Nov 11, 2020

Indian fusion Truffles | Diwali Truffles

Wishing everyone a wonderful Diwali this year. Despite all the pandemic chaos, lack of get togethers, parties or celebrations I still decided to celebrate by making some treats to share with neighbors and close friends. I love making Fusion desserts. An example are these Gajar Halwa Chocolates that I made couple years ago. This time I decided to try some Indian fusion flavored truffles using both white chocolate and semi-sweet chocolate.

I took a whole lot of pics, too many as usual, so I may papparize this post with some of those, let the pics do the talking huh... ;-)

I made one batch of white chocolate ganache and divided them to make two different flavored truffles: Kesar Pista and Rose

Similarly made another single batch of Chocolate Ganache and divided them to form 2 different flavored truffles : Almond Joy and Chocolate Orange

I personally felt each truffle flavor came out better than I had expected. Can't wait to try more flavors. Let’s get to making these shall we? :-)

White Chocolate Ganache for Truffles

You’ll Need

2 cups White chocolate chips

½ cup Heavy Cream


1.       Heat heavy cream in a saucepan until it just begins to boil and pour it over the chocolate chips.

2.       Let it stand for 2 mins and then mix gently until all the white chocolate chips melt and form a smooth flowy ganache.

3.       Divide the ganache in two bowls equally.


We will now make Kesar pista flavored truffles and Rose flavored truffles from each bowl of white chocolate ganache respectively.

Kesar Pista Truffles

(makes 14)

You’ll need

1 batch White chocolate ganache

1-2 teaspoons Kesar or Saffron strands

1 teaspoon Water/Cream

¼ teaspoon Kesar essence (optional)

Few drops of Yellow food coloring (optional)

For pista filling:

2 Tablespoons crushed pistachios

2 teaspoon powdered sugar

1 Tablespoon Almond flour

Few drops Water

For garnish

1 cup crushed pistachios


Prepare the kesar flavored ganache

1.       Crush kesar (saffron) slightly with your fingers.

2.       Soften the saffron by warming kesar and water in a microwave for 10 seconds

3.       Add this kesar to the slightly warm white chocolate ganache. (If more flavor is required add kesar essence.)

4.       Use yellow food coloring for a vibrant color (optional)

5.       Allow the ganache to cool and set in the refrigerator for 2hours.

Prepare the pistachio filling

1.       Mix together all the ingredients with few drops of water, just enough to form a smooth and sticky dough.

2.       Grease both palms with oil/ghee and form small ¼ teaspoon sized balls of the pistachio filling. This will be added to the center of the kesar truffles once the ganache sets.

Make the Kesar Pista truffles

1.       Once the ganache has set, use a teaspoon to scoop enough ganache to form the truffle.

2.       Grease both palms with oil/ghee and roll the truffle.

3.       Make a small indent in the center and place the pista filling in the center and roll back to form a smooth round truffle.

4.       Roll each truffle ball into the crushed pistachios and place on a plate.

5.       Refrigerate the Kesar Pista truffles to set completely.


Rose Truffles

(makes 14)

You’ll Need

1 batch White Chocolate Ganache

2 Tablespoons Gulkhand

Few drops pink food coloring

For garnish

½ cup white chocolate candy melts (outer coating)

crushed dried Red Rose petals 



1.       While the ganache is still warm, add gulkhand and few drops of pink food coloring and mix well to combine.

2.       Allow the ganache to cool and set for 2hours in refrigerator.

3.       Once the ganache has set, use a teaspoon to scoop out the ganache to form the truffles.

4.       Grease your palms with oil/ghee to smoothly roll the truffles.

5.       Melt white chocolate candy melts until smooth, roll each rose truffle with the white chocolate and place on parchment paper.

6.       Garnish with crushed dried rose petals.

7.       Refrigerate the Rose truffles to set completely.




Chocolate Ganache for Truffles

You’ll Need

2 cups Semi-sweet or Dark chocolate chips

½ cup Heavy Cream


1.       Heat heavy cream in a saucepan until it just begins to boil and pour it over the chocolate chips.

2.       Let it stand for 2 mins and then mix gently until all the white chocolate chips melt and form a smooth flowy ganache.

3.       Divide the ganache in two bowls equally.

We will now make Almond Joy flavored truffles and Chocolate Orange flavored truffles from each bowl of chocolate ganache respectively.


Almond Joy Truffles

(makes 12)

You’ll Need

1 batch Chocolate Ganache

2 tablespoon roasted and crushed Almonds

For garnish

½ cup sweet Coconut flakes



1.       Add the crushed almonds into the chocolate ganache while its still warm and mix to combine well.

2.       Allow the chocolate ganache to now cool and set in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

3.       Once the ganache has cooled and thickened, scoop out enough ganache using a teaspoon to form small truffles as desired.

4.       Grease both palms with oil/ghee to smoothly roll the truffles.

5.       Finally coat the truffle balls into the sweet coconut flakes and refrigerate it again to set completely.


Chocolate Orange Truffles

(makes 12)

You’ll Need

1 batch Chocolate Ganache

1 Tablespoon fresh grated Orange zest

¼ teaspoon Orange essence

For garnish

½ cup Chocolate candy Melts (outer coating)

Edible Gold leaf



1.       Add the orange zest and orange essence into the chocolate ganache while it’s still warm and mix to combine well.

