One of the good things that came from the lockdown period in 2020 was how much time people had to pick up new hobbies - especially baking. Many upstarts have found much success in this hobby and some have even turned it into small businesses to survive pay cuts and job losses at the height of COVID-19’s spread. With more people refining their craft, ingredients start to play a more important role; and what better ingredient to pay attention to than chocolate? The ingredient is versatile and commonly used - here’s how to pick the right kind of chocolate for your baking.
Baking (Unsweetened) Chocolate
Considered the most “authentic” version of chocolate, using this immediately contains between 90% to 99% of cacao which is a staple for cooking and baking. As its makeup consists of the least ingredients possible, this type of chocolate is suited to be an ingredient of its own when preparing batter. The batter is usually prepared for cakes, brownies and cookies - intended to serve as the main flavour of your pastry. As this chocolate functions as a component, it is unadvised to serve this type of chocolate as a snack to be eaten by hand.
Still containing a respectable amount of cacao (35% to 55% for semisweet and 60% to 70% for bittersweet), both chocolates are considered the “dark” chocolate that can be eaten by hand or used for chocolate chip cookies, fudge and even more brownies. Bittersweet chocolate contains slightly less sugar than semisweet chocolate, but both are extremely versatile and selected as a staple for many baking dishes. If you want your chocolate to have a significant amount of presence in your dish, while keeping the cacao notes intact, these are your go-to options.
Also read: Have a Sugar Rush at The Chocolate Room
MIlk chocolate is still technically within the “true” chocolate territory, containing 10% cocoa. This type of chocolate contains cocoa, butter and sugar - making it more than just a chocolate ingredient. It is commonly eaten by hand and better used as a standalone snack or an addition to the likes of trail mix, spreads and candy, but still goes with pastries for the sweet tooth like s'mores brownies and chocolate mousse. Milk chocolate still has its purpose in many pastries, but don’t expect the strong cocoa flavour that darker chocolates offer.
Also read:Chocolate fair kicks off in Brussels
Till this day, some argue that white chocolate is not real chocolate, but it is made from cocoa butter which essentially comes from the cocoa bean. Whether it is authentic chocolate or not, white chocolate drastically deviates from the cocoa taste present in dark chocolates and has its own purpose in the baking world. The lack of cocoa flavour gives it a niche of its own as it begins to complement stronger ingredients like citrus fruits, vanilla, coconut and berries. Red Velvet pies, cheesecakes and fruit tarts are common dishes that contain white chocolate.
Also read:To the Choco - Chaa Lovers Out there!
It’s almost second nature for many to indulge in the most decadent treats within our grasp as we anticipate bingeing for hours on end (we have you covered here), but snacking healthily is a whole different thing. For some, snacking is more out of habit, while others yearn to have their cravings met. With these healthy snacks for your Netflix Binge, you can almost go all out without having to worry about your waistline!
Potato chips are definitely one of the most common snacks out there that has the capacity to snowball weight gain, but this alternative deals with that issue while not compromising on flavour. Zucchini chips are less common, but still commercially available online - containing less than a third (40 calories - per half cup) of regular potato chips (150 calories - per half cup). If you’re trying to avoid carbs, this crispy treat can help with that too. For DIY aficionados, adding salt and vinegar to zucchini slices, followed by dehydration are all simple steps that can give you similar levels of quality.
Blueberries and Yogurt
There aren’t any mainstream sinful snacks that blueberries and yogurt can directly substitute for, but it has more than enough to supplement your nutritional needs. A dozen servings add up to only 38 calories which makes this perfect if you’re looking to fill up quick. Blueberries provide tons of antioxidants while yogurt serves as a rich source of calcium and protein. Bare in mind that the yogurt can only serve as a healthy complement if chosen with as little sugar as possible.
Also read: Top Snacks for A Netflix Binge
Apple Slices with Peanut Butter
To some, this snack could be considered an abomination at first glance - but you’d be surprised how well this couple complement each other. Apples are crammed with nutritional benefits like high fiber and antioxidant properties that do wonders for the gut and heart. Peanut butter on the other hand does admittedly count pretty high in terms of calories (still below 200 per serving) but is an excellent source of protein and even reduces cholesterol.
