Celebrating World Chocolate Day with Meher Kalra of Boojee Cafe

In celebration of World Chocolate Day, we caught up with Los Angeles-based pastry chef Meher Kalra about her work in alternative baking and her parallel pastry universe where flours are seeds, fats are superfoods, and sweeteners are gut-friendly.
The creator of Boojee Cafe’s chocolate brown rice cookies and Nutcrackers’ oatmeal hazelnut praline tarts has introduced Mumbai to an alternative style of baking that has taken the city by storm.She has replaced traditional flour with flours like Bajra and Ragi. For chocolate, she depends entirely on sourcing from Mason & Co or Paul & Mike, the Indian chocolate brands.
All of her recipes are made with ghee, an Indian super fuel, and are sweetened entirely with monk fruit for diabetics or jaggery for its many digestive benefits. Her most recent creations for République and Bicyclette Bistro are among the favorites of chocolate lovers. Her hot chocolate fondant is a cross between a soufflé and a cake, and will transport you to the streets of the Marais with every bite.
You’d never believe it’s made with Sattu flour, a staple in the Kolkata pantry. “The protein content in Sattu flour adds to the structure of the chocolate compared to other global varieties and I really want the chocolate to shine,” she explains.
“India is full of seasonal and perennial superfoods just waiting to be tapped and my aim is to use these unique flour blends to introduce my own take on my beloved French classics globally. It also makes me happy to do my small part in supporting Indian agriculture and animal husbandry by giving these unique grains and flours a larger global platform to strive towards. I am happy that what started as my need to cook for my personal health and well-being has now grown into something much bigger than that,” she adds.
“I want this alternative baking style to become the new norm for whenever someone wants to spend an evening baking treats for their family or just for themselves.” With World Chocolate Day right around the corner, it’s a time to celebrate the universal love of chocolate that transcends borders and cultures. Today, we’re taking a look at her surprisingly simple yet delicious gluten-free and dairy-free brownie recipe.

Vegan Butter: 100g Ghee – 100g (Recommended brand – Yashvi)
Avocado oil/Any neutral oil: 80 g
Dark chocolate: 380 g (recommended brand – Paul & Mike 72%)
Dark Jaggery: 360 g
Eggs: 4 each Yolks – 2 each
Dark chocolate: 200 g
Almond flour: 60 g
Amaranth flour: 40 g
Rice flour: 50 g
Cocoa powder: 60 g
Salt: 6g
Vanilla: 1 teaspoon
Roasted nuts: 150 g


Instructions: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). Grease and line an 8×8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper, leaving extra for easy unmolding after baking. Melt the first measure of dark chocolate, butter, ghee, and oil in a heatproof bowl set over a pan of simmering water (double boiler method), stirring occasionally until the mixture is smooth and well blended. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.
In a stand mixer, whisk together the jaggery, eggs and vanilla extract until tripled in volume. Or persuade your sibling to do it by hand! Pour the melted chocolate mixture into the egg mixture, stirring until well combined. Sift the dry ingredients into the chocolate mixture. Gently fold the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until well combined. Be careful not to overmix. Fold in the chopped nuts and remaining chocolate pieces until evenly distributed throughout the batter. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, spreading it evenly with a spatula.
Bake in the preheated oven for 18 to 25 minutes, or until the top is set and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out with a few moist crumbs (not wet batter). Remove from the oven and let the brownies cool completely in the pan on a wire rack. Once cooled, remove the brownies from the pan using the excess parchment paper and cut into squares. Serve and enjoy these rich, fudgy brownies with a scoop of vanilla ice cream for the ultimate treat!
Disclaimer: This article was produced on behalf of Boojee Cafe by the Times Internet Spotlight team.

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