The past 2 weeks has been quite tedious and I can't blame anyone else other than myself. The problem was simple - My card expired last month and so the automatic renewal of my domain address [www.kaarasaaram.com] did not go through. Probably the responsible party might have sent a reminder email but I didn't receive any and I can't figure out why..???
Anyway, on 24/12/2012 I wasn't able to view my blog nor did anyone else. A call to the help desk of the company/site that provides domain names for blogger revealed that the domain name has already been taken up by some other party. The person who spoke to me said they could ask the present owner to sell the domain name but the price was nearly 9000$ and in addition I had to pay 70$ for the mediator as well.
Just to confirm, I emailed to blogger help [google] which revealed that they had sent one reminder email but also mentioned that it might have gone into my spam box. As it was Christmas it took 2 days for me to get a reply. They also mentioned as the account had expired nothing can be done...
First of all, I don't have that amount to pay and second, the reason given for charging so much was based on the net value of my domain/website. I was shell shocked....
After a couple of hours of thinking and kicking myself for being so careless, I brought another domain and all the information was automatically uploaded.
So friends, please be very careful with your respective blogs/ domains/ websites. Mine is a very tiny one with no adsense or much viewership. There are blogs which are ever so popular and have more than 1000 hits a day. There are people who watch like hawks and grab any opportunity to make money in any possible way.
So now www.kaarasaaram.com has been changed to www.kaarasaaram.org. I am not sure wether you are receiving my blog updates but please do update the new web address. I would be very grateful for all the support....
So now that everything is settled, here comes a delicious sweet chocolatey recipe to start the Newyear. I am not a chocolate fan but since it is the favourite for almost everyone else, chocolate is the main ingredient in this recipe [both the drink and cookies].
Hot chocolate ... even the name sounds very tempting, isn't it..!!! There are quite a few flavours which are very popular. I have added the two flavours which are my absolute favourite - ginger and cardamom. They lend a lovely sweet aroma and warmth to the drink which is incomparable to anything else.
Perfect for a cold evening or an after dinner drink. It is immensely flavourful, so serve in small glasses with loads of whipped cream.
Spiced Hot Chocolate:
Semi skimmed milk: 400mls.
Dark Chocolate pieces: 75 gms.
Milk chocolate pieces: 25 gms.
Light muscavado sugar: 1 1/2 tbsp.
Cardamom powder: 1/2 tsp.
Ginger powder: 3/4 tsp.
Single cream: 2 tbsp.
Whipped cream and 1 tsp of light muscavado sugar.
1.Take a heavy bottomed pan and add the milk, sugar, ginger and cardamom powders. Gently heat on low flame. Do not let the milk boil.
2.Once heated through, remove from flame and add both the dark and milk chocolate pieces.
3.Whisk until all the chocolate is melted.
4.Return to the flame and add the cream.
5.Heat gently for a minute or so, just to make sure the milk, chocolate and cream are well incorporated.
6.Remove from flame and pour into individual glasses.
7.Top with swirls of whipped cream and sprinkle with muscavado sugar.
Serve immediately along with chocolate shortbread cookies....
I am sure most of you must have tasted shortbread cookies which is thick, soft, all buttery and sugary. This is a simple variation to the classic recipe. Very easy to make and taste yummy, a sure treat for anyone who loves chocolate flavour.
The cookies have to be on the thicker side as it is very soft and crumbles easily. Don't aim for perfect shapes as the uneven look makes it even more appealing.
Chocolate Shortbread Cookies: Makes 25-30 depending on the size of the cookies
All purpose flour: 150 gms.
Caster sugar: 55 gms.
Unsalted butter [softened]: 125 gms.
Dark chocolate pieces:75 gms.
Unsweetened cocoa powder: 1 tbsp.
Salt: 1 small pinch.
1.Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C / Gas mark 2-3/315 degrees F. Lightly grease two baking trays.
2.Place the chocolate in a heat proof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Make sure the bowl does not touch the water.
3.Stir until the chocolate has melted. Remove from heat.Set aside to cool.
4.Sift the flour, cocoa powder and salt together twice. In a medium sized bowl, cream the butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
5.Add the cooled chocolate, sifted flour and cocoa powder. Combine with the help of a wooden spoon until it forms a soft dough.
6.Shape tablespoons of the dough into balls and place them on the baking trays well apart.
7.Flatten slightly with the back of a spoon. Bake for 12-15 minutes.
8.Allow to cool in the trays for 5 minutes and then transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Once cooled store in air tight container. These cookies keep well for upto a week.
Notes: You can omit the ginger and cardamom powder and flavour the hot chocolate with cinnamon, chilli , nutmeg etc. Also alter the amount of dark and milk chocolate according to your preference.
Try using white chocolate instead of dark chocolate for new flavour...
For the cookies, try dusting wth drinking chocolate powder just before serving. For a varied flavour for the cookies, try using milk chocolate or white chocolate or combine flavours for a marbled look for the cookies.
Scribbled by Reva.