Spaghetti with Meatballs & Marinara Sauce

Growing up in a melting pot of cultures is at times difficult, but the exposure to the different languages, beliefs, ideologies and, of course, cuisines, is always enriching and often a breathtaking experience. Among the many aforementioned differences, one of the closest to my heart is this warm, happy spaghetti that was taught to me by one of my closest friends.

This recipe for spaghetti with chicken meatballs, smothered in a gorgeous marinara sauce, is honestly one of the most comforting meals you could make, and with relatively less effort.

P.S.: The spiciness in this recipe has been tweaked up, just to suit the dragon in us. Feel free to adjust according to taste.

To cook the spaghetti:
Spaghetti - 2 packages
Olive oil - 1 TBSP.
Salt - 1 tsp.

In a pot, bring about 1 liter of water to a boil. Add the salt and olive oil and stir well, then add the spaghetti. Once cooked, drain into a colander under running water. This will prevent the spaghetti from sticking to each other.

For the meatballs:
Ground chicken - 500 g
Rosemary, Thyme and Basil - 1/4th tsp. each
Garlic - 1/2 a pod, finely minced
Worcestershire sauce - 2 tsp.
Chilli powder - 2 tsp.
Egg - 1, lightly whisked
Breadcrumbs - as required to make firm dough
Salt - to taste
Pepper - to taste
Butter - 1/2 TBSP

In a bowl, combine all ingredients, adjusting the breadcrumbs until you get a dough that can be rolled into lemon-sized balls.
In a non-stick pan, melt the butter, and place the meatballs on the heated pan, then turn the heat to medium. Let it sear for a minute. Cover with a lid and lower the flame to allow the insides to cook for a minute. Turn over the meatballs and cook till golden brown. Remove onto a paper towel.

Just look at this juicy, meaty goodness sizzling away! :D

For the marinara sauce:
Ground chicken - 500 g
Ripe tomatoes - 5 large or 7 small
Green chillies - 2
Onions - 2, diced finely
Garlic - 1/2 a pod, chopped finely
Capsicum - 1, diced finely
Button mushrooms - 10, diced
Dried Oregano - 1 tsp.
Dried Rosemary - 1 tsp.
Dried Basil - 1 tsp.
Salt & Pepper - to taste
Chilli powder - 1 TBSP. + 1 TBSP non-spicy variety for colour
Olive oil - 1 TBSP.
Sausages - chopped (optional)
Parmesan cheese - a small handful (chopped)
Mozzarella cheese - as needed

In the non-stick pan, flatten out the ground chicken and sprinkle a little salt and pepper over it. Cover and let cook. Remove onto a plate. Fry the sausages in the same pan and set aside.

In a non-stick pot, on medium heat, add the olive oil, then toss in the onions, garlic, capsicum, and mushrooms. while it is sauteing, quarter the tomatoes and add them into a blender, along with the two chillies. Add just enough water to blend this to a smooth paste. Once the onions turn translucent, add in the tomato paste, along with the oregano, rosemary, basil, salt and pepper. On medium heat, allow this mixture to cook. Once cooked, remove a large ladle of the sauce and blend. Add this to the pot, and combine well. This will add more thickness to the sauce. Add the cooked chicken and the sausages. Let the sauce simmer over low heat till thick and no water can be seen on the edges.

Serving: Place a heap of spaghetti on a plate (Or in a bowl, if you're a rustic creature like me). Nestle a few meatballs in the spaghetti, smother with sauce, sprinkle a generous amount of parmesan and/or mozarella (When is cheese ever too much, amirite? :P ). Serve hot hot hot!

(For the sauce, you may substitute ground chicken with finely minced or chopped chicken)

Chocolate Silk Pudding

There is no use debating with me on one topic: Chocolate. It is the ultimate joy, the best friend through breakups and breakdowns, the one true love. I refuse to accept otherwise.

In fact, my chocolate obsession has led me to actually walk around swinging a tote bag that reads 'Chocolate does not ask silly questions. Chocolate understands.' :D Yes, I am obsessed.

ANYWAY, back to the topic at hand.

I have been craving something that is chocolatey, soft, cold and creamy. And the answer to that? Pudding! Here is my version of chocolate silk pudding. This recipe has been adapted from a cooking magazine.

