Tuesday, 12 October 2010
Luckily I grew up amongst a largely extended family and was therefore surrounded by lots of heritage and culture enabling me to stay reasonably well educated about my roots and giving me the inspiration to always want to learn and experience more.
Today it is not as easy for children to stay in tune with their backgrounds and harder for parents to spark the interest. With families scattered across the globe and parents working harder than ever how can children easily be taught about South Asian traditions, culture and spirituality?
Gnaana.com has come up with amazing solutions to incorporate parts of South Asian culture into everyday life for children. From building blocks and puzzles to beautiful keepsake story books and recipe cards there are lots of fantastic educational tools which can easily be incorporated into a busy lifestyle to help your children learn about their roots. What's best is that they provide an experience which adults can enjoy together with their children enabling the likes of me to learn lots more too! Even though I'm not a parent yet I'm thinking of getting a few bits and pieces for my own benefit!!!!
The Gnaana blog is fantastic too in that it provides great support material for their products. Updated at least a few times a week there is always something new to see and learn - this month alone subjects have already ranged from Gandhi Jayanti to the how to do Garba providing not only ideas on things to teach your children but also a few reminders and some knowledge for you!
To check out our first entry (of three) go to http://www.gnaana.com/blog/ and whilst you're there be sure to check out the rest of this amazing website!
Monday, 11 October 2010
Friday, 1 October 2010
Every day from today (October 1st 2010) up until the end of the year we will be selecting a lucky Twitter follower to win one of our delicious chocolate bars. All you have to do to be in with a chance to win is follow us on Twitter - So get following!!!! Wishing you all the best of luck, sincerely, the Devnaa Team!!!! :)
Monday, 27 September 2010
For us Baa is the real founder of Devnaa - not only are we inspired by how she was famously renowned throughout her village in Kenya for her delicious cooking she brought her skills with her to England and continued to feed lots of family and friends for years after they moved here. She passed her traditional recipes and methods on to my Mum who combined these with what she had learned from her own Mother (our Nan) and then all of this was passed down to me.
One of Baa's most famous culinary tales tells of how she taught herself to cook by watching everything around her. Having moved to Kenya, East Africa when she was very young she was surrounded by people from various backgrounds. Different cultures and backgrounds from India all gathered and mixed together, there were traditional African dishes being made by the people of Kenya, as well as new spices and vegetable that hadn't been available in India at that time. She watched and learned and then would experiment, making lots of dishes, old and new, and then she would test them out on her Dad, our Great Grandfather, until he signed them off with his seal of approval.
Back in those days there wasn't much of anything to go around so the women from the village would gather together to share their specialist utensils when it came to making fancy traditional Indian foods at festival times. Each woman would have brought just a few of the special kitchen tools required with them from India so they would help each other and do a lot of their cooking together which created a great sense of community and spirit. Through all of this, as Baa grew older she became the 'head chef' of the group - especially when it came to making sweets! By teaching herself and making the most of all the knowledge around her she had created and honed new methods and recipes which created the yummiest sweets and snacks in town!
Festival times, especially Diwali, were the times when this 'community cooking' would really come together and and create the most amazing celebrations with the most astounding feasts! When Baa had married my Grandad (Bapujii) they lived in an area the ended in a large cul de sac. At Diwali all the women would get together and cook up their own specialties, each taking charge of their favourite dish - one would be kneading pastry dough, the other rolling it out, another making the filling, sweet or savoury, whilst yet another would sit and stuff and wrap them all together. Daughters would be in charge of frying on camping stoves or baking in home made coal ovens. Dads would be sitting aside talking and laughing and the Sons would be running around playing games and lighting fireworks for everyone to enjoy. When the food was all ready (the preparation would have gone on for days), they would all come together to set up tables at the end of the cul de sac and feast on all the fresh hot treats!
Jay and I were way far off in the future but it is stories like these that have inspired us to create Devnaa, taking flavours from all the different aspects of our backgrounds and putting them together to produce the confectionery for people to share and enjoy and evoke sweet memories of family and friends and good times together.
Baa may no longer be with us physically but her legacy lives on through us and hopefully we can help to inspire others just as she inspired us.
Monday, 6 September 2010
Eid marks the end of a religious month in the Islamic calendar - Ramadan. During Ramadan Muslims fast from sunrise up until sunset allowing them to focus on their spirituality. It is also seen as a period of thanks and humility.
Fasting begins on the first day of the month of Ramadan and Eid marks the first day of the following month. On this day Muslims give food to charity, pray, visit friends and family and celebrate. For more information visit http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ramadan
Best of luck to all those continuing to fast for the next few days and Happy Eid for the end of the week!
Tuesday, 24 August 2010
As most of you already know, Devnaa was founded by my brother Jay and I and has developed into a family business so Raksha Bandhan is a very important festival for us. I'm going to keep today's entry sweet and simple by wishing Jay and the entire Devnaa family all my best wishes for this special celebration, looking forward to the family dinner later and eating all the yummy sweets we've made!!! Lots of love, luck, laughter and everything that goes with it - Roopa =) xxx
Monday, 23 August 2010
Wednesday, 18 August 2010
We have also now introduced Large tiffin boxes in our chocolate and mixed selections that are the perfect size for a family celebration.
