Friday, 29 August 2014

Art of Cookie-ing

This post was due for a long time. I wasn't sure if my now changed relationship with food fit Bluvian or BluvianEye (I have two blogs one for random stuff and the other for art & life around me). But as for most other things I had to take a call on this huge confusion ;) and here it is. I look at food with the same eyes I look at art… you see :p It is random but it is essentially the art & life beats!

Lot of friends tell me that I put my soul into cooking just like I do while making art. I have no idea about that but whatever I enjoy I get pulled into totally. I enjoy cooking and go into a zone where I am all automatic and almost guided by some other force. A bit exaggerated there but it is true that I can spend hours sometimes wanting to see the perfect glaze on the icing! Pardon my errors and styles in the kitchen… I am no expert and am relatively new in the cooking domain… approximately 7 years old… and still learning.

Kitchen tales

As a child I was not allowed to enter kitchen because mother found me accident prone as well as distracting. I still carry the scar from the first burn. That lovely aroma of freshly baked biscuits came from our old aluminium oven with the glass top. And I peeped in to see the yummies! I was only 2 and I burned my fingers... and had my chin stuck on the rim of the oven! Later one day, they say, I threw the eggs into the washing machine and dirty socks into the washing sink… all while lost in my day dreams as a teenager… That was the last time I saw the face of my mother's kitchen literally. I was banished from all things related to air, water and fire in the kitchen area. I would sneak in only when nobody was around simply for the excitement of being in a place am not allowed to go otherwise.

When my grades fell in the 9th grade, my mother disappointedly told my class teacher that 'the girl does not even have to move her finger to even fetch a glass of water from the kitchen. Not entering kitchen had no connection to falling grades. I had other issues that kept me busy and away from studies… like excessive socialising - trying to be the peacemaker between two waring groups of children in the society… or being the swan to deliver the letter from my favourite senior.

As a child I hated eating food because I had no patience to sit down for long. I ate terribly slow. My lunch would run until tea-time…. when people came back from their post-lunch nap, ready for evening cuppa, I would still be struggling with cold food on my plate... (I have blogged about related stories in

I was a tough kid to raise. The only thing I would eat willingly were fruits! My mother fed up of counting my ribs warned me that if did not eat or study properly she will bundle me off once and for all… that I will be married off… to the kelewalah (banana vendor)… "you can have bananas all day as he carts you around the town… this will put an end to all your miseries… and no body would then ask you to stop playing and come indoors or run after you to make you eat full meals like other humans!"

That was then...

Life had other plans for me.

Today I not only eat willingly… I love cooking! I review good food as a part of my work as a writer too. I love exploring desserts and this is mostly responsible for me having transformed from a stick-insect to a rotund bug! Thanks to yoga and detox drinks… am still in some shape despite being a foodie. I turned down an offer to host a cookery show on TV few years back thinking it is blasphemous for a news journalist to do... and that it would mess with my identity. Those days I used to really worry a lot about my CV and whoever the hell I was supposed to be. The fact is that we belong everywhere we belong. This powerful statement - I am what I am - solved a bit of my crisis. I started letting be.

Back to the kitchen!

Here is a quick look at my latest bakes with chocolate and what I did with the leftover good stuff. These are not for the health conscious, they are pure bliss!

The idea was to custom-bake a cupcake for a special occasion for somebody who loves chocolate fudge. And thus rainbow cup cakes were born. Here is how they look.

They are simple chocolate cup cakes with butter-sugar icing tinted with yellow food colour… garnished with neon sugar crystals… further garnished with browny scrapings.


A friend really thinks I must stop saying my favourite opening line to any recipe enquiry… that 'it is so simple'… she thinks I make people believe that everything is achievable in the kitchen. But I do… even if she won't believe me :)

Did you know that cup cakes are the easiest things you could bake? To one cup of flour add an egg, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 tsp baking pdwr, 1 stick butter… and a tsp of Hintz dark chocolate pwdr… use a cake mixer to smoothen the batter. Use an ice-cream scoop to make equal portions of the batter and transfer them into the cup cake moulds, layered with paper cups. Bake on pre heated oven on high for 5-10 mins. That is all!

For the frosting I normally stick to just butter and icing sugar… and add vanilla or any other flavour/colour to suit the mood. Marks & Spencer's piping bag with various nozzles have helped me decorate like a pro… I bake to feel good and it have never failed to make me smile… so now you know why am addicted to this too ;)

A fudge you can never f*** up

Making the fudge is a lil tedious procedure but they are so dreamy and worth all the effort. Everyone who has had a bite of it makes omg noises. This feedback makes me want to make them for everyone I know… to help them feel just as great!

It is a simple recipe found on the cover of the Milkmaid's can. To a can of the condensed milk, add 100 gms of unsalted butter, half a cup sugar, half a cup dark chocolate powder, 100 gms chopped cashew nuts. Mix this in a heavy-bottom pan. And stir on fire for 25 mins. Remove exactly after 25 mins and pour onto a tray to cool. Cut into cubes running a knife or pizza cutter while still cooling. After few minutes they solidify. And you can break them into chunks like here below. They store in room temperature for a month but donno when it ever lasted for so long.

The brownie leaves a lot of chocolate in the pan. Wasting chocolate is blasphemous in Blu's kitchen ;). I boil a glass of milk in this pan and have all the goodness bubbling/melting into the milk. This can be served as a hot or chilled drink. Or you could mix in a tbsp of corn flour to this chocolate drink, chill in dessert bowls. It is nothing but an easy egg-free chocolate pudding… made just like that!

Best out of waste

The tray that solidifies the brownie also leaves back scrapings. Scrape them off and it can be used to make chocolate chip cookies. 

Cookies, like cup cakes, are damn easy to make. You don't wet the batter as much as for cake. The dryness of the dough is the most important thing to keep in mind. Usually I make cookies to use up the leftover icing mix in the mixing bowl. To the used bowl, I add lil flour, an egg (optional), sm baking powder, and make a loose mix using the cake mixer/egg beater… to this loose flowing dough the brownie crumbs are mixed in. Make small balls and squeeze them in you palm. Bake them in pre heated oven for 5 mins in high or 10 min in medium. And your cookies are ready. If there are still more icing left in the piping bag squeeze some on top of the cookie! And here you have another yummy-crunchy dessert to serve your guests.

I just learnt that the same piping nozzle could give you another pattern too if pressed differently. I love my time spent in the kitchen though they are far and few… helping me stumble upon new things each time… reminding me that life is beautiful :)

PS: Hope my mobile clicks helped break the text. I usually take them to share with my folks back home… to let them know I not only eat but also cook now :p. And special thanks to Madhur Jaffery, meeting her and reading her books changed the way I understood food/cooking.

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