Chocolate Blackberry Pudding

Chocolate Blackberry Pudding

I finally FINALLY made this.

After, literally months after I pinned it and then looked at it every couple of weeks and decided not to make it.

And why didn’t I?

I honestly felt that no one was going to be as into this ooey gooey mess as I was going to be. They were going to take a bite and say TOO SWEET or TOO CHOCOLATEY or TOO RICH.

But then when Preetha took a bite of her blackberry and declared it tart, I knew that the time had come. PUDDING time.

I’m not going to repost the recipe here because I didn’t change the original that was presented beautifully at The Sugar Hit.

The pudding itself was worth the wait. It was gooey, thick and was comforting on the mildly cold London day that we devoured it on while watching an episode of The Great British Bake Off which, fortuitously enough, turned out to be the desserts episode. Their signature challenge turned out to be… self-saucing puddings.

Sometimes, life really is satisfying.

Me, holding the pudding artfully out of Preetha's window
Me, holding the pudding artfully out of Preetha’s window

London details and pictures coming later – this was just one of the things I did while there!

One Mug Hot Chocolate

No, I'm not Melissa.
No, I’m not Melissa.

I know it’s crazy hot outside.

I know that we are all on the verge of melting – Wicked Witch style – into a puddle because of the craziness that is global warming.

But really – who do we have to blame but ourselves in this situation?

I mean if we just stopped consuming so freaking much and reused things and generally didn’t leech the earth of its resources and rode planes around everywhere and bred all these COWS we might be ok today. But instead we have started the end of the world as evidenced by that glacier that’s melting and making land scarce and anarchy inevitable.

No? NO?!

Ok right, this is a food blog.

So let’s make some hot chocolate. Because it’s great to drink when you’re tired and when it’s hot outside but you’re in a cool air-conditioned room – which of course will only speed up global warming.

Drink up!

1 cup milk
2 tsps cocoa powder, unsweetened
1 Tbsp white sugar
¼ tsp vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Pinch of cinnamon, optional

Heat up milk in a saucepan till hot over a medium flame. Make sure it doesn’t burn by stirring frequently. You will know it’s done when it hisses as it climbs up the sides of the saucepan.

While the milk is heating up, combine the rest of the ingredients in the mug.

Pour the hot milk over the other ingredients and stir quickly, with a spoon/fork, till fully mixed.


* This version isn’t as sweet as the others I’ve found which call for 2 Tbsps. I mean, that’s just unnecessary.
** I made this last night after a long bus journey and it really did the trick to both satisfy my hunger at 1am and also make me feel comforted 🙂

Chocolate Yogurt Cake with Chocolate Buttercream Frosting

Chocolate Yogurt Cake with Buttercream Frosting

These past few weeks have been kinda busy stressy eesh.

Not all bad stuff but work has been full on, my social life has been full on and family, well I live away from my family, but they have been going through their own struggles. It’s not all bad but I find that I’m holding all this tension in my neck and in my arm and no matter how limber I’m getting with all this kettle-bell and back bridge exercises – the pain is still there.

While I’m not about to get onto the bandwagon about how the heavens are aligned against us this year – 2014 IS CURSED Y’ALL, THE DISASTERS, THE NEWS, THE THINGS – I think maybe it’s for some quiet times and reflection and just riding the wave of unpleasantness out.

Until then – let’s eat chocolate cake.

Chocolate Yogurt Cake with Buttercream Frosting

While this cake is pretty to look at and great in theory it was just a little weird. Like a little too sour and chewy for me. And it just got tougher as the days went by. The icing however, is still the best icing I’ve ever had or made. Pair it with the original Best Chocolate Cake Recipe (Ever) and you’re set for any future birthday cake you need to make from scratch.

3 Tbsps butter
1/2 cup white sugar
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp coffee dissolved in 1 Tbsp water
1 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsps dark cocoa powder
3/4 cup plain greek yogurt
1/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 170C/350F. Butter and “flour” an 8 by 8 baking pan using cocoa powder.

Beat butter and sugar together until fluffy.

Beat in egg, vanilla and coffee. Add cocoa, flour, baking powder and salt and mix until combined.

Add yogurt and mix until batter is smooth. Pro tip – leave out the yogurt till its room temp before stirring in.

Add milk and mix until batter comes together. Pour into pan.

Bake for 20 minutes until cake is set. Cake will be thin and have a shiny weird finish. Hahahaha. I’m SELLING it.

Frost with the chocolate buttercream frosting. I used a spoon and butter nice and it looked fab.