Raksha Bandhan means 'bond of protection' and is celebrated by Sikhs and Hindus. Traditionally sisters tie a decorative thread around the wrists of their brothers, this thread is similar to a protection charm - blessed by the love the sister has for the brother. The brother in turn vows to protect his sister thus creating a bond which is sealed by the two feeding each other sweets. For more information on the festival see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Raksha_Bandhan
Tuesday, 17 August 2010
Over the next few days you will see our brand new chocolate bars added to the website as well as a few new box options and updates to our wedding page. The pricing structure has changed slightly enabling us to provide you with a FREE DELIVERY service and reduced price recorded and special delivery options. Last but not least you will also see our special box promotion for the upcoming festival of Raksha Bandhan and shortly after that, our Diwali 2010 collection will be launched!! Exciting times!!!
We hope you enjoy our new products as much as we've enjoyed creating them for you, please bear with us over the next day or so while we update the website and if you have any questions don't hesitate to call us on 0800 612 20 40/020 8427 7110 or drop us an email via the enquiry form on the website.
Lots of sweet thoughts,
Roopa, Jay & the Devnaa Team :)
P.S. Don't forget you can also keep up to date with what we've been doing and receive lots of great offers by following us on Twitter (www.twitter.com/devnaa) or Facebook (www.facebook.com/indiansweets)!
Wednesday, 21 July 2010
Monday, 5 July 2010
Tuesday, 29 June 2010
Monday, 28 June 2010
- Although we don't normally keep chocolates in the fridge, in this heat we advise that as soon as you receive them - place your chocolates in a sealable plastic bag and pop them straight in the fridge - the bag will stop any moisture affecting your chocolates and if you take them out of the fridge 10 -15 minutes before eating them they'll taste just fine :)
- Sometimes the heat can cause greyish patches to form on the surface of chocolates - this just means that the heat has caused the cocoa butter in the chocolate to separate and reset and although it doesn't look great, the chocolates will taste perfectly normal and it's nothing to worry about - this problem is far more common in darker chocolates as they contain more cocoa butter.
- Keep chocolate cake in an air tight container in the fridge and allow to come to room temperature before serving - the air tight container will help prevent the sponge from drying out and the moisture in the fridge from affecting the cake.
- Fresh cream is a favourite at this time of year but remember to only ever take it out of the fridge at the very last minute! The heat will cause it to spoil really quickly so keep it cool at all times before eating it.
We hope this information helps you enjoy your summer desserts more - if you have any questions please don't hesitate to drop us an email or phone call :) xx
Friday, 18 June 2010
Thursday, 17 June 2010
Wednesday, 16 June 2010
Tuesday, 15 June 2010
- Pre heat your oven to gas mark 6 and grease the cavities of a 12 hole muffin tray
- Cream the egg and caster sugar together for at least 8 minutes until thick, pale and fluffy
- Sift the flour and bicarbonate of soda into a bowl
- Mix half of the milk into the egg mixture followed by half of the flour and then the remaining milk followed by the remaining flour
- Mix in the butter, vinegar and 2 tblsp of the apricot jam
- Divide the batter evenly between each of the muffin holes (each one should be between two thirds to three quarters full)
- Bake for 30 minutes until a skewer inserted into the centre of the puddings comes out clean
- Place the muffin tray on a wire rack to cool for about 10 minutes
- Run a palette knife around the edge of each pudding, turn out onto the wire rack and allow to cool completely
- Whip the cream until you reach soft peak consistency
- Fold in the vanilla extract and sifted icing sugar (add a little apricot colour if desired)
- Use your finger to poke a small hole into the top of each pudding and fill it with the remaining apricot jam
- Swirl the whipped cream on top.
Monday, 14 June 2010
Wednesday, 9 June 2010
Tuesday, 8 June 2010
Monday, 7 June 2010
Friday, 4 June 2010
2 Limes, chopped into eighths
4 tblsp Caster Sugar
500 ml Sparkling Water, chilled
250 ml Coconut Water, chilled
Lots of Ice
- Place the chopped limes and sugar in a blender and blitz until pureed
- Pour in half of the sparkling water to loosen the lime mixture and blitz for a few more seconds
- Sieve the lime mixture into a large mixing bowl and pour in the rest of the sparkling water and the coconut water
- Whisk together, add a little more sugar if required and pour into glasses filled with ice
- Enjoy!!! :)
Thursday, 3 June 2010
Wednesday, 2 June 2010
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Tuesday, 25 May 2010
Monday, 24 May 2010
I hope she and her fiance enjoyed it as much as we enjoyed creating it! Congratulations Chandni & Rakesh!!!
