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Welcome to the sweet world of chocolates

It's the perfect muse in the world of taste. It's bitter-sweet taste tantalizes the taste buds and the satiny finish and creamy texture, takes ecstasy to a new level. It inspires the culinary gurus to create an array of desserts, and becomes centre stage at every spread and gatherings. Yes we are talking about the sinful chocolate here.
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Welcome the new year with comfort of old - Swedish Visiting Cake

Welcome 2015. Welcome January. You are one lucky chap. The rest of the months act funny, play pricey, bring lots of mixed goodies and earn a bad name. But never you. You are always the goodwill ambassador, whom everybody loves to welcome in their home. After all, you bring the ray of hope with you along with announcement of the new year. We love to wait for you, to say goodbye to the year gone bye, and to get ready for new set of excitements and events of our lives. Yes you really are one lucky chap!

Our family always found picnics to be a great way to welcome the new year. The breeze in the air along with the winter sunshine is just the picture postcard way of a perfect family day. At least in Dubai, where this season is too good to be true. Not too cold, to pack us inside, not too warm to make us isolated from the pleasure of winter. Just pitch perfect. So a holiday is one where the whole city can be found in the outdoors. Mall visits can wait till scorching summer, when we would be forced to hide. Till then out we go....

And as comforting are the traditions of mid night parties on new year eve, and picnics on bright new day, same comfort we solicit from food most of the times. The sweet taste of freshly home baked cake, just soothes your senses to a comfort zone. Like the friend you had grown up with. Whom you can bank forever. At any time of the day and night. This recipe is also like that. Unpretentious, bankable and comforting.

The recipe of Swedish Visiting Cake was shared by the baking goddess Dorie Greenspan in her book, and she mentioned that it was friend's mother's recipe. Thanks so much lovely lady, where ever you are, for sharing, this gem of a recipe which is sheer buttery goodness with a sweet topping of almonds and sugar and smells heavenly of vanilla and lemon zest. Now if you are wondering about the rationale behind the name of the cake, then that's an easy one. This delightful cake is so easy to whip, that you can bake it right when you see visitors approaching. And it would be ready by the time they settle down for a cup of coffee. Intrigued? Get your baking pan out then.

Swedish Visiting Cake Recipe
An easy, buttery and delicious tea cake, which can whipped in a jiffy!
Recipe Source - Dorie Greenspan

  • 1 cup + 1 tbsp sugar (for sprinkling)
  • 1 tsp zest of lemon/orange
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cardamom (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla 
  • 1 cup all purpose flour
  • 120gm butter (melted and cooled)
  • 1/4 cup sliced almonds
  • 2 tbsp choco chips 
  1. Preheat oven at 180 degree. Line an 8/9 " baking pan
  2. Take a large bowl and rub lemon zest to sugar. Add eggs, one at a time and whisk well, after each addition.
  3. Add salt and flavourings.
  4. Add the flour and stir till mixed. Then fold the melted butter to it. Do not over mix.
  5. Scrape batter to prepared pan. Top with almonds and choco chips (if using) an sprinkle sugar on top.
  6. Place in oven and bake for about 25-30 mins. Place outside for cooling.
  7. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Note - Some melted butter will remain on top of batter, unmixed and that's fine.
Use of cardamom and choco chips are not part of the exact recipe. 

Sending this yummy cake to the Bake Fest#39 being hosted by Vardhini of Cook's Joy.

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Festive Baking - Croissants

Reposting this old post for the Bake Fest. Enjoy!

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Virtual Festive Party - Bake Fest #38

The world of blogosphere works on the same principles like the real world in many ways. You make friends, you share joys and sorrows, you connect and you celebrate! Even in this virtual world we make ways to share the joy of good food, the aroma of our kitchen through virtual events. Such events not only bring strangers closer, but also makes us familiar with new and appetising recipes. So let's welcome one such yummy event - Bake Fest!

Started by Vardhini of Cook's Joy and a dear friend, this series has been running successfully and now is in the 38th edition. I'm sure with the festive season here with Xmas and New Year, there's going to be lots of yummy baking in your kitchen. So simply share it here, for a great party!

