With the festive season on us, I have been thinking and craving to create some Indian fusion dessert. Not the traditional desserts likerice kheer, gajar halwa or gulab jamun but something new and exciting- combination of Indian flavours with the hint of western taste. Soon after I received dark chocolate range from Islands my thinking process became busier because I knew I wanted to create an Indian inspired sweet from Islands Chocolate. But to that we will get later, let me first introduce you to this brand called Islands.
Islands are on a mission to change people's understanding of chocolate, championing a much more sustainable, long-term, 'seed-to-bar' movement. Because although 'bean-to-bar' used to be enough (importing cocoa beans and turning them into chocolate in the west), it was never transparent enough for Wilf Marriott (the founder). After a lot of research and hard work, Islands was born giving us much more than just a chocolate. They are offering a completely different package; a better one- more complex flavours and greater range of products.
Islands have all my heart in terms of sustainability. From the packaging, to inner wrapper everything is biodegradable and that is such a huge factor to choose Islands as my favourite chocolatier. They promote good farming practices that are profitable, environmentally sound and good for communities. Unlike most, they know for a fact that their cocoa is sustainably and ethically produced - because they grow it themselves!
And if you see the names of the chocolate bars, it is all so creative and innovative too. But hey, that’s not enough, on the packaging they have a barcode which if you scan on spoitfy you can listen to the music related to that particular chocolate-interesting isn’t it? So, now you understand why the names are related to music such as Smooth Operator, Midnight Mover, Disco Dancer and Rhythm Of The Night. I am blown away with their imagination and inspirational qualities in terms on design, environment friendliness and taste. Didn’t I tell you- It’s not just a chocolate. The whole experience is fun!!!
55% Dark Chocolate
Smooth and creamy
65% Dark Chocolate
Hint of banana
75% Dark Chocolate
Hint of raisin
100% Dark Chocolate
Rich and intense flavour
Very strong cocoa notes
I tried two of Islands chocolate so far- 55% and 100% dark chocolate. I wanted to try two very contradictory chocolates, so one is on the sweeter side while the other one is very extremely dark. As the name suggest, the 55% Smooth Operator was silky, smooth and has a beautiful milk dark chocolate shine to it. It melts in your mouth like a dream and leaves your tongue asking for more.
I am not lying but this was the first time I tried 100% dark chocolate. I have heard so many reaction stories about it that it is extremely bitter and you will not be able to tolerate it. To my surprise, I loved every bit of it. So rich and pure, smooth and loaded with cocoa flavours. Yes its bitter, but it’s something that you will savour just like an espresso shot. . I mean that’s what a good unadulterated 100% dark chocolate should taste like.
I used the combination of both of the above mentioned chocolates and created this Dates Chocolate Fudge. The sweetness from the dates balances the bitterness of the chocolate just so right and apt that you are left with enticing dessert on your table. I let the part of each chocolate to melt in with the warm dates and then also left some chocolate chunks with other nuts to provide the missing crunch to otherwise plain fudge.
Why should you try this recipe?
- Takes only 5 minutes to make
- Sugar free
- No added fat such as butter, ghee, oil or cream
- Contains goodness of nuts
- Crowd pleaser, looks so beautiful that no one will believe its homemade
- A great gifting idea
What is fudge? What is fudge called in Hindi? Is fudge and chocolate same thing?
Fudge is a type of a sugar candy made by heating sugar, butter and milk. No, chocolate and fudge is not the same thing. Chocolate is also a kind of candy but made with cocoa. Fudge is called as barfi or burfi in Hindi in India.
What does fudge or burfi tastes like? How many kinds of fudge are there?
Big sugar crystals make the fudge taste and look grainy just like our Indian dessert Kalakand where as tiny sugar crystals results in creamier version just like peda. There are tons of flavours available for fudge- caramel, plain, peanut butter, marshmallow, walnut, maple but chocolate remains the most popular one.
Dates Burfi or Khajur Ki Barfi is so easy to make and you can try many variations. I wanted to make it into roll shaped, like discs, the ones we get in Indian mithaiwala (sweet) shops during festive season such as Diwali, Holi, Navratri or Dussehra.
You can add as many kinds of nuts or seeds in this recipe such as almonds (badam), cashews (kaju), walnuts (akroth), melon seeds (karbuje ke beech), sunflower seeds or even sesame seeds (til). This recipe uses very basic ingredients and I haven’t used any milk powder, condensed milk or sugar. You can shape it whichever way you like. You can make into ladoo or peda, you can use a cookie cutter to shape it into heart, diamond or triangle. Or you serve it as halwa too. So if like me you have dates in your fridge and you are wondering what to do with it then you have to try this Sugar Free Dates Nutty Chocolate Fudge Barfi.
1 cup dates
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
6 pieces of dark chocolate (I used 100%, you can use 60% to 80% too)
6 pieces of milk chocolate (I used 55%)
Deseed the dates and chop finely.
Also chop almonds, cashews and pistachios in smaller chunks.
Chop three pieces of each milk chocolate and dark chocolate.
Heat pan on a medium heat and roast sesame seeds for 1 minute till you get the nutty aroma.
Add dates in the same pan and keep stirring it. You will see that initially it is very difficult to stir dates but as dates starts releasing moisture it will become easier. Around 1 minute
Add chopped cashews and almonds and keep stirring. Also add chocolate pieces that you did not chop and let it melt with the mixture. Keep stirring for 1 minute till you feel mixture is mixed well.
Let the mixture cool down a bit. When you are able to tolerate the heat on your palms, mix chopped chocolate in it. Chocolate might start melting but that’s okay, some chunks will remain.
Divide the mixture into two parts and shape it into a log. Roll the logs on the chopped pistachios.
Place the log on an aluminium foil. Wrap it tightly. And set it in the refrigerator for 2 hours to set.
After 2 hours, remove the foil and cut them into ½ cm thick round disc.
You can use the same recipe and make it without chocolate too.
You can also use white chocolate or milk chocolate or even chocolate chips in the recipe.
Feel free to add any kinds of nuts or seeds in the recipe such as walnut, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and pecan nuts.