Monday, 30 April 2012

The Rise of Chocolate Covered Indian Confectionery

Happy Monday Bloggers! It's great to see the sun out here in London after such a rainy, dismal weekend!

Today I'd like to introduce you all to Devnaa's brand new Indian sweets collection - the flavours you already know and love, alongside some new stars, with a fab new look!

In order of appearance we have our Strawberry Sensation Barfi, Velvety Vanilla Barfi (with delicious hints of saffron and cardamom), Cinnamon Chai Barfi (flavoured with our signature aromatic blend of cinnamon, cardamom, ginger and clove), Pistachio Rosette Barfi, Devnaa Delight (yummy almond barfi), Coconut Karma Barfi, Milk Chocolate Marvel Barfi, and Essensual Orange Barfi. We hope you love the new look as much as we do! :)

Having launched this gorgeous new collection last week we were pleasantly surprised to read an article in The Times of India yesterday that chocolate treats are beginning to gain popularity as gifts across India. As much as we love the traditional sweets, it's great to learn that even India, the 'mithai wallahs' (sweet makers), chefs, and bakers are all starting to incorporate new ingredients like chocolate with their traditional recipes - it can only mean lots more tasty new delights for us to try! It's also a massive inspiration not only for us here at Devnaa, but for everybody to keep being inventive and experimenting with new flavours and ingredients to produce fantastic new combinations that everyone will enjoy. :)

You can read the Times of India chocolate mithai article here. Wishing you all a week of creative cooking, the Devnaa team :) xx

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Recipe: Date and Coconut Roulade

The penultimate recipe from Devnaa's free recipe booklet 'Sugar and Spice, Volume 2' - Date and Coconut Roulade. This is something that I remember Mum making from when I was really young, a quick and easy recipe that everyone loved. I hope you enjoy it as much as we all do :)

Date and Coconut Roulade

Mum’s infamous ‘Khajur Roll’ recipe with an added chocolate twist from me! I can remember this delicious, guilt free sweet being served up at family parties from ever since I was tiny – everybody loved it as it contained no added sugar or fat, just an intense amount of flavourful dried fruit and nuts. It’s such a versatile recipe – not only can you substitute in any type of nut you like but it can also be made with most varieties of dried fruits or even extracts. Here, in true Devnaa form, I’ve added some dark chocolate to complement the fruitiness of the dates.

250g Dried, Pitted Dates
3 tblsp Ground Pistachio Nuts (coarse)
3 tblsp Ground Almonds (coarse)
2 tblsp Roughly Chopped Dark Chocolate
5 tblsp Desiccated Coconut

  • Crumble the dates into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute to 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the dates are soft enough to mash.
  • Mash with the back of a spoon.
  • Beat in the nuts followed by the chocolate.
  • Lay a sheet of cling film on your work surface and turn the date mixture out on top.
  • Sprinkle the coconut on top.
  • Use the cling film to help you carefully roll the mixture into a tight roulade – start from either the right or left edge and slowly wrap the mixture over and around itself.
  • Wrap the roulade tightly in the cling film and refrigerate for a minimum of 1 hour.
  • Cut the roulade into 1cm slices.
  • Garnish with more coconut if desired and serve at room temperature.
You can find the complete booklet via our Facebook page, or see our Twitter page to keep up with all our latest news. :) x

Monday, 16 April 2012

Recipe: Indian Inspired Flapjacks

Happy Monday Everyone! Presenting the fourth recipe from our free recipe booklet, 'Devnaa's Sugar & Spice: Volume 2' - Indian Inspired Flapjacks. Think deliciously crunchy-on-the-outside, chewy-on-the-inside flapjacks or cereal bars, given an exotic twist with distinct Indian flavours, perfect for breakfast or a snack at any time of the day. As usual, this recipe is suitable for vegetarians and alcohol free.

Indian Inspired Flapjacks


Flapjacks are fantastic in that they can be made with so many different inclusions resulting in a myriad of different flavours. I have heard of people using lots of different types of fresh and dried fruits, left over cereal, nuts, eggs, flour, spices, basically anything that you find left over and don’t know what else to do with! These Indian inspired flapjacks are probably more inspired by what you find in the back of a store cupboard living in an Indian household! They make excellent breakfast snacks – oats and dark sugars release energy slowly so they’ll keep you full for hours and they taste delicious too!

