For those of you who don’t know, I’m not just a Cocoa Nut, but a Spice Scribe to boot. So show me any edible that cleverly combines my loves for chocolate and Indian food, 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.
As part of this year’s Curry For Change campaign, Find Your Feet fans like yours truly were asked to roll up our sleeves to create a dish both Indian-inspired and truly showstopping in order to help the charity’s partnered communities. The sole stipulation? To use three of the Natco ingredients from a selection sent within the recipe.
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.
The Bombay Bad Boy
The most oddly-excellent, Indian-inspired chocolate cheesecake you’d (n)ever imagine…
Serves 8 people like me; possibly up to 12 regular non-gluttons.
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
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:
- 300g good-quality dark chocolate
- 1 tbsp cocoa powder
- 30ml mustard oil
- 50g powdered jaggery
- Sea salt
- 1kg full-fat yogurt, strained overnight to yield 500g ‘curd’
- 1oog Natco coconut milk powder
- 50g Natco Balti peanuts, chopped
- 50g raisins
- Handful of Bombay Mix
- Choc-coated phool makhana (see ‘To gild the lily’)
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 until set.
- 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.
- To find out more about Find Your Feet and the #CurryForChange campaign, click here.
- To view the full post on Culinary Adventures of The Spice Scribe, click here.
- Follow @FindYourFeet on Twitter and ‘Like’ Find Your Feet on Facebook.