Chetna’s popular and accessible style has charmed millions of people since her first appearance on our screens in The Great British Bake Off. Since then, she has written several bestselling cookbooks that combine her creative flavours with a love of simple Indian home cooking.
In this new collection, Chetna showcases delicious sweet and savoury bakes which have easy-to-find ingredients and simple-to-follow methods, but a special flavour twist to make your bakes sing and shine. That could be a spice you might not expect, such as star anise in a tarte Tatin, a fusion of global incidences such as Masala Focaccia, or a twist on a classic, such as a drizzle cake dazzling with mango and ginger. Proving once again that simple baking methods are the best, Chetna’s inspirational recipes are a joy to make and share with your favourite people.
Cherry Almond Honey Cake
Onion Masala Focaccia
Orange & Cinnamon Savarin
Raspberry Coconut Cheesecake
Saffron Fennel Pound Cake
Peanut Masala Tear and Share Bread
Mango & Lime Meringue Pie
Chocolate, coconut and peanut cake
For me there is only one rule for chocolate cakes: they need to be light, moist and slightly fudgy. This recipe ticks all those boxes. One of the highlights is that, even though it’s vegan, you can’t really tell, which, for me, means I don’t miss the lightness provided by eggs or the creaminess of butter and cream. This cake’s creaminess and lightness comes from the peanut butter, coconut milk and almond milk.
Butter 3 x 20cm (8 inch) cake tins with vegan butter and line the bases with non-stick baking paper. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), Gas Mark 4.
Heat the almond milk in a large saucepan and, as soon as the sides start to bubble, take it off the heat. Add the cider vinegar, mix and set aside for a minute, to give it time to split. Then add the butter, peanut butter and coffee and mix well until melted and combined.
In a bowl, combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, bicarbonate of soda and caster sugar. Now add this to the milk mixture and whisk for 2 minutes until it’s smooth and creamy. Divide the batter equally between the 3 cake tins and bake for 30 minutes until a skewer
inserted comes out clean. Set aside to cool completely.
Without shaking the can, open the coconut milk and scoop out the solids into a saucepan placed over a set of scales, leaving behind all the liquid. Make a note of the weight, then set over a low heat and gently bring to a boil. Chop up the same weight of chocolate and place it in a heatproof bowl. Pour the hot coconut milk on top and add the peanut butter. Mix well so the chocolate and peanut butter melt, then set aside to cool slightly.
FOR THE CAKE
100g (3½oz) vegan butter, plus more for the tin
300ml (½ pint) almond milk
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
50g (1¾oz) smooth peanut butter
2 teaspoons instant coffee
250g (9oz) self-raising flour
50g (1¾oz) cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda
250g (9oz) caster sugar
FOR THE CHOCOLATE CREAM
400ml (14fl oz) can of good quality, full-fat coconut milk
about 200g (7oz) vegan dark
chocolate (70 percent cocoa solids)
50g (1¾oz) smooth peanut butter
270ml (9½fl oz) vegan cream
50g (1¾oz) icing sugar
In another bowl, whip the cream and icing sugar with an electric whisk until you get soft peaks. Add the cooled chocolate cream and whisk until you have a spreadable consistency.
Place a cake on a serving plate and spread over one-third of the chocolate cream. Place another cake on top and repeat until the cake is assembled. This can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 4–5 days, just bring it to room temperature before serving.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Hamlyn.