60g Pistachio Nuts
350g Oats
80g Dried Apricots
20g Desiccated Coconut
½ tsp Ground Cardamom
250g Salted Butter
80g Golden Syrup
200g Jaggery (or brown/Demerara sugar)

  • Pre heat your oven to gas mark 2/150C/300F and grease a 20cm x 30cm baking dish (I use my grill pan).
  • Dry roast the pistachio nuts in a frying pan over a medium heat until they are green and fragrant, this will take about 5 minutes.
  • Leave them aside to cool.
  • In the meantime measure out the oats in a large mixing bowl.
  • Chop the apricots into approximately 1cm chunks and add them to the oats along with the coconut and cardamom.
  • Roughly chop the roasted pistachio nuts, add these to the oat mixture and stir all of these ingredients together so that they are really well combined.
  • In a large saucepan (bear in mind you’ll be stirring the oats into this saucepan later so it should be sufficiently big!) gently heat the butter, golden syrup and jaggery or sugar over a medium heat, stir occasionally .
  • When the butter and sugars are melted, golden and bubbling add the oats to the pan.
  • Turn off the heat and mix everything together making sure that all of the oats are coated in the melted sugar.
  • Press the mixture into the prepared baking dish and bake for 40 minutes or until lightly golden on top
  • Cool on a wire rack f.or 15 minutes before cutting into 12 pieces, do not remove the pieces from the pan yet or they will fall apart!
  • When the flapjacks have completely cooled gently remove them from the pan.
  • Serve at room temperature or store in an air tight container until required.
I hope you enjoy the recipe, don't forget you can find the complete booklet here via our Facebook page, or see our Twitter page to keep up with all our latest news. :) x

Thursday, 12 April 2012

Recipe: Malai Ful Khaja (Indian Sweet)

Here's the third recipe from our free recipe booklet, 'Devnaa Sugar and Spice: Volume 2'. This recipe is a slight twist on the tradition 'Khaja' as it uses store bought filo pastry instead of the laborious home made version. Not only is is a lovely sweet offering but it's a different way of using 'paneer' (home made cottage cheese).


Malai Ful Khaja

The south Asian take on the Middle Eastern Baklava, ‘Ful Khaja’ can often be found in traditional Indian sweet shops. I often find that people are just astounded by the look of these before they even try them as they look so pretty! ‘Ful’ means flower and these sweets are named so as they are baked into little floral shapes which look impressive but are actually quite easy to do. These are normally made without the paneer and using rose water instead of orange in the syrup but the paneer adds a little moisture and another texture to the sweet and for me, the orange just makes a refreshing, citrusy change!


For the Paneer:

2L Milk

2 tblsp Lemon Juice


75g Coarsely Ground Pistachio Nuts

300g Caster Sugar

4 x 48cm by 25cm Filo Pastry Sheets

 For the Orange Blossom Syrup:

4tblsp Clarified Butter/Ghee (melted)

250ml Orange Blossom Water

  • Start by making the paneer – Prepare a colander by lining it with a cheese cloth and place it in the sink, ready to pour the hot milk into.
  • Bring the milk to a boil in a heavy based pan placed over a medium heat.
  • As soon as the milk comes to a rolling boil stir in the lemon juice to split the milk.
  • After about 20 seconds you should see the milk solids separate and the liquid become slightly green in colour pour the entire contents of the pan through the lined sieve.
  • Wash the paneer with cold water, tie up the cheesecloth to enclose the milk solids and tie the cloth so that it hangs from the tap to let all the excess water drain away.
  • Leave to drain for at least one hour.
  • In the meantime prepare the filo pastry - Place  a sheet of filo pastry on a greased baking sheet and brush with a tablespoon of the melted butter.
  • Layer the remaining three sheets of pastry on top of the first one, making sure to generously brush with butter melted butter between each sheet but leave the top sheet dry.
  • Cut the filo into 8cm x 8cm squares.
  • Pre heat oven to gas mark 6/200C/400F.
  • When the paneer is dry place it in a blender with 150g of the sugar and pulse to form a smooth paste..
  • Place 2 teaspoons of the paneer mixture in the centre of a filo square and press down to form a level rough square, leaving approximately a 1cm border of pastry around the edges of the paneer.
  • Fold the corners of the pastry in towards the middle of the paneer square and gently press down so that you have a wrapped parcel of paneer.
  • Repeat with all of the filo squares.
  • Bake for 15 minutes until almost cooked and then remove from the oven.
  • You will notice that the parcels have opened up and the paneer has shrunk down leaving the top of each parcel with a bit of space, fill each one with the ground pistachio nuts and return to the oven for about 5 more minutes or until golden and crisp.
  • While the ful khaja are baking prepare the orange syrup – place the orange water in a pan with the remaining sugar and place over a medium heat.
  • Allow the syrup to reduce by two thirds so that you have a thick, sticky sweet orange syrup to coat your ful khaja in.
  • When the khaja are baked carefully drizzle the syrup generously over each on and leave aside to cool.
  • Serve at room temperature.
You can find the full recipe booklet here or via our Facebook and Twitter pages. :) x

