Sunday, May 23, 2021

Flourless Chocolate Mousse Cake

Birthdays and special days are synonymous to lots of desserts, we are no exception! The daughter turned 14 recently, so something chocolate it had to be! 

Loved this creamy and smooth Flourless Chocolate Mousse Cake, perfect for chocoholics like us. It is rich, but not too heavy on the palate, and I am definitely making it again! If you are looking for a super easy make ahead dessert, this is one you absolutely must try! 

I had tried this Chocolate Idiot Cake, a very similar cake from David Lebovitz earlier, a great recipe but with a whole lot more butter. The below recipe is also from one of David's books, The Great Book Of Chocolate, which he has adapted from Nick Malgieri. 

Without much ado, here is the simple recipe. As always, do remember, details make the difference. Weigh the ingredients and follow the instructions for best results. 

The recipe uses a water bath, so if using it for the first time, you may find this video helpful.

Chocolate Mousse Cake (Flourless)


Water 1 cup / 240 ml
Sugar 100 grams (use caster sugar or powdered)
Unsalted butter, very soft, cut into pieces 100 grams
Bittersweet chocolate, chopped (70% cacao is recommended, check out Sihi) 285 grams
Eggs 6 large / 300 grams (without shell)
1 to 2 tablespoons dark rum ( I just used more water)
Instant coffee 1.5 teaspoons ( recipe uses orange zest and rum)

  • Pre heat oven to 160 degree C. Grease an 8'' round tin, line the bottom with baking parchment.
  • Keep on hand a larger baking tin as the cake needs to be baked in a water bath. 
  • Heat the water, coffee and sugar in a large saucepan. Once the sugar dissolves, take it off the heat, stir in the butter and chocolate. Stir until the chocolate melts completely.
  • Whisk the eggs to combine (add the rum if using). Whisk it into the chocolate mixture ensuring the eggs are incorporated well. No need to work up a volume.
  • Transfer the batter to the tin and set it in the larger tin. Place in the oven and pour hot water such that it reaches halfway up the sides.
  • Bake for 45 minutes or until the center feels just firm and no longer liquid. 
  • Remove the cake from the water bath and cool on a wire rack. 
  • Once it cools, run a sharp knife around the cake and invert on a serving plate. Peel the parchment away. 
  • Cut into very slim slices and serve with ice cream / whipped cream or chilled coffee creme angalaise.
  • The cake can be stored for 3 days in the fridge. Bring it to room temperature before serving. 
Warning : It will be difficult to keep your hands off the cake, so if you are scared, it may be a good idea to share some with your neighbors and friends!

Please note : 

If using a chocolate which doesn't specify the cocoa percentage, you may have to reduce the sugar by 25 grams or so, or the cake may be too sweet. Adding coffee will help cut down the sweetness. 

DISCLAIMER:*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and buy through the link, I will earn a tiny commission on the same. I only recommend products which I have used and found good or those I would buy for myself.

You will be paying the same price as mentioned on the website, there will not be any variation here. This commission will help me with me costs of running the blog and channel and bring out more videos for you. Your support will be greatly appreciated!

Friday, February 12, 2021

White Chocolate Custard With Strawberries. Dessert For Valentine's Day.


Super creamy, smooth and amazingly good, also looks so pretty with some sliced strawberries for garnish. Ready in say about 45 minutes to an hour for you and your loved ones to savor. Need I say more to convince you to make this for Valentine's Day? Spoiler - I am not a believer in these days really, but it's a great excuse to make dessert and make use of those pretty strawberries this time of the year. 

I love baked custards, I just can't get enough of the creamy smoothness! If white chocolate is not your thing, you can try these . It is a bit of effort baking these in a water bath, but it is absolutely worth it. If baking in a water bath for the first time, please watch my video here about preparing a water bath. It is an extremely simple but helpful technique in baking.

You can find more such videos on my channel! Click here to subscribe for more! 


White Chocolate Custard With Strawberries.

