chocolate cake desserts

Chocolate, coconut and peanut cake

Chocolate, coconut and peanut cake

Chocolate, coconut and peanut cake excerpted from Chetna’s Easy Baking: with a twist of spice by Chetna Makan. Photography by Nassima Rothacker.

Chetna’s Easy Baking: with a twist of spice by Chetna Makan. Photography by Nassima Rothacker.

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. (more…)

The Chocolate Cake

Chocolate Cake, Canal Hosue Cook Something, Photography by Christopher Hirsheimer

Canal House’s Melissa Hamilton and Christopher Hirsheimer are home cooks writing about home cooking for other home cooks. From a lifetime of making dinner every single night, they’ve edited their experience down to the essentials: 300 simple recipes that reveal the building blocks of all good cooking guaranteed to make you a better cook. (more…)

Hazelnut Maple Chocolate Cake

Celebrated the world over for their health benefits and dynamic flavours, cultured and fermented foods are becoming everyday meal mainstays. In this extensive collection, fermentation pioneer Holly Davis shares more than 120 recipes for familiar—and lesser-known—cultured foods, including yogurt, pickles, kimchi, umeboshi, scrumpy, and more. This inspiring resource contains more than 100 photographs, plus plenty of helpful how-tos and informational charts offering guidance on incorporating fermented ingredients into the diet. With a luxe textured cover and brimming with engaging projects for cooks of all skill levels, this cookbook will be the cornerstone of every preserving kitchen. (more…)

Cookbook Review: Eggs

Eggs, Michel RouxThe egg is the simplest and most complete food—versatile enough for the quickest of meals to the smartest of dinner parties and the favourite of patissiers and dessert chefs. With more than 30 years experience as a chef at the top of his profession, Michel Roux has garnered a vast wealth of culinary knowledge and expertise. Trained in the classic French style, but a global traveller with a passion for different cuisines, Michel uses all of his skill and experience to take a new look at one of the oldest foods of all.


FAMILY RECIPES: Etelka’s Cocoa Chiffon Cake

I’ve come to realize that many of us have been bequeathed a cherished family recipe. Be it simple or elaborate to prepare, it’s a dish so fiendishly delicious that it is the unmistakable star of the family meal, whether celebrating triumphs, comforting woes, or keeping family traditions alive. Withholding such heirloom recipes from the world seems almost cruel. Hence, I am championing the family recipe. I will entice the people in my universe to share favourite, nostalgia-infused family recipes, and I will give one of them centre stage in this very space on a monthly basis. In the end, we are all family, and these recipes represent the legacies of our shared passions. This month’s post is written by my good friend Eva. Enjoy!


Etelka’s Cocoa Chiffon Cake
By Eva

The grand finale of every family birthday dinner was THE CAKE.  My mother, Etelka, always served her signature Chocolate Chiffon Cake. Festooned with  tiny, lit candles, it was ceremoniously placed before the celebrated one as the room broke into a full-throated, charmingly off-key rendition of “Happy Birthday.” (We are not a family of gifted singers.)  A hasty, silent wish, a quick whoosh to blow out the candles, and then bliss ensued as the cake was sliced, handed around and savoured.

The cake’s appearance underwent a few metamorphoses over the decades.  Sometimes it was rectangular, at other times round, depending on the baking pans my mother had on hand.  The cake’s magic lies in its ratios rather than its aesthetics. It has just enough cocoa and sugar to give chocolate lovers their fix without overpowering its rich texture, a combination of moist, delicate cake and silky icing.