why not, iam the baker, iam supposed to be mesmerised with the art, the science, thats what keeps me going right :D and hell yeah, it does it job beautifully. I have been in the high for a week now, i go back and look at my pics and smile at them and go back to them again, and again , and again..
This is what was beautiful about blogging right, you used to get a vibe from a post, a blogger, a new story, and you could relate to the food.. The person, oh my iam overwhelmed, i got to meet deepasri deb of hamaree rasoi , anjali koli, panfusine, lata raja, sanjeeta.. harini and a lot more for the first time.. How happy iam.. Inspires me to blog more.. Hope the air stays longer.. We have just had one session with my fav deeba.. A sneak peak..

I have a problem ! Yes and a severe one on that.. i have a habit of attempting the complicated first, be it cooking, baking, crochet or whatever. So it did reflect on my baking , i have made so many things so far but one of my favorites since eternity, a Britannia style fruit cake is something i didn't try yet. But this year i have a resolution, yeah almost half way through the year, iam safe to talk about resolutions now that i have worked a bit on them.

hello hello, after a long while, i guess i should keep that as a part of my post templates :D, but i guess am so happy this time on being back that it might just be for good, i have had a beautiful time in Goa on my birthday, super relaxing 3 days, and right now all iam looking forward to is meeting some of the bloggers i have always been looking forward to meeting in the first ever food bloggers meet in bangalore, the Indian Food Bloggers Meet, IFBM. I was getting vary of bloggers and the socializing between them an blah and blah, but after eons of times iam getting this feeling that this one event is going to be about blogging, something that brought us all together at the first place, so looking forward to it. 

A few days back i got to meet the lovely Saina Jaypal, over a cup of coffee and we went chatting as if we knew each other for a while, so does it happen at times, you don't need any ice breaking, and the comfort is achieved even before you know it. She handed me a very thoughtfully put together hamper from Foodhall, a place i admire for the thoughts that go into most of their services. The hamper had a  Aceto Balsamic Vinegar, LaRambia Olive Oil, Sacla Sundried tomatoes, a sexy looking Jamie Oliver spice, and a pack of farelle pasta.

Special credits to Aparna Jha for this one, she spent minutes together to get the bokeh right!
First of all sorry for being absconding yet again, for all the fuss of i love my blog, am not doing a great job, but as always i promise myself to do better. For those who know me well, know that Swati goes crazy when it comes to mangoes, who doesn't for that matter right...  and that's exactly what happened when i heard about the Mango Mania festival (2nd May to 17th May, 2014) at Grand Mercure, there was no reason for us to say no. Also had heard great things about the food from last year and just couldn't wait enough to get going and try it out.

For a long time i have been hearing good things about Karavalli, a coastal cuisine specialty restaurant at the Gateway. A restaurant which has been around for years and the idea that you can actually expect home style cooked coastal food, it definitely attracts many often. We always get a notion that coastal cuisine has to be only sea food and what do vegetarians have to do with it, but having stayed around a vegetarian mallu friend i know that there's an abundance of  vegetarian delicacies in the coastal cuisine. 

I know i know, i have been guilty of not writing here for long.. but the whole diwali sale got over me, it was an overwhelming experience, to have a few of my readers sending happy messages conveying i have started something like this, some getting nostalgic about nolen gur, some going bonkers about the idea of chikki brownies, amazing it was. Just gave me a reassurance, that the step towards baking and food, that i have taken is a good one, something that is giving me immense pleasure and hope things go well moving forward.

There are no doubts about my love for Italian food and it keeps calling me back. And when there is a visiting chef ready to share some knowledge and lets us get our hands dirty by making our own pasta, life is almost bliss. Theres an Italian food festival running in Bene, the Italian kitchen in Sheraton Bangalore and Chef Carlo Molon is visiting to see through the festival. Chef is visiting from the Sheraton Milan and was was one of the most charming chefs i have interacted with in the fast few years, i loved it when he in-spite of the language barrier was sharing stories with us and very happily shared his onion jam recipe with me, yeah i will attempt that soon.
“I know family comes first, but shouldn't that mean after breakfast?” 

― Jeff Lindsay 

Do i disagree ? nehhh... one must not even attend the end of the world without a good breakfast.. is what i read somewhere and how true. I hate prepping breakfast but if a hearty breakfast is served to me i am all game for it. I have friends who head to hole in the wall almost every weekend, but i want fancy, if I am taking all the pains to head out of my comfort to have breakfast outside, it better be good, well the best. And MoBar Breakfirst is all about that (that's how we all know it, the breakfast is breakfirst in /monkey bar and how cool is that. ) Its like pehle pet pooja phir kaam dooja ;)

“Chemically speaking, chocolate really is the world’s perfect food.”
~ Michael Levine

The best things in life are chocolate, chocolate and well i forgot about the third :P.. well no kidding.. if chocolate is the answer, who cares what was the question. Chocolate is and will be a weakness for my life, i can go on a diet, but i have to have my fair share of chocolate once a week, the gloomiest of days have been brightened in my life with a tiny bite of chocolate, and yes its scientifically proven,  and i am one of the living proofs for this hypothesis. 

