Quite true to my Bengali genes I have got a sweet tooth.Give me any thing sweet be it Bengal’s own roshogolla,ledikini, kheer kodombo , mishti doi or anything sweet which is not so Bengali like a fudge cake,cookie dough ice cream,chocolate brownie or a caramel flan – I am ready to dig in .Since the past 4 years of my stay in England I have had enough chance to try different forms of western dessert while the frequent trips back to India (Kolkata to be specific) were just not sufficient enough to sooth my Bengali mishti craving.True to the saying ”necessity is the mother of invention” one day I finally gave in to my Bengali sweet craving and decided to try my hand at making a Bengali sweet at home.While surfing through videos on YouTube I came across this video and the idea of making a fusion chocolate shondesh dawned upon me!
This fusion sweet is very dear to my heart, perfectly unites the best possible combination of chocolate from the west and mishti from the east,quite like us those who live miles away from the home land, soaking in the foreign culture yet cant give away their traditional root.
Recipe for Chocolate Shondesh
For the making of Shondesh
Full fat milk : 3 litre
Khoya/Milk Solids : 1/2 cup (optional)
Sugar : 1 to 1 and 1/2 cup
Lemon juice : 4 lemon
Cocoa Powder : 4 heaped tablespoon
For garnishing the Shondesh
Chocolate bar- 150 gm
Double Cream- 100 ml
Sugar : 1/4 cup
Choice of nuts : Pistachio/Cashew
Method of making Shondesh
1)Boil the milk in a heavy bottomed pan at medium heat stirring occasionally .When the milk starts boiling add the lemon juice and increase the flame little bit to enhance coagulation.As soon as the milk starts to curdle and whey is separated from the curd turn of the heat,otherwise the chenna(paneer)will become stiff.Drain the whey from the milk fat by using a strainer lined with a cheesecloth or muslin cloth for about 10 minutes.
2)Once the chenna is drained place it in a clean and dry surface. With the heel of the palm knead it well till it rolls into a smooth soft dough.
3)Put the chenna dough in a heavy bottomed flat plan along with sugar, khoya/milk solids(if using) and cocoa powder.Keep stirring it continuously to remove the raw taste of chenna for about 5-6 minutes at a very low flame(some time putting of the flame in between if required) to avoid burning of the mixture.If you want to make a ‘norom pak'(softer version) shondesh then don’t keep it on flame for a very long time.
4)Take the mix, of the pan and mould them or give desired shaped when still little warm.
5) For making the garnishing, in a double boiler take the cream , chocolate bar by breaking it into small chunks and sugar,simmering slowly while stirring continuously .Once the chocolate has melted,spoon the hot chocolate ganache in the centre of the shondesh by making a small well with the tip of your finger.Dust it with your choice of crushed nuts.
You can refrigerate this in an airtight box,however, preferably serve this at room temperature. Shondesh tastes best when it is served fresh or after being refrigerated for just a few hours.
- Double boiler– A double boiler can be made by placing a bowl on top of a pot containing simmering water. In this case double boiler is used to avoid burning of the chocolate in direct contact with heat.
- Garnishing can be done simply by drizzling the chocolate ganache on top of the shondesh or by sprinkling chocolate sprinklers or cocoa powder or drinking chocolate.
- Adding Khoya or milk solids to this shondesh only adds to the taste,however, it is not a compulsory ingredient.
- This recipe will make about 24 shondesh
- Bong Appetite’s tips : The best way to enjoy this shondesh is to serve it at room temperature or slightly chilled with the chocolate ganache bit lukewarm and done just before serving