Friday, 30 April 2010

Recipe of the Week - Chocolate Orange Cheesecake

If yesterday's blog left you wanting more then try out this recipe for a quick and easy chocolate orange cheesecake :)

8 Chocolate Biscuits
1tblsp Orange Marmalade
50g Butter
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

Jay's Chocolate Orange Birthday!

Last Thursday was Jay's birthday and so the Devnaa kitchen was a buzz of exciting experimentation (like we need an excuse!). Having created a rich chocolate orange cake for an event the week before and then the coconut and lime cheesecakes in the early part of last week we decided to go down the chocolate orange cheesecake route and even I have to say it was probably one of the best ideas we have ever had!!!

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

Food with an 'Indian Accent'

Its great to see how other people use their different cultural influences to 'accent' their lifestyles - here at Devnaa we integrate our Indian heritage with our English upbringing to create sweets and desserts inspired by both of these cultures and its so interesting to us how food and drink from across the world is adapting and changing as people and dishes and ingredients travel from one side of the world to the other and then of course, come back around again.

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 or to read the review in the India Times follow

Monday, 26 April 2010

World Cup - Cakes!!!!

Today's blog has to start with a great big 'thank you!' to all the Devnaa fans on the Facebook page for the great response you gave to our St George's Day cupcakes - you guys truly inspire us to do more and better! One comment in particular has given us the inspiration to create a series of World Cup cupcakes decorated with the flags of all the different participating countries - great idea! We're even going to try and take it a step further so that the cupcake for each country not only represents their flag but also their flavour! How about an Italian Tiramisu cupcake for example? That was off the top of my head but rest assured we'll be working on ideas and you'll be seeing them soon enough!

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

Happy St George's Day!!!!

The patron saint of England is Saint George and he is celebrated each year on April 23rd. Famous from the legend of Saint George and the dragon in reality he was actually a Christian soldier, born to a noble family in Palestine. Being such a good soldier it did not take George long to rise through the ranks of the military and become an Imperial Guard, well known and respected amongst his peers. The Emperor of Palestine at that time however believed in Pagan Gods and although he had been close friends with George's family and of course George, in AD302 he was influenced by his advisers to rid the army of all Christian soldiers unless they agreed to convert by offering sacrifices to the Pagan Gods. George refused to convert and tried to compromise with the Emperor but the Emperor's mind was set - he offered George bribes of land and wealth to convert but George continued to support his Christian faith - and that too loudly in front of his fellow soldiers! Eventually the Emperor realised that although he did not want to, if he was going to enforce his ban of Christian soldiers he would have to make an example of George. This led to George being tortured and later beheaded, martyring himself for his faith.

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

Lime & Coconut Cheesecakes

Just as a quick follow up from Tuesday's blog here are the Lime & Coconut (Yes, Coconut!!! I managed to convince them once they'd tried it!!!) Cheesecakes - Yummy coconut cheesecake with a little lime juice and zest topped with a lime jelly and sprinkled with edible glitter - Deeeeelicious!!!! =)

Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Cakes In Space!!!

To be completely honest I'm not at all clued up about space food - up until now I thought astronauts survived on a diet of freeze dried compounds they had to consume through some kind of tube or... I don't know - nourishment milk shakes or something so when I just stumbled across news of a Japanese confectionery company sending out cakes to astronauts I felt that I had to share it today on my blog!

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

You Put the Lime in the Coconut & Mix it All Up!!!!

This week at Devnaa we've been asked to create a lime inspired dessert for a client and our aim is to come up with something which looks amazing, doesn't contain eggs and will have broad appeal across a wide age group, oh and not forgetting the slightly Indian twist! I'm so excited to get into the kitchen and get started! The difficult thing is really going to be creating a flavour that everybody here in our office likes - my first reaction was to go along the lime and coconut route but I'm having a hard time persuading the others it will work! Immediate next thought would be lime and chilli but I don't think that's going to have that general mass appeal... Lets just say it's going to be a fun day at Devnaa today while we experiment and do lots of taste testing!!! Any volunteers??? =) xx

Monday, 19 April 2010

Here Come the Macarons

Having written about the Whoopie Pie trying to steal away limelight from the Cupcake last week it has now been brought to my attention the the Macaron has now also joined the race. The French version of the more widely known Macaroon, Macarons have up until now remained so elite that they are still little known to the general public although the version as it is now has been around since the 1830's.