Ingredients. Weigh ingredients for best results. I made half the recipe below, it gave me 4 small portions. 

Full fat milk 3/4 cup / 180 ml

Cream 3/4 cup / 180 ml ( I used Amul 25%)

White Chocolate 115 grams, finely chopped (do not use compound chocolate)

Sugar 1/4 cup / 50 grams

Vanilla extract 2 teaspoons

Egg yolks, at room temperature.  4 large / 72 grams 

Sliced fresh strawberries for garnish (optional)

Getting ready:

Assemble a  heavy saucepan with a handle,  plus another large bowl with a wide base, a large fine mesh strainer, a whisk, a spatula. You will need 8 small 80 ml capacity ramekins or oven proof bowls. If using ramekins of different capacity the baking time will vary. Small portions are better.

We need a baking tin with high sides. The tin has to fit the ramekins without crowding them in, but not too much empty space otherwise. This is particularly important if baking in a convection microwave as your ramekins will swim in the water as the turntable rotates.

Place a small kitchen towel to cover the bottom of the tin, then place the ramekins in the baking tin. 

Have some very hot water on sim on your stove, better more than less. A tea kettle will be perfect! We need enough water to come halfway up the ramekins when we put them in the oven later.

Have on hand a pair of mittens or thick kitchen towels.

  • Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C / 320 degrees F.
  • Take the milk, cream, sugar, vanilla and white chocolate in the saucepan. 
  • In the wide based bowl, whisk the egg yolks and keep it ready. Do not leave it sitting for too long as a film will develop over the yolks. 
  • Heat the milk mixture over low heat, keep stirring, we need the chocolate to melt. We do not need the mixture to boil, just hot. 
  • Whisking constantly dribble the hot chocolate mixture into the egg yolks. Dribble all of it gradually. If you rush this process the eggs will curdle.
  • Strain the custard through the strainer back into the saucepan.
  • Pour the custard into the ramekins just a little below the rim. The custard doesn't rise, it just sets as it bakes.
  • Place the baking tin in the oven. Using the kettle, taking care not to splash the water into the ramekins, carefully pour the hot water in the baking tin so that it comes halfway up the sides of the ramekins.
  • Bake the custard in the water bath for about 25-30 minutes or until the center appears set, but jiggly when you gently shake the ramekins. The baking time depends on the size of your ramekins and your oven, so watch carefully from 25 minutes onwards. Do not over bake or your custard may turn rubbery. Err on the side of under baking as the custard will set further on refrigeration. I normally remove the ramekins from the water bath soon after as I do not want to risk the custard to cooking further in the hot water.
  • Cool the custards to room temperature, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight for best results. David Lebovitz suggests serving these slightly warm or at room temperature. We liked it chilled. 
  • Please note : The baking time is very important for the best texture of the custards. The custard  may appear to need more baking (but it should not be liquid or gooey)  if you spoon out some when warm, but it will set well on refrigeration. So slight under-baking is better than over-baking.

    If baking in a very small OTG (not microwave) there is a risk of uneven baking, a convection microwave works better here as your tin rotates while baking.  
  • Watch a video clip of the texture of these custards and lots more on my  Instagram stories soon!

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

Kaju Badam Granola (eggless) - The beginner's first bake!

Granola is one of the easiest and simplest recipes in  baking. I usually recommend this or granola bars for people who are baking for the first time. Cakes and brownies come later. The good thing about baking granola and granola bars is they are usually eggless, requiring almost nothing by way of technique, so it is hard to mess up. They usually don't have any leavening agents like baking powder or soda, so even if you remove it from the oven, check and put it back, there won't be any damage done. A little under or over baked and this will still taste decent enough. The only way you can mess it up is by burning it! 

You can learn how to use your oven while you try these recipes. And yes, granola especially, can be made in small quantities so that you are not left with a lot of stuff on your hands  in the name of learning baking! 

If you are a beginner, I hope I have sold the idea of trying granola to you! Here is a very simple, basic kind of recipe you can try. 