Friday, 21 May 2010
600ml Double Cream
200g Icing Sugar
50g Milk Chocolate
2 Crunchie Bars
1 tblsp Orange Blossom Water
- Very gently melt the milk chocolate in the microwave
- Crush up the Crunchie bars
- Whip the cream until it reaches o soft peak consistency
- Sift the icing sugar over the cream and add the milk chocolate, crushed Crunchie and orange blossom water
- Fold all of the ingredients together
- Transfer to a freezer container and leave for a few hours or overnight - if you leave it overnight take it out of the freezer about 20 minutes before serving so that it can soften a little
- Serve with extra Crunchie on top and enjoy :)
Thursday, 20 May 2010
Wednesday, 19 May 2010
Almonds are looking to be a favourite but what to use with them? I like rose, Jay likes mint, Mum and Dad like honey... This is going to take a lot of fine tuning to please everybody!! Let us know your ideas!
Right... Back to the kitchen with me... I have a lot of dark chocolate to eat - I mean make!!! =)
Monday, 17 May 2010
In the same way, everybody loves those little chocolate gold coins we used to get as children. Fabulous stocking fillers no Christmas went by without one or two of those being tossed our way in the Devnaa family home and we used to get such pleasure out of the thought that we were holding real gold coins and even more from the fact that we could unwrap them and eat them!!
The latest in vending machine technology takes both of these things and puts them together to create what is possibly one of the most unnecessary inventions I have ever come across!!! A vending machine which dispenses gold bars and coins as opposed to chocolate ones!!! Recently installed in the Emirates Palace Hotel, Abu Dhabi this machine allows people to walk in and purchase bars and coins of gold which weigh up to 10g each! A high tech computer system provides real time updates on the price of gold so that it matches that of the international markets and soon enough if you happen to be staying at the Emirates Palace you will be able to purchase a personalised coin as a souvenir of your visit! Random, yet strangely fantastic and an insane way of bringing the good old chocolate vending machine into the future!!!
Friday, 14 May 2010
7 Tea Bags
1.5 tblsp Chai Masala
3 tblsp Caster Sugar
- Place all of the ingredients into a pan over a high heat and allow to come to the boil
- Reduce the heat to low and allow to simmer for 6 minutes
- Turn off the heat and strain the tea into a serving jug
- Allow to cool slightly and then refrigerate to chill
- Serve thoroughly chilled in iced glasses alongside a box of yummy chocolates! :)
Thursday, 13 May 2010
Actually, no! What am I saying?? Mexico is where chocolate comes from!!! Ok... So how about an intensely dark chocolate spiced cupcake to represent them? That just leaves South Africa for now... I should really have a better idea seeing as my parents grew up in East Africa! My Dad once told me a story about how he and his brother trekked all the way from Uganda, right down the East coast of Africa through countries like Zambia and Mozambique all the way down to South Africa. That must have been almost 50 years ago now! Can you imagine - 2 Asian boys (they would have been about 17 at the time) hitch hiking, camping and trekking through Africa in the early 60's, right in the middle of apartheid, without a penny to their names! Dad still says it was one of the best experiences he's ever had though - that you didn't need anything, everyone was so friendly and happy to help - it must have been amazing!!! Right, time for me to go and quiz him on South African cuisine!!
Wednesday, 12 May 2010
You'll have to wait until later in the year for us to publish the recipe but rest assured - it is most definitely on the way!!! We can't wait for you to try and it and tell us what you think! :)
Tuesday, 11 May 2010
Possibly not the most exclusive or 'gourmet' cakes on offer so many of us have grown up on this household brand and their cakes are still just as good as they've ever been! It will be great to see and taste the new line of products! That said my favourite always has been and always will be their yummy Angel Slices!!!! So heavenly!!!
Monday, 10 May 2010
Thursday, 6 May 2010
Wednesday, 5 May 2010
Fun, easy to make and eat these are the perfect treats for a children's party - you can even make up different coloured icing and get them to decorate their own! For ideas, inspiration and to maybe even try a few check out www.popbakery.co.uk - a fantastic creation by a talented baker/decorator, Clare O'Connell has created a whole world of beautifully iced cake pops that almost look too good to eat!!
Tuesday, 4 May 2010
From traditional desserts like Ormoo - a rich, creamy dessert made with sweetened roasted Bulgar wheat and milk; Shrikhand - somewhere between a thick set set yoghurt and a loose cheesecake mix flavoured with nuts, saffron and cardamom; to more modern, western desserts like cranberry, almond and white chocolate rice crispy cakes and the infamous chocolate orange cheesecake back by popular demand from last week! The show stopper however was something that sort of fell together almost by accident - Raspberry, coconut and white chocolate mousse...
I had meant to make a white chocolate and raspberry mousse cake but becoming pressed for time I had to think of a quicker alternative I could make with the ingredients I had to hand. The raspberry jam which had been meant for the cake was combined with some Vege-gel to make a quick raspberry jelly which alongside some of the fresh raspberries I had bought for the cake was filled into the bottom of little canape glasses. Topped with a quick and easy white chocolate and coconut mousse and more fresh raspberries, these little desserts were made so fast that I didn't even get a chance to try any before serving them but just my luck - they disappeared even more quickly than it took me to make them - with some cheeky relatives having at least 2 or 3 each!