So why am i going all choco mushy today, dear fren Mon of Sin-a-Mon tales tells me its international Chocolate day and, do i need a reason to have umm bake umm blog chocolate, :). I haven't blogged for 2 months now, so i had to gear up and no better reason, right. Its chocolate day and i dedicate this day, this post, to my latest love, a flour less Chocolate cake. Sometime back Mon ordered the Bourke street bakery book , and i almost died that day, i remember Garg just not letting me buy it in Sydney, but looking at that i was going crazy and luckily around my birthday, it was on sale on flipkart, and guess what, for 800 something, i ordered it as a birthday gift for myself and asked Garg to pay for it when the book arrives, such are my ways of getting gifts :D 

Ever since i met Harleen a dear fren, and saw how limited a gluten intolerant person is with dessert options, i had told her i will definitely learn some flour less dessert, and Harleen my darling i must tell you your search would end right here, its sinful, boozy, fresh with orange and each one of us who have had it, have gone ummmmm with every bite, we just couldn't stop, just couldn't. So this was the first recipe i wanted to try out of the book. One fine day Mon went crazy over this flan cake, and she had to bake it the same day. Oh i have not mentioned it yet on the blog that these 3 adorable frens of mine gifted a 40l morphy richards oven to me on my birthday, and the shameless me had not used it yet, so with Mons excitement i also wanted to try this cake out. As the madness prevails in the group, we decided to bake together, at my place and inaugurate the new over, the darling that she is, she didn't even think once when i asked to come her to my place.

And what a ball we had that day, we baked together for 4-5 hours, chatted like crazy, shared the silly pleasures of the perfect shiny meringue, the way eggs quadrupled in minutes, the perfect pictures we took, the new techniques we learnt, and oh yes, when Mon almost shouted at me to when i was not folding the things right :D and how can i forget the most perfect caramel this lady churned up in minutes, no fuzz but a lovely caramel, i have named her the caramel queen .. why caramel, well it was for the flan. 

Oh this cake has a story attached to it, i was going to make this cake, but Mon comes in, and says, swatiii... flourless c-h-o-c-o-l-a-t-e cake, then we need to do justice to it by using the real chocolate, yeah we knew we were talking lindt, I am sure Mon wanted me to stop her, that lets just make it with selbourne, but we are frens coz we share the same madness right, and in minutes we were driving 10 kms to find the intense orange lindt, we didn't find the intense orange but we did find the 70% chocolate and we were the happys. The whole process was amazing, given that we are the wes, and the way Garg checks every time, if i will ever follow a recipe to the T, well don't worry, that day is yet to come, we added orange and cointreau to it, used 70% cocoa instead and what a result, i wish the Bourke street guys could know what wonders we have done to their recipe :)

So here's the recipe... read it patiently , lovely methods, and fun results. 

Flourless Chocolate Cake 


260 gms, dark chocolate, finely chopped
135 ml milk
40 gm yoghurt
4 eggs
105 gm superfine sugar, for eggs
4 egg whites
160 gm superfine sugar for egg whites
135 ml pouring whipping cream
55 gm unsweetened cocoa powder, sifted
zest of 1 orange
60 ml Cointreau


1. Preheat the oven to 150C. Grease an 8 inch cake tin, preferable a spring foam cake tin, and line the side and base with baking paper, the paper should protrude about 1 inch above the tin, (the cake rises and then collapses once removed). 
2. Place the chocolate in a large stainless steel bowl and place over a saucepan of simmering water, making sure the base of the bowl does not touch the water, try to use a big bowl, to hold the whole of the cake mixture. Stir the chocolate till it melts.


3. Put the milk and yoghurt in a saucepan over medium high heat, and let it boil, switch off the heat, you will have a curdled milk mixture. Set it aside. 
4. Put the eggs and the sugar for the eggs in a bowl and whisk it for 10 minutes, or until it is light and has doubled in volume, set it aside.

5. In a very clean and dry bowl, whisk the egg whites to soft peaks, and then add the sugar for the whites, whisking until soft peaks form a shiny meringue. Be careful not to over whisk. Place it in the refrigerator.
6. Whisk the cream until soft peaks form and place in the refrigerator until needed.
7. You would now have melted chocolate, curdled milk, whipped eggs, meringue, whipped cream and cocoa powder, all ready to be mixed step by step. 
8. Pour the curdled milk into the chocolate and use a whisk to mix it in. Add the orange zest and the cointreau to the chocolate here. Then add the cocoa and whisk to completely incorporate, it will be a thick blob, but make sure its smooth. 
9. Fold in the whipped eggs in three batches, making sure you completely incorporate the first batch before adding the next.A few white streak here and there, is fine, will get folded well in the next batches. 
10. Lightly fold the meringue into the whipped cream, taking care not to knock out too much air. Fold this into the chocolate mix in three batches, making sure you incorporate the first batch before adding the next. 