Watch my video here on my channel for beginners in baking

More similar recipes you can try 

Kaju Badam Granola (makes a generous 1 cup)

Ingredients. Use the right ingredients and tools, weigh for best results. Measure carefully.(product suggestions in the links here)

Quick Cooking Oats  -  75 grams / 3/4 cup approximately , weigh after sifting 
I prefer this, you can also use thicker rolled oats if you prefer. I like to sieve the quick cooking oats first, so the powdery part is left behind. 
Raw almonds - 25 grams, sliced
Raw cashew - 25 grams
Dried coconut , shredded - 10 grams
Honey - 20 ml  
Neutral oil - 15 ml / 1 tablespoon
Caster Sugar  (Powdered sugar will not dissolve well) - 1 tablespoon
Dates, chopped - 2 tablespoons
Raisins, chopped - 2 tablespoons  (or any other dried fruit of your choice) 
You can add some vanilla or cinnamon if u wish.


  • Preheat oven to 130 C. Granola is always baked at low temperature, so the oats get well toasted and become crunchy without burning.
  • Line the tin with baking parchment. Take a tin with sides like this so it is easier to stir the granola while baking. 
  • In a bowl, combine the dry ingredients: the oats, coconut, kaju and badam.  we will add the dry fruit it later. 
  • Take the oil, honey and sugar here and heat it for a few seconds. We need the sugar to dissolve, all the 3 ingredients need to get well combined. You can add some elaichi powder or cinnamon or some vanilla if you like. Take the honey mixture off heat
  • Using a silicone spatula, mix the wet and dry ingredients, make sure the honey mixture coats the oats and nuts well. This will be slightly moist but not wet.
  • Spread the mixture evenly in the baking tin in a thin layer. 
  • Bake for about 20 - 25 minutes or until the granola turns a nice golden brown. Stir the granola once after 15 minutes and redistribute making sure you take it from the corners. 
  • Bake again for 5 -10 minutes. The baking time may vary depending on your oven.
  • The granola will be soft when you remove it from the oven. But it will become crisp after it cools. The baking time may vary depending on your oven. So watch carefully, we do not want to burn the granola. 
  • Let the granola cool completely and then stir in the dried fruit. Store airtight. You can snack on this as it is or have it with some cold milk. 

DISCLAIMER:*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and buy through the link, I will earn a tiny commission on the same. I only recommend products which I have used and found good or those I would buy for myself.

You will be paying the same price as mentioned on the website, there will not be any variation here. This commission will help me with me costs of running the blog and channel and bring out more videos for you. Your support will be greatly appreciated!

Friday, January 15, 2021

Strawberry Cream Danish Pastries - With Quick Danish Pastry!



Strawberry Cream Danish Pastries - buttery, delicious, soft and quite flaky!

Danish pastries, often simply called Danish, are buttery and flaky with a yeasty flavor. Think sort of croissants with different sweet fillings. The method for the classic version involves making a yeast dough which is laminated with blocks of cold butter. A rather lengthy process with numerous steps (with great results am sure!). 

For those of us who don't feel up to the challenge here is a relatively easier method by Beatrice Ojakangas, the author of The Great Scandinavian Baking Book. I tried this recipe recently and was quite pleased with it. Since it is strawberry season, I filled them with strawberry pastry cream. You can simply use any kind of preserves or just make croissants with the dough. 

That's the beauty of these building blocks, you can play around a lot! Don't let the quantity of butter here stop you. This makes a largish quantity of pastry, so you can divide it into 4 parts and freeze it for later use.

Be sure the yeast you are using is active and good. Here is my video about yeast types and activating yeast. 

Recipe for Quick Danish Pastry. From the book Baking With Julia  

Weigh ingredients for best results always.
Details make a difference, pay attention to the small details, follow recipe instructions correctly. If making something like this the first time, please check the notes below. 