Friday, 30 April 2010
8 Chocolate Biscuits
1tblsp Orange Marmalade
100g Cream Cheese
150g Icing Sugar
450ml Whipping Cream
1 Chocolate Orange
1/2 packet Orange Jelly
Extra whipped cream to decorate
- Finely crush the biscuits so that no large lumps remain
- Melt the butter and stir in the marmalade
- Mix butter, marmalade and biscuit crumbs together until well combined and then press into the bottom of an 8" loose bottomed cake pan
- Refrigerate while you prepare the filling
- Sift the icing sugar into the cream cheese to form a smooth paste
- Gently melt half of the chocolate orange
- Whip the cream to soft peak stage and gently fold in the cream cheese mixture and melted chocolate orange
- Pour filling on top of the biscuit base and smooth out the surface
- Make the jelly according to the manufacturers instructions and allow to cool slightly before pouring on top of the cheesecake filling
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours before removing from the pan
- Decorate with a little extra whipped cream and the remaining pieces of chocolate orange
- Serve cold
Thursday, 29 April 2010
A chocolate biscuit base spread with orange marmalade, topped with a zesty chocolate orange cheesecake, a layer of chocolate orange jelly, orange jelly and then chocolate whipped cream and slices of chocolate orange!!! Truly a taste sensation!! Stay tuned for the recipe tomorrow :)
Wednesday, 28 April 2010
I have just come across a restaurant located in South Delhi by the name of Indian Accent - a brilliant name for a brilliant concept! Combining traditional Indian dishes with ingredients and flavours from around the world and in the same way, dishes from around the world with Indian ingredients and flavours this restaurant highlights the cosmopolitan, fusion flavours that are slowly beginning to emerge across the globe. Dishes like Tandoori Foie Gras and Summer Vegetable Salad with Tadka Dressing show how as people have travelled and learnt about different cuisines they have been able to come back and combine these flavours and ideas with what they already knew in order to create tantalising and different new cuisines.
I haven't eaten at Indian Accent (yet!) but if you are in South Delhi check it out and let us know what you think! The website is www.themanordelhi.com or to read the review in the India Times follow http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/life/food/food-reviews/With-a-desi-twist/articleshow/5840048.cms
Monday, 26 April 2010
Whilst we're on the subject I'd like to quickly mention the limited edition world cup Mars bars that are on sale - the wrappers have been changed to represent the English flag and three lions emblem to back the team and show support for the tournament which starts on June 11th.
Friday, 23 April 2010
The veneration of George spread east and west in the fourth century through the Roman Empire and in 494 he was given his sainthood by Pope Gelasius I after which Saint George became a well known and inspiring mark of faith, leading to his name being used as a battle cry and his symbol - the red cross being used on the English flag.
Today we celebrate Saint George's day in England by waving the national flag and wearing red roses in our lapels - it is known as a feast day so tradition is to gather, feast and rejoice! Traditional roasts are the main meal followed by trifle and the season's first strawberries in fresh cream... Yummy!
Thursday, 22 April 2010
Wednesday, 21 April 2010
It really is incredible - here at Devnaa we've been trying to figure out a way to be able to courier our cakes safely across the country and these guys are sending theirs into space!
Japanese confectionery company Imuraya has delivered three types of specially adapted cakes to a Japanese astronaut who has been working on a space station since December. They were hand delivered by a fellow Japanese astronaut who travelled up on space shuttle Discovery. It gives a whole new perspective to mail order! With space travel becoming more and more accessible who knows - it might not be long before you're enjoying your favorite Devnaa confection at a picnic on the moon!
Tuesday, 20 April 2010
Monday, 19 April 2010
Composed of two little light and airy meringue and almond powder discs sandwiched together with a ganache filling. They come in a variety of colours and flavours and were created by the French patisserie Laduree who continue to be renowned for their Macarons although there is an argument that those by French master chef Pierre Herme are better!
I would assume that the elite and fairly rare quality of Macarons comes from the fact that they are notoriously difficult to make correctly - the consistency of the meringue has to be perfect and a matter of a few seconds here or there could lead to disaster when baking as the shells of the Macaron must be perfectly airy and light to avoid a stodgy or dry mess. That said with the title race for the ultimate sweet treat still running strong the Macaron seems to be becoming a contender.
Macarons are known for being hand made delicacies but mass manufactured are now coming to light with Parisian branches of McDonald's cafes offering 'McArons', American Starbucks' also have them on offer as do Whole Foods. However, the French master minds behind the original Macarons are holding their ground - trying their best to protect the Macaron's elite reputation by making their own artisan wares more widely available - Herme's are now in Selfridge's and are about to open a boutique in Knightsbridge and Laduree is available in Harrods and for those who prefer a more convenient treat Raymond Blanc has launched a range at Waitrose - far from the best but you could do a lot worse!
