Indian Rose Flavored Truffles, Cupcakes, and Drinks {Recipes}

2011 Dec 21 - by Preeti
This is part two of our salute to Indian spices during the holiday season. Check out the recipes for gingerbread, mulled wine, and saffron buns.

Many of you may not think about using roses or any flower in your desserts but you're missing out on a whole new dimension of deliciousness.

Roses literally add a floral component to your dishes and should be used lightly to flavor your sweets.

The three rose infused recipes were inspired by my dad who loves rose essence. The first time I made them was just last week, but they are surely to become a part of our holiday and party traditions!

For the truffles and cupcakes I used Gulkand, a rose sweet preserve. It has rose petals and goes best with the chocolate. Because it is super sweet, you should taste the batter when adding it, but remember everything becomes sweeter and stronger after being baked.

Rose syrup is best with mixed drinks or in an ice cold glass of milk. When in a pinch, you can use rose essence but since the syrup is already sweetened, you don't need to add any sugar to your drinks.

You can find rose syrups, essences, and jams at any Indian and South Asian grocery stores.

Rose Dark Chocolate Truffles

Rose Truffles

250ml double cream

a small bit of unsalted butter

300g good-quality dark chocolate (65% or darker cocoa)

2 tablespoons of Gulkand rose

pinch (very very small pinch) salt (if you use salted butter you can skip this)

1. Chop up the chocolate into small pieces.

2. Heat cream and butter on the stove on medium heat. Add gulkand rose.

3. When hot, not boiling, add chocolate.

4. Stir with a spoon until chocolate dissolves.

5. It should look like a "sauce." Transfer it to a container and store in the fridge for 3-4 hours or until solid.

6. Take out the container from the fridge. You should have near-solid chocolate.

To roll balls:

Using a small spoon, scoop up a bit of chocolate. Roll in your hands until it becomes a sphere. Your truffles should be nice and small (allows for more sampling by your guests!), about 1 cm in diameter.

Roll the ball in powdered sugar, rose sugar (available at gourmet stores), or powdered cocoa.

Wrap truffles in parchement/baking paper and put in a pretty tin to give as a gift!

Rose Cupcakes

1 stick (115 grams) salted butter, room temperature. Chopped into 3-4 pieces.

2 (60 grams) ounces bittersweet chocolate, chopped (darker the better!)

½ cup (65 grams) Dutch-processed cocoa powder (I used Fazer but I don't recommend it. Does not have the full flavor and richness of good chocolate)

¾ cup (95 grams) all-purpose flour or fine whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 medium eggs (you can get away with 2 large eggs as well)

1/2 cup (110 grams) granulated sugar

3 tablespoons (or large spoons) of Gulkand rose

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon table salt

½ cup (125 ml or 4-5 large spoonfuls) sour cream

Makes 12 regular sized cupcakes. Preheat to 180C.

1. Put the butter in a small glass/microwave safe bowl. Microwave on medium, not the highest setting, for 10 seconds.

2. Check butter, if not all melted, put in microwave for another 10 seconds. I like to do this in 10 second intervals to prevent burning.

3. If the butter is mostly melted and you can use a spoon to mush the remaining butter into liquid, and it's done.

4. Break the chocolate into small pieces and throw in the butter bowl. Stir with a spoon until the butter and chocolate have mixed together and formed a glossy sauce.

Note - Whatever you do, don't let the mixture before, during, or after, touch water. This can cause the fat to coagulate and causing seizing. If you are mixing and you notice after several minutes the chocolate dissolved but there's a watery/oily residue that won't mix in, most likely water got in. It's a mess to fix so you might want to start over.

5. Put the butter-chocolate sauce aside.

6. In a bowl, mix all dry ingredients (cocoa powder, flour, baking powder, salt). Put aside.

7. In another bowl, use a electric whisk to whip the eggs and sugar until creamy. 3-5minutes on low.

8. Add the Gulkand rose and vanilla and mix on low for another minute.

9. Last add the butter-chocolate sauce to the wet ingredients and mix on low for 2-3 minutes.

10. Combine wet and dry into one bowl. Again, I do this part of the mixing with a hand whisk since you won't over whisk. A couple minutes will do the trick.

11. Get your cupcake tray lined and using a spoon, drop a couple dollop of the batter into each cupcake liner. You should fill up each liner halfway.

12. Bake on 180C (350F) for 12-17 minutes. Check that your cupcakes are baked by sticking a toothpick in. It if comes dry or with a few crumbs, your cupcakes are done. Otherwise, let continue to bake in the oven for another minute or two.

Rose Martinis

1 teaspoon rose syrup

1 shot gin (6cl)

4-5 oz Sprite or a lemon-lime soda

Mix all together. Your drink should be light, light pink. Add a lime to the rime for a little extra oomph.

For a nonalcoholic version, mix a glass of lemon-lime soda with a teaspoon of rose syrup. Finish off with a fresh squeeze of a half-lime.

Imagine having these desserts for a teatime party with the ladies or at the end of a Christmas dinner. Your guests will be wow'ed!