Tag Archives: nuts

Nut Filled Chocolates – Home made

 

When I bought this beautiful silicon chocolate mould, my urge to make chocolates soared up..justified isn’t it? Though there is a plan to make chocolate from scratch at home, I chose to make the easier version – nut filled chocolates with available dark chocolate. If you are like me – who doesn’t want the chocolate manufacturers to decide the amount of sugar that you would like to have in your chocolate, then choose chocolates with 90% or 80% cocoa content and add your own bit of sugar to sweeten. Else, just choose your favourite chocolate bar.
  


  

So,first step – feel free to choose your favorite – milk chocolate, white chocolate, dark chocolate with 50-70% cocoa or the bitter lot – 80%-90% cocoa. I chose to combine 80% and 90% cocoa bars, as my family loves bitter chocolate. Any chocolate you use – follow these simple steps to get your own nutty chocolate. Also, choose your own filling – I filled them with almonds and walnuts. Raisins, dates, dried prunes, dried berries, hazelnuts, pecans, peanuts and many more can be suitable variants. For a beginner like me, I thought nuts or dried fruits might be the better fillings than making cream or caramel centres.
  

Nut filled Chocolates – Home made
  


  

Essentials

  1. chocolate mould
  2. two bowls for double-boiling chocolate bar – to melt chocolate on stove
  3. one microwavable bowl – to melt chocolate in microwave

  

Ingredients

  • Chocolate of your choice – milk, white or dark – approximately 200 gms
  • almonds (toasted) – 15 no.s
  • walnuts (toasted) – 15 no.s

  

Method of Preparation

a.  Toast the nuts in oven –

  1. Preheat oven at 175 degrees centigrade and place the tray with nuts and toast initially for 5 minutes.
  2. After 5 minutes, take out and give it a shuffle. This will enable even toasting of nuts on both sides.
  3. Toast again for another 5 minutes.. checking after every 2 minutes. If they are crisp enough before 5 minutes, remove them.

  
b.  Melt the chocolate


  

  1. If using stove, take a pan with half filled water and place another bowl over it. While boiling, water shouldn’t touch the upper bowl.
  2. Place broken pieces of chocolate on the upper bowl and let it melt in the steam of the water in the lower bowl.
  3. If using microwave, place chocolate pieces in a microwavable bowl, and microwave in medium high for 1 minute initially. Take the bowl out, stir and microwave again for 20 seconds.. Repeat the process until chocolate is completely melted.
  4. Be cautious, overdoing might harden the chocolate.

  

c. Filling the chocolate

1. Pour melted chocolate until half of the silicon mould.


  

2. Place nuts inside. Either place almonds alone or combine both.. choice is yours.


  

3. Pour more chocolate to close the mould.


 

  

4. Place in refrigerator for 10 minutes or until firm. If you let to cool by itself, it might take at least half an hour to solidify completely, or even more.


  

5. Remove from moulds once cooled and store in air tight containers in normal temperature or in refrigerator.

Kezhvaragu Kambu Urundai/Ragi-Bajra Laddu/Nutty Millet Sweet Balls

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As children come back from school, the first thing to strike them is HUNGER. While some may have a whole meal, some prefer snacking. When we went to school decades ago (has it been so long??),   school was done by 4.15 and we came back between 4.30 and 5.00, ready to run for other activities.

Then it wasn’t the muffins, fluffy cakes or croissants or the tetra pack juices and ready-made flavored milk that filled our tummies. We never knew white flour/maida based empty calorie – so-called goodies… What an inspiring name for unworthy junk food..(sigh).

Orthodox middle class didn’t know beyond bread and jam, which was white, soft and sugary. It was never a staple then, not even a meal. Bread was initially a sick man’s food – a substitute to kanji which is porridge. The light Kanji, which is still a breakfast delicacy in many countries in south-east Asia is definitely a healthier option. But soft bread soaked in milk  offered a delightful change to the fever-stricken patient. Hence, the concept of brown bread, 100% atta bread and rye bread were all beyond comprehension. Good for us!

Coming to after-school snacking, different kinds of home-made urundais(sweet balls) and murukkus and other rice-lentil-millet based snacks were given as hunger busters. The beautifully shaped balls and the varied shaped fries offered distinct flavours with different ingredients each time. With the aesthetics and handwork incorporated into these true goodies, they can certainly be compared to an artisan’s handcrafted product.

Those gentle hands that caressed the young ones with warmth were strong enough to create these healthy snacks not only with pure love but with pure nei/ghee/clarified butter too!

 

kezhvaragu/finger millet


So, in honour of mothers and grandmothers who did their homework well to keep us healthy, fit and immune,  this post is a millet based urundai/sweet ball. Since I had finger millet  (ragi) and pearl millet (bajra) powders, I made the urundai with the both combined with roasted Bengal gram.

While winter is on the way, I also added nuts to it. Summer or Winter, Nuts definitely contribute to the higher nutrient value of the Urundais. Roasted bengal gram and roasted nuts are powdered here and they also help in better binding of the sweet balls with clarified butter (nei).

 

kambu/pearl millet


For nutritional facts of Kezhvaragu/Finger Millet please refer Kezhvaragu Dosai/Finger Millet Pancakes

For nutritional facts of Kambu/Pearl Millet please refer Kambu Dosai/Pearl Millet Pancakes
Kezhvaragu Kambu Nei Urundai/Nutty Finger Millet and Pearl Millet Sweet Balls

 

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Ingredients (makes appr. 25)

nuts and sugar-

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roasted gram and millet flours-

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  • kezhvaragu/finger millet/ragi powder – 1 cup
  • kambu/pearl millet/bajra powder – 1 cup
  • pottukadalai/roasted bengal gram/chutney dal – 1/2 cup powdered
  • assorted nuts – almonds, pistachios, walnuts and cashew nut – 1/2 cup – roasted and powdered
  • sarkkarai/sugar powder – 2 cups
  • elakkai/cardamom/elaichi –  cloves
  • chukku podi/dry ginger powder – 1 1/2 tsp
  • nei/ghee – 1 cup melted appr.

Method of Preparation

 

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  1. Dry roast finger millet and pearl millet powders together in a pan
  2. Dry roast the assorted nuts and powder them in a blender
  3. Powder the Roasted Bengal Gram with elaichi
  4. Mix the roasted millet powders, powdered roasted bengal gram, powdered nuts, powdered sugar and dry ginger powder in a big bowl
  5. Heat the nei/clarified butter in a separate pan
  6. Pour a teaspoon of nei into the combined flour. If the ghee forms bubbles its hot enough to make balls
  7. When the clarified butter is hot enough pour into the flour and mix well with a spatula
  8. Start making medium-sized balls
  9. Once done, let them cool and store in an air-tight container.

Notes:

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  1. Millet powders are readily available in super markets across India.
  2. Powdered nuts are optional.
  3. Another option is to coarsely grind the nuts fora crunchy taste in the Urundais/sweet balls.
  4. Since I had powdered palm sugar, I used it. If one has unrefined cane sugar or very pure jaggery powder without mud, these can be used too.  Easily available white sugar can be powdered and used.