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

Recipe of The Week - Carrot Cupcakes

Still reeling from the yummy Gajar Ka Halwa on Vaisakhi yet craving cupcakes after my last blog, today's recipe is for carrot cupcakes! Need I say more...?

225g Butter
225g Light Brown Caster Sugar
225g Self Raising Flour (use wholemeal if you prefer)
4 Eggs
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

Whoopie for Pies!!!!

Since the rise of cupcakes a few years ago there have been many miniature baked goods brought into the limelight which have tried to steal away some of the attention from cupcakes but not quite managed it. The latest entry into the competition is the 'Whoopie Pie' which undoubtedly seems to be doing quite well but whether it's staying power will match that of the cupcake has yet to be seen. I for one am not convinced!

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

Vaisakhi Celebrations at Devnaa

Phew... After all that hard work helping everybody else celebrate Vaisakhi it was only right we kept a little sweet something for ourselves!!! Presenting our Signature Gajar Ka Halwa (Carrot Pudding) sandwiched between 2 fresh Jalebi, served hot and topped with fresh Vanilla Ice Cream - mm mmm mmmmm!!!!!!

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

Happy Vaisakhi!!!!

Every year on April 13th/14th Northern India celebrates the Spring harvest festival of Vaisakhi. Not only does this date mark the beginning of a new solar year, it is mainly celebrated by Sikhs as the anniversary of the founding of the Khalsa by the 10th Guru - Guru Gobind Singh. Khalsa is the term used to refer to all baptised Sikhs who follow the Khalsa Code of Conduct. Vaisakhi is recognised as the day that Sikhs were given a formal identity by the Guru.

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

What would you like to see???

Ok, as I mentioned in one of my blog entries a little while ago, Devnaa is going to be starting a series of online video tutorials demonstrating lots of sweet recipes for fellow foodies to follow! As we are hoping to film the first one and have it uploaded in the next week or 2 we would like your suggestions on what you would like to see us make. From traditional Indian sweets like penda or jalebi to more western desserts like apple pie or cinnamon danish with an Indian twist.. The choice is yours - the most popular recipe across our Facebook, Twitter and Blog responses will go first and following on from that we should be able to cover most other requests too - so let us know what you'd like to see and we'll get onto preparing our first video tutorial! So excited!!! =)

Friday, 9 April 2010

Cadbury's Chocolate Cafes!!!!!

Yes, you read correctly! Chocolate brand Cadbury's is going to be launching high street chocolate cafes - with the first one coming maybe even before the end of the year!

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:

Thursday, 8 April 2010

Devnaa Spiced Chocolate Bars

Our Indian inspired spiced chocolate bars are finally here!!!! Over the past few months we've been busily working away in the Devnaa kitchen perfecting a range of delicately spiced chocolate bars and after lots of trialing and tasting we've finally launched the first 2 editions: Milk chocolate with chai masala and ginger; and Milk chocolate with cinnamon, nutmeg, a burst of orange and the crunch of crispy rice! There are definitely going to be more flavours to come - a white chocolate one is already on its well on its way so in the meantime check these out at

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

Jalebi & Chocolate Messi!!!!

Everything's getting a bit hot and messy in the Devnaa kitchen today as we experiment with one of my all time favourite Indian sweets - Jalebi!!!! Mmmm.... No taste testers required today - I'm more than happy to devour each and every one these sticky, sweet fritters!!! Almost like a fried pretzel dunked in sugar syrup and sprinkled with nuts, Jalebi are often referred to as India's national sweet dish as they come in many varieties across the country and are almost as well known for their bright orange colour as well as their delicious taste!!! We're trying to come up with our own chocolate partnered variety... Its hard work, but someones gotta do it!!!

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

Tonights TV Treat...

Still in the spirit of Easter weekend which has just passed (far too quickly!), today's blog is all about putting your feet up in front of the telly and indulging in some Willy Wonka-esque antics whilst finishing what's left of the Easter chocolate! Heston Blumenthal is a chef mostly known for his slightly weird but wonderful methods of cooking. Owner and head chef of a 3 Michelin starred restaurant 'The Fat Duck' his eccentricity in the kitchen has awed if not inspired many food enthusiasts since he came to the attention of the mass media in around 2003. Having demonstrated his modern, scientific ways of preparing food on various TV series and through a number of books, tonight at 9pm on channel 4 he will be treating the UK to 'Heston's Chocolate Factory Feast'. With promises of everything from lickable wallpaper to duck confectionery and chocolate waterfalls this is definitely going to be the one to watch tonight - the Devnaa team can't complain about their homework today!!