2.       Allow the chocolate orange ganache to now cool and set in the refrigerator for about 2 hours.

3.       Once the ganache has cooled and thickened, scoop out enough ganache using a teaspoon to form small truffles as desired.

4.       Grease both palms with oil/ghee to smoothly roll the truffles.

5.       Melt the candy melts and coat the truffle balls in the melted chocolate and place each truffle on a parchment paper.

6.       Decorate each truffle with edible gold leaf as desired.

7.       Refrigerate the chocolate orange truffles to set completely.



I do hope you will give these a try or create a whole new flavor of your choice and enjoy some and share some and have a wonderful and festive time!! Stay safe and have fun.




Jun 19, 2020

Chocolate Fraisier | Portrait Cake

Manish's cousin Saurav came to US in January this year to complete his BTech final year project. In March we planned for him to come visit us during his college spring break which was from first week of March and a week later Manish's parents and sis were also supposed to come over. A week after Saurav came to Charlotte, the Covid pandemic hit high and cities slowly went into lockdown mode. Manish's parents and sister decided not to travel from LA and slowly everyone had to cancel a lot of plans, including Manish's birthday party which we later celebrated at home. Saurav's college also shut down and then Charlotte went into lockdown so he was pretty much stuck with us. Lol!

So anyways...coming back to Saurav Chetta (as the kids used to call him),  although technically he should be called Saurav Chittappa ;-) It was all a learning game for all of us on how do we survive during a lockdown, online grocery purchases, cooking everything at home, no outings at all and just the art of living at home day n night for weeks together. Over time Saurav Chetta became the new playmate for Appu and Mihi. Although he mostly spent his time in his room studying for upcoming courses and tests, in the evenings everyone would come down and spend time with each other. Once the weather got warm he would go out on bike rides or to play cricket or water fights with them. I got a lot of help in the kitchen with him washing and clearing the dishes, sometimes even assisting me as sou chef when I'm cooking something. Manish got his share of help with grocery clean ups, house clean up and an extra hand for outdoor stuff or just watching the kids. We had a good time inspite of it being lockdown and all.

Saurav chetta and the kids loved making chocolate cakes now and then. All of them are chocoholics. Whenever we had overripe bananas in the house it was mandatory to make Chocolate Banana cake. I would guide them but they used to make the whole cake themselves and even clear up the dirty dishes. Once baked and cooled I would top it with a thin coating of chocolate ganache and they would all enjoy the cake over a couple of days as a snack. Saurav's 1 week vacation with us turned up into a 3½ month stay and we all really enjoyed his company. I hope he did too...Lol!

After a long wait we were finally able to book his return flight back to India on an Air India evacuation flight for Jun16th. So the last few days before his return was spent on making the best of his time here and cooking/baking and eating all kinds of stuff.  I wanted to do a fun little farewell treat for him and the kids, something that was easy and wouldn't take a lot of effort. Trust me this whole quarantine thingy is making me quite lazy in terms of doing elaborate stuff ;-)

Making a Fraisier has been on my mind for a long time now. A Fraisier cake, is derived from the French word “fraise” meaning strawberry. It is a classic French cake that is traditionally comprised of a sponge cake, Génoise, cut in half, soaked with simple syrup, filled with a crème patisserie, with Strawberries arranged on the side and topped with almond paste or ganache. 

Since the kids loved my Chocolate Banana Cake, I decided to make the same Chocolate cake (without the bananas) with Chocolate Mousse filling, as I had whipping cream in hand and ofcourse decorate with strawberries.  

Chocolate Cake

You’ll Need
1¾ cups All-purpose flour
2 cups Sugar
¾ cups Cocoa powder (Used Hershey’s)
2 teaspoons Baking soda
1 teaspoon Baking powder
2 large Eggs (at room temperature)
1 cup Milk
1 cup Hot coffee / Hot water
½ cup Vegetable oil
1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
1 Tablespoon fresh Orange Zest (optional)

1.Pre-heat the oven to 350 F degrees. Grease two 
9-inch round cake pans.  Line them with parchment paper and keep aside.
2. Sift the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, baking powder, and salt into the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment and mix until combined.
3. In another bowl, combine the milk, oil, eggs, and vanilla. With the mixer on low speed, slowly add the wet ingredients into the dry ones. 
4. With the mixer still on low, add the hot coffee (or hot water) and stir just to combine, scraping the bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
5. Add the orange zest and stir to combine. (Orange zest in chocolate cake adds such a bright flavor – totally optional though)
6. Pour the batter evenly into the prepared pans and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.
7. Cool in the pans for 15 minutes, then turn them out onto cooling racks and cool completely.