Warm water 60 ml / 1/4 cup

Instant Yeast 2 1/4 teaspoon

Milk, at room temperature - 120 ml / 1/2 cup

Egg - 1 / 50 grams without shell, at room temperature (read note)

Sugar - 50 grams / 1/4 cup

Salt 1 teaspoon

All-purpose flour / maida - 350 grams / 2.5 cups

Cold unsalted butter - 226 grams / 2 sticks, cut into 1/4 inch thick slices 


1. In a large bowl, whisk together the warm water,yeast, milk, egg, sugar and salt. Set aside. 

2. Take the flour in a food processor fitted with the metal blade. Drop in the butter. Pulse in very short spurts, 6 to 8 times, until butter is cut into 1/2 inch pieces, no smaller. Check after 5 pulses and then continue if necessary. You should see 1/2 inch pieces of butter in the flour. 

3. Empty the flour mixture into the yeast mixture. Using a silicon spatula, gently fold the two mixtures together just until the dry ingredients are moistened. Be gentle, the butter must remain in pieces so that you will produce a flaky pastry, not a bread dough or cookie. The dough will be quite soft but not really sticky or wet. If necessary add a bit of flour and mix gently, make sure the butter pieces remain intact.

Cover bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight (or up to 4 days to suit your schedule).

4. Before you begin the rolling process, make sure you have enough space in the fridge to place the pastry. You will need lots of space on the counter (check the dimensions below), flour for rolling, a big rolling pin. Make sure there are no liquids on the counter. Have a large baking sheet ready to place the pastry in, a measuring tape.  You need to work in a cool kitchen to keep the butter from softening too quickly. If necessary, rub a cold ice pack on the counter. 

5. Lightly flour the work surface; turn dough out onto it, and dust dough with flour. Using the palms of your hands, pat dough into a rough square. Roll out to 16 inches on a side. 

Fold dough into thirds, like a business letter and turn it so that the closed fold is to your left, like the spine of a book. Roll out again, into a long narrow rectangle, about 10 inches wide by 24 inches long. 

Fold into thirds again. Roll out to make a 20-inch square. Fold square into thirds again to make a long, narrow rectangle. Then again, fold into thirds to make a square. (If at any point in this procedure the dough gets very soft, cover and chill it for 30 minutes or so.) 

Cover and chill the dough before final shaping. You can store the dough in the refrigerator for 4 days or wrap it air tight and keep it frozen for 1 month; thaw overnight, still wrapped, in the refrigerator.

I chilled the dough overnight. The next morning, I cut it into 4 equal parts, wrapped 3 of them individually in plastic wrap and put in the freezer. 

I rolled the remaining piece into a 10'' square and cut it into 6 squares. 

To shape the spandauers.

Place a pastry square on a parchment lined baking sheet with one of the points facing you. Put a teaspoon of the pastry cream in the center.

Brush a little of the beaten egg white on the left and right hand corners, fold the sides such that the points overlap.

Press down gently but firmly to seal, create a rectangular or square packet.

Cover  and let rise for 30-45 minutes or until puffy.

Bake at 200C for 10-15 minutes or until golden.

Let them cool slightly on a rack before you glaze.

To prepare the glaze, whisk together 1/2 cup icing sugar and a tablespoon milk. Be very careful when you add the milk or you will have to add more sugar to adjust the consistency. 

Using a spoon or piping bag, pipe the glaze on the pastries. Serve warm or at room temperature.  

For the strawberry pastry cream. 

Milk 120 ml / 1/2 cup

Cream 120 ml / 1/2 cup

Cornflour 1.5 tablespoons / 10 grams

Sugar 30 grams / 2 tablespoons

Egg yolk - 1 / 18 grams ( save the white for shaping the pastries)

Vanilla extract 1 teaspoon 

Strawberry puree  2-3 tablespoons 

In a flat bottomed bowl, whisk together the yolk and vanilla. 

In a heavy saucepan, whisk together the milk, cream, sugar and cornflour ensuring there are no lumps.  Cook on medium heat, whisking until it thickens slightly.

Slowly, pour it into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly. 

