Sandesh Chocolate Grape was my creation for a milestone birthday that we just had celebrations for! As a young kid, memories of Sandesh made by my mother linger in my mind even now, and Sandesh is perhaps the first dessert that I really was fond of! Even more than Rasgulla or Rasmalai, which also use the same paneer base. My mother used to put orange segments in it, but I decided to use red grapes, as I am more fond of grapes than oranges. Red grapes would go well with the fall weather and dark chocolate flavor is what I thought. I have a deep weakness for dark chocolates and in particular Godiva Dark Chocolates. Godiva has various levels of cocoa but decided to go for safer 50% dark level then the 75% , as I was going to offer the Sandesh Chocolates Grape to guests. Making this was a very last minute decision. I had a Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt flavor in my house, which was used and in my opinion the sea salt further enhanced the flavor of Sandesh.
On reading the blog of Cosmpolitan Curry Mania, I got to know a lot about the various ways Sandesh is made and the types of shondesh/sandesh available in West Bengal. The way I made was more of the Kachha Gola (raw uncooked sandesh), in which , the kneading of the sandesh is the key to the softness and texture of the desert. This has a different texture than the one which is mixed with Khoya and cooked on a flame. It is interesting to note that people in Bengal have even explored with flavors like olive oil too in making Sandesh!
Reading this, made me even more happy with my creation of Sandesh Chocolate Grape which hints at flavors of Red Grapes, Paneer, and Dark Chocolate with Sea Salt. And the sugar level in this variation has been purposely kept at low levels, to feel the dark taste of chocolate.
The texture of the Sandesh Chocolate Grape was smooth, and the topping of semi sweet mint chip chocolates gave it a colorful and tasty appeal. The grape filling was well appreciated with the chocolate flavor. This dessert was definitely the preferred dessert of the evening. What a great way to celebrate a milestone, with a favorite dessert in a favorite chocolate flavor with sea salt! A five star dessert for me for sure! And I am positive, once you try this super easy, super quick dessert, you will be making many new and exciting flavors in Sandesh. Do send me a sandesh (message) with a newer version that you created by submitting a recipe on this blog!
Sandesh Chocolate Grape
Chocolate Sandesh from Chocolate Bar and Fruits
The chhena or paneer should be freshly made. If you need instructions on how to make fresh panner from milk, please read my recipe on Rasgoola for detailed process.
Once the chhena is cooled, knead for 8-10 minutes using the palm of your hand. Continue kneading till all the paneer forms into a ball, and the grainy look of chhena turns into a smooth look.
Melt 3 squares of the Godiva Dark Chocolate Sea Salt Bar in microwave for 40 seconds. Stir the squares to liquid form and immediately pour 2 tsp of melted chocolate into the paneer.
Add sugar and continue to knead for 4-5 minutes. The dark chocolate will slowly spread and change the color from white to completely brown. If you see white portions then continue to knead some more.
Divide the paneer into 24 parts. Roll each part into round ball, and then flatten with your fingers.
Put 2 pieces of sliced grapes on the flattened part and then again make a round ball.
Give it an elongated shape by pinching with all your fingers at the top like a modak shape.
Garnish it with a mint chocolate chip and chill for 3-4 hours.
Enjoy chilled , fruity Sandesh in Chocolate flavor!
Sandesh Chocolate Grape cut into half to get the inside view. The images were taken at different light environment, hence the change in the colors of the Sandesh
Fresh paneer that has some liquid in it still is the best consistency, as it will give it a good smoothness to the texture. Hence I do not hang the paneer or put weight while making the paneer.
Chocolate powder can be also used, as mentioned in another recipe http://cookingbyinstinct.com/chocolate-sandesh-cheese-fudge/
Making use of things available at hand and creating something new out it, is truly inspiring and instinctive! That is when the best satisfaction comes to a passionate foodie! Get your instincts to guide you as you make a flavor of your choice!
Its celebration time with chilled, soft, smooth, bittersweet dark chocolate flavored grape sandesh! Everyone was curious as to what is this new dessert, as the shape was different, color was different, and the taste was also very different. This dessert is healthy, as cottage cheese is healthy, not too sweet, and good for the mind and soul as well because of its chocolate flavor. The grape filling gives a nice crunch as well as sweet tangy taste in between the chocolate flavored cottage cheese.. Something made in a jiffy and the end result was a winner in the evening dinner! This was definitely the icing on the cake in my view! And I am sure your guests will also remember this modern flavor fruit filled Sandesh Chocolate Grape!!