India’s top chefs share the decadent secrets of their Christmas dessert recipes

It’s not a good Christmas until the dessert plates are scraped clean. And what better excuse than the festivities to whip up these recipes from India’s top chefs?

When they say it’s the most beautiful time of the year, they’re referring to the desserts served during Christmas. 

Traditional Christmas delicacies include a variety of cakes ranging from plum to date-walnut in recent times. However, mulled wine and cake aside, chefs have pushed the bar above and beyond to create some intricate desserts for the season. 

Gone are the days of rum balls (but not really though), it’s the age of truffles, pavlovas and more. When it comes to India, people also choose to devour warm and luxurious halwas, a perfect antidote to the chilly weather. 

With Christmas setting the tone for some homemade vibes, bonding activities just got sweeter with these dessert recipes. There’s also a fun surprise and great side to any of these desserts right at the end. So don those pastry chef hats and fill the halls with the enchanting aroma of your creations!

Suggested read: Six must-try cocktails perfect for every mood this Christmas

Nutty Chocolate Rocks by Master Pâtissier Chef Surendra Negi, Taj Palace, New Delhi

Try your hand at reacreating the nutty chocolate rocks found at taj palace, new delh this christmas season
Try your hand at reacreating the Nutty Chocolate Rocks found at Taj Palace, New Delh this Christmas season

Ingredients

  • 250 gm chocolate (dark / milk / white)
  • Nuts of your choice – cashews, almonds, pistachios, walnuts

Method

  • In a pan, dry roast the nuts over medium flame, until nice and toasted. Be careful not to burn. Allow them the cool.
  • Break the chocolate (each type individually) and microwave for 10 to 15 seconds until melted.
  • Combine the nuts with the chocolate. Cashews, almonds and walnuts work best with dark or milk. Pistachios pair well with white chocolate.
  • Line a tray with foil.
  • Scoop out spoonfuls of the mixture on the foil-lined tray.
  • Refrigerate until set. Serve.

Pavlova by Prasad Metrani, Director of Culinary, Raffles Udaipur

A christmas pavlova is definitely not the norm, but is a delicious offering from raffles udaipur nonetheless
A Christmas Pavlova is definitely not the norm, but is a delicious dessert from Raffles Udaipur nonetheless

Ingredients

  • 2 tsp corn-starch 
  • 4 egg whites (room temperature) 
  • 3/4 cup superfine sugar 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1 tsp vinegar 
  • 1 1/4 cup thick cream
  • Garnish on top: Fresh strawberries, blueberries, red current, mint sprig

Method

  • Preheat the oven to 250 Fahrenheit.
  • Brush a large baking sheet with melted butter or oil. Line the base with butter paper.
  • Dust lightly with sifted corn-starch, shake off excess.
  • Place egg whites in a small dry mixing bowl. Using an electric beater, beat for 1 minute or until soft peaks form.
  • Add the sugar gradually, 3 tsp at a time, beating constantly until the mixture is thick and glossy and all the sugar has dissolved. Add vanilla extract and vinegar, beat until combined.
  • Spread meringue on the prepared baking sheet. Bake 1 and 1/4 hours or until pale and crisp. Cool completely on the tray in the oven, with the door slightly ajar.
  • When the pavlova shell is cooled slide a flat bladed knife underneath and carefully ease pavlova onto a serving plate.
  • Place cream in a mixing bowl. Using electric beaters, beat cream until stiff peaks form. Spread over the top of the cooled Pavlova shell.
  • Garnish with your choice of toppings.

Coconut Chocolate Truffle by Chef Shipra 

Using dark chocolate and coconut milk, these truffled by chef shipra are sure to win your family's heart
Using dark chocolate and coconut milk, these truffles by Chef Shipra are sure to win your family’s heart

Ingredients

  • 200 gm unsweetened dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup extra virgin coconut oil
  • ½ cup coconut milk, full fat
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • ¼ tsp sea salt 
  • 2 tbsp honey/maple syrup 
  • ½ cup coconut flakes 

Method

  • Create a double boiler, and melt the chocolate and coconut oil together by whisking continuously. 
  • Slowly incorporate the coconut oil while whisking till the mixture is smooth. 
  • Add the vanilla extract, honey and salt after taking it off the heat. 
  • Let the mixture cool down for 1-2 hours.
  • Use a tablespoon to scoop out the mixture to create round balls and coat with coconut flakes. 
  • Put these truffles back in the chiller for 10-15 minutes and then serve. 

Persian Pudding by Chef Anand Panwar, Executive Pastry Chef, Roseate Hotels & Resorts

While we're talking unconventional christmas desserts, what better than this persian pudding by chef anand?
While we’re talking unconventional Christmas desserts, what better than this Persian Pudding by Chef Anand?

