Keep calm and bake some chocolate cake….

chocolate cake 1

Running two startups is not easy! I’m tired and stressed. But I also enjoy the new learning. It’s a mixed bag of feelings, I tell you. On a positive note I’ve learnt to multi-task. Managing i2cook.com deliveries and dealing with day-to-day production. On the other hand I’m procuring and on the other I’m selling. For instance, right now,  I’m roasting peanuts and writing this post. Ain’t I cool! 😉

There are days when I’m down or just worked up! I don’t like monotonous work and I do take some productive (ahem) breaks. My logic is very simple, when the pressure at work is too much for me to handle, I just bake. Simple. Bake. Bake bread, cookies or just simple cake. I baked this chocolate cake like three times in less than two months! (God save me from the calories). Once I have like a big unit producing tons of peanut butter, I shall dedicate a room for me. I will have an oven and only bake whenever I feel like taking a productive break ;).

This chocolate cake is simple and gluten-free. I was inspired to make this cake by Smitten Kitchen but I’ve made some changes by trial and error. All the ingredients are meant to be with each other, buckwheat, almonds and dark chocolate is a marriage made in heaven. This cake asks you to bake. Trust me. That is why I ended up making it three times before posting the recipe.

Just bake this cake and you will find reasons like me to keep baking 🙂

chocolate cake 3

 

Ingredients

100 gms dark couverture chocolate (70%)

100 gms butter

100 gms organic raw sugar

3 free range eggs

30 gms organic buckwheat flour

35 gms almond meal (blend in silvered almonds in the grinder until you get a fine powder)

1 tsp baking powder

Procedure

  1. Mix the chocolate and butter in  bowl and place it on a double boiler. Allow it to melt completly and keep  aside.
  2. Measure raw sugar in a bowl and break three eggs. Beat it for atleast 10 minutes or till you get a thick and pale yellow mixture. This is the most important part of the cake and a little muscle work (or a fancy gadget) can give you that super crumbly texture.
  3. Gently fold in the melted chocolate mixture.
  4. Sprinkle the buckwheat and almond meal over the batter and fold gently to combine.
  5. Pour into prepared pan and bake for about 25 minutes. Check for doneness by inserting  a toothpick in the center of the cake and it should come out dry.
  6. Let cool for 5 minutes in the pan and invert onto the rack. Serve warm or at room temperature dusted with powdered sugar or  dolloped with lightly whipped cream or your favourite ice-cream.

I used organic raw sugar & cocoa beans for plating from i2cook.com.

Updates

“i2” series is a new intiative to network and encourage young entrepreneurs.The theme for this month is “i2write” with two awesome hosts! Please join us if you’re in Mumbai. I was invited by Rodinhoods to present my startup – “There but not there!” Read my post here to view the presentation and what i2cook has been upto 🙂

chocolate cake 2

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Coconut sugar ladoo (coconut sugar balls) and it’s different!

Coconut sugar ladoo

Festivals are all about eating…Aren’t they?! 🙂 Today, is the last day of Ganapati visarjan and I thought why not share a simple recipe of one of my favourite and versatile ingredient “coconut sugar“. I’ve made cookies, caramel sauce, kheer and decided to make something new again.  Coconut sugar has a very dominating flavor of coffee like caramel. I made use of the ingredients that I had at home and decided to make some coconut sugar ladoos for the festive season. I have used poha or beaten flat rice to make these gluten free ladoos. Just with four ingredients, these ladoos are not only easy to make but can be made in just 15 minutes flat!

Ingredients

2 cups beaten flat rice or brown poha

1/2 tsp cardamon powder

2 tbs of chopped cashew

1 tbs of raisins

1/2 cup ghee

1 cup coconut sugar or more according to your taste

Procedure

  1. Lightly toast the flat rice until light brown.
  2. Allow it to cool and grind in the mixer until fine like powder
  3. Heat ghee and coconut sugar in the pan until the ingredients melt.
  4. Add this warm mixture to the flat rice powder with some cardamon powder.
  5. Mix well until combined.
  6. Take a tablespoon of mixture in your palm and round them into a ball.
  7. These balls tend to be soft in nature. Be careful to place them on a plate and allow it to sit for half an hour before transferring into a container. They become firm after a while. I made 20 ladoos. Store in an air tight container upto 15 days. I’ve noticed that they taste better after two days.
Ganesha

Coconut sugar ladoo offering to Lord Ganesha

Ganesha lunch

My home cooked meal for the festival

pic 718

I also made some coconut sugar kheer!