This recipe serves 6-8 people. (If you are someone like me, this recipe serves one. :P )
Cooking time: 45 minutes


Milk - 1 1/2 cups
Sugar - 14 TBSP.
Cocoa powder - 4 TBSP.
Vanilla essence - 2 tsp
Eggs - 3 (Room temperature)
Gelatin - 3 tsp.
Water - 6 TBSP.
Melted butter - 1/2 tsp.
Whipped cream (Optional)
Sliced strawberries (Optional)

Separate the egg whites from the yolks.
Beat the yolks with 10 TBSP sugar till soft and creamy. Add one tsp vanilla essence.
In a separate vessel, beat the cocoa powder and remaining 4 TBSP sugar till well-combined.
Strain this mixture into the yolk mixture through a sieve and combine.
In a pan, heat water till boiling. Place the vessel with the egg mixture over this (Double boil method).
Cook this till thick and creamy. The perfect consistency should coat the back of a spoon.)
Let this cool completely.
While it cools, heat the 6 TBSP water in a pan and add the gelatin to this.
Add the gelatin to the cooled mixture.
Beat the egg whites till soft peaks form, then add the remaining 4 TBSP sugar and vanilla essence and combine.
Fold this into the yolk mixture and fold in gently till well mixed.
Grease desired dish with butter, pour in the mixture, and let set overnight.
Serve cold, either topped with whipped cream, strawberries or vanilla ice cream.


Mutton Liver Roast, Naadan Style

There is something infinitely comforting about warm, spicy, peppery food. Just the thought of non-vegetarian food cooked with black pepper is enough to get me salivating. Today, I am posting my version of a naadan mutton liver fry. There are several version of the same dish. This dish, when cooked at our relatives houses, tastes wholly different, though the ingredients remain the same, much like the love that goes into its making. Feel free to adjust the level of spices according to your tolerance. I will mention now that the spice tolerance in our house is very high (except poor ol' dad, who by the end of the meal, sweats buckets and goes charging for the ice-cream tin! :D )

Without further ado, I present to you my version of naadan mutton liver fry!

This recipe serves 4-6 people.
Cooking time: about half an hour
Preferred equipment: Non-stick kadai
Best served with naadan matta rice.

Mutton liver (washed, drained and cubed) - 1/2 kg
Turmeric powder - 1/2 tsp.
Saunf (dry-roasted and ground) - 1/2 tsp.
Pepper powder - 1 tsp. + to taste
Coriander seeds - 2 Tbsp.
Dry red chillies - About 10 (or to taste) + 2-3 extra
Ginger-garlic paste - about 4 Tbsp. (preferably freshly ground)
Curry leaves - a big handful
Coconut oil - as required
Salt - to taste

Mix the liver with turmeric and about 1 teaspoon of pepper. Set on a medium flame. (Please remember that no salt or water is to be added at this stage, since the liver will release water as it cooks, and adding salt at this stage makes the liver tough and rubbery). Cover and let it cook.

Meanwhile, dry roast the coriander seeds and dry red chillies, and grind to a coarse powder. Add this powder to the cooked liver. Mix and set aside. In the same kadai, heat some oil, and add the ginger-garlic paste, curry leaves, and 2-3 torn dry red chillies. Fry this on medium flame till fragrant. Now add the liver to this, and roast well, then mix in the . Add in salt and pepper to taste. Serve hot.

- When roasted to perfection, the liver will get a dark brown colour, bordering black.
- To take this recipe a notch up, fry a few cloves of slivered garlic till lightly browned and add this to the mixture and combine before serving.

Meen Peera

This recipe serves 3 to 4 people

Cooking time - About 20 minutes

Preferred equipment - Mannchatti (Flat earthen pot)

Best served with boiled rice


      Key ingredients

 Kozhuva/Netholi (Anchovies) - 250 Gms 
 Garlic (Skinned & Crushed) – 4 cloves
 Curry leaves – 2 sprigs
 Kudampuli - 2 big pieces
 Salt to taste 

To be ground coarsely:
Grated coconut – ½ cup
Green Chillies – 6 to 8
Ginger - 1 big piece
Shallots – 5 to 8
Chilli powder - 1 teaspoon
Turmeric Powder – ¼ teaspoon

To garnish:
      Coconut oil - 2 Tablespoons


1.    Add the key ingredients and the coarsely ground mix to the mannchatti; Sprinkle about ¼ cup water and set on stove at medium to low heat. Cover with a lid for 5 to 10 minutes. Open the lid and check every few minutes to make sure it doesn't get burnt!

2.    Once the fish is cooked, stir the mix slowly so as not to mush up the fish too much. The fish may break here and there, but that’s okay as long as it doesn't get mashed up.

Add the garnish over the dish. Serve hot. 

