Sunday, 15 September 2013

Layers of joy

Last evening was a blessed one. A dear friend — rum and coke (yes I still love my rum and coke) — incessant talking — crazy revelations — and my brand new oven. A gift from a special someone. Of course I was elated and though a few technical hindrances kept me from cooking the inaugural meal I had to celebrate anyway and I did by making a lip-smacking dessert, a personal favourite.

I had learnt to make this dessert from a dear friend, my para mate,  Pooja, almost 10 years ago. We were still in school. In fact, I still remember the first time I tasted it.

Pooja is now an IT professional based in Pune and her family has moved from their old house in New Alipore to their new, more swanky apartment in, New Alipore. But their old house remains somewhat special to a few of us who were regulars at her place.

One, her house was strategically located — a guy I had a huge crush on in my teens stayed right across.
Two, there was an old-worldish charm about her place. Her house even had a central courtyard. I especially loved that.
Three, her mom was a wonderful cook. (Well that holds true still)

So, yes it was during one of my frequent visits to her place that she brought in a bowl of this delectable dessert. A layered treat with rich chocolate and biscuits (she told me later it was biscuits, humble Marie). She said she had made it and I told myself she couldn't have.I didn't want to believe she had. It was bloodie good. Please note by now my culinary skills (limited though) were already being extolled in the circle and I was probably a little jealous. But one spoon of it and I knew it would remain my favourite forever.

Pooja often made the dessert when I would come visiting. I would pester her for days in advance. And finally, after a bit of coaxing she shared the recipe. Well, I tried but mine didn't taste exactly the same. But what I make now, after years, might not taste exactly the same as the one I had tasted that winter morning but it's delicious nonetheless.  And I made just that to celebrate.

Now I didn't have any measurements to follow, I always followed instincts.
But this is more or less the measurement I follow

Choco Marie camaraderie 

Milk - 1 litre
Cocoa Powder - 60 gms 
Corn flour - 2 tbsp 
Sugar- 1 cup
Coffee - 11/2 tbsp
 Raisins - A fistful 
Marie biscuits : I large packet. 
2 glasses of water
Coffee: 4 tbsp. 

STEP 1: In a bowl mix cocoa,11/2 tbsp coffee and sugar. In half a cup of milk stir in the corn flour and keep. Add the rest of the milk little my little into the sugar and cocoa mix, stirring continuously so that no lumps are formed. Now stir in the corn flour. Microwave the runny milk-cocoa mix for 12-15 minutes, or until a thick chocolate sauce is what you have. Thick and luscious. Oh, about after six minutes in the microwave, bring out the bowl, stir in the raisins and put it back for the remaining of the cooking time.  

STEP 2: Add the coffee (4tbsp) in the water and bring to a boil and leave it on high heat for about 3-5 minutes. Now take a flat bottomed bowl of any shape. Dip the Marie biscuits (how many depends on the size of the bowl) in the coffee and make a layer at the bottom of the bowl. With a ladle make a layer of the cooled chocolate mic on the biscuit layer. Follow it with a biscuit layer and then chocolate. Repeat the process once more. 

Finally put it in the freezer to set. Once set transfer it to the refrigerator.