I hope I have convinced you enough about this versatile sweetener.  You can buy coconut sugar here


i2cook weekend learning session – “i2write”

i2cook believes in the growing entrepreneurial spirit that motivates several of us housewives, youngsters, jobless sabbaticals and start-ups to do what we do tirelessly. In relation to the struggle we faced while setting i2cook into a retail startup, we intend to make the path less thorny for others. Having said that, we will be calling on 2 hosts every month in an “i2” series, to help us in areas where they are adroit and can help us collaborate to improve our individual skills or just ideate better. Will you join us? You do not need any qualifications, just an intent to collaborate, learn, ideate and share.

Learning new technology and protocols is imperative though not always desirable; however, since we wished to learn from those who have traveled the road, we decided to learn the tricks of success from 2 hosts (every month) who have already comprehended the best practices and will help us in aiming with confidence for our desires!

We wish to extend our learning to others who are facing similar difficulties; hence we have decided to use our office space to help others learn and network with our two hosts along with us. If we see your interest we may further extend such sessions into the future with your help and help more entrepreneurs.

i2write – The skill to write is spelling actions into words. (sounds easier than it is?)

In this new age of writing, we are holding an event for aspiring writers who would like to learn about writing a book or just write for their business or just plain write. They are witty and intelligent women who have written award winning works and they have a wit and humour to match their intelligence!

Shakti

Introducing host #1 Shakti Salgaokar, Shakti Salgaokar is born in a family of writers. So it is hardly surprising what the Mass Media graduate wanted to do but one thing: write. This novel started as a term paper at university of Sussex, where she studied creative writing. It was seven years ago before reality shows became big.  Shakti has worked as a radio presenter, gossip columnist and was a journalist with DNA, writing features, food and restaurant reviews. She is also enjoying the joys of writing her second novel while exploring a new species called ‘husbands’. While cooking up stories is her favourite activity, she also spends time baking and cooking for friends.  Imperfect Mr. Right is her debut novel.. Imperfect Mr Right earned her first award Acharya Atre Foundation’s annual award for fiction writing. She is a Marathi Mulgi, bawibahu, mommy to a dog and two cats. Follow her blog and tweets @shaaqT.

About the book, Imperfect Mr. Right

Can an ordinary perfume salesman ever be a girls match? Avinash Menon head honcho of Cee TV, certainly thinks so. He sets out to make Rahul Rajgopal the man every woman desires to marry- rich, handsome and suave and launches him in a reality show. Enter Tanya Kher a pretty and talanted media planner, who participates in the show for lark. She isn’t really looking for Mr. Right or is she? Will Rahul loose his real identity as he slips effortlessly into the role of multi-millionaire Rajsingh Jaiswal? Will he find the girl of his dreams? And will Tanya rediscover the welter of emotions that she hides behind the mask of cold, ruthless efficiency?

Rushina

Introducing host #2 Rushina Munshaw-Ghildiyal, Rushina is a food blogger, gastronomy writer, food stylist, author and consultant. She started her food career as one of India’s pioneering food bloggers, with her popular blog A Perfect Bite.  She then went on to explore the world of food through a delicious career in food journalism. Rushina currently heads the firm A Perfect Bite® Consulting, and runs the extremely successful APB Cook Studio, India’s first state-of-the-art home-kitchen studio, in Mumbai. Follow her blog  and tweets @RushinaMG.

About the book, A Pinch of This, A Handful of That

Rushina Munshaw Ghildiyal has recently launched a line of signature’Foodles’  ‘(Food+Doodles) and is all set to launch her first book this December. The book is a celebration her coming of age in the kitchen and the many culinary influences that have molded her into the cook she is now. Beginning with a memoir of her growing years and the early influences on her palate, it goes on to explore recipes she encountered from the various people she’s met in a food diary with lots of fabulous recipes and the stories behind them. It includes popular, lesser known dishes and her own creations that cross barriers of community and region to become part of the colourful whole that is Rushina’s kitchen.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND: food aficionados, start-ups, entrepreneurs, writers, bloggers and journalists.

DATE: 28th September

TIME: 4pm onwards

WHERE: no.105, Building no. 5, Jogani Industrial Estate, Chunnabhatti, Sion east, Mumbai – 22. Call for directions 022- 24055308

ENTRY FEE: Free

RSVP: We appreciate if you could email us at i2cookn@gmail.com . Tea time snacks will be provided by us.

See you soon!