On her recent trip to Delhi, Chef Pooja Dhingra hosted an Airbnb experience where she demonstrated her signature Chocolate Fondant with Salted Caramel Center recipe. Our biggest takeaway: a newfound love for easy baking. By Rashima Nagpal
On a bright sunny afternoon in Delhi, we meet Chef Pooja Dhingra at Caara Kitchen, where she is hosting a baking workshop. Warm, spirited, and a boss lady at heart, she engages everybody present in the kitchen in no time. Before she starts whipping up the recipe, she tells us that it’s very easy and simple. “But you’re not supposed to tell that to people who don’t know,” she warns us, “…because then every time they feel like having a dessert they’ll ask you to make this.” Once the cupcakes are out of the oven and we taste them, we realise what exactly she means. So bookmark the recipe below and make it whenever you feel like you need a sugar rush, but keep it to yourself!
In a quick tête-à-tête post the baking session, Dhingra tells us about some of her favourite food destinations. Paris is where she’d travel to for croissants; “it’s my favourite city in the world,” she exclaims. She loves the coffee in Italy, and at present enjoys her bullet coffee—some coconut oil in an Americano, and Pasta reminds her of a small Italian bistro in Geneva that she discovered during here college days. She picks chocolate and the vanilla bean as her favourite baking ingredients. On being asked about what she enjoys more, being a chef or an entrepreneur, she asserts, “the great thing is I can keep switching the hats, I never get saturated with either because I keep juggling.” And this is what she has to say to aspiring pastry chefs: “Be passionate, it is different from making one cake at home. It is a tough job, you work when everybody is on a holiday. Do it only if you truly find joy in it.” Portugal is next on her bucket list, and the last thing she’d like to eat before dying would be homemade dal chawal.
200 gm Dark chocolate
200 gm Butter
150 gm Caster sugar
60 gm Refined flour
50 gm Salted Caramel
¼ tsp Sea salt
- Heat the cream and vanilla bean in the microwave for 2 minutes.
- Heat the sugar and water in a saucepan over medium heat until it melts and caramelizes.
- Add the butter and keep whisking till combined.
- Lastly, add the cream and whisk till thick.
- Add the salt and mix.
- Melt the chocolate and butter over a hot water bath or in the microwave.
- Add the caster sugar to the melted mixture and keep aside to cool.
- Once cool, add the eggs, one by one, whisking well after each addition.
- Fold in the flour and pour the batter into greased ramekins. Bake in a 200°C pre heated oven for 4-5 minutes.
- Take the ramekins out and add 1 tsp of salted caramel in the center of each. Return to the oven and bake for another 4-5 minutes or until the edges are cooked but the center remains wobbly.
- Remove and serve hot.