Cold chocolate milk

Cold chocolate milk is any man's comfort drink. And a homemade one is even better.

Milk - 3/4th cup
Sugar - 3/4th tbsp
Marshmallows - 4-5
Hot chocolate mix - 1 tbsp

• Add all the ingredients to a microwave safe cup.
• Heat for 30 seconds; take the cup out of the microwave and stir well.
• Heat for another 30 seconds; take the cup out and stir well till all the ingredients are well blended.
• Refrigerate for couple of hours. Serve chilled.

Ayala Varuthathe - Mackerel fry, Malabar style

It's funny how people come up with some terms. I've been learning a few new terms ever since I moved to Cochin. 'Chill-mode' is one of those. On a chill-mode day we stay at home all day lazying around, mostly with some very precious bottles of Bacardi breezers. Ya, that's right, breezers are pretty precious for us Kochites, we don't get them here, b'coz of some government regulation, and have to request our friends visiting from Bangalore and Hyderabad to get us some. The past 2 years that I have been here I've had the hope that someday they're gonna start selling it here. But now, thanks to new rules, that hope is dead. I really have no idea how the Mallu alcoholics are gonna survive this. Doesn't make a difference to us breezer drinkers, since we never did get it here to begin with.

Anyway back to food, so as I was saying, tonight's chill-mode for us, my friend Parvathi and me. And since we were gonna be downing some breezers, we got some fish to fry as "touchings" with the breezers. Touchings is something spicy that's eaten as a side-dish with alcohol, I know breezers aren't much to call alcohol, but technically they are. So, tonight's touchings was Ayala Varuthathe, Mackerel Malabar style. A very simple recipe, but thought I'll put it up for some of my friends who are upcoming Malabary cookers ;)

Ingredients for Ayala Varuthathe

  1. Ayala - 2, cut, cleaned and striped
  2. Chilli powder - 1 ½ Tbsp.
  3. Turmeric powder - ½ Tsp.
  4. Pepper powder - 1 Tsp. 
  5. Salt - ½ Tbsp. or as per your taste
  6. Lime juice - 1 Tsp.
  7. Coconut oil - To shallow fry, about 3 Tbsp. on a non-stick pan.


  • Cut and clean the fish, and give it 5-6 stripes horizontally over the entire length, so that the marinade can seep in well. 
  • Mix the ingredients 2 to 6 in a bowl, add a few drops of water if required and make a slightly thick paste and marinate the fish in it for about half an hour. 
  • Heat a flat pan, add the oil.
  • Once the oil is hot, place the marinated fish on it. Fry on a medium-slow heat for about 5 minutes on each side or till you feel its cooked to your liking.
  • Ayala Varuthathe is ready!

Kayi curry, raw plantain slices cooked in coconut milk gravy

I've always wanted to be a vegetarian, if not for anything else, at least to help me lose some weight. But who am I fooling.. the minute I set eyes on some delicious fish curry or chicken fry, I lose all control. I've decided not to give up so easily though.. am on a path of research now, discovering new recipes with vegetables that resemble their non-vegetarian counterparts. And hopefully, I'd be able to cut down on the meat and fish gradually, at least, that's the plan. This is one such discovery, not my invention though.. this one is a specialty of our cook. Upon first look, it can fool you into believing that it's fish curry and tastes equally good too.

For this curry you'll need,

Raw banana, preferably plantain 1, sliced thinly, diagonally
Tamarind juice 1 cup
Shallots 10, sliced thinly (can be supplemented with 1 onion)
Tomato 1, sliced
Ginger 1" piece, chopped
Green chillis 2-3, slit in half
Turmeric 1tsp.
Red chilli powder 1/2 tsp.
Salt to taste

Boil all the above together, till the plantain is cooked. This shouldn't be over-cooked, b'coz the plantain slices should be intact and not mashed up.

Coconut milk, 1 1/2 cups
Coconut oil 1 tbsp
Garlic 3 cloves, crushed
Curry leaves 1 sprig

Pour the coconut milk in and when the gravy starts to boil and thicken, add the coconut oil, garlic and curry leaves. Serve hot with rice.

