A Foodie’s Letter To God

If a foodie prayed to God, what would she pray for? Find out, and get an orange and chocolate cake recipe too!

If a foodie prayed to God, what would she pray for? Find out, and get an orange and chocolate cake recipe too!

By Suma Rowjee

I am a big (literally!) foodie and a foodie with a terrible sweet-tooth to boot. Having genes which are not exactly hour-glass-figure friendly doesn’t help; having a family who are equally dessert crazy compounds the problem. I never seem to run out of excuses to cook and bake and of course eat a… ahem… decent portion of it too – some as testing and tasting and some as a portion to be eaten in peace.

Undoubtedly one of the biggest pleasures of life, it’s extremely unfair that the Creator created both something as divine as food and something as dreadful as weight-woes. Having been at the receiving end of this dialectic, I send an appeal to God.

Dear God,

This is me, one of those people who call out to you so very often, in different contexts. For example when I taste food, I say, “Godddhh! This tastes unbelievable!”, on other occasions “GAWD!!! Did this have to happen NOW??” – this is of course when there is a power-cut while I’m baking. “God! What have you done now?” – from me the harassed mom when my kids do things which don’t exactly make me proud. The resounding ‘nnnn’ of my groan you heard the other day was God, when I stepped on my bathroom scales to find it betraying me – yet again! I sincerely hope you do know me God, at least as one of your devotees who eats every bit of the ghee soaked uber delicious prasad given at the temple.

Trust me when I say this dear God, I really count my blessings everyday, swear on that fudgy walnut brownie! But God, may I bring some more matters to your attention. Small things, but in my humble opinion, very, very important.

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For beginners, can you please redefine a balanced diet as enough appetizers (with paneer or cheese preferably), a main course (creamy pastadum biriyani or even pizza would do) and a dessert, instead of adequate carbohydrates, proteins, fiber etc etc? Yaawn! I know you are God, but I hope you have a heart too?

Dieticians could prescribe high fat, high sugar, carbs rich diet for weight loss and good health. This is surely possible, don’t forget YOU ARE GOD!

Doctors could write prescriptions which read something like – Rx – Buttery cinnamon rolls (snack) –  Pots De Creme (after food) – Nachos with salsa (before food). Doctors should examine patients and gravely remark, “So you have been skipping your daily dose of dessert I presume?

Boring salads could make us gain weight, hence something to be eaten in minute quantities. Well, if you insist on exceptions, we could say coleslaw, waldorf salad or creamy potato salad.

How about the grease in the fries, pakoras and cottage cheese fingers, actually transferring the shine of the fat onto the face? Actually make the skin glow I mean! Please say yes! I will chuck that warm lemon water and honey!

If someone fell seriously ill, people should whisper and say, ”Never have I seen him eating a decent serving of dessert or fried stuff, this was bound to happen..tch, tch.

I know you think people don’t exercise as often as they should. Please do very seriously consider making chewing the most intensive workout possible, burning calories like no other workout can. I will NEVER miss a workout as long as I live, God promise!

Healthy desserts and snacks could be carrot and walnut cakes, strawberry mascarpone ice cream, caramelized pears with almonds and vanilla ice cream, Iyengar bakery Khara biscuits, garlic and cheese focaccia (Please notice, I am trying to be virtuous and including fruit, vegetables, herbs and garlic, all of them good for health).

…a baking obsessed, sweet-toothed, weight watching foodie’s life can be really tough.

Of course you may not have given much thought to these things, but a baking obsessed, sweet-toothed, weight watching foodie’s life can be really tough. I have so much more to say … sigh! But I know other important matters such as global warming and world peace command your immediate attention. So let me stop here today and hope you ‘process’ my request. Amen!

And while you do that God, I would like to de-stress myself with just a teeeny-weeny slice of this simple, easy and quick, One Bowl Orange and Chocolate Cake with Orange Infused Ganache.

Recipe adapted from Citrus And Candy


150 gm unsalted butter – cut up

220 gm brown sugar ( I have used 120 gm brown and 80 gm white)

100 gm good quality dark chocolate, chopped

50 gm cocoa powder

160 ml milk

3 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/4 tsp orange zest, grated

170 gm plain flour (maida)

1/2 tsp baking powder

1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 tsp salt (I skipped this)

For the orange infused ganache

360 ml/ 1 1/2 cups fresh cream (I use Amul)

1 3/4 cups dark chocolate, finely chopped

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tsp grated orange zest

Method :

Pre heat oven to 170 degrees C / 340 degree F.  Grease and line a 9” square tin with baking parchment, flour lightly. (An 8” square tin used in the original recipe, gives you a taller cake)

Measure all the ingredients and do a Mise en place – everything in place. It ensures that you don’t run around for that forgotten ingredient half way through mixing the batter.

Sift the flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt if using, set aside.

Take the butter, sugar(s), chocolate, cocoa and milk in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on HIGH power to get a smooth mixture. You could do this in spurts of one minute, stir and then microwave again. If you still see small bits of chocolate it’s fine, it will continue cooking and melt due to the internal heat. Alternatively, you could melt on the stove top above a large bowl placed over simmering water (i.e using the double-boiler method). Allow the mixture to cool for 5 minutes.

Whisk the eggs with the orange zest (ensure no clumps of zest remain), add it to the chocolate mixture and whisk to combine.

Sift over the flour mixture and then gently fold it in.

Scrape batter into tin and bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean. If using an 8” square tin, the baking time will be more, about 45 – 50 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE.

Cool in the tin for 5 minutes then turn out and cool completely on a wire rack.

Slice horizontally into 2 – 3 layers.

For the orange infused ganache

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, bring the cream and unsalted butter to a boil over low heat.

Whisk in the orange zest ensuring no clumps remain.

Add the chocolate. Turn off the heat.

Let stand for a few minutes till the chocolate is completely melted.

Strain through a fine meshed strainer.

Fill this between the layers and finally pour the remaining ganache on the top.

Decorate with candied orange zest or tangerines, slice and serve.

*Photo credit: Suma Rowjee


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