Also read: A favorite late morning snack
Celery Sticks with Cream Cheese
This choice is possibly the least complicated option on the list, easily prepared in less than five minutes. Celery sticks are extremely light and easy to gorge for hours while supplying your body with luteolin; an antioxidant that reduces inflammation. Cream cheese is decadent in its own right, but 60 grams of it will not even hit the 200 calorie mark. If celery sticks aren’t your thing, carrot and cucumber sticks are decent alternatives that add their own nutritional benefits that complement your dairy counterpart perfectly.
During the Coronavirus pandemic situation, it is safe to stay at home. But who can convince the connoisseurs who love to visit restaurants and taste mouth-watering cuisines? Thanks to the blooming Cloud Kitchen business. Now you can order delicious food without stepping outside the home. This innovative trend of business can offer better service at a lower price. Stay with us to know how the Bangladesh Cloud Kitchen business can be a beacon of hope for many entrepreneurs who want to start a business with limited investment.
The concept of ‘Cloud Kitchen’ refers to the virtual kitchen structure that focuses on the food-delivery system instead of dine-in facilities. In this new trend, the food outlets and restaurants serve as food factories where the production of food takes place. The orders of food are received from online platforms, such as apps, websites, or Facebook pages.
The concept of a cloud kitchen presents a win-win situation for both the consumers and the sellers. On one hand, the Cloud Kitchen system has opened a new way of earning opportunity for many people who have baking and/or cooking skills, but can’t afford enough investment capacity to open a restaurant.
On the other hand, the online food-ordering system allows people to order food from home. Getting the food-delivery at the door-steps consumers can not only avoid the wastage of time in traffic jams; but also can get rid of Covid19 contraction risk. The ‘Virtual Kitchen’ concept is getting increasing popularity in Bangladesh, especially after the coronavirus outbreak.
Let’s discuss; what are the key benefits of the Cloud Kitchen or Virtual kitchen business.
For starting a food outlet or restaurant venture, an entrepreneur has to rent a location of a minimum of 400 sq. ft. space. Then, the process requires the prospective restaurant owner to deposit security money to the space owner.
However, the security deposit could be a lump sum amount, if space is located in the prominent areas of Dhaka city like Dhanmondi, Gulshan, Banani, or Uttara. After renting the space, more investment may be required for the purpose of renovation and decoration of the restaurant.
The continually increasing cost of real estate is challenging the survival of small-scale restaurant business ventures. But the simple business model of Cloud Kitchen can bypass those expenses, as those virtual kitchens can be placed anywhere. The virtual restaurant industry runs on lower operational costs. Instead of making huge investments in the real estate sector, virtual kitchens can focus more on the quality of service.
Traditional restaurants have to maintain huge expenses in diverse sectors, including space rent, operational cost as well as overhead expenses. The small scale ventures may have a small budget left to include the best quality food in their menus. This is why restaurant foods are not considered healthy food choices. However, the virtual kitchens have overcome these limitations by virtue of low operational costs and can efficiently focus on the quality of food.
The key marketing policy of most Cloud Kitchens is to deliver superior quality food at a reasonable price. As many consumers tend to purchase foods from online food shops regularly, the shops are trying to maintain the food-quality to maintain their goodwill. They are also upgrading their food menu depending on consumer interest. In simple words, the virtual kitchen business is adding value to the consumers.
In this wake, the virtual kitchens are offering various categories of food, like traditional Bengali cuisines, foreign cuisines, etc. You can also order customized cuisine to treat yourself or your family on a special day or on a special occasion.
During the pandemic situation, many traditional restaurants and food outlets are struggling to cover their costs. And the customers usually complain that the food-prices of most of the traditional restaurants are exorbitant. The working women/mothers/partners who have less time to cook food daily could have ordered food more frequently if the costs were reasonable.
But the virtual kitchens don’t have to make huge investments in other sectors. Utilizing this opportunity they can reduce the cost of food. What is more? The cost of food is quite reasonable in the Cloud Kitchen system; as the consumers have the opportunity to compare the price of several online food shops through a few clicks spending only a few minutes. The healthy competition among various online food business systems is attracting more consumers towards the Cloud Kitchen system in Bangladesh.
Generally, the virtual or Cloud Kitchen business model follows the B2C (Business to Consumer). In this system, the consumer can directly purchase food from the food-sellers.
