Friday, 16 August 2013
First of all a huuuuge thanks to all those who left comments on the ad post. I am a wee bit embarrassed and at the same time overwhelmed at the outcome. Its weird watching myself on telly and I hope I get used to it soon :)
Those who attended Bloggers' Buzz beginning of this year might remember Devnaa who sponsored a box of sweets for the goody bag? Or let me put it this way, those of you who attended BB will not forget Devnaa and that amazing box of Indian-inspired sweets in the goody bag. I remember a lot of you writing back and saying that was the best part of the goody bag- the well packaged, colourful box with delicate chocolates. Started by brother-sister duo Roopa and Jay Rawal, the journey of Devnaa began at their kitchen table with praises flowing in about Roopa's home made sweets. They decided to take this interest further by starting Devnaa, a collection of sweets and desserts combining authentic Indian recipes and artisan chocolate techniques.
Now, I am not a big fan of Indian sweets and desserts, with maybe gulab jamun and gajjar ka halwa being an exception. So in all honesty I was not too excited about the box of chocolates. But of course I had to give it a try and must say I wasn't too disappointed. I mean i did have a few favourites like the saffron and pistachio caramel and the cinnamon praline, and my not so favourite were the ones with ginger. Ginger or not, I think the whole concept of Devnaa is quite interesting.
They also sent me their cookbook and ingredients for two recipes. I have bookmarked a whole bunch of recipes from the book, but like a million other recipes I have bookmarked, God alone knows when they will actually make an appearance on the blog. The recipes are pretty descriptive, but being a big fan of food photography, I would have liked some better pictures. I mean desserts are so pretty to photograph and I would have loved to see some cool styling and stuff.
These chocolate and hazelnut laddoos did not disappoint, but i would def try them with dark chocolate next time. Gave it to some friends at a party and they loved it. They are really easy to make a do a good job of being pretty, presentable and tasty. Do some cool packaging, and they would double up as return gifts for guests.
Recipe adapted from Devnaa- Indian Inspired Desserts
Cocoa powder- 1 tbsp
Milk- 2 tbsp
Milk powder- 100gms
Milk chocolate- 100 gms
Chocolate-hazelnut spread- 1 tbsp (say like Nutella or equivalent)
Hazelnuts- 60 gms, slightly roasted and crushed or chopped finely
Dessicated coconut- 20 to 25 gms (optional)
Mix together the condensed milk, cocoa powder and milk in a saucepan and heat gently. (It would make it a lot more easier if you sift the cocoa powder into the condensed milk, because it was a bit of a trouble for me with small bits of cocoa powder dotting the mix. I had to use my spatula to break them down and still couldn't manage to do it all. So my mix was speckled with cocoa).
Keeping the heat on low-medium, add the milk powder and stir until the mixture starts forming a smooth dough that comes away easily from the sides of the pan. This may take about 4 to 5 minutes. Make sure you don't leave it unattended and that you keep stirring till you get the desired consistency.
Take the mix off heat and leave aside to cool in the refrigerator. The recipe called for just leaving it aside to cool, but still warm and pliable. I did as mentioned, but the dough was just too loose to work with. So I chucked it into the refrigerator for about 15 minutes, and waited for it to become completely cold (like with truffles) and then it was easier to handle.
Scoop out 1 tbsp of the dough at a time and roll into a smooth ball. Mine were slightly bigger in size so I got a total of 12. Leave on a tray lined with baking paper.
Meanwhile, melt the chocolate in a microwave.
Stir in the chocolate-hazelnut spread and make sure that the mix is not too hot, but warm and runny. If it hardens up when you are ready to dip, then just give a burst or two in the microwave and stir again to mix well.
Arrange the chopped/crushed hazelnuts on a plate.
Dip the rolled dough balls into the melted chocolate, trying to coat them evenly on all sides, followed by generously rolling them in the chopped hazelnuts.
Carefully place them back on the same lined baking tray. Continue with all the dough balls and chuck the tray back into the refrigerator till the chocolate hardens, say about 30 minutes.
Serve them at room temperature.
Notes: I generously rolled the dough balls in hazelnuts, so I didn't have enough to roll the entire batch. So i used dessicated coconut and did the same rolling process.
Feel free to use chocolate of any type for the dipping...dark, white, flavoured etc.
With thanks to Devnaa for sending me the book and the ingredients to make two recipes from the book.