Friday, 16 April 2010
225g Light Brown Caster Sugar
225g Self Raising Flour (use wholemeal if you prefer)
1/2 tsp Ground Cinnamon
1/2 tsp Nutmeg
100g Chopped Walnuts
150g Grated Carrot
2 tblsp Sultanas (optional)
200g Cream Cheese
200g Icing Sugar
1/2 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Pre heat the oven to gas mark 4 and line 18 muffin cases
- Beat butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
- Add the eggs one at a time, beating in well
- Fold in the flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, walnuts, carrots and sultanas
- Spoon the cake batter into the muffin cases so that each one is 3/4 full and bake for 20 - 25 minutes until a skewer inserted in the center of the cakes comes out clean
- Allow to cool in the trays for 5 minutes and then remove to cool completely on a wire rack
- For the icing beat the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth and creamy
- When the cupcakes are cool generously spread the icing on top and garnish with more chopped walnuts or some grated carrot.
Thursday, 15 April 2010
Said to have been created by Amish farmer's wives in the 1920's the Whoopie Pie consists of a generous amount of vanilla buttercream sandwiched between 2 firm and rather dry domes of cake. Apparently the farmer's wives would make these from left over cake batter and when the farmers came home from a hard day on the fields they would shout 'whoopie!' at the sight of their yummy treats.
Yes, Whoopie Pies do taste yummy - I'm not denying that, but they are given the term pie because of the dry, almost biscuit like (similar to a dense pie crust) 'sponge' used to sandwich the filling and when put up against a moistly delicious, light, soft cupcake... Well, I know what I'd pick every time! That said, the generous amount of filling does balance the dryness a little bit and I can understand why some people may prefer the sturdier, almost 'no frills' way of the Whoopie Pie but I think for the most part they may just be a fad and once most people have had a try they'll faithfully return to the good old cupcake!
Who knows, maybe we'll give Whoopie Pies a try in the Devnaa kitchen in the next few weeks and see what we can do with them! =)
Wednesday, 14 April 2010
Gajar Ka Halwa is an extremely popular dessert in India, especially the northern parts as the cooler climates help cultivate the growth of deliciously sweet, intensely orange carrots. Bright orange Jalebi are also popular Punjabi sweets, I'm not sure but I think this has more to do with the colour than anything else as Orange is one of the main colours associated with Sikhism.
Traditionally both of these sweet dishes are served hot, fresh from the pan and devoured immediately and although Jalebi are normally served alone, Gajar Ka Halwa and Vanilla Ice Cream served together has become a popular dish served all over the world. Although the ice cream is really just there to balance the heat of the halwa and add creaminess to the sticky texture it also ties into tradition as northern Indians are also very much known for their love of milk based sweet dishes.
When the Devnaa team were asked to create a special Vaisakhi dessert we were half tempted to go with Seera - a semolina based sponge pudding served in Sikh temples (Gurdwaras) and offered to all patrons throughout the year but we couldn't resist the festive cheer of the colourful halwa and jalebis!! That said, watch out for a Seera recipe soon! =)
Tuesday, 13 April 2010
Celebrations include prayers, offerings and visits to the Sikh temple - the Gurdwara to give thanks and worship, often followed by melas - fun fairs, fireworks, singing and dancing accompanied of course by lots of food!
Popular sweet dishes on the day include Jalebi (yeahy!), Seera (a semolina based spongy dessert), Coconut Ladoos and Gajrella (Gajar Ka Halwa - a sweet pudding made from carrots).
Today in the Devnaa kitchen we'll be whipping up a feast of theses delectable dishes to celebrate this special occasion - Happy Vaisakhi everybody!!! =)
Monday, 12 April 2010
Friday, 9 April 2010
The 'Cadbury's Chocolate Houses' are going to be serving afternoon tea and have in house chocolatiers whipping up some classic favourites like Twirls and Curly Wurlys in extra big sizes which can be gift wrapped and will undoubtedly make the recipient's day!!!
Apparently, plans have been in discussion for a few years and with the ball now finally being set in motion I'm sure we can expect these chocolate cafes be filled with chocolatey goodness!! I think it's time to plan another Devnaa field trip!
