Food

Chocolate on her mind

Third generation chocolatier, Zeba Kohli on her new cookbook and TV show

Growing up, chocolate was that surprise that moms rewarded kids with in their school tiffin. “The chasni (sugar syrup) in a rasgulla or gulab jamun would spill,” Zeba Kohli, chocolatier and entrepreneur at Fantasie Fine Chocolates tells us.

Last week, Kohli launched a cookbook of 32 recipes for simple home cooking, titled Chocolate. “When I joined the business, I revisited recipes of my grandparents that they had developed from their international travels – fondants to marzipans. During the time, I also started doing demos and classes, and started documenting my recipes.” The book aims to teach you how to use chocolate as an ingredient and create muffins, French toast, pies and of course, cake. Look out for the recipes for white chocolate pistachio penne, hot fudge sauce, mint chocolate shake, and hot chocolate beverages and gluten-free cake.

Kohli’s book also coincides with her weekly chat show on the television channel, Living Foodz called Gimme Chocolate. The first episode featured Sonakshi Sinha and Diana Penty. “Every episode has duo celebs. We’ve shot with musicians Ash King and Jonita Gandhi, Ranjit Barot and AD Singh, Ash Chandler and Mansi Scott and music directors Salim Suleiman.” Divided into three segments, the first show delves into celeb talk, followed by games revolving around chocolate. “We also do a choconality that deciphers their personality based on the chocolate they like. The last segment is a chocolate cook-out between the two celebrities.”

Indians and the bean

According to the third-generation chocolatier, who took over her grandfather’s company at the age of 18, it’s taken time for Indians to recognise the cacao bean as an ingredient. “The fact of life is chocolate continues to reign as something sweet. There is a lot of awareness, and Indians are [now] ready to explore and experiment,” says Kohli, who two decades ago create hand-rolled champagne chocolates for food writer Karan Anand’s wedding. Having always pushed the creative envelope, she had presented a wasabi-centred ganache chocolate for a Japanese event in late 90s. At the time, people [asked] me why were the chocolates so dusty?” she laughs. In 2006 she went on to do a fashion show around chocolate and even collaborating with artists to create chocolate sculptures. “While everybody cared for the drama, they couldn’t savour the offbeat flavours,” she shares.

That Kohli is passionate about chocolate is evident, “I love chocolate because you can pair your savouries with it – think pizza and dark chocolate, mole sauce and cocoa powder,” she says admitting to getting bored easily. “We are all millennials in a way. We get bored easily, we are curious and are always inquisitive for newness. We want to know what is trending and want to try it. It warms my heart that India is enjoying this moment of explosion of myriad of flavours, restaurants, cuisines,” she signs off.

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Printable version | Jul 3, 2020 3:55:53 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/life-and-style/food/chocolate-on-her-mind/article26140981.ece

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