1/2 cup butter, softened
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa
1 2/3 cups confectioner’s sugar
2 Tbps + 2 tsps cup milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
scant 1/4 tsp espresso powder

Whisk the cocoa powder to remove lumps.

Cream together butter and cocoa powder until well-combined.

Add 1 cup sugar and 1 Tbsp milk to cocoa mixture and mix. Add rest of the sugar and milk and mix well.

Add vanilla extract and espresso powder and MIX.

* Cake recipe adapted from How Sweet It Is.
** Frosting recipe from Add a Pinch.
*** Photography by Hoi Yee (paper_shins).

Chocolate Cupcakes with Coconut Frosting

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I had never made cupcakes IN. MY. LIFE.

I think the idea that they’re finicky and time consuming and so impractical just made me shy away from them.

Sometimes there are occasions that call for them.

So sometimes, you have to suck it up and make them.


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Cupcakes (makes 24)
2/3 cup cocoa powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup vegetable or canola oil
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
3/4 tsp salt
2 eggs
2 egg yolks
1/2 cup heavy cream
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour

Coconut Frosting
1 cup salted butter, at room temperature
1/4 cup coconut milk (I use the Ayam brand coconut milk)
1 tsp coconut extract
4 cups powdered sugar

Coconut Topping
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 Tbsp powdered sugar
1 1/2 tsps vegetable oil
2 tsps water

Preheat oven to 175C/350F.

In a large heat proof mixing bowl, whisk together cocoa powder and baking soda. Carefully pour in boiling water and whisk until bubbling subsides and mixture is well blended, allow to cool for 5 minutes.

In another large mixing bowl, blend together melted butter, vegetable oil, granulated sugar, vanilla and salt until well combined. Beat hard. The original recipe calls for a hand mixer. I don’t have one.

Stir in eggs and eggs yolks, mixing just until combined after each addition.

Blend in lukewarm cocoa mixture and then blend in heavy cream.

Slowly mix in flour and blend until combined.

Divide batter among 24 paper lined muffin cups and bake in preheated oven until toothpick inserted into center comes out clean, about 18 to 20 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow to cool in muffin tins before removing to plate to cool. Cool completely then frost with coconut frosting.

Gently roll each frosted cupcake with coconut topping.

Store in the fridge.

Coconut Frosting
Whip together butter and coconut milk as fast as you can until combined. You’re aiming for it to look pale and fluffy. But you know you’re not a machine (see the I don’t have a hand mixer note above) so do your best.

Blend in coconut extract.

Add in powdered sugar and mix vigorously until blended and fluffy.

Coconut Topping**
Whisk dried coconut and powdered sugar together.

Combine the vegetable oil and water in a small bowl.

Pour the liquid ingredients over the sugared coconut. Whisk to combine.

Let the mixture sit for 10 minutes. Stir the mixture once or twice to turn it over.


*Cupcake recipe adapted from Cooking Classy.
**Coconut topping method taken from Live Strong because I don’t think we get sweetened coconut in Singapore.

***Photography for this blog post is courtesy of Hoi Yee (see more of her work at paper_shins).

Cocoa Brownies

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This week was a bit of fail week in the DiniBlini kitchen.

I tried to make carrot cake and it looked amazing.


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It tasted? Not so amazing. Think too cheesy frosting, like BAD cheesy.

Then there was this lemon-blackberry cake which was awesome in theory, but exploded and had a faint aftertaste of oil. TASTY.

I needed a win.

These brownies made it happen.

10 Tbsps / 1 1/4 sticks / 140 gms unsalted butter
1 1/4 cups sugar
3/4 cups plus 2 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp instant espresso powder
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
2 cold large eggs
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat the oven to 165C/325F.

Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil and butter.

Combine the butter, sugar, cocoa, and salt in a medium heatproof bowl and set the bowl in a wide pan of barely simmering water. Stir from time to time until the butter is melted and the mixture is well combined.

Remove the bowl from the pan and set aside briefly until the mixture is only warm, not hot. Stir in espresso powder and vanilla.

Add the eggs one at a time, stirring vigorously after each one.

When the batter well blended add the flour and stir until you cannot see it any longer. At this point the original recipe tells you to beat it 40 times. So you know. Do that.

Spread in the lined pan.

Bake until a skewer plunged into the center emerges slightly moist with batter, 25 to 30 minutes. But honestly just watch these brownies. Original recipe said 5 minutes less.

Let cool completely before cutting.

*Adapted from Alice Medrich’s Best Cocoa Brownies on Food52.
** Photography for this blog post was courtesy of my very talented friend Hoi Yee – you can see more of her work on Instagram.