Ingredients

  • 200 gm raisins
  • 200 gm munakka
  • 200 gm tutty fruity
  • 200 gm cherry
  • 200 gm black currant
  • 200 gm apricot
  • 200 gm prunes
  • 200 gm almonds
  • 200 gm cashew nuts
  • 2 lt rum (for soaking) 
  • 800 gm refined flour
  • 300 gm butter
  • 250 gm brown sugar
  • 12 eggs
  • 30 gm  baking soda
  • 30 gm  baking powder
  • 20 gm cinnamon powder
  • 5 gm nutmeg powder
  • 5 gm cloves powder
  • 5 gm ginger powder

Method

  • Soak all the fruits in rum for a fortnight. 
  • Take out the nut mix and cut it. Mix butter and sugar. Add eggs and mix well. 
  • Add all the fruits into this mixture and finally mix with flour, baking powder and soda. 
  • Pour it in a food pan or mould as you per your convenience.
  • Bake it at 180 degrees celsius for 25 min.

Badam halwa by Sous Chef Sukesh Kanchan, Sana Di Ge Delhi

The heart wants what it wants, and in india, there's never a bad time for some pure ghee halwa!
The heart wants what it wants, and in India, there’s never a bad time for some pure ghee halwa!

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup almonds
  • Hot water to soak
  • 1/4 cup milk
  • 2 tbsp ghee
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tbsp saffron milk
  • 1/4 tsp cardamom powder
  • Dry fruits

Method

  • Firstly, soak 1/2 cup almonds in hot water for 30 minutes.
  • Further, peel the skin of badam and transfer to a blender. Add in 1/4 cup milk. Alternatively use almond milk or water if you are vegan.Blend to smooth paste.
  • Transfer the badam paste into the large kadai.Add in a tbsp of ghee. And saute for a minute on low to medium flame.
  • Furthermore, add in 1/4 cup sugar and saute continuously. Stir continuously till the sugar dissolves completely.
  • Now add 2 tbsp of saffron milk and stir. To prepare saffron milk, soak a few threads of saffron in tbsp of warm milk for 10 minutes.
  • Keeping the flame on low -medium, stir till the mixture thickens.
  • Then add half tbsp of ghee and stir.
  • Stir till the mixture separates the pan and ghee oozes out from the sides.
  • Furthermore, add in 1/4 tsp cardamom powder and mix well.
  • Finally, serve badam halwa hot garnished with a few chopped nuts.

Festive Walnut Tart by Chef Dominic Gerard, The Leela Bangalore 

What's christmas without a fine old tart? With its bold flavours, this dessert's a sure winner! Image: shutterstock
What’s Christmas without a fine old tart? With its bold flavours, this dessert’s a sure winner! Image: Shutterstock

Ingredients 

For Sable dough base

  • 200 gm unsalted butter 
  • 3 gm salt
  • 80 gm icing sugar 
  • 90 gm (2 nos each) eggs
  • 250 gm flour 

For Walnut tart filling

  • 150 gm halved walnuts 
  • 150 gm sugar
  •  200 ml Elle & vire crème
  • 15 ml honey 
  • 80 ml water 

Method

  • Add butter and sieved icing sugar in a bowl and cream until pale and creamy in texture.
  • Add the sieved flour and salt together to the butter mixture and finally add the egg yolks.
  • Rest the dough 30 minutes before using.
  • In a heavy bottomed pan add sugar water and honey.
  • Cook over a slow flame till it caramelizes to a golden colour.
  • Add the coarsely chopped walnuts and the cream.
  • Cook till the caramel cream reduces and coats the walnuts well.
  • Cool down the mixture.
  • Line the tart mould with the sable dough and fill with the caramel walnut filling.
  • Rest in the refrigerator for 20 minutes and then bake it at 180 deg C for 20-25 minutes.
  • Rest the baked tart on a wire mesh and serve with vanilla bean ice cream when cooled.

Chocolate Banana Pudding Recipe by Chef Guntas Sethi Bhasin

You know those desserts that you can't stop eating even after a filling christmas dinner? Yep, this is one of those
You know those desserts that you can’t stop eating even after a filling Christmas dinner? Yep, this is one of those

Ingredients

  • 2 medium / 1 big banana 
  • 1 tbsp almond butter 
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 2 tbsp cocoa powder 
  • 2 tbsp oats flour 
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda 
  • 1/4 tsp salt 
  • 1/4 cup vegan chocolate chips 

Method

  • Mash the banana & mix it with the other ingredients. 
  • Bake it in ramekins or skillet at 180*C for 10-12 mins or until done. 

Vegan Cinnamon Hazelnut Hot Chocolate by Chef Naimita Jagasia

A vegan recipe that serves as both drink and dessert? Merry christmas indeed.
A vegan recipe that serves as both drink and dessert? Merry Christmas indeed.

Ingredients

  • 1/4 cup coconut milk 
  • 3/4 cup almond milk
  • 1 tbsp hazelnut paste/ hazelnut butter (optional) 
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon powder 
  • 3 heaping tbsp of sugar
  • 2 tbsp of sifted cocoa powder 
  • 3 tbsp of dark chocolate chunks/chips
  • Splash of vanilla or hazelnut flavour (optional) 

Method

  • Whisk all the ingredients except vanilla and chocolate in a saucepan until the cocoa has dissolved, then turn the heat on.
  • Once the sugar has melted and cocoa powder is whisked in well, add the chocolate and allow it to melt and thicken. 
  • Finish with a splash of vanilla or hazelnut pasta (optional).
  • Pour into a mug and top with dairy free whipped cream & marshmallows.

Read more. 

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