Scrape the mixture back into the saucepan, cook on low heat, whisk constantly until the mixture thickens and starts bubbling.

Push the pastry cream through a strainer, press cling wrap on the surface. Once it comes to room temperature, whisk in the strawberry puree.

This can be made ahead and chilled. You can store this for 3 days in the fridge. This makes a lovely dessert on its own, can be used as a filling for cakes and tarts etc. 


1. Weigh and cut the butter, chill several hours. The size of the pieces is important especially if using a food processor.  You want them to remain as 1/2 inch pieces after you cut it into the flour, helps make the pastry flaky. I made this first time using a food processor and felt I should have processed less than I have.  

2. If you do not have a food processor,  use a metal dough scraper to cut the cold butter into the flour.( as we do for pie crusts)

3. If at any point of time, the pastry becomes too soft or the butter starts oozing out, put it in the fridge until it firms up again before continuing the process 

4. I have used egg in the dough. You can try replacing it with cream (such as Amul), I haven't tried it, but should work well. Tell me if you try.  

5. I baked some scraps of the pastry and it was very crisp and flaky. Next time, I will use an almond filling or something less liquid. I guess the liquidy filling softens the pastry as it creates more steam. 

6. I will be making this again, and will post updates. 

7. To make the strawberry puree, take chopped berries and some sugar in a saucepan, cook until the berries are mushy. Mash or process in the mixer for  a smooth puree. Cool and use as needed. 

Follow me on Instagram for more! 

Watch Beatrice making Danish Pastry here.

DISCLAIMER:*This post contains affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and buy through the link, I will earn a tiny commission on the same. I only recommend products which I have used and found good or those I would buy for myself.

You will be paying the same price as mentioned on the website, there will not be any variation here. This commission will help me with me costs of running the blog and channel and bring out more videos for you. Your support will be greatly appreciated!

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Panforte Nero - No Eggs, No Butter, No Oil, No Alcohol Christmas Treat!


It's almost Christmas and it's raining giveaways and contests on my YouTube channel! I am doing a series of live streams where I bake simple recipes and give away prizes to 5 winners every week. All winners also get a free baking session with me on Zoom. If you have not participated yet, please do check this out. It's very easy and will take hardly 5 minutes of your time to enter. 

Last week's was a giveaway of delicious 100% chemical free chocolate and cocoa hamper from Sihi Chocolaterie. This week, 5 lucky winners get electronic kitchen scales from Atom  and a gift hamper of coconut sugar, coconut candy from Farmmade Foods. 
Watch this video for details, have also given contest details at the end of the post below.  

So today's recipe is a very easy eggless confection of Italian origin called Panforte Nero. It is loaded with nuts and dry fruit, there is no butter or oil or alcohol.  It's very delicious and extremely addictive, the best thing is it can be stored for a very long time. So if you want to send this to someone in another city or country, it will still be fine as it keeps for months. I have not tested that as this gets over fast in my house. If you bake commercially, then this is a recipe you absolutely must have in your repertoire. 

Panforte Nero recipe by Alice Medrich

Preheat the oven to 150C. Line the bottom and sides of an 8 inch round tin with baking parchment, grease it very well. This is extremely important.

Ingredients: Weigh ingredients, measure accurately for best results. If you do not have weighing scales, here is a chance to win it in my contest!

  • Whole almonds  - roasted until crunchy and cooled  - 235 grams
  • Dried figs, chopped - 225 grams
  • Flour - 85 grams, read note below.
  • Cocoa powder ( I used Sihi) - 10 grams 
  • Ground cinnamon - 1 teaspoon 
  • Ground cloves - 1/4 teaspoon
  • Ground ginger powder 1/4 teaspoon (optional)
  • Zest of one large fresh orange
  • Caster sugar - 135 grams
  • Honey  - 160 ml / 2/3 cup 

Method :