While taking orders from the customers, the Cloud kitchens usually ask for some booking money which is a little fraction of the full charge. The advanced payment is taken to minimize the risk of order’s getting canceled. Besides the advance payment system, cash-on-delivery or instant-delivery systems are provided by some business owners in our country.
In Bangladesh, many Cloud kitchen businesses deliver food to the office-staffs on a monthly basis. The order is taken usually two to three days ahead of the delivery date. However, the requirements may vary depending on the specific rules of the respective business policy.
Some Cloud Kitchens deliver food through their own initiatives; while some others do the delivery through third-party courier services. In recent years, several organized food-parcel delivery systems have evolved in Bangladesh like FoodPanda, HungryNaki, Shohoj Food, Foodfex, Pathao Food, Cookups, Kludio, etc. Not to mention, these delivery services are strengthening the online business community.
However, the timely delivery of food is a great challenge for the cloud kitchen systems in Bangladesh. Due to traffic jams the delivery persons experience difficulty to reach their destinations on time. Besides this, the Spoilage of food – due to hot weather or other reasons – during the delivery period is another problem.
Do you have a sweet tooth with craziness for appetizing sweet foods? The Bengali culture has a rich tradition of relishing sweet foods. In Bangladesh, the production of various sweets is considered an art. Here sweets are related to various social and cultural celebrations. Different regions of Bangladesh have their own culture of producing sweets. Read this article to know the most famous traditional sweets in Bangladesh. And find out which sweet you like the most!
When we want to taste Yogurt, the Bogura’s Doi (yogurt) comes to our mind first. Not to mention, Bogura’s Doi is one of the most famous deserts found in Bangladesh. This appetizing dairy product is prepared from cow milk.
Though Bogra is famous for Yogurt, this tradition initially started in Sherpur back in the 1960s. In those days, the makers used to sell curd door to door. Afterward, the owners of ‘DoiGhar’ in Bogra started producing Yogurt using special techniques and later this dessert became famous for its awesome taste and superb quality.
If you love the less sweet desserts, don’t miss the Chhanar Polau! Produced from the local cow-milk with high-quality sugar, this dessert tastes comparatively less sweet. It is told that fuel plays a magical role in the unique production method of Chanar Polau. For the preparation of this scrumptious sweet, the top quality wood is used as fuel.
This sweet bears a sugar-powder coated reddish surface with succulent and soft inner-part. Why can't any general confectionery make the ‘ChomChom’ maintaining the same taste as ‘Porabarri ChomChom’? In the 19th century, Joshoroth Haloi first made ChomChom with pure cow-milk and sugar using the water of Dhaleshwori River. People still believe that the water of Tangail’s Porabarri is the secret behind the magical taste of this sweet.
The Sandesh sweet of Satkhhera district is famous around the country. This mouthwatering sweet is produced from pure chhana, extracted from local cow-milk. It also includes some quantity of sugar and flour. A variety of Sandesh sweets are made in Satkhira including Chana Sandesh, Pera Sandesh, Kheer Sandesh, Gurr Sandesh, and Nolen Gurrer Sondesh, etc.
It is the renowned sweet of Brahmmanbaria District. Each piece of Chhanamukhi sweet has a small square-shaped figure bearing a firm surface. Made of pure chhana, this sweet is delicious and healthy. The solid sugar coating makes the surface of the sweet bit hard.
Have you ever tried a pillow-shaped sweet? Try Balish Misti, the renowned sweet of Netrokona. The Bengali terms ‘Balish’ and ‘Misti’ refers to ‘pillow’ and ‘sweet’ respectively. The key ingredients of this sweet include milk, chhana, flour, and sugar. Sold at the rate of per piece, Balishmisti is produced in three sizes. The biggest size features about 12 to 13 inches.
In 1940, Ramesh Chandra Ghosh first made the ‘Rasamanjari’ in Gaibandha. Later, its fame spread throughout the country and this desert became the traditional sweet of Gaibandha district. In this special dessert, round-shaped soft juicy sweets float in the middle of thick reddish milk called Kheer. Pure cow-milk, chhana, sugar, and cardamom are used to make this delightful sweet dessert.