The event runs from 1st December to 31st December. The rules of entries are: Dec 1st - Dec 31st.
1. Send in any recipe that has been baked / broiled.
2. Only vegetarian or vegan recipes please. I normally accept eggs in baking and hence eggs are allowed.
3. Usage of the logo is appreciated as it helps spread the word.
4. Link to this post and Vardhini's Bake Fest announcement page. 
5. If sending an old entry, it needs to be re-published with the links.
6. You can send in any number of new entries and a maximum of 2 old entries.

If facing a problem in posting, then mail me at - anamika.arun@gmail.com. Looking forward to some yummy treats! Happy Baking!!

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Souqs, Sea and Skyline: Doha - Travel Diary

“Round the corner there may wait, a new road or a secret gate.” Tolkein

I had it all planned. And then “Life” happened.

That should be the summary of my life. But no, not in a sad, remorseful way. But in a beautiful reflective way. Only when we embrace the unexpected, we experience anew. And this is exactly what happened to me last week. A sudden trip to Doha. As guests of Qatar Tourism Authority.

It was a mundane day. Rather a bad day. A day when you are home sick, brought to extremes by your little kids. When you think, nothing is right. Yes one of those days, which every mommy can relate so very well. And then I saw this e-mail, in my inbox. To quote, “I am contacting you on behalf of Qatar Tourism Authority. We are very inspired and impressed by your blog, and would like to invite you for a trip to Qatar on the occasion of the Qatar Summer Festival 2014
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A crowd pleaser - Paneer Makhni

 The beautiful garden of the resort was glistening with the golden lighting. The drinks were getting mixed flamboyantly, the pretty ladies were elegantly showing off their solitaires and the music was trying to find its audience. As the party was getting warmed up, the sublime quietness couldn't be mistaken.

At that very precise moment, she entered. Dressed to kill, in that bold yet so sophisticated red dress. The white stilettos, added not just height, but lot of grace and poise to the demure beauty. Many pairs of eyes turned quickly to greet, while others preferred to show ignorance; while making a mental note to know her in person. 
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Flavours of Africa: Tribes – A Restaurant Review

Dubai is surely a foodie's delight with its excellent culinary offerings. The modern cityscape, is generously dotted with some of the best restaurants, of a wide range of cuis­ines. Having recently moved to this cultural melting pot, I was eagerly looking forward to get on a delicious joyride. And being a food lover and a blogger, the reasons were many. One such good reason came in the form of an invite, to review an African restaurant called Tribes. 

Tribesa casual dining restaurant, opened about 4 years ago in the fashion dome of Mall of the Emirates. Its uniqueness is stamped in its African influence. It offers a cultural and culinary experience, inspired by the varied flavours of Africa and its diverse tribes. Bit unsure of my expectations from the place. Yet excited to do the taste testing, I chose my sea­food loving, photographer friend, as my companion for the evening. 

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Celebrating photoshoot with baked custard

Life is fun when interesting things happen. When pre conceived notions and apprehensions are left behind, to enjoy the new. Last week I too crossed one such mental hurdle. Of being in front of the camera. 

Now like most of us, I too have lots of opinions (mostly negative) of the way I look, specially in pictures. My relationship with camera works better, when Im behind it. Though my friends and family have complimented me many times, on being photogenic or looking good in my pictures, yet I always gave credit to their faithful love for me, than anything else. So when I won this opportunity to be a model for "Mandy Toh's" portrait shoot, I amazed myself by taking it up! Yes life needs challenges.
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Healthy Lunchbox ideas - A Guest Post

You know its morning, when the mind is sleeping and the eyes are struggling to stay awake. When there's no desire stronger than getting under the cosy duvet, and shutting the world for few extra minutes. Alas, that would not be so, since its the school time for the kiddo. So wake up 'mumma' and pack a healthy, tasty lunchbox for your dearest. 

If you are still enjoying a life without kids, then please skip the post, as you hit the snooze button for the nth time. But if not, then I'm sure you got hooked by the title of the post itself. Like a sponge, every mom tries to get as much info on what to feed their picky eater. How to get some healthy and nutritious food into the little tummies. And yes it got to be quick too, since we are talking about lunchboxes, which gets packed in the wee hours of the morning...and not some lavish brunches, made for the weekend.
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