Read more at: www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/kraft-backs-cadbury-high-street-cafes-plan-1940149.html
Thursday, 8 April 2010
There's a great offer on at the moment too - 10% off all orders if you use the discount code offered on our Facebook fanpage and the first 10 people to order the chocolate bars will receive a free surprise gift! Enjoy :)
Wednesday, 7 April 2010
Speaking of chocolate and MESSI-ness we can't let today go by without sharing a link to this:
Not that I'm hating on Arsenal fans after last night's epic football match, there are a fair few Arsenal supporters on the Devnaa team, but with Messi in mind I had to take the opportunity to share this amazing tribute to the soccer playing hero - entirely made of chocolate it really is amazing!!! =)
Tuesday, 6 April 2010
Wednesday, 31 March 2010
150 ml Warm Water
55g Caster Sugar
1 tblsp Dried Yeast
450g Plain Flour
1 tsp Salt
1 tsp (heaped) of Mixed Spice
1/4 tsp Ground Cardamom
25g Chopped Almonds
20g Chopped Pistachio Nuts (Shelled)
50ml Warm Milk
1 Egg, beaten
50g Melted Butter
3 tblsp Water
3 tblsp Caster Sugar
1/4 tsp crumbled Saffron Threads
- Stir 1 tsp of the caster sugar into 150ml luke warm water. Sprinkle in the yeast and leave until the surface develops a good layer of froth
- In the meantime sift the flour, salt and mixed spice into a bowl and add the cardamom, remaining sugar, currants, almonds and pistachio nuts. Lightly toss these together
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mixture and add the yeast mixture, warmed milk, egg and butter and mix together with a spoon
- As the mixture comes together use your hands to combine it and transfer to a floured surface. Knead for about 5-7 minutes to produce a smooth, stretchy dough
- Dip your fingers in a little oil and lightly grease the surface of the dough
- Return the dough to the mixing bowl and cover with cling film. Leave in a warm place to rise for about 1 hour or until the dough has doubled in size
- Bring the dough back onto your work surface and knead back to its original size
- Divide the dough into 12 portions, forming each portion into the round bun shape and use a knife to mark them each with a deep cross
- lightly oil the surface of each bun, cover with cling film and leave to rise again for about 30 mins
- Bake for 15 minutes in an oven that has been pre heated to gas mark 7
- While the buns are baking make the glaze by gently warming the 3 tblsp of water and sugar and the saffron together in a pan over a gentle heat until the sugar has melted
- When the buns have baked brush them with the glaze whilst they are still hot. Allow to cool and then enjoy warm or cold =)
Tuesday, 30 March 2010
Eostre was the Anglo Saxon Goddess of Dawn and she was celebrated during spring time as a sign of rebirth and renewal. Her symbol was the Hare. This celebration period is now known as Easter and celebrates the resurrection of Jesus Christ. Instead of the hare the bunny rabbit is used as a symbol as rabbits are more common everywhere - especially in spring! The tradition of the Easter bunny is much more prevalent in America than England as it was taken over there by German settlers in the 18th Century. It is common in America for children to be told tales of an Easter bunny who will distribute baskets of Easter eggs and chocolate treats on Easter day. They even organise treasure hunts of brightly coloured eggs with lots of yummy treats for the winners!
Hot cross buns are also a tradition derived from Eostre. The Saxons used to bake these little round buns marked with a cross as the bun was supposed to represent the moon and the cross marked each of the moon's four quarters. In relation to Easter the cross represents the crucifix.
With all this talk of Easter goodies I think tomorrow I'll have to post a recipe for hot cross buns - with a slight Indian twist!!! =)
Monday, 29 March 2010
The first investigation had to be into why chocolate is so strongly associated with Easter and why the eggs and bunnies???
Easter Sunday is the day upon which Christian's celebrate the end of Lent - a 40 day fast (beginning on Ash Wednesday) which marks the period that Jesus Christ spent in the desert prior to the events leading up to His crucifixion. It is also a time for penitence and reflection. Traditionally people used to give up meat, dairy and other animal related food products as well as any rich and luxurious foods. Easter is the festival which marks the end of this fasting and the resurrection of Jesus with feasts and celebrations.
Although as times have moved on fewer people now fast through the duration of Lent it is still common for believers to give up certain things and mark the period in their own ways.
As chocolate was introduced to the Western world it was very much considered a luxury product and as it also contains milk it was often one of the things people gave up for Lent (and some people still do). With this in mind chocolate became one of the key components of Easter celebration feasts with people gifting each other chocolate eggs, bunnies and even cakes!
The cakes are understandable as they are also a very indulgent item but the eggs and bunnies? They represent the celebration of Jesus's resurrection by symbolising life and rebirth - the bunnies being symbolic of spring (when Easter is celebrated).
So there you have it - this year when you receive your Easter treats take a second to remember the tradition and roots of the festival - it will make them all the more delicious!!! =)
Friday, 26 March 2010
It's amazing to see how other people with a combined Eastern and Western influence in their lives have embraced that and used it to create such different and wonderful products with truly unique and revolutionary style. From jewellery and fashion to children's toys and homeware BollyInStyle features the cream of cross cultural Asian influenced art and provides a treasure trove of inspiration and information to all of us.
Thank you BollyInStyle for bringing to our attention not only all of these fantastic cross cultural products but also the fact that we're part of a growing community of people trying to incorporate old traditions and culture with our modern day western lifestyles and it's all coming together with fabulous results! I for one am hooked and will definitely be checking back often to see whats new in the world of BollyInStyle!
Thursday, 25 March 2010
Tuesday, 23 March 2010
Monday, 22 March 2010
Friday, 19 March 2010
One of my favourite spring time recipes is for Strawberry & Mascarpone Shortbread Slice. Crumbly biscuit with a cool, creamy topping fortified with strawberries and a hint of spice. The great thing is that you can mix pretty much any flavour you like into the topping - in the Summer try folding in some lemon curd and sprinkling with a touch of finely chopped mint.