Pazhampori/Banana Fritters. One of the many popular evening snacks in Kerala

Nice and ripe plantain slices coated with lightly sweetened white flour batter and deep fried, it just melts in your mouth after each bite… My love for Pazhampori started since the time I could trace back my memory, we had a neighbor, who made Pazhampori every single day, and she would get me a few... every single day. There came a point when I kind of got addicted to it, then mom stepped in and told me I couldn't have em regularly, with the promise that she would make it for me once in a while, she kept her promise, but still, I wasn't too happy about foregoing my daily share of Pazhampori, and was quite sour at that point... it took me a few years from there to put together things like hogging on fried items, putting on weight, the troubles of losing that weight, the health issues and so on and on. I got over the craze gradually, and settled down to rejoicing at the occasions when  Mom made em at home. Later on, when I was on a train journey once, I happened to pass through Palakkad railway station, amongst many other noises around the station, one in particular caught my attention, the monotonous calls of one food vendor, it was none other than the one selling Pazhamporis. Not that you don’t get Pazhampori elsewhere, but I had heard from many that the ones you get at Palakkad railway station are yumm. I had my hubby running for the Pazhampori guy... It is quite good for the store bought standards, but definitely nowhere close to the homemade ones, but I still loved it nevertheless. 

For homemade Pazhampori 

You’ll need…

Ripe plantains – 2; sliced slanted or lengthwise into ½” thick, and about 2-3” long pieces
Maida/All-purpose flour – 1 cup
Rice flour – 2 tbsp.
Sugar – ¼ cup
Cardamom – 1; powdered
Salt - 1 pinch
Egg – 1 (optional)
Baking powder – 1 pinch (Optional)
Water – 1 cup (just enough to make a thick batter)
Oil – for deep frying

Heat the oil in a deep bottomed pan, on a medium flame. While that is getting heated, you can prepare the batter.
In a bowl, mix all the ingredients, except the plantains. Add the water gradually; the batter should be of thick but pourable consistency.
Dip the plantain slices into the batter to coat it well, and immediately drop it into the hot oil, you could fry 4 or 5 at one time, turn them around to fry both the sides, till they turn to a golden color.
Strain out of the oil onto a tissue paper to remove excess oil.  
Serve hot!

Sausage Rolls

3 cups warm water
3 tsp. active dry yeast
1 cup honey
5 cups Maida/All-purpose flour
3 tbsp. butter, melted
1 tbsp. salt
3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour, plus 2 or 3 cups if necessary
Sausages, for as many rolls as you are making
1 to 2 tbsp. melted butter for brushing

  • Mix warm water, yeast, and half the honey. Add the all-purpose flour, and mix well. Set aside for 30 minutes, or till it has risen a little.
  • To the above, add 3 tbsp. melted butter, remaining honey, and salt. Add the whole wheat flour; knead until it’s just pulling away, but still slightly sticky to touch. This may take an additional 2 or 3 cups of whole wheat flour. Grease the entire surface of the dough with a little butter or oil. Cover with a soft cloth and keep it in a warm place. Leave it aside till it has risen and doubled in size, this may take about 30 minutes to 1 hour.
  • Once it has risen well, pat it down, and divide into small balls in the size of the rolls that you prefer - small, medium or large. I made small ones.  Flatten out each ball to about an inch thickness, place half of a regular sized sausage, or 1 cocktail sausage, in the middle and roll it up, making sure the ends are stuck firmly and does not come loose.
  • Place in greased baking pans, and leave it until dough has risen to at least about half an inch.
  • Bake at 350°F /175°C for 20 to 30 minutes; do not over bake. Lightly brush the tops of rolls with melted butter when done to prevent the crust from getting hard. Serve warm.

Prawn Roast

A worldwide favorite and definitely the most versatile seafood.... the vote would most certainly go to Shrimp/Prawn. Shellfish usually are more popular than other kinds of seafood, for most people mainly due to the ease of cooking, versatility, the ease of eating, since there's no bones to worry about (with the exception of crab of course!) and more than anything, the taste! 
I don't really wanna go on to the part where I'd have to admit to prawn being high in cholesterol... for now we'll jus skip that and get to the interesting part...

For the Prawn roast, we'll need

Prawn or shrimp - 1/2 kg
{Marinated for 30 minutes in 1/2 tsp chilli powder, a pinch of turmeric powder, a tsp of lemon juice and 1/2 tsp salt}
Onion - 1 big, chopped
Tomato - 1 big, chopped
Green chillis - 1, chopped
Garlic - 5-6 cloves, crushed and chopped
Turmeric - 1/2 tsp
Hot red chilli powder - 1 tsp
Kashmiri chilli powder (for color) - 1 tsp
Pepper - 1/2 tsp
Curry leaves - 1 sprig
Coriander leaves, chopped - 2 tbsp
Coconut oil - 3 tbsp
Salt to taste

Heat the oil in a shallow pan and fry the prawns just until they turn white. Remove and keep aside. 
In the remaining oil, add the onions and sauté till they turn pink. Add the tomatoes, green chilli and garlic, sauté till the tomatoes are softened and the oil starts to rise through. Add salt, turmeric and both the chilli powders. Fry for a minute, just enough to get rid of the raw smell of the powders. Add the prawns and mix it in well, so that the masala is well coated on the prawn. Throw in the curry leaves and the coriander leaves. Prawn roast ready to serve!!

