Friday, September 16, 2016

Chocolate Rum Cake


Drunk texting? Sure! We've all done that at some point of time. But drunk blogging? Well, that's definitely a first for me! Blame it on my mum's birthday. Yes, you read that right! Its my mum's b'day and her b'day cake that's gotten me here. Not that I am complaining! I could probably go for a couple of slices more, though the blurred edges of the words warn me otherwise.
Let me start by saying that my mum's favorite present are those beautiful boxes of dainty liqueur chocolates. With very little time to shop, I am embarrassed to say I came up with naught. This would have been acceptable had I a heartwarming present on standby. But alas! I failed there as well. So I thought of the next best thing. Make her some liqueur chocolates. And as my brains unfroze they decided to take it a step further. Chocolate and liqueur in a cake. An all in one dessert! 
Now it would have been great had I stuck to the thought and used one of my regular recipes. But no when you go big, why not go grand?! That's when we went from dainty to drunk! In my quest for the best ever chocolate rum cake, Google kept pointing me towards the Caribbean inspired dark chocolate and rum cakes. And the more I read, the more I knew I just had to make the most chocolatey, most boozy ever rum cake. Decadent and degenerate. 
Enter the recipe on foodinmybeard. After having devoured hundreds of rum and choc recipes, I can honestly say that this was hands down the booziest and easiest cake around. I knew I wouldn't rest till I made it. And well, ate it! Now the cake came out of the oven looking all normal and innocuous.

And then it was subjected to this. Now the bottles on top are merely to add weight to the lid, and don't actually form part of the recipe. But below the lid is a sinful, booze addled rum butter sauce that with the extra weight squishing it down, permeates every crumb of an already very rummy cake. The result? Drunk Blogging!

Dark Chocolate Compound     170 grams
Butter                                       1/2 cup
Dark Rum                                1 cup
Flour                                        1 cup
Eggs                                         4
Sugar                                       1/2 cup
Brown Sugar                            1/2 cup 
Baking Powder                        1/2 teaspoon
Baking Soda                            1 teaspoon
Cocoa Powder                        1/2 cup
Salt                                          1/2 teaspoon

Rum Butter Sauce
Butter                                      1/4 cup
Sugar                                       1/4 cup
Dark Rum                                1/4 cup + 1/2 cup

Microwave the butter, chocolate and rum for 30 seconds. Whisk. If it hasn't melted completely, microwave again for 30 seconds. Whisk till smooth. Add the sugars and whisk well. Now add the eggs one at a time, whisking well after each addition. Sift all the dry ingredients together. Add half the dry mix to the wet batter and mix well. Now add the rest and mix till combined. Preheat the oven to 180 C. Pour the batter into a greased and lined cake tin. Bake for 45 minutes or till done. Once the cake is done, take it out and poke holes all over with a toothpick or skewer. Gently pour over the entire butter sauce. Cover with a lid that touches the surface of the cake, and weigh down with additional bottles. Once the cake cools completely, flip onto a serving tray and for once, you can drink your rum and eat it too!
Rum Butter Sauce: Heat together the butter, sugar and 1/4 cup of rum. Bring to a boil and let it boil for a minute more. Take off the heat and whisk in the remaining 1/2 cup of rum. Pour warm over the cake. This is the lethal weapon that turns your cake from decadent to drunk! 

Sunday, September 4, 2016

Meat pickle

I can't stop dancing. Or singing. Its that time of the year finally! Time for my annual vacation home. Three weeks of doing absolutely nothing. Three weeks of being completely pampered by mum and dad. And three weeks of gorging on all my favourite food, cooked not by me, but by mum, granny, aunt and my darling Robert uncle! And yes, I absolutely aim to overindulge!
Last Sunday as we sat making plans for the upcoming vacay, Hubby Dear issued a dire warning against pilfering his share of the meat pickle this year. You see, every year when we go home, Mads Masi bottles a jar of the most sinfully addictive meat pickle, exclusively for HD. It was great in the earlier years when I was following a vegetarian diet. But then I returned to the meat fold, with a vengeance! So when last year's batch made its way to us, HD was none to happy he had to share. But imagine his disappointment a couple of hours later when he poured himself a chilled beer and headed to spoon a few pieces of his favourite snack. The pickle jar was empty! In my defence, running after the monster munchkin all day is hungry work. And did I mention the pickle is sinfully addictive?!
He was of course mollified when Masi bottled a batch specially for him and I swore to keep my fork away. 
The memory though, remained. Hence, the dire warning! And that was what led to my sleepy sunday turning into a sweaty one. Ever had one of those moments when you share a food memory and the description is so vivid you can almost taste it in your mouth. And so strong is that sensation that you just have to have it. Like right that moment. Or your tastebuds will drive you nuts as you drool unchecked?! Well, lets just say we needed our meat pickle fix. Right that moment. A week was too far away!
A frantic call to Masi for the recipe and we were raring to go! The only hitch? Goat's meat wasn't available! But as my friend said, Baa ain't too far from Oink. So pork it would be! The promise of that tangy, tasty pickle spurred everyone into action. HD took off to bring us the choicest cuts. And Oink Friend helped peel, chop, grind and stir. And stir. And stir! And...excuse me, while I go polish off that last forkful ;)

Meat (boneless)       1 kg (goat/beef/pork/lamb)
Mustard oil              1 1/2 cups
Ginger                      100 gms
Garlic                       125 gm
Vinegar                     1/3 bottle
Sugar                         a pinch
Garam Masala          1 heaped tablespoon
Salt                            to rub

Wash the meat well and rub the pieces with salt. Keep aside for two hours. Grind the ginger and garlic to a fine paste. In a heavy bottomed pan, heat the oil on high flame and saute the meat. When the pieces start shrinking, and the meat is half done, add the ginger garlic paste. Reduce the flame to the minimum. Add cook till the meat is done. Stir frequently in between to ensure the meat doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Add the sugar and garam masala and cook for another five minutes. Let it cool for 1/2 an hour. Stir in the vinegar and store in sterilized jars. If the weather is warm, it is better to keep the pickle refrigerated. It will keep in refrigerator for a couple of months. Provided of course, you have the willpower ;)