  • Line up all ingredients, tools etc on the counter before you begin heating the honey and sugar. Working quickly is very important in this recipe.
  • Take the almonds, figs, flour, cocoa powder, spices and orange zest in a large bowl and mix thoroughly. Keep aside. 
  • In a large saucepan, take the honey and sugar. Bring it to a rolling boil and then let it boil for 15 seconds. Take it off the heat.
  • Stir in the flour mixture into the honey mixture, work quickly to mix it well. Immediately transfer it to the baking tin and smooth the top. 
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until you see bubbles all over the surface. The center will still be soft and may look light in color. It will darken and firm up on cooling.
  • Do not overbake or the panforte will turn hard and very chewy.
  • Cool completely on a cooling rack. Invert the panforte on a plate and remove the pan, peel the parchment. Turn it right side up, dust powdered sugar if desired.
  • Cut into thin wedges using a sharp knife. The taste improves the next day. 
  • Wrap well and store, keeps for months apparently!

Note : It is on the sweeter side, so I may increase the cocoa by 5 grams next time, and reduce flour by 5 grams. And also maybe increase the nuts by another 25 grams.

Contest rules 

  1. Subscribe to my channel
  2. Follow me on Instagram -
  3. Please fill this form with your details, so that I can contact you when you win
  4. Share the link to my giveaway video on your Facebook profile with the sentence Win awesome products on Suma Rowjee's YouTube channel for beginners in baking. Participate to get a chance to win in just 4 simple steps! #cakesandmorecontest.

Sunday, August 9, 2020

Orange Almond Syrup Bundt Cakes

I can never get enough of oranges! Orange zest is a wonder I discovered as part of my baking journey. The aroma is heady, the flavor it imparts just can't match any essence or oil. If only I grew oranges in a pot, that's one of the things I have always wanted to do. Just as well, or I would go crazy thinking about all the things I could use the zest in! Candied orange peel was another revelation. So if you are planning to soak your fruits for Christmas you absolutely must make our own candied orange peel, you will never buy it from a store again!

I recently baked these flavorful, buttery syrup cakes made with ground almonds and lots of orange zest. They turned out amazing, though I would have enjoyed them better with less butter. I halved the recipe and baked 6 of these cakes in my favorite Nordicware heritage bundt pan. I prefer to bake small cakes if I have to brush syrup as they absorb it better and more evenly.

Do drop by my  Amazon Storefront to see my recommendations for baking products, books and more!

Related links to my videos you may want to check

Orange and Almond Syrup Cakes. By Yotam Ottolenghi, from David Lebovitz's blog

  • Unsalted butter - 200 grams, at room temperature
  • Caster sugar - 300 grams plus more for the syrup.
  • Fresh oranges - 4
  • Ground almonds - 240 grams ( I used ready almond meal)
  • Free-range eggs, beaten - 4
  • Maida - 110 grams
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • Chocolate chips or chopped dark chocolate (optional)
For the syrup 
Orange juice - 180 ml
Sugar - 80 grams
Dark chocolate, chopped, 100 grams (optional)

  • Mise en place.
  • Lightly grease and line the bottom and sides of a 9'' spring form tin with baking parchment. I have used my bundt pan, each cup holds 150ml liquid. If using a bundt pan, spray well with baking spray, ensure every nook and cranny is greased well. A silicone brush helps do a good job of this.
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Whisk together the almond meal, flour and salt, set aside.
  • In a large bowl, take the butter and sugar. Zest the oranges directly on this. Reserve the juice for the syrup.
  • Beat the butter, sugar and zest until well combined. Do not beat too much as you do not want to incorporate too much air into the mixture.
  • Add half the ground almonds and fold it into the butter mixture
  • Add in the eggs one by one, scrape the sides of the bowl as you go.
  • Fold in the remaining almond mixture and the chocolate chips if using.
  • Scrape the batter into the prepared tin, level it. I have filled them half in the bundt pan.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes for 9'' round tin, 15-18 minutes for the bundt pan. A toothpick inserted in the center should come out a little moist. Please note, the baking time may vary depending on your oven.
  • Towards the end of the baking time, heat the orange juice and sugar in a saucepan, you need the sugar to dissolve completely.
  • Once the cakes come out of the oven, place the tin on a cooling rack. Poke holes in the cake and brush the syrup generously all over.
  • Let the cakes cool completely in the pan.
  • Run a knife around the cake and invert it on the cooling rack. Brush any remaining syrup on the bottom of the cake.
  • You can pour some ganache or melted chocolate over the cake, it tastes divine. You don't have to do this if you have already added chocolate chips in the batter.
  • Serve immediately with some vanilla ice cream for an awesome dessert! 