11. Using the rubber spatula, scoop the cake batter into the prepared tin, and tap it twice gently on the bench to level it out evenly. 

12. Bake for 1 hr 15 minutes to 30, and don't disturb the cake for the first 45 minutes. 
13. Do the centre wobbling test, and take it out f the oven, let it cool for 30 minutes before removing from the tin. 

Note : This is basically a cooked mousse which can be kept in an airtight container for 1-2 days and refrigerated for up to 5 days, but its the best within 4 hrs of baking. /it puffs up high during baking and the collapses once removed from the oven to form a dense centre. It would taste the best with some ice cream or whipped cream, but i didn't have any and it was simply flawless without them.  

Mon, i had one of the best baking days .. and I am so looking forward to bake more .. remember the bread baking.. we have to do it sooon! Here's Mon's lovely post on the same cake, Mon i had a chinnu tear when i read it, a big tight bear hug or whatever u guys call it.. you get my feeling na :) And yes this was one of your best clicks.

Ever since i have started low carbing, Thursdays and Fridays are gone planning what will i eat on a Saturday, yeah, my binge day. I have to have good share of carbs and fruits and sugar, hence i try to plan around it. So this weeks planning was a whole wheat orange pancake with nutella. I was experimenting but what an experiment, it was a revelation, the subtle citrus fragrance at the end of each bite, covered with the nutella punch was just a call from heaven, no kidding, you have to make it to experience it. Super easy, completely whole wheat, still light and fluffy and amazing. I cannot boast so much about my own experiment yeah, but i just want people to experience it for themselves. Again this was something i was not going to put on the blog so ok-ish photograph from my humble iphone, but the recipe is a keeper, so had to put it down here.

When we talk of pizzas the dominos and pizza huts have shadowed our memories forever and we don't find any art behind them, its cheese and toppings over some bread, that's it, but thanks to many new restaurants that are introducing the pizza couture in a brand new way and .. the real deal, straight from Italy, topped with the right unique toppings and perfect cheeses way above the mozzarella's and fresh herbs. Mezzulana, the Italian restaurant at Movenpick, of which I am already a fan of, due to Chef Antonio, is doing just that, making you discover the true pizzas. We were bowled over, the perfect toppings, the cheeses and the more exciting fact that all the herbs comes from their very own herb garden.

This was not supposed to be a bake for the blog, I am camera-less this week so i was not expecting to make something for the camera and the blog, but i just cannot stay away from the oven right, and all the new things i keep ordering from have to be put into some use before they go bad :P, just another example how we food bloggers / home bakers buy the ingredients first and then decide what to do with them. So i had some peaches lying in my refrigerator and the iccha to try an upside down cake has been wandering in the bylanes of my mind for quite sometime now. So the day had come. At first it was going to be a peach gallete , yeah Saee's Peach galette was on my mind for weeks now, but then i had already done a cherry pie, a peach galette would have been just something very similar, who wants to do things i have done before, nehh... it had to be something new.

I have been trying a low carb diet , on the advice of a friend, for more than 4 weeks now and its going pretty good. Its a diet promoted by well known author Tim Ferris in his book The 4-Hour Body, the diet in short is Skip carbs(roti , chawal, and breads primarily) for 6 days, and sugar not even fruits, yeah.. now that hurts, and then binge on the 7th day as much as you like, yes anything and go as much as 6000 calories that day, i know they just lure you, 6000 a day is kinda impossible. But as the book says, you can have your cheesecake and eat it too. :) Yeah that holds true that day. So in the process of following this diet, i have discovered a lot of new recipes, and understand that healthy eating is not always difficult.

Daring bakers is a group i wanted to be a part of for a long long time, i don't have to repeat that anymore. I was no longer a DB virgin with the Gevulde Speculaas, a dutch pastry, but post that, the Australia trip, jamshedpur trip etc etc, barred me from attempting the other challenges. This month i was determined to do my bread and DB challenges on time. This months bread challenge was yeasted baked doughnuts, i made them on time, but haven't posted them yet. This month was special, its become a ritual this year to keep checking the 2 groups for the monthly challenge in the beginning of the month, then either i will be super excited about the challenge, or just fine with it.

2 weeks back a group of us bloggers as a part of CAL Bloggers table were invited for the Friday Barbeque Night at Alila Whitefield. I had never dined at Alila, but who says no to BBq! Given out new year party history, bbqs have been an integral and soulful part of our lives, we love the idea, doing barbeques, and more than that enjoying the barbeques.  We were thrilled to attend this event, but given a few bad experiences in the past at other places, were a little sceptical too. But i repeat, who says no to bbq.