Chocolate Butterscotch Balls
On Sunday night around 1.30 I realised a whole week had gone without any dessert. I couldn’t possibly lag behind in my challenge, could I? But I was going through a cook’s block (if there is such a term) and when Mr Holmes was acting drunk and busy busting the case in pink (yes, re-run), measuring flour and sugar and melting chocolate seemed to be no less than an ordeal to me. I don’t usually feel this way, but then there are days when even Ishant Sharma takes a fiver. So I decided to make something quick and easy and which would not take up more than 5 minutes of my time. The jar of Nutella lying next to me and steadily getting emptied provided inspiration and I quickly rustled up this recipe that I had read in a random cookbook a while back: a 2-minute Nutella mug cake (not exactly a cupcake. But mug-cake, cupcake, cake pops or anything less than a real cake fit into the same category).
Now anything to do with Nutella should take you a little bit closer to heaven. At least that’s what I have believed all along. But here comes the sad part. This quasi-cake did NOTHING to me. It was semi-meh and something which I could definitely do without. Spooning Nutella out of the jar was 10 times better. I don’t know whether there was something wrong with the recipe or whether it was my mental block with quick and easy things. Yes, I do believe there’s no shortcut to deliciousness. I’m not as disappointed with the recipe as I am with a shake in my all-emcompassing faith in Nutella. :(
Okay, I guess I sound too dark and brooding. How bad can something which has Nutella and cocoa and sugar be? Also I had it with whipped cream and chocolate sauce so I don’t really have a mega reason to go on and on cursing the recipe. You can go ahead and try it if you want, but I have got something better in my kitty which I’ll share with you right away. So bear with me till I give away the mug cake recipe. I mixed 2 tbsp of sifted flour in a mug with 2 tbsp of cocoa powder and nutella each. Added 2 tsp of caster sugar and cracked one egg. Beat the entire mixture thoroughly with 3 tbsp of milk, 1 tbsp olive oil (on hindsight, I should have added a tbsp of butter as well) a dash on vanilla and ¼ tsp baking powder. When smooth I popped it inside the microwave on high and gave it 1 min. Stopped for 5 sec and then gave it another 15 sec. And there you have your Nutella mug cake which is definitely not as sinful as it sounds but is also not as disappointing as my description of it reads. (Oh darn, I just realised I don’t have a pic of the thing. Why don’t one of you try it out and mail a pic to me? )
You must be wondering why I wrote 500 words only to give you an average recipe at the end of it? But just you wait because I have the most deciliously sinful chocolate butterscotch balls for you. It was a colleague’s birthday on Sunday... Santa, as we call him lovingly. Now he is my go-to guy when it comes to ordering in food to office. He loves to call up eateries and order food (he has even gone to the limits of cajoling KFC to deliver fries by saying that I would not go on a date with him otherwise!). Yeah, that’s one of his talents, besides playing the guitar and writing articles on education and... ahem... weather...and not to mention shouldering the burden of all responsibilities when the resident editor is not there! Anyway, he has repeatedly been asking me for his birthday gift and I am always assuring him "later". So today I decided I’d make him some chocolate butterscotch balls only to realise that my mixer was not working. I did all the grinding by hand, so it took me some time and I couldn’t manage more than a certain quantity. But you just need to give everything a few good pulses in the mixer and you have your batter. I’d advise you make these in big batches, because you’re not going to get enough of them!
Makes: 14 balls (could have made 16, but I licked off some of the batter before rolling them. :P)
Digestive/ Marie biscuits: 12
Cocoa powder: 3 tbsp
Condensed milk: 5 tbsp
Milk: 2 tbsp
Chocolate syrup (I used Hershey’s): 5 tbsp
Butterscotch chips: a handful + for garnish
Chocolate chips: a handful
Rolled oats/ muesli: a handful
(you can also throw in your favourite add-ons like nuts, marshmallows, cherries, raisins etc or eliminate them altogether for a smooth chocolatey taste. A dash of rum/brandy/kahlua wouldn't be too bad either. :P)
1. Put the biscuits and cocoa in a blender and pulse till smooth.
2. Add the liquid ingredients (only enough to bind) and pulse again till the mixture is of battery consistency.
3. Now add your add-ons and give a final pulse. The mixture should not be too crumbly neither too liquidy. Remember, you need to shape them.
4. Scrape out the mixture onto a baking parchment on a plate and put in the freezer for 30 min. This will make the rolling job easier.
5. Once cold and set, take it out and roll into balls. Place them at a distance from each other and chill again for an hour.
6. Now take them out again and plant a butterscotch chip on each of them.
7. Put back in the freezer till you are ready to serve. Do not, and this is a must, take them out of the fridge before serving. They melt in no time! You can pop it in your mouth just like that or serve it with vanilla ice-cream or whipped cream.