Enjoy Winter Nights the Italian Way

Mmmmmmm…!!!

I just had a cup of the BEST hot chocolate this planet has to offer.

I’m still drooling. Forgive me.

*shakes head to get out of dreamworld* This is the bestest hot chocolate I’ve come across in my whole life! Steaming hot, almost as thick as pudding, great with or without marshmallows/whipped cream: I’ve finally discovered the true taste of Love. One sip –> Addiction!

Sadly, I drunk it as soon as I poured it into the cup, and so, I’m left with a burnt tongue and no pictures. But, this is just proof of how fantastic this Italian delight is! I must say, Italians are geniuses ^_^

Without boring you guys any further, here goes this MARVELLOUS recipe:

Ingredients (for one cup):

4 tablespoons roughly chopped chocolate (I used Hershey’s milk chocolate chips but a bittersweet chocolate like Cadbury Bournville would definitely be much better)

3/4 cup milk

1 tsp cornflour

1/2 tbsp sugar (if using milk chocolate chips but use 1 if using bittersweet chocolate)

a pinch of salt

Method:

Heat the chocolate along with a tablespoon of the milk in a saucepan, until the chocolate has just melted. Keep stirring with a silicon/rubber/wooden spoon/spatula throughout the cooking process. Slowly, pour in the remaining milk. Add the sugar. After the sugar has dissolved, quickly add the cornflour and keep stirring so no lumps form. Now keep cooking (and stirring) over low heat until the mixture is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and pour into a cup. You may drink it immediately, and get your tongue burnt 😉 Or, you may wait a minute or so, but then, a thick coating forms on the surface, so you have to stir it before drinking. Needless to say, you’ll enjoy it! 😀

I’d love to hear about your first experience with this so please…comment below! 🙂

Microwavable Treats

All around everybody’s like: “Microwaves are HARMFUL!” “The radiations can cause cancer!” “Don’t use a microwave…EVER!!!” and yada yada yada… *yawn*

But who cares when you can be assured that a microwave would enable you to whip up some really scrumpilicious, chocolaty treats in a couple minutes just when you’re craving for a no-energy-wasting-midnight-snack? And the best part: it’s single serve! 😀

Mini Chocolate Cake

  • 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp good quality cocoa powder (try Hershey’s)
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 3 tbsp caster sugar (if you don’t have it at home, grind normal granulated sugar)
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 2 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla essence
  • To garnish: Nuts, Bananas, Chocolate chips, Multicoloured sprinkles, Vanilla/Chocolate/Cookies and Cream ice-cream, Chocolate syrup, Mini marshmallows etc.

In a small bowl, combine together the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and sugar. Add in the egg, milk, oil and vanilla essence and stir well so no lumps remain. Lightly oil (or spray) a cappuccino cup and pour in the cake batter. Microwave on high for two minutes.

This cake tastes great, but tends to have a little dry, slightly rubbery texture, so serve it with chocolate syrup, ice-cream or fruit.

Gooey Chocolate Brownie

  • 6 tbsp (sweetened) hot chocolate mix (I used Cadbury’s Drinking Chocolate)
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour or maida
  • 2 tbsp oil
  • 3 tbsp water
  • Milk, if batter seems too thick
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla essence
  • Chocolate chips

In a cappuccino mug, mix the flour and drinking chocolate mix. Add the oil, water and essence and mix it well using a fork or spoon. If batter seems thick and hard to stir, add in a little, just a little milk. Fold in the chocolate chips. Microwave on high first for 60 seconds. If not done, microwave for 10 10 seconds more until the sides are cooked and center is molten. Now, you have an option: either wait a couple of minutes for it cool down, or dump a heaped spoonful in your mouth as soon as you take it out of the microwave, and get your tongue burnt like I did.

Chocolate Chip Cookie

  • 1 tbsp melted butter
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • A pinch of salt
  • 1/8 tsp vanilla essence
  • 1 egg yolk
  • Just a little less than 1/4 cup all-purpose flour or maida
  • Chocolate chips
  • Chopped nuts, if you want

In a cappuccino cup, stir together the melted butter, sugars, vanilla and salt. Add in the yolk and mix well. Add the flour and mix again. Fold in the chocolate chips and nuts. Microwave for 40-50 seconds (in any case, less than a minute). It will have a soft center and golden brown edges. Serve immediately.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

Monday morning blues or last night of vacations: Chocolate soothes you. It makes everything perfect and blissful. Toss in some brown sugar, some table sugar, a few sticks of butter, fold in the flour and the soda, add an egg or two, pop it in the oven, and there you have ’em: CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES, made from scratch. No need to visit Hobnob anymore to get that outrageously expensive but mouth-wateringly delicious cookie. No need to bear the whines of the ‘Cookie Monster’-inspired kids. You can bake them right at home, in almost no time!

So here goes:

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Measure out 3/4 cups of granulated (i.e. normal) sugar and 3/4 cups of packed brown sugar.

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Add in 1 cup of  softened butter or margarine and cream them together. Add 1 beaten egg and mix well.

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Fold in sifted 2 1/4 cups of all-purpose flour. Also, add 1 tsp of baking soda and 1/2 tsp of salt.  The dough gets really really stiff at this point. It is a pretty good exercise for your arms 😛 .
Now for the best part! Gently fold in the chocolate chips. The recipe calls for 2 cups but I add as many as I want. Toss in the nuts, be it walnuts, or almonds, or pistachios. Be CREATIVE. That’s what cooking is about!

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something is really wrong with the pic uploading :/

Drop small balls of the dough on UNGREASED cookie sheets, approximately 2 inches apart. I like to press down to flatten them a little.
Bake them at 180 degrees celsius in a preheated oven, until they are golden brown, have soft centers and slightly brown edges.

ENJOY!

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Ingredients:

3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 egg
1 cup butter or margarine, softened
2 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup coarsely chopped nuts (optional)
2 cups (approx.) semisweet chocolate chips OR dark cooking chocolate, chopped into small pieces

Method:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit (around 190 degrees Celsius). Beat the egg in a large bowl. Add the sugars, and butter and beat well. Stir in flour, baking soda and salt (dough will be very stiff). Stir in nuts and chocolate chips. Drop dough by rounded tablespoonfuls on an ungreased cookie sheet, and shape them into circles. These cookies should be placed approx. 2 inches apart. Bake 8-10 minutes or until edges are light brown (the centers will remain soft). Cool slightly. Remove from cookie sheet and cool on a wire rack.

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