Tomato jam

The most easiest, and my personal favorite of all homemade jams. Its simplicity is probably its best part.

Ripe red tomatoes, chopped – 4 cups
Sugar – 4 cups
Juice of 1 lemon
Cloves – 3 to 4

Add all the ingredients to a heavy bottomed non-stick pan and cook till it’s mashed and turns into a sticky dropping consistency. When it cools, store in jars. It’s as easy as that!

Tagging the recipe with the event "Any One Can Cook: Series 38" @ Taste of Pearl City hosted by 

Raspberry Cheesecake, with a little twist

Cheese cakes are a pleasure indeed, combine that with raspberries, its just amazing. And that’s exactly what I did. I find the crunchy, fruity, cheesey combination a treat for the mouth. I couldn’t get my hands onto any fresh raspberries to decorate, so  I decided to make do with something I had around—Willy Wonkas Gobstoppers.. I know its silly.. but I thought that adding one more ingredient which I love to something that’s already so lovable was harmless, and anyhow since there were no fresh raspberries, this seemed like a fun replacement.

Bottom layer – the crunchy biscuit layer:
Digestive biscuits – 100 gms, crushed finely
Butter – 50 gms
Take a shallow, loose bottom, microwavable cake dish, around 6” in diameter, put the butter into this, heat it up, in a microwave oven till the butter has melted, this takes just around 20 seconds. Add the crushed biscuits to this, stir it in, and press it down  evenly around the base of the cake dish. Heat on high in a microwave oven for 1 minute. Keep aside.

Middle layer – the cheesy layer:

Philadelphia cheese (or any soft and full fat cheese) – ½ cup
Cottage cheese – ½ cup
Egg – 1, beaten
Lemon juice – 1 tsp
Powdered sugar – 3 ½ tbsp
Raspberry essence – ½ tsp
     Add all the ingredients to a bowl and beat lightly till its all well combined. Pour it through a seive into another bowl. You will have to press the mixture down to help it pass through the seive.
·        Place the bowl in a microwave oven on high for about half a minute. Take it out, whisk it with a wire whisk, put it back into the oven and cook for another 30 to 40 seconds, remove and repeat the process of whisking and cooking once more. The mixutre would be thickened now, whisk once more and pour over the biscuit layer in the cake dish.
·       Place it into the microwave oven and cook for 3 to 4 minutes. Keep turning the dish a bit after every half minute. Keep aside till it cools down.
·       Now store the dish in the chiller section of the refrigerator till the remaining parts for the cheese cake are done.

Top layer – the fruity layer:

Canned raspberries in syrup – 1 can, about 250 gms  
Corn starch – 2 tbsp  

·         Strain canned raspberries and keep the raspberries aside. Pour the syrup into a bowl.
·         Mix the corn starch with equal amount of water to make a loose paste. Mix this with the raspberry syrup and cook in a double boiler for a few minutes, stirring continously, till the mixture thickens up to a dropping consistency.
·         Add the raspberries to this mixture and stir it in. Keep it aside for 5 minutes.
·         Now pour it evenly over the chilled cheesecake and put it back into the refrigerator.
·         Let it chill for atleast 4 to 5 hours.

You can decorate it with whipped cream and fresh raspberries, which is your typical cheesecake deco, or you could get whacky and use something you have on hand, like Gobstoppers.. ;-)

Tagging the recipe onto the event "ABC Series: DESSERTS" @ Ramya's recipe... hosted by Ramya

Black Forest Cake for Dad's 50th birthday

Black forest cake or gateau is originally a German dessert, which is now popular around the globe. It’s called ‘Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte’ in German, which literally translated, means Black forest cherry torte.
Usually it consists of two or more layers of chocolate cake separated by cherry filling and whipped cream, and decorated with whipped cream and chocolate shavings and finally topped with whole cherries. There are quite a few versions for this cake, but most of them rotate around this basic combination. I did a quite a bit of research before setting out to make my first Black forest cake. The base recipe is derived from my sister’s recipe journal. She learnt it at her ECA class at school. I did a little improvising to the original recipe. It’s an assembled combination of 4 parts – chocolate cake, cherry filling, whipped cream, chocolate ganache and finally the icing. The decoration is up to your imagination, although it usually consists of whipped cream, a good amount of chocolate shavings and whole cherries.

