Make your own chocolate bars from chocolate bars ;-)

Posted by – March 10, 2012

Love, biochemically no different than consuming large quantities of chocolate.

A friend shared a Nigella Lawson recipe in which she created chocolate bars out of chocolate bars. I was impressed. I loved Picnic from Cadbury which had peanuts & puffed rice. Nigella used classic salted peanuts and honeycomb chocolates in her recipe. I decided to make my own picnic bars. My first attempt was very simple.

You will need

  • A bar of Rich Cocoa Bournville or similar dark chocolate. We need dark chocolate bar. Nothing else.
  • Plain unsalted cooking butter, I used Amul butter which is actually salted. For 100 grams of chocolate I used 25grams of butter.
  • Classic salted peanuts

All these are easily available. Now the steps. Melt chocolate with butter. Chocolate is melted in a double boiler. I simply microwave-d mine in a glass tray which I use for baking cakes. Double boiler isn’t a highly sophisticated boiler. Boil water in a pan. In this pan place another steel bowl. You have your double boiler. Melt butter and chocolate in this steel bowl. Just melt, do not boil. Add peanuts. Mix well. Make sure peanuts are evenly distributed in the mixture. Pour this on a flat aluminium foil sheet or some other wide flat and shallow utensil like a tray. You can also use silicon moulds. Put it in fridge for 20-30 minutes. Let the chocolate set. If you set your chocolate in a tray you will have a “thick sheet”of chocolate which you can cut into desired shapes. Now what can go wrong in all this. Nothing other than the chocolate bar you just made will melt down in your hands at room temperature. What did you miss? Tempering.

Chocolate is tough thing to handle in kitchen. It just melts. You have to temper it. People own patents on tampering chocolate. I have seen in a Eric Lanlard’s TV show a chef used water to temper chocolate. Tempering chocolate makes it stay solid at room temperature. Chocolates with high melting temperature of 55° C is also available not in India though.

So how do to temper  your chocolate so that it can withstand room temperature or body temperature?

I know of two methods, one I saw on Eric Lanlard’s show. That involved using water and then flipping molten chocolate on a stone slab. Amateurs like me can’t do this. 2nd is a very simple technique. Tempering is nothing more than actually creating a good crystal structure. So you can use a crystal as a seed to grow a crystal structure. More science theory here. The actual work. When you are done with mixing peanuts in your molten chocolate do not take it off from double boiler. Keep it on boiler. Snap out a finger of chocolate from Bournville bar you have. Start reducing the temperature slowly. The “finger” actually acts as a seed crystal and helps in setting up a structure. Though this process is not good as patented or industrial process of tempering chocolate but still works well.

My first attempt at making bars was very simple and was moderately successful. Bars melted at 36° C. In 2nd attempt, I reduced the amount of butter I used, added raisins, almonds and roasted pistachios. I loved the  bars I made. Adding raisins was a good idea. In my next attempt I will be adding puffed rice. :-)

Sabudana Tikki – Tapioca Patty

Posted by – October 2, 2011

Necessity is the mother of invention. Though creationist may attribute everything to God. I just invented a plain jane way to make Sabudana Tikki or Tapioca Patty. The patty I made is kosher for Hindus observing Navratri fast and with some experiments and changes can be made non kosher. Without going deep into why what why not that lets get into how to make this simple thing.

For Kosher patty you will need:

  • Tapioca, soaked for at least 2 hours, mandatory, half a cup
  • Boiled or microwaved potatoes, mandatory, proportionate to tapioca
  • Salt and Chilli pepper to taste, mandatory
  • Kuttu flour or Buckwheat flour, mandatory, this will be the binder.
  • Sliced Green Chillies, optional
  • Kosher Oil or Ghee also known as clarified butter for deep frying

How-to:

  • Strain tapioca or sabudana and make sure its neither dry or contains too much of water. I usually soak tapioca/sabudana over night and then just before I start cooking it I will put the soaked tapioca in a flour sifter.
  • Mash the boiled potatoes, add tapioca/sabudana and mash further so that everything is “in sync”.
  • Add green chillies.
  • Add the flour, I added hardly a tablespoon of flour in 250 grams of the mixture I made above. Try to knead it into a dough shape.
  • Add salt and chilli and knead again.
  • Heat oil in a pan for deep frying.
  • Take a small portion of dough, give it a small patty like shape.
  • Deep fry and make sure you do not burn neither your fingers nor the patties.
  • Enjoy with ketchup.

I added raisins while kneading the dough. Don’t know why and later realised when I will be deep frying these patties I will be essentially burning those raisins.

For a non kosher version you can use fine wheat flour and experiment with spices. Also, adding lime juice while kneading the mixture can add some tinge.

 

The Justin Bieber blend

Posted by – August 14, 2011

For all Justin Bieber fans, he blends very well!

Shameless Self Promotion is a shameless effort to copy Facebook

Posted by – August 10, 2011

Its more than a week and half I quit facebook. I have lot more time to spend on other things. It felt easy for me. I revoked the dedicated tab status for facebook. Dedicated tab for Facebook meant that I had it opened all the time. Only Facebook and stackoverflow had these status. iGoogle is also seeking this status as Google Toolbar doesn’t work in FF5. So next day I sneaked few times on to Facebook but didn’t comment on anything. Next day the sneaking was less. And now its hardly once if I really feel bored. All said and done, I was hyperactive on Facebook. I could rant on facebook. So I missed being able to rant. But then I found the solution. I will be ranting on my blog that has seen very less activity in last 2-3 years. So if some one wants to rant against me, come to my blog. Old school conversations on blog. I will share this post on Facebook as an announcement. I hope to get some traffic and then make some money out of that traffic $-) Money!!!

God and Wife

Posted by – June 21, 2011

God had an argument with his “wife”.
God: All married men fear their wife.
God’s “Wife”: Prove it.
God calls for all married men and says, “Those who do not fear their wife may stand to my left and rest may stand on right side.”
Soon all men move to right side of the God and just one man stands on left side.
God is amazed.
God reaches that lone man and asks, “Are you not afraid of your wife?”
The man gives God a puzzled look and says, “What?”
God asks, “Why are you standing here all alone?”
Man replies, “My wife asked me to stay at this place…she will return soon.”