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Recipe: Apricot and Coconut Truffles

As mentioned on yesterday's blog, this week I'll be posting recipes from the second edition of Devnaa's free recipe booklet 'Sugar & Spice'. Here's part 2, apricot and coconut white chocolate truffles. These innocent treats are easy to make, completely vegetarian, low in sugar and do not contain any alcohol, there's no reason not to try them! :)

Following on from the date and orange truffles inspired by Mum, I thought I would try something similar with dried apricots as they are another popular Indian flavour. Dried apricot can be quite tart and I find that the coconut in this recipe softens that sharpness beautifully and the creamy sweetness of the white chocolate is delicious! These complement the date and orange truffles really well so I’d suggest make a batch of each and serve them together, your friends will be delighted!

100g Soft, Dry Apricots (pitted)
1 tblsp Double Cream
2 tblsp Desiccated Coconut
100g White Chocolate (roughly chopped)

  • Place the apricots in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until they are soft enough to mash
  • Place the softened apricots in a blender with the cream and coconut
  • Pulse until the mixture has turned into fairly smooth, thick paste
  • Divide this mixture into about 12 equal pieces and roll these into smooth balls
  • Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted, runny and glossy
  • Dip the apricot balls in chocolate to cover, do not worry if they are not perfect, and then transfer them to a plate lined with greaseproof paper
  • Keep the extra chocolate aside
  • When the dipped truffles are dry to the touch, warm the excess chocolate from before until it is glossy and runny again
  • Dip the truffles a second time to ensure a fairly even coating of chocolate
  • Transfer to greaseproof paper to set and garnish with chopped pistachio nuts or extra desiccated coconut to decorate
  • Allow to set in a cool place, serve at room temperature.
Don't forget you can find the complete booklet here or via our Facebook and Twitter pages. xx

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Recipe: Date and Orange Truffles

Hello Everyone!

I trust you all had a fabulous Easter weekend despite the damp and gloomy weather we saw here in England - hopefully all the chocolate made for sunnier times!

On Easter Sunday we uploaded the second edition of the free Devnaa recipe booklet 'Sugar and Spice' and this week I'll be uploading each of the recipes to our blog too - starting with this quick and simple recipe for dark chocolate, date and orange truffles, enjoy! :)

Inspired by Mum’s traditional date mithai (Indian sweets) these are like grown up versions of chocolate truffles, loved amongst the older generation of my family as they contain very little added sugar and instead take their flavour from the naturally sweet dates and orange in the filling. These are really easy to make and are delicious served at family gatherings, especially around Christmas time.

100g Dried, Pitted Dates
1 tbsp Double Cream
1 tbsp Orange Blossom Water
½ tsp Ground Cardamom
2 tsp Finely Grated Orange Zest
75g Dark Chocolate (roughly chopped)

  • Crumble the dates into a microwave safe bowl and heat for 1 minute to 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the dates are soft enough to mash
  • Place the softened dates in a blender with the cream and orange water
  • Pulse until the mixture has turned into fairly smooth, thick paste
  •   Fold in the cardamom and 1 teaspoon of the orange zest
  • Divide this mixture into about 12 to 15 equal pieces and roll them into smooth balls
  • Place the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl and heat for 30 seconds at a time, stirring in between, until the chocolate is melted, runny and glossy
  • Dip the date balls in chocolate to cover and then transfer them to a plate lined with greaseproof paper
  • Whilst the chocolate is still wet sprinkle the remaining teaspoon of orange zest on top of the truffles to garnish
  • Allow to set in a cool place, serve at room temperature.
The full recipe booklet can be found here or via our Facebook and Twitter pages.

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

A No-Bake, Egg-Free, Gorgeous Layered Pudding Cake

Over the last 2 weeks Jay has been regularly posting links on our Twitter page to some delicious recipes we've come accross from fellow bloggers. Whilst we're looking forward to giving all of them a turn in the Devnaa kitchen, this recipe in particular stood out from the crowd and having followed the blogger's suggestion to try it with Nutella instead of Snickers, we discovered an amazing egg free recipe we had to pass on.

Originally posted by 'Bakers Royale' we make the Nutella version of their 'Snickers Ice Box cake' using their original recipe: and substituting the peanut butter with Nutella, the Graham crackers with Digestives (because Graham crackers aren't easily available in London), and the Snickers on top with Fererro Rochers. It's delicious, egg - free and simple, we love it! Thank you Bakers Royale! :)