Try this cake for a special occasion, enjoy baking!


Friday, July 31, 2020

Participant Feedback For Online Sessions

Happy to share feedback from the participants of my online baking sessions for beginners.I am planning to do more intensive ones soon. Please email me for more details.



It was a great session. That was something I was looking for. There are people conducting baking workshops but it all starts with a recipe. I hadn’t seen or worked with baking tools and ingredients before and it was a hindrance to me in giving a try. For many households in India ovens and baking is a 21st century thing and so it doesn’t come to us naturally. I have been following your blogs and videos and I must say they are detailed with the perspective of a beginner. Keep rocking!! If you are a beginner and want to get your basics right, you need to take her session. It’s more than just recipes that you would need, to be able to bake well. You will learn how to get started with baking, try and improvise recipes to bake delicious cakes and much more. Pratima Bose
Your baking sessions were a wonderful start for me that I needed from a very long time. I used to bake but without having knowledge on basics and few tips which are very crucial. Now after attending your sessions and information that you have shared has helped me a lot to learn more. This is has given me good start with my baking journey. 
Thank you so much for getting opportunity to attend your sessions which were really good. I like the way you have shared every possible information a beginner expects from experts. Looking forward for future sessions on advanced level baking session. It was my pleasure to get  to know you. Thank you so much. Sneha Nayana

The sessions were really good and fruitful. I have had an oven for years and it's only now that I know I will be able to bake proper cakes. Thanks for all your practical inputs and insights! Charul Sharma

'Thank you so much for making my basics very strong. Just because of your both sessions I learnt so much and could bake two 6 inch bake and decorate it very nicely. And another thing I can tell you is you are making time to listen to our questions and answering is the best thing you are doing...please continue doing this. Really thank you so much!'' Ashritha Vaddiraj

First of all I would like to thank Suma for making me understand the basics of baking as it definitely clears your fundamentals and sets the stage for baking. She took through all the baking instruments in detail and also helped share the usage. The recipes that she shared were quite simple and yet delicious. So, thank you Suma for making the baking humanly possible which I used to think as impossible. Padmalaya Patnaik

Very informative! If you want to bake as a hobby or wish to become a home baker, contact her, I assure you, she is damn good! Richa Gupta

It was a pleasure to learn from you about baking. Thank you for today's session, got to know where I was wrong in baking. The way you explain is very easy to understand. Truly appreciate your time and patience in responding to all our questions. Attached are the pics of the cookies and muffins. Tried them as you suggested and they came out really good. Thanks much again and I look forward to learning more from you soon. Sanghamitra Mishra

Thank you for your classes and it is really a great motivation for baking.Today I have baked eggless chocolate cake. It came out superb.its the first time I could bake this much perfect cake, it was amazing. Once again thank you. I could realize that after attending your class my confidence for baking increased. Anima C

I baked a cake today. Your class and recipes really helped me, thank u so much. Looking forward to more of your workshops - Smita Kulkarni

I tried the eggless cocoa cake today. Made it in a tin because I did not have the cupcake tray. It looks beautiful and is soft. Have not tasted it yet. I was so eager to inform you about my achievement. Thank u so much. Now that I have the confidence, I will keep trying the cakes from your blog and YouTube channel. Jisha Ravi

Dear Suma, It was a wonderful session today .I learnt so many small-small things which I was ignoring while baking . Rajbala Singh

That was a very informative session. As a beginner, I have always had doubts about the tools and oven. I shall buy the tools you have suggested and try again. Keerthi Kurnool

 Thanks for the amazing workshop and helping me with the basics of baking Madhumita

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Garlic and Chili Focaccia

It's amazing that bread is made with the same four basic ingredients - yeast, flour, water and salt, but there are a hundred of ways of baking it. The results vary with different methods used and impress you every now and then!

