Tuesday, October 27, 2020

Dates Chocolate Fudge | Khajur Burfi | Sugar Free Dates Chocolate Barfi | Diwali Sweet

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!!!

Smooth Operator:

 55% Dark Chocolate

Smooth and creamy

Caramel undertones

Disco Dancer:

65% Dark Chocolate


Citric notes

Hint of banana

Midnight Mover:

75% Dark Chocolate


Fruity notes

Hint of raisin

Rythm Of The Night:

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

10 almonds

10 cashews

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%)

5 pistachios


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.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

Chocolate Chai Latte | Chocolate Chai Tea | Full Proof Recipe | Lots Of Tips & Variations


Who else can feel that nip in the air in the London weather? Well, I certainly can and that means I will be looking for comfort in a cup. To explain more, a hug in a cup means - good chai, good coffee or a good cup of hot chocolate. And ever since Moma Foods have sent me their Oat Milk tetra packs for taste, I have been sipping a lot of cups of Indian masala chai, dalgona coffee and hot cocoa.

I have tasted vegan milk range before, such as almond milk, soya milk, cashew milk but never oats milk. So when I was approached to try Oats Milk from Moma Food, I was so excited to give it a try. Every time you google or ask someone –what’s the most healthy breakfast, -the answer is always oats. Now imagine, even having your first drink of the day like coffee or tea also made with oats milk-healthy and interesting isn’t it!!

At Moma Foods they milk an oat. Yes-right! They know oats well and with lot of research they produced delicious, nutritious and incredibly tasty milk from oats.  They use wholegrain best quality oats, which are packed with good-for-you fibres like beta-glucan. Oats milk helps to maintain cholesterol levels for a healthy heart. Bonus, they then doubled the goodness by adding calcium and vitamins D, B2 and B12. So this milk is as good as any dairy milk without hurting the animals. How cool is that.

They have two varieties of Oat Milk at the moment. The Original Edition – Unsweetened Oat Drink which is creamy & versatile oat drink that's perfect for hot drinks, recipes, cereal & more. Made with wholegrain oats. The second one The Barista Edition – Unsweetened Oat Drink. This one’s for all you baristas out there – in your coffee shops and in your kitchens. An oat drink carefully crafted to work perfectly in every coffee creation. Coffee connoisseurs rejoice – here’s a creamy oat drink you can foam, froth, steam and splash into any cup of coffee.

I am just so pleased with Barista Edition Unsweetened Oat Drink. I used it make my morning Indian Chai, evening coffee and also pour it in Indian gravy curries and it proved to be outstanding every time. It has no strong taste or smell-it is so good that I don’t believe it is made out of such a healthy ingredient –Oats! Foaming this milk is so easy too, I just pour some in jar, gave it a shake and there it was-creamy frothy milk foam ready.

And that’s why I was tempted to try Chocolate Chai Tea Starbucks style at home. As soon as the winter peeps in, Chocolate Chai Tea is sold in almost popular cafe such as Barista, Costa Coffee, ___ and since due to Covid-19 we are avoiding going out, I created it at home. The Moma Foods Barista Oats Milk was just so perfect for it.

What is Chai Tea?

Chai Tea is nothing but Indian Masala Chai. Tea made with loose tea powder, milk, sugar, water and some spices such as cinnamon, star anise, cardamom and or ginger.

Is Chai Tea and Chai Latte same?

Yes, I will say so. Chai Latte is just a fancy name used in cafes. Aparently there is no difference between chai tea and chai latte, just that chai latte is made using tea bags and is much milder on spices.

What is Chai Latte tastes like?

It is sweet, and has a tint of spicy flavour due to nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon and cardamom. A lot of versions are available for chai latte too-such as using vanilla, pumpkin spice, mint and chocolate.

What is Dirty Chai? What is double Dirty Chai?

Dirty Chai is Chai Latte with a shot of espresso in it. Yes, combination of chai and coffee (who thought). Double Dirty Chai is double shots of espresso in masala Chai Latte. To tell you a little secret, no cafes have dirty chai on their menus, you need to ask for a chai latte with an added shot of espresso. Starbucks does the best Dirty Chai.