Chocolate Mousse (Eggless)
You’ll Need
2 cups Heavy Whipping Cream
¾ cup Cocoa powder
1 ½ cups Powdered Sugar (adjust sweetness as per taste)
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoon Gelatin

1. Bloom Gelatin – add 2 teaspoon gelatin powder to ¼ cup cold water and let it set.
2.In the bowl of kitchen mixer, add whipping cream, sift cocoa powder and powdered sugar over it.
3. Using whisk attachment start whisking on low speed until everything is fully incorporated and then increase the speed gradually.
4. When the whipping cream starts to thicken add 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.
5. Warm the gelatin in the microwave for 10-20 secs , just until it becomes liquid.
6. Increase the speed of the mixer to High and pour in the gelatin in a thin streak. Whip until the mousse thickens.

Assembling the Chocolate Fraisier
You’ll need
2 layers of Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Mousse
10-15 equal sized Strawberries (washed and cut in half)
Parchment paper or Acetate cake collar sheets

1.Place one layer of Chocolate Cake on a cake board/serving plate/Cake stand.
2. Carefully and snugly align the parchment paper or acetate sheet around the sides of the cake.
3. Place the halved strawberries in a neat line around the edge of the cake.
4. Fill with Chocolate Mousse until it is level with the height of the strawberries. Fill in the gaps between the strawberries also with mousse.
5. Hold the parchment paper or acetate sheet tightly so that the fillings don’t seep through the sides. (I used a ribbon to keep the parchment paper in place)
6. Place the next layer of cake on top of the mousse very carefully.
7. Refrigerate for several hours until the mousse is set.
8. Once cake is set, carefully take the parchment paper or acetate sheet out.

Now on to an interesting decor idea...making a portrait on the Chocolate Fraisier. This was a fun idea that came to my mind as a perfect little farewell for Saurav. 

A Fraisier by itself is a pretty dessert cake not requiring a lot of frosting or decoration. But I wanted the cake to be even more memorable. I love Silhouette patterns as a cake design so thought instead of a silhouette I'll make a stencil of his face and stencil that on to the cake. 

After I shared pics of the cake I have to say friends from social media hasn't stopped singing praises and I am so glad to share the technique with you. Perhaps you can give it a try for a special occassion of yours. 
This technique can be done on any dessert or cake you wish to celebrate with.

Here's how I went about doing this Portrait cake on the Chocolate Fraisier.
1. Baked two 9" Chocolate cakes (I tweaked my Chocolate Banana Cupcakes slightly).
2. Got the portrait stencil ready.
3. Prepared the Chocolate Mousse filling.
4. Assembled the Fraisier and added the portrait on the cake and refrigerated everything to set overnight. 

How to make a PORTRAIT on a CAKE

Get the image ready
  • Take a picture of the person whose Portrait you want to sketch, where the face is clearly visible. Using a photo editing tool crop out the face.
  • Using the photo editing tool make the image Black and White and increase the contrast so that the image would show only black or white areas of the face. Save this image.
  • Once the image is ready, Print it out to the size required. (here it is printed on a 8x11 sized regular paper)

Tracing the image:
  • Trace over the black portions on the image with a dark pen or pencil - these are the portions you will cut out. 
  • If any areas are not that dark but you feel will add definition to the face, then make markings to cut those areas out. For example: I traced over the nose curve and some areas of the hair and neck. 

Cut out traced portions:
  • Use a sharp exacto knife and carefully cut out all the traced areas. The paper might tear in some spots or smaller areas, just be careful and do clean cuts.
  • I wanted the stencil to be one full piece so even though some areas got separated, once I had cut them out I placed it back together and stuck the ends together with very thin strips of tape.
  • The eye pupils were difficult, so I had to separately make the black pupil and white corners and stuck it with tape. 

Your stencil sheet is now ready.

Get the assembled cake out of the refrigerator. I used parchment paper and a ribbon to keep the parchment paper secured around the cake until the cake was firmly set.

Since it was a Chocolate cake I wanted a lighter shade on top to apply the portrait on. So I applied a thin coating of very light colored chocolate buttercream over the top. Almost like a thin crumb coat, it doesn’t have to be perfect. Chill the cake again until the buttercream has hardened a bit. (I do not have any pics of these steps unfortunately)

Then place the face/portrait stencil sheet over the cake and adjust it such that the good portion of the face comes right in the center.

Use cocoa powder, coffee powder, hot cocoa powder or any dark colored fine grain powder to sift over the stencil sheet onto the cake - I used cocoa powder and a regular tea strainer to slowly sift the cocoa powder all over the cut portions on the stencil making sure it gets a decent yet even layer of the powder.
Very carefully lift the stencil without shaking much and move it aside.


We had a fun little celebration on our patio. Saurav was really surprised and said he felt like a filmstar. It was the perfect cake for his farewell and everyone had a great time!

The cake was a huge hit. Saurav was all over himself seeing his portrait on a cake. The chocolate cake was moist and perfect with a small hint of orange flavor and the creamy mousse was so delicious, you couldn't stop enjoying it. We pretty much ate up half the cake and the kids were fighting for who got Saurav chetta's face ;-) 
We miss Saurav chetta so much and hope he will come back for a visit soon....

Do give this dessert and design a try for your next upcoming celebration and watch the bright smiles on your loved ones faces. This coming sunday is Father's Day...sounds like a perfect time eh!