Strawberry & Mascarpone Shortbread Slice:
175g Unsalted Butter
70g Caster Sugar
1 Egg Yolk
250g Plain Flour
60g Icing Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
300g Chopped Strawberries
- Pre heat the oven to gas mark 4 and line a 20 x 30 cm baking dish with grease proof paper (leaving it long enough to hang over the sides)
- Beat the butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
- Add the egg yolk and beat well
- Gently fold in the flour until you are left with a well combined dough
- Press the biscuit dough firmly into the baking dish and prick all over with a fork
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until golden brown
- Remove from oven, place tin on a wire rack and allow the biscuit to cool completely
- Beat the mascarpone, sifted icing sugar and vanilla extract together until smooth
- Fold in the strawberries and cardamom
- Spread this mixture over the biscuit base and refrigerate for at least 3 hours (until firm)
- Use the long sides of the grease proof paper to lift the shortbread out of the baking dish and place onto a chopping block to allow ease of cutting
- Cut into pieces and enjoy! :)
Thursday, 18 March 2010
Le Whif is a new aerosol development which allows us to eat by breathing. Developed by a Harvard professor, Le Whif is a little lipstick sized spray which contains millions of little food particles which we inhale - allowing us to breathe in our food minus any calories but plus a caffeine hit equal to a small shot of espresso! It comes in a few different flavours including coffee and yes, chocolate! We're definitely going to have to try this one to believe it! Check it out at www.lewhif.com :)
Wednesday, 17 March 2010
The festivities are as infectious as the good humour and spirit of the people celebrating - all dressed in green and with plenty of green accessories to represent the 'emerald isle' and some places even rivers and lakes are dyed green! Here in London there is an annual get together in Trafalgar Square where over 100,000 people meet and enjoy traditional Irish music, dancing food and of course drink!
Traditional Irish foods include potato champ, soda bread, black pudding, rock oysters and Gaelic stew. As here at Devnaa we like to keep things sweet we decided to celebrate in our own little way with St Patrick's Day cupcakes! Happy St Patrick's Day!!! :)
Tuesday, 16 March 2010
1 cup of Mashed New Potatoes
2/3 cup of Sugar
2 Eggs, beaten
1 1/2 cups Milk
1/2 cup Butter
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
9" Pie dish lined with uncooked Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- Whilst the mashed potatoes are still hot stir in the sugar, butter and a pinch of salt and continue to stir until they've melted in
- Next stir in the milk, followed by the eggs and vanilla
- Pour this mixture into the pie dish and bake at 450C for 10 minutes
- Lower the heat to 350C and bake for a further 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the pie comes out clean
- Enjoy whilst warm :)
This tastes great served with an intense cinnamon ice cream and a little nutmeg grated on top! The Irish take on sweet potato pie... Mmmmm!
Monday, 15 March 2010
Mehndi inspired egg free cupcakes
Double colour swirl cupcakes inspired by the colours of India
Thursday, 11 March 2010
After a few days of experimenting and agonising over different methods of icing cupcakes I've gradually got better at icing little mehndi designs onto the cakes - its taken ages but slowly and surely I'm mastering a few different patterns to decorate the cuppies with in yummy milk chocolate - just the right colour for mehndi! Combined with traditionally Indian bright colours the Devnaa kitchen here in London is starting to look like a festive scene right out of Mumbai!!!
Anyway, back to the kitchen with me, just a few finishing touches to go and soon I'll be able to share them with all of you :) xx
Wednesday, 10 March 2010
Tuesday, 9 March 2010
Monday, 8 March 2010
We've provided a choice of just Indian sweets, just the Indian inspired chocolates or a mixed selection of the two all available as a box of 9 or in a 'tiffin' style double stack (18 pieces). Soon to follow will be our weddings and celebrations section (please bear with us while we put the finishing touches to the web page), comprising of favour boxes, alternative gift boxes, personalised barfi and the delicious cupcake towers (eggless or with egg!).
