It was Arjun’s Birthday on July 31st and as usual baked him a cake, made his favorite starters and with his best friends at home in the evening, I would say that he had a fabulous and a memorable birthday. To thank his friends he wanted to take something special for them to school. I wanted to make something with chocolate and these jujubes seemed a very good idea. One look at the way his eyes lit up when I showed him the box was enough to know how much he is going to be popular among his friends.
As he is allergic to food colors and preservatives like emulsifiers and stabilizers, I never buy him jujubes from shops. Also I did not want to use gelatin while making the jujubes, so went with china grass. I was wondering how it would turn out. But in the end it turned out as good as the store bought ones.
For this week’s Avant Garde Cookies group, we go hush-hush. By that what I mean is, we go in to partnerships and the partner has to send me over a secret ingredient with which I have to come up with a recipe. My partner happened to be Priya Sreeram and she chose dark / white chocolate for me and this recipe seemed just perfect.
- China Grass – 10 gms
- Dark Chocolate – 100 gms
- Sugar – 1 cup
- Water – 3/4 cup + 1/2 cup
- Vanilla essence – 1 tsp
1. Chop the china grass into fine pieces. You can also grind it coarsely in a mixer. Heat 1/2 cup of water and soak the china grass for 1/2 hour. Mean while grate the chocolate and keep aside.
2. Heat 3/4 cup water and bring it a boil. Add the sugar and let it dissolve completely. Now add the soaked china grass and simmer the flame completely. Cook for 1/2 hour stirring often in between. You can see that the china grass becoming glassy and it will dissolve completely thickening in the end. Take off fire.
3. Heat a wide pan with water and place the grated chocolate cup in it. Let it melt over the double boiler till it becomes a smooth sauce. After taking off fire add this sauce to the glassy mixture and stir till the sauce mixes with it completely. Add vanilla essence and mix again.
4. Grease a plate and pour the entire contents into the plate and tap well. Leave it to come to room temperature or wait for 1 hour. With the help of a cookie cutter cut the jujubes into desired shapes.
5. Spread some sugar on a plate and press these cut jujubes into sugar, coating it well on both sides. Store in an air tight container.
- You can replace china grass with unflavored gelatin.
- You can make other flavored jujubes by using flavored gelatin with corresponding food color.
- Instead of using cutters just cut into strips and further into small pieces and coat them with sugar.
- Instead of grated chocolate you can also use cocoa powder. If doing so increase the quantity of sugar to 1-1/2 cup.
These jujubes are perfect for any children’s party to please them. You can also pack them in colorful wrappers and voila! you have a wonderful gift ready to be given to the kids who come to the party. I made 2 boxes full of them and needless to say that Arjun came back beaming from ear to ear and raved on and on about how much his friends loved these jujubes. Hmmm. Anything with chocolate never goes wrong…
I’m very much eager to know what the other cookies are cooking for these hush-hush week. As the ingredient is a secret, this becomes even more interesting to check out the others for some interesting recipes.