Zoe took part in our Natco Recipe Challenge, and this is her winning creation. Follow her step by step video to treat your guests by making this delicious dessert at home!
To gild the lily, using the seeds of India's national flower - the lotus:
Handful Natco phool makhana (puffed lotus seeds)
mustard oil, a drizzle
30g dark chocolate, melted
For the base:
100g Bombay Mix
2 tbsp powdered jaggery
2 tbsp Natco shredded coconut
100g Natco gram flour (besan), sieved
50g ghee, melted
For the filling:
250g good-quality dark chocolate
1 tbsp cocoa powder
30ml mustard oil
50g powdered jaggery
1kg full-fat yogurt, strained through cheesecloth
overnight to yield 500g hung curd
100g Natco coconut milk powder
50g Natco Balti peanuts, chopped
Handful of Bombay Mix
Choc-coated phool makhana (see ‘To gild the lily’)
For those of you who don’t know, I’m not just a Spice Scribe, but a complete Cocoa Nut to boot. So show me any edible that cleverly combines my loves for Indian food and chocolate, and you’ve found my ‘A-chillies’ heel. And now, I’m using my favourite fare to help others find their feet, rustling up a recipe for my favourite charity.
I suspected that creating ‘Curry’ For Change would be the convention. But I also fancied changing it up with chocolate. Intertwining Indian-inspired ingredients with top-notch chocolate, on the other hand, was something worth working on. The notion is not new; Devnaa, Indie Ices, Duke of Delhi and The Chocolatier have all paved the way for the pairing, putting Willy Wonka to shame with their more-wonderful-than-weird confections.
And it was high time for The Cocoa-Nut-ty Spice Scribe to join their offbeat army. Here you go!
To gild the lily:
- Over a low flame, heat a little mustard oil in a pan.
- Throw in the phool makhana and toss to coat in the oil.
- Roast, stirring occasionally, 'til the seeds turn crisp and crunchy.
- Dip the roasted phool makhana in the melted dark chocolate.
- Allow the coating to set at room temperature and reserve 'til ready.
For the base:
- First things first, line a 9”-ish tin (Springform for preference) with greaseproof paper.
- If your chosen Bombay Mix includes peanuts and raisins, pick’ em out and add to those you’re using in the filling. (Tedious, I know. Tough.)
- In a spice grinder or with the end of a rolling pin, pulverize the rest of the Bombay Mix to a coarse powder, keeping it nice'n'textured.
- Mix in the jaggery and shredded coconut.
- Put the sieved gram flour in a non-stick vessel set over a low flame.
- Roast for at least 5 minutes, stirring, until the gram flour turns pinkish, loses the raw smell and takes on a toasty aroma (taste to check – trust me, you do NOT want to ruin this pud with raw besan).
- When the gram flour mixture tastes biscuity enough to enjoy, tip in the Bombay Mix-jaggery-coconut powder
- Melt the ghee, add to the mixture, and stir well to combine.
- Press this marvellous mixture into the base of your lined tin.
- Shove it in the fridge to chill out whilst you get hot and bothered with the filling.
For the filling:
- Chop or grate the chocolate and place in a heatproof vessel along with the cocoa powder, mustard oil, jaggery and a pinch of sea salt.
- Melt together over a low heat or in short bursts in the microwave, stirring til you have a silky homogenous mix with a mirror-like shine.
- Stop admiring your reflection in the choc and leave it to cool slightly whilst you beat the hung curd until smooth.
- In a small bowl, mix the coconut milk powder with just enough water to yield a double cream consistency – slowly does it!
- Combine this coconut milk mixture with the curd completely, then blend with that gorgeous glossy melted chocolate mixture.
- Stir in the chopped Balti peanuts (plus any you plucked from the Bombay Mix) and raisins.
- Take a taste.... A TASTE, I said, not a great big dollop.
To assemble & serve:
- Turn the mixture onto the prepared chilled base, smooth the top, and chill.
- Artfully strew the surface with a handful of Bombay Mix and some choc-coated phool makhana before serving up in big bad boy-sized slabs.
Vist Zoe's blogs for more recipes and culinary adventures of The Spice Scribe and Coco Nut.