Rosomalai dessert is the heritage of the Comilla district. Interestingly, Rosomalai was initially called ‘kheerbhog’. In the Rosomalai dessert, a special preparation of milk called ‘Malai’ is applied besides sugar and flour. During the preparation process, 40 kg cow-milk is condensed for about 2 hours using a korai (big pan) to prepare 13 to 14 kg kheer. Then, Rosogolla sweets are made from flour and chhana of the milk-mixture.
Natore’s famous traditional sweet ‘Kachagolla’ is a kind of dry sweet. The Bengali term, ‘Golla’ refers to circle/round. Interestingly, kachagolla is not a round-shaped sweet though its name suggests. Kachagolla represents the aesthetic art of the sweets of Bangladesh. First, Chhana is made from pure cow-milk and then mixed with sugar syrup. The combination is cooked, dried, and molded to make the final product Kachagolla.
Naogaon’s ‘Pera Sandesh’ has a unique taste. It is a light brown colored sweet. According to hearsay, Mohendri Das first made Sandesh. This type of sweet was traditionally offered to deities in diverse worship pavilions. To prepare 1kg of Pera Sandesh, about 7 liters of pure cow-milk is required. During the preparation process of Pera Sandesh, solid Kheer is made of only two ingredients: condensed cow-milk and sugar. Using the palms, the Kheer is molded to bring the desired shapes. Each piece of Pera Sandesh sweet is about ½ inches wide and 2 inches long.
The two sweets – Roskodombo and sabitri, – are representing the century-old tradition of the Meherpur district. The extraordinary characteristic of these sweets is that their flavor would remain unchanged for about a week in normal weather. The taste stays the same for about one month if preserved in a refrigerator. The key ingredients of these sweets are layers of boiled milk and sugar. During the preparation process, the sweets are boiled in the oven at specific temperatures for specific times.
As Christmas approaches, many are looking forward to the time of rest from this grim year. With the festive season back again, there is no better time to cast your diet and health plans aside for the next couple of weeks. Christmas dishes may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but there are a few restaurants in Dhaka that are made for customers to go all out. If you’re looking to dine with friends and family during this Christmas season, here are a few good spots here in Dhaka.
Elements at Intercontinental
Fine dining isn’t an everyday option for most of us, but when we choose to let loose, Elements sets the standard. The first most noticeable attraction of the restaurant is its spacious and relaxing ambiance that can house up to 144 guests. The venue is phenomenally lit and offers a massive buffet that offers both Bangladeshi and intercontinental delicacies - prepared by top chefs at their Live Cooking stations right in front of you. If buffets aren’t your style, Elements also offers an extensive alacarte menu. A neat bonus is that there is a private dining room you could reserve if you are intending to bring sizable company.
Read Also: Fine dining with burgers
Favola at Le Meridien
Located at Le Meridien, Favola is one of the best Italian restaurants around if you’re feeling peckish for western cuisines. The restaurant doesn’t rely on any gimmicks to stand out, but instead presents authentic Italian cuisines made personally by Italian chefs to demonstrate the most premium of quality. Aside from excellent service, the restaurant has much to offer for those with dietary restrictions (vegetarian, Halal, Gluten Free, etc) If you’re looking to stick with comfortable classics, but made at the highest level, Favola will not disappoint.
Seasonal Tastes at Westin
If you’re looking to dine internationally this Christmas, Seasonal Taste at Westin more than lives up to its name. Whether you’re looking for kababs or sushi, the restaurant’s buffet has everything you’d think of craving for and then some. The restaurant also prides itself for having the only Molteni station in the country! To top it all off, Seasonal Tastes has the diet conscious in mind - offering services from SuperFoodRx and The Juicery to make dieting as enjoyable for the disciplined. The restuarant takes reservations up to 30 pax for their private dining rooms; a well-rounded destination for large groups of guests who have wildly different tastes.
Read Also: ‘Covid Curry Heroes’ recognised in UK
With all the grandeur on this list so far, sometimes the better approach is to keep things small with you and a couple of loved ones - which is where Bittersweet Cafe comes in as a solid recommendation. The ambiance is cozy and the cafe does a great job blending fine coffee with delectable bites that aren’t too hearty. The cafe keeps things safe by offering classic staples such as fried rice, sandwiches and pies. If you’re leaning towards a quieter Christmas, this cafe is a must!
Read Also: Top Christmas Gift Ideas For Your Parents