March 17, 2013

Candid reflections of the past year ~ Happy Birthday "The Turmeric Kitchen" :)

Yes! its been a year...already! :) A splendid, immensely satisfying year filled with excitement and gratification, to say the very least.

I am so overwhelmed with emotions reflecting back on how truly remarkable this journey has been. An exciting ride into the deepest, yet unexplored realms of bliss, the self exploratory path to finding myself and the things I was capable of..and all this on a marvelous, open medium to express my views about the subject closest to my heart. No expectations, no compulsions..only a honest, pure-hearted effort, backed by sincere blessings and heartfelt good wishes of my family and friends, has made everything all worth while. So much positivity and brightness is the very least I can be very very thankful for.

But as I reflect back on this past year, I feel nothing holds more true than this quote by Martha Beck Whatever you deeply yearn for has already been given to you.” and all we really need is to realize that deep seated potential and harness it. This has echoed clearly in this journey with food. It has so truly been within me all along..right from the innocent, pure happiness I gained by role-playing a TV chef with the ingredients laid out right in front (at about 5-6 years of age) to the excitement of de-veining a fresh prawn. I get goose bumps when it sinks in that the events in my life have all led me to this point and I really didn't have to look very far to seek the deep sense of satisfaction I had been seeking for a long time. All I genuinely had to do, is to just find a way to express it.

So it actually all started after a potluck at a close friend's place for Holi, for which I had made Gulab Jamuns. The gulab jamuns turned out great and apart from satisfying the hungry souls, they somehow nudged me towards an auspicious beginning into this virtual world. It didn't ever stop at thing led to another and here I am, looking back at the satisfying year gone by.

Naming "The Turmeric Kitchen"

At the time I started my blog..the first & the most challenging step was to finalise on a name that truly fitted in with my ideology, background and style of cooking. To start with, I knew that it had to be named after a spice and the only most obvious choice was the-dark yellow-hued-auspicious, ever so subtle spice- turmeric. At that point, it just seemed right and all came together as "The Turmeric Kitchen". Little did I know that as time passed, I would peel the several layers of relevance that name had for me.

- Firstly, yellow has been my favorite color since the day I can remember and my Ma can vouch for my unexplained obsession about it.
- Secondly, turmeric stands as my most favorite spice because of its understated, musky and subtle quality where it always leaves a bright hue and a distinct taste to any dish. It has its own way of teaching us the basic rules of modesty and inner strength in every situation possible.
- Finally, the therapeutic use of turmeric has been around for ages and it's great to represent some part of the age old wisdom with this creation.

Thus, to commemorate this eventful occasion of my journey with my beloved "The Turmeric Kitchen", I hosted a small party with few of my close friends for which I baked the very first cake that I had ever tried my hand with, almost about 3 years back for a friend's birthday. This cake had also marked my first unsuccessful attempt at blogging. But, as they say - nothing quite happens before it is really destined to happen..."The Turmeric Kitchen" took birth at the best possible time I could think of. So I wanted to mark this event with this cake that had given me the confidence and propelled me towards this exciting venture. A true tribute to my first combined attempt at baking and blogging :)

Credits: This cake is adapted from One Hot Stove, one of the first few blogs that I was following at that time. It seemed easy on the first read and quite different from the tons of recipes which can be particularly intimidating for a novice like me. So here it adaptation of the classic chocolate cake from One hot stove.

Chocolate cake with a chocolate ganache frosting 
Adapted from this recipe from One Hot Stove

This decadent, simple to make chocolate cake is perfectly sweet, balanced in richness, frosted with a easy chocolate ganache and dressed with fresh strawberries and raspberries. Perfect for any celebration, be it a birthday party or the celebration of a blog birthday ;)


Sift together the following and keep aside
2 C cake flour (see notes to preparing your own cake flour)
6 T heaped cocoa powder
2 t baking soda
1/2 t salt
1 T instant coffee granules

To be kept at room temperature
1/2 C (1 stick) butter
1 1/2 C sugar
2 t vanilla extract
3 large eggs
4 oz Semi sweet chocolate chips
1/2 C buttermilk

1 1/4 C boiling water

For the frosting:
12 oz Semi sweet chocolate chips
12 oz whipping cream.

