Monday, 24 November 2014


I have been missing on daring the challenges at the Daring Bakers but have never failed to check on them every month. For the month of October we were challenged to put our hands on an Austrian Sachertorte by Korena. The moment I saw the challenge I knew I had to kick my off late lazy self and make this beauty. After all who can ever say a no to a chocolate cake.
Sachertorte is one elegant cake which is filled with apricot jam and is covered with a fudge like chocolate glaze and has the word 'Sacher' written across it. Ideally served with a generous dollop of schlag (unsweetened whipped cream), this cake is on every baker's must-try list. 
The Sachertorte was first created in Austria when Prince Metternich requested for a fancy dessert for his guests. With the pastry chef being ill that night, the task fell on an apprentice called Franz Sacher who created the historical cake. Franz's son later opened the Sacher hotel in Vienna where the closely guarded secret recipe of the cake is served to this day. 
With its amazing history and world wide repertoire, there was no way I could miss attempting this cake in my humble kitchen and there was no other occasion befitting for it than my Sweet day today. Vaanya turns 3 1/2 years today. This month had also blessed us with a baby boy in my brothers house. There is someone smaller than Vaanya now :) It is such a joy to relive those moments and cherish the time when she was this small and would fit in our arms. A time when every piece of clothing was still big for her. A time when she had no hair on her head and I would wait for them to grow. A time when I would wait for her to speak to me and demand little things from me. 
Time flies and today I have a new set of wishes for her. Parenting is such a never ending thing and such a joy. 

Recipe source : Korena from Korena in the kitchen

Ingredients : 

Cake : 
  • 60 gms butter, softened
  • 1/2 cup powdered sugar
  • 3 eggs, separated
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 90 gms dark chocolate, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup all purpose flour
Apricot glaze : 
  • 15 dried apricots, soaked in water overnight
  • 3 tbsp sugar
Chocolate glaze : 
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 50 gms chopped dark chocolate
Writing chocolate : 
  • 2 tbsp chopped chocolate
  • 1/2 tsp vegetable oil
Procedure : 

Cake : 
Preheat oven to 190 degree Celsius.
Grease and line a 7" square baking tray.
Melt chocolate on a double boiler or in the microwave and set aside to cool.
Take butter in a large bowl and beat till creamy and light.
Add powdered sugar and beat.
Beat in the egg yolks, one at a time.
Add in the cooled chocolate and vanilla extract.
In another clean bowl, beat the egg whites with a tbsp of granulated sugar. Gradually add in the rest of the sugar and continue beating till they form shiny peaks. 
Now stir in 1/3 of the egg whites mixture into the chocolate mixture. Gradually mix in the remaining. 
Sift flour and add in the mixture in two additions with gentle hands.
Spread the batter in the prepared pan and bake for 35-45 minutes or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Cool completely and cut in two even layers.

Apricot glaze : 
Deseed the apricots that have plumped with overnight soaking and reserve the flesh.
Put the apricots in a pan and cook over medium heat with sugar till it thickens. 
Keep mashing the mixture with a spoon and add a little water in between. 
In about 20-25 minutes you will have a thick jam consistency.
Remove from heat and cool.
Strain the mixture through a sieve to achieve a smooth consistency.

Spread this glaze in between the cake layer and spread on top and sides too.

Chocolate glaze : 
Place sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pan over medium heat and bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Cook for 5 minutes or till you get a one string consistency i.e. when you take a drop of the sugar in between your thumb and index finger and pull apart, it should make a single thread.
Remove from heat and whisk in the chopped chocolate.
Pour immediately over the cake which should be placed on a wire mesh to collect all the excess chocolate glaze.
Allow to set.

Writing chocolate : 
Melt chocolate and mix in the vegetable oil.
Put in a piping bag and snip of the end.
Write the word Sacher on the cake or decorate as you like.

Slice and serve.

Notes : 
  • If you have apricot jam or preserve, boil 1 cup of it with 2 tbsp of rum or water over medium heat and cook till mixture thickens for about 2-3 minutes.
  • You may use a round shaped pan which is how ideally this cake is served.
  • You can substitute this recipe of chocolate glaze with a simple chocolate ganache recipe if you do not like very sweet frostings. 

Friday, 14 November 2014

Farmer's Market by Karen Anand at the Taj Bengal Kolkata

Along with the Kolkata Food Bloggers I had an amazing opportunity to interact exclusively with Karen Anand prior to her visionary Farmer's Market exibition here in Kolkata on Sunday 6th November 2014 11 am to 7 pm.

With the General Manager of Taj Bengal, K Mohunchandran and the Executive Chef Vikas Miloutra, this was a meet specifically designed to have an exclusive session on the Farmer's Market which has been a happening sensation since it started.

Fresh Avacado from the garden
From the stable of Karen Anand. 

The Farmer's Market is a pioneering whole food and lifestyle initiative by Karen Anand. In the age of home gourmets, culinary adventures and a return to natural foods, finally a lifestyle market which is a source of Indian produce. Kolkata Farmer's Market on Sunday 16th November will see curated culinary experiences in fluting cookery demonstrations by Master Chefs, a fresh and novel array of exhibitors who will showcase their artisan produce from across the country.

The Desserts
The cold meat read at the Hub, Taj Bengal

Exhibitors from the diverse spaces such as cheese, home chefs, masalas,  boutique food manufacturers, teas and fresh vegetables and startup vendors will come together to offer a Gourmet shopping experience.

After 16 successful Farmer's Market across the country with more than 80 local restaurants, chefs, dozens of avid home bakers and amateur chefs, wineries and 100000 plus visitors Karen Anand and her Team are back with the Farmer's Market.

The Farmer's Market is scheduled to take place in the following cities.

9th November at the West in Lawns, Pune
16th November at the Taj Bengal, Kolkata
22nd and 23rd November at High Street Phoenix Mall, Mumbai
7th December at the Westin Garden  City, Mumbai
14th Dec at the Grand Hyatt,  Goa
21st December at the Westin Gurgaon

You can also follow Pune Farmer's Market on Facebook Farmer's Market
Twitter @PFM_India

Vishal & Amrita Tupper


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