In the coming months we'll also be introducing a great new range of chocolate bars and some other exciting new products but for now, we're up and running with our first lines - check them out at devnaa.com, Indian inspired sweets and chocolates (from London!) :) xxx
Friday, 5 March 2010
So, taking inspiration from the Mad Hatter himself today's recipe is for scones, the perfect tea time treat :)
225g Self Raising Flour
a pinch of salt
75g Butter (at room temperature)
40g Golden Caster Sugar
2 tblsp Buttermilk
- Pre heat your oven to gas mark 7
- Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl
- Cut the butter into small cubes and add to the flour
- Rub butter and flour together with your finger tips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs
- Mix in the sugar
- Beat the egg and buttermilk together in a measuring jug and add gradually to the flour mixture, combining the two using a palette knife
- When the milk is all in and the mixture begins to hold together finish the mixing with your hands and shape into a circle
- Place the dough on a floured surface and roll until 2.5cm thick
- Use a 5cm round cutter to press out your scones (this recipe should make about 10)
- Grease a baking sheet and lightly dust it with flour
- Place the scones onto the baking sheet and brush them with a little more buttermilk
- Dust with a little more flour
- Bake for 12 minutes until golden brown
- Cool on a baking rack and serve warm with plenty of jam and clotted cream :)
Thursday, 4 March 2010
The launch of our new website at Devnaa will come with this year's Mother's Day collection - 6 & 18 piece boxes with the word 'MUM' spelled out across some of the pieces and gorgeous little gold and pink 4 piece boxes - the ideal 'pocket money gift' from the kids. The site will be up by the weekend so go on... Spoil your Mum, she deserves it! :)
Wednesday, 3 March 2010
So, for those vegetarians out there who like the idea of a cupcake tower at your wedding but thought it couldn't be - don't fear! They are on their way! (also available in vegan) :) xx
Tuesday, 2 March 2010
We were lucky enough to get a sneak peak at some of our finished packaging and I can't wait to show it off! Brightly coloured boxes with a matt finish and a touch of gold foil for that extra luxury feel... I'm so excited that I get to show you all in a few days!!!!
These next few days are going to be excruciating! I'm literally playing a waiting game while the last few tweaks are tweaked and the packaging is sent out but fingers crossed, Devnaa will be live and kicking by the end of the week!! Good times!!!! :)
Wednesday, 10 February 2010
One of the best examples I've come across is happening this weekend - the 7th annual Chocolate Fantasy Ball in Arkansas, USA. This event occurs on Valentine's weekend every year to raise money for the Ronald McDonald House Charities that provide accommodation and support for families who have to commit themselves to looking after children in hospital. Not only does it play on chocolate to bring people together and experience an indulgent, chocolatey Valentine's day it's for a really good cause.
The night starts with a chocolate themed cocktail reception - heaven! Those of you who have managed to get a taste of the Godiva Liqueurs will agree with me there! Dinner will comprise of chocolate themed dishes and there will be auctions and dancing throughout the night all accompanied by lots of delicious chocolate creations to nibble on. Now that's a party!!!!
Monday, 8 February 2010
From simple barfi to the slightly more complex rasmali I'll hopefully be able to show that making these dishes really isn't as daunting as it may seem. If there's anything in particular you'd like to see leave a comment and I'll see what I can do. For now, I'm gonna figure out how to use this thing...!
Thursday, 4 February 2010
Having already looked into the varieties of Gulab Jamun found across the Middle East I was surprised to find Greek versions of Halwa that are identical in name and nature to the Indian version. Ful Khaja are also a popular Indian sweet, very similar to the Turkish Baklava, layers of thin pastry sheets baked with a pistachio stuffing and drizzled with a sweetened syrup.
Jalebi had to be the big surprise though! One of my favourite sweets when I was growing up, I was intrigued to see all the variations across Persia, Egypt, Lebanon, Syria, Morocco, Algeria and Tunisia to name a few! All with slightly different takes on the name, recipe and presentation but all essentially the same.
Heading Eastwards from India it is even more incredible to see Far Eastern takes on some 'Indian' sweets. The Vietnamese version of Gulab Jamun is Che Xoi Nuoc and the Chinese is Tangyuan in fact these are almost a cross between Gulab Jamun and Rasgulla.
Monday, 1 February 2010
For the cupcakes:
240 ml Milk
1 tblsp White Vinegar
250 g Self Raising Flour
1/2 tsp Salt
2 tblsp Cocoa Powder
113 g Unsalted Butter
300 g Caster Sugar
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
2 tblsp Red Food Colour
1 tsp White Vinegar
1 tsp Bicarbonate of Soda
- Pre heat oven to gas mark 4 and line 2 12 cavity cupcake pans with cases
- Whisk together the milk and 1 tblsp white vinegar. Set aside for 10 mins to curdle
- Sift flour, salt and cocoa powder into a large mixing bowl and set aside
- Place butter in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until soft
- Add in all of the sugar and beat until fluffy
- Scrape down the sides of the bowl and beat in the eggs one at a time
- Add the vanilla and beat again until all of the ingredients are combined
- Stir the food colouring into the curdled milk mixture
- Fold about a third of the flour mixture into the butter mixture followed by half of the milk mixture, another third of the flour, the rest of the milk and lastly the flour
- Combine the bicarbonate of soda and remaining teaspoon of vinegar in a small bowl, it will start to fizz and should be immediately added to the cake mixture
- Divide the batter between the cupcake cases (about 1 heaped teaspoon per case, this cake mix will rise a lot!)
- Bake for about 25 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cakes comes out clean.
For the icing:
400 g Unsalted Butter
200g Cream Cheese
800 g Icing Sugar (sifted)
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Beat the butter with an electric mixer until soft
- Fold in the cream cheese
- Gradually beat in the icing sugar uand lastly the vanilla
- Beat well until smooth
- Spread generously onto cupcakes and enjoy! :)