Today’s recipe is about Chocolate Chai Tea. A beautiful combination of chocolate and chai. If like me you love chocolate and chai both to the core, this recipe is for you. Its sooooo good-I promise.

Do Chocolate and Chai go together?

Hell yeah! Sweetness from chai and creaminess of the milk, balances the bitter strong taste of chocolate very well and it’s nothing but pure indulgence.

What chocolate to use in Chocolate Chai Tea?

It depends on your preference. I used mix of unsweetened cocoa powder and hot chocolate. You can use dark chocolate, milk chocolate or even white chocolate.

Is Chocolate Chai Tea healthy? What are the healthy variations?

Chocolate Chai Tea is not healthy and I would recommend having it every day. It is a luxury treat; you must have it here and there, when you need that ‘hug in a cup’. It has sugar, milk, chocolate-all rich in fat and high calories, so what can be the healthy variations? First of all ditch full fat dairy milk, opt for healthy alternatives such as skimmed milk, almond milk, soya milk or oats milk. Try not to lather the chai with heavy whipped cream or chocolate sauce or chocolate chips. Basically avoid adding more sugary stuff.

What styles or types of Chocolate Chai Tea can you make?

Oh, there are so many options to upgrade your chocolate chai tea at home.

·         Add mint powder or use mint chocolate to make minty style chocolate chai tea.

·         Use a hint of pumpkin spice, and you have your Halloween autumn style pumpkin chocolate chai tea ready.

·         Need a little spicy kick? Sprinkle some chilli flakes or uses Chilli Chocolate to make this.

·         Pour in caramel sauce or salted caramel sauce if that is what you fancy.

What makes good Chai Latte or Chai Tea or Chocolate Chai Tea?

Being an Indian, I know the true meaning of good chai. A good masala Indian desi chai is an emotion.

·         Use good quality tea. We use lose tea at home. Indian brand called Bhagbakri. It’s strong and just right in terms of colour and aroma. If you want that strong (karak, kadak) chai then you will need to add in extra tea bags because tea bags are very light in taste.

·         Use spices, whole spices. There are tons of options to choose from. Use a mix of spicy sharp ones such as clove, nutmeg, black pepper or ginger and the ones that are delicate such as cardamom, cinnamon or star anise.

·         Tea and chocolate must be used in the same quantity. I don’t like overpowering taste of one. I like the balancing taste of chocolate and tea both in my cup. If you prefer either of it more or less, adjust accordingly.

·         I recommend using a mix of unsweetened cocoa powder and hot chocolate. Cocoa powder will give tough bitter chocolaty taste, while hot chocolate will increase the silkiness because of the ingredients in it.

·         Finally, have patience. Let it boil and simmer.


2 cups water

4 teaspoons tea powder (8 tea bags)

2 teaspoons sugar

4 cloves

2 black peppercorn

1 small piece cinnamon

1 cardamom

1 cup milk

2 teaspoons unsweetned cocoa powder

2 teaspoons hot chocolate

Cocoa powder for dusting/sprinkling

1 piece of dark chocolate

5 tablespoons milk to foam (optional)


In a pan or a pot on a medium heat, boil water, tea, sugar, cloves, black peppercorns, cinnamon and cardamom. Boil for 2-3 minutes.

Add in milk, cocoa powder and hot chocolate. Let it boil and simmer on medium heat for around 5 minutes.

Reduce the heat to low and simmer again for 2-3 minutes.

In the meantime, take the 5 tablespoons of milk in jar and shake it. It will turn into foam.

Sieve or strain the chocolate chai in your favourite mug.

Pour the foam milk on it.

Garnish it with dusted cocoa powder.

Dip in the piece of the dark chocolate and serve hot.

Disclaimer: I was not paid or told to write positive review. The post is based on my experience and is unbiased. Thanking Moma Food for sending products for review.