1. Preheat the oven to 350oF .Line the 9" cake pans with parchment paper and lightly grease the pans (with oil/butter) and dust with cocoa powder or flour.
2. Melt the chocolate chips either in the microwave or on a water bath. It took me three 20 sec bursts to melt them.
3. In a mixing bowl, beat the butter until creamy and add in sugar and vanilla. Then mix it very well for 5-10 minutes until light and fluffy.
4. Break in the eggs, one at a time and beat till fluffy and light in color.
5. Then, lightly fold in the melted chocolate and half of the dry mixture.
6. Then, fold in the buttermilk and rest of the dry cake mixture.
7. Slowly, stir in the boiling water until it is just incorporated to have a smooth looking batter.  
8. Pour the batter onto the prepared pans and bake for  approx. 35 minutes or until a toothpick comes clean. Let the cakes cool completely before frosting.

The frosting: 
The original recipe calls for a single layer of chocolate ganache as frosting. Although the first time I tried making exactly the same way, I loved it thoroughly. But this time I wanted a slightly thicker forsting and used the chocolate ganache two ways. More of chocolate is mostly always a good decision.

Firstly for sealing the two layers, I evenly spread out store bought raspberry preserves (as used in the original recipe).

For the chocolate ganache, bring the whipping cream to boil and pour it over the chocolate chips. Mix well to get a smooth, glossy mixture.

For the first layer of frosting, keep separate roughly half of the ganache, and whip it up to a light, airy consistency. I poured the remaining, un-whipped ganache to coat the cake to achieve the final glossy look. Finally, I decorated with slices of strawberry and raspberry and to top it off..candles to light up the delight.

Notes: For making your own cake flour, for every 1 C of all purpose flour used, scoop out 1 T and replace it with 1 T of cornstarch instead. Sift them together atleast 4-5 times to ensure that its well mixed.

This cake exceeeded my expectations all over again and became a part of my first anniversary celebration. A part of beautiful, beautiful memories. As I end this post, I would like to end it with a heartfelt thank you to the numerous well wishers, supporters, cheer leaders I have earned along the way. Thank you so much everyone for all your love and support!

Cheers to many such celebrations!

I am sending this entry to :
- "Bake Fest # 17" hosted by Sayantani from A Homemaker's diary and Vardhini from Cook's Joy.


  1. Is adding melted chocolate to the cake batter necessary. I am asking this because once I tried it but the chocolate didn't come out as cake. So I stopped adding melted chocolate to the chocolate cake preparation. Could you tell me exactly what went wrong ? I had the measurements as 1C flour, 1 1/2 C sugar, 2 T cocoa powder and 1t baking soda along with 2 eggs, 1/2 C butter and 1C hot milk.

    1. Salvwi,I don't think adding melted chocolate is absolutely essential but yes it does impart a richness to the cake. I didn't quite understand when you say "didn't come out as cake"..Baking is such an exact science that as a student myself, I must confess that I do get confused sometimes as to why anything goes wrong at all. Your measurements look quite like mine..except that the flour is half of what I there anything else you can think of..say were all ingredients at room temp?..was the oven pre-heated? etc

  2. Hi,

    I've recently started blogging and stumbled upon your aromatic blog...Love the name 'Turmeric Kitchen' :)and congrats on your successful one year!!

    1. Thanks so much Aditi! Congrats on your beginning of this fulfilling journey :)

  3. Hi Jagruti

    Congrats !!
    I am here to pass on the Leibster blogger award to you, please collect it from the below link. Do comment on the post when you receive it.

    Happy blogging!!


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