This one was made with a batter that's impossible to knead as it is soupy, you actually pour the batter into the tin. The bread is surprisingly light and moist. The taste of the bread was great with just the flavor of extra virgin olive oil which I had used to grease the pan.  I usually prefer toasting my bread but this one baked in a cast iron pan, was perfect straight out of the pan!

This recipe for Rosemary Focaccia  is from Rose Levy Beranbaum's book, The Bread Bible. One notable thing about this recipe is the dough consistency and the way it is 'kneaded' using a stand mixer. Of course there are plenty of high hydration recipes for foccaccia and ciabattas, but they mostly involve the stretch and fold method and a longer rise. But this one is simply kneaded for 20 minutes in the stand mixer and it is amazing to see how the batter goes from soupy to melted mozzarella kind of stage! (will post the pictures and videos soon )I don't think you can work with this kind of dough as effortlessly and as efficiently without a sturdy hand mixer. I use a Kitchen Aid 5 quart one . If you have a stand mixer, do give this a try! 

If you are new to baking, try my online classes for beginners. For more details, click here!

Rosemary Foccacia (adapted from The Bread Bible by Rose Beranbaum)

 Maida 390 grams
Instant yeast 3/8 teaspoon
2 cups minus 2 tablespoons water / 442 grams , at room temperature
1.5 teaspoon salt ( the original recipe uses 3/4 teaspoon in the dough plus more as topping) 
3/4 tsp sugar
Extra virgin olive oil 2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons (divided use)
Fresh rosemary 2 teaspoons
Sea salt - 1/4 teaspoon

  • In the bowl of the stand mixer, using the paddle attachment on low speed, combine the flour and the yeast. 
  • With the mixer running, gradually add in the water, mix just until the dough comes together. It will be very soupy now.
  • Increase the speed to medium (#4 KitchenAid) and beat until the dough turns into a smooth, shiny ball , this may take about 20 minutes. (the stand mixer is sturdy enough to go on for this duration!) In fact, I was engrossed in writing something and forgot to turn off the mixer, so this step was more than 25 minutes for me.
  • Add the sugar and salt and beat until well incorporated, about 3 minutes.
  • Using an oiled spatula, scrape the dough into a well greased dough rising container. The dough now will look like melted mozzarella indeed as Rose says!
  • Cover and let rise for about 4 hours or at least until double. Mine took 1.5 hours to double. 
  • Grease a sheet pan ( ideally 12x17 inches) very generously with around 2 tablespoons of the oil. This is super super important or your bread will stick to the pan (like mine in the pic below) I used one 12x14 pan and another small cast iron pan.
  • Pour the dough into the sheet pan. Grease your hands well and spread the dough as thin as possible without tearing it. If the dough resists, let it relax for 10 minutes and spread it again. Try to maintain the bubbles in the dough as much as possible.
  • Cover the pan with a large box . Let the dough rise until it doubles, about 1-1.5 hours. 
  • Preheat the oven to 250C 1 hour before baking. 
  • Once it doubles, drizzle the remaining oil on the dough. Oil your fingers and dimple the dough deeply. Sprinkle the salt and rosemary (if using) on top. I used some garlic and chopped fresh red chilies.
  • Bake around 20 minutes or until the top is a deep golden color. The baking time may vary depending on your oven. Be careful not to burn the bread as it is spread thin and the oven is super hot.
  • Remove from the oven and drizzle more olive oil on top and serve immediately! 

Enjoy the delicious, crisp bread with a moist and chewy crumb! The remaining bread in the cast iron pan (picture below) had an even more beautiful crust, it was amazing! 

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