 This is my first Black forest cake. I made it for my Dad’s 50th birthday. We gave him a surprise party too by the way.

The first part, the chocolate cake,

All-purpose flour – 1 ¾ cups
Baking powder – 1 ½ tsp
Baking soda – 1 ½ tsp
Cocoa powder – 1 cup
Castor sugar – 2 cups
Salt – ¾ tsp
Eggs - 2
Milk – 1 cup
Vegetable oil – ½ cup
Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
Vanilla sugar – 1 tsp (If you can’t find this, you can double the essence instead)
Hot water – 1 cup

·        Pre-heat the oven.
·        Sift all the dry ingredients together. Keep aside.
·        Add the eggs, milk, oil, vanilla essence and vanilla sugar to a bowl and mix very slowly with a wire whisk.
·        Add the dry ingredients to the bowl. Mix gently, without forming any bubbles.
·        Add the water and blend it into the batter.
·        Pour the batter equally into two 8” baking dishes.
·        Bake this at 180C for 35-45 minutes or till a skewer inserted comes out clean. I kept it for 45 minutes.
·        Once it’s done, tilt it onto a wire rack and let it cool. I made the cake the previous night so that it cooled completely.

Now for the cherry filling, though the original recipe asks for ‘Kirschwasser’ rum, a clear liquor distilled from tart cherries. Apparently other liquors are also used such as rum, which is common in especially common in Austrian recipes. I used ordinary rum as I couldn’t get my hands on Kirschwasser. In the United States, Black Forest cake is most often prepared without alcohol but German statutory interpretation states Kirschwasser as a mandatory ingredient; otherwise the cake is legally not allowed to be marketed as Schwarzwälder Kirschtorte. If you do not prefer to use alcohol, you can skip it. It’ll make a difference to the taste, but I can guarantee that it would still taste great.

For the chocolate cake,
Icing sugar – ¾ cup
Instant coffee powder – 1 tbsp
Salt – 1 pinch
Butter – 2 tbsp
Canned pitted cherries - ¼ cup (drained)
Rum or Kirschwasser, if you have it – 3 tbsp

·        Add all the ingredients except the rum to a bowl. Mix slowly till all the ingredients are well combined.
·        Finally add the rum and combine. Keep aside.

The next part is the Whipped cream. This is used for the filling as well as for the icing.
Whipping cream – 1 ½ cups
Icing sugar – ¼ cup
Vanilla sugar or vanilla essence – ½ tsp
Kirschwasser rum – 1 tbsp

·        Whip the cream, sugar and vanilla sugar (or essence) at high speed, till it thickens and becomes light and fluffy. Keep aside.

For the ganache,
Bitter chocolate (grated) – ½ cup
Sweet chocolate (grated) – ½ cup
Rum – 1 tbsp
Heavy cream – ½ cup

·           Add both the grated chocolates and the rum to a bowl and set it aside.
·        Add the cream to a heavy sauce pan, and heat it over a low flame. Turn off flame as soon as it starts to boil. Do not let it boil completely, as it will spill out of the saucepan.
·        Pour the hot cream over the chocolate and rum and whisk it with a wire whisk, till it turns into a smooth mixture. Set aside and let the mixture cool completely.

When all the parts are ready, you can assemble the cake.
·        Start by placing one of the cakes on a cake plate.
·        First spread half of the ganache on the cake evenly.
·       Then add a layer of whipped cream to cover the top portion of the cake layer, saving the rest for icing the cake.
·        Next add all of the cherry filling and spread it evenly.
·        Now place the second cake on top, aligning it well with the first layer.
·        Pour the remaining ganache over this layer and let the cake soak it up a little.
·        When the ganache hardens, start the icing.
·        Spread the whipped cream all over the cake neatly.
·        Once that’s done, decorate with the chocolate shavings as per your imagination. I patted it up around the cake, leaving the top portion; you need to be careful not to spoil the whipped cream coating.
·        Next you can use an icing cone to make small mounds with the whipping cream on the top and place some cherries around, all this is upto your imagination. You could spread some chocolate shavings too on top.
   Finally, when you’re done with the decoration, refrigerate the cake for a couple of hours before serving. Enjoy your cake!!