CHENNAI: This Diwali season Chennai’s bakeries and sweet shops are all set to add a festive touch to their sweets and cakes. From gulab jamun cheesecakes to energy laddus and eggless chilli chocolates, the city’s bakers and sweetshop owners said that vegetarianism, health and innovation are the highlights of this diwali.
Party in a box, a set up by Ransdale Mathew and Krishna Bezawada, has a novel idea for chocolates this year. “We have Chilli bijli chocolates which are chilli-flavoured chocolates and a few more flavours. Another unique feature about our products is the vintage packaging that we have used for our chocolates”, said Krishna.
A treat for vegetarians, these chocolates are eggless. Some of their other specialties include Diya-shaped chocolates, Caramel sparklers, the caramel and nuts making it identical to the Diwali sparkler and chakra-shaped chocolates. The packaging also replicates the traditional packaging of a box of crackers.
Delivered across India, Krishna said that these chocolates are the ideal Diwali gifts this season for youngsters looking for different sweets.
A fusion of Indian flavours in western desserts is another trend that’s catching up. Sruti Bhaskar, a home baker and former pastry chef at the Leela Palace Chennai, said, “I am experimenting with flavours and this time, my desserts are Gulkhand cupcake, Chai cupcake, Gajar ka halwa cupcake and Gulab jamun cheesecake.”
Priced between Rs. 85 to Rs. 100, Sruti’s desserts are only based on individual orders. While she specialises in eggless desserts, she said that she customised the desserts making them either vegan or sugar-free.
Cafe Adoniya is another place where fusion desserts are available like Motichoor badami cheesecake and so on. “Apart from being eggless, our desserts are made from vegetarian gelatin”, said Maaria Kulsum Tanveer, Proprietor, Adoniya.
“This year we have Energy laddoo made of dates and nuts, flaxseed cake and sweets made from traditional millets”, said Arul Raj, Proprietor, Organic Pasumaiyakam.
He added that these sweets are vegan and made from palm-sugar, making them diabetic friendly.
Meera Maran, owner of Terra Earthfoods, said, “We have launched Wheat grass laddoos, Banyard (kudhiraivalli) millet laddoos, amla honey laddoos,Banyard millet pakodas and a few more savouries.”
She also said that the sweets are gluten-free and use unrefined organic cold pressed oils and palm sugar.
Terra Earthfoods undertakes orders for home delivery across the city. A quick glance at their Facebook page reveals their environment-friendly package designs apart from customer testimonials complimenting their items.
Diabetics can enjoy this Diwali as shops like Diabetics Dezire and Hot Breads use various sugar substitutes for their sweets.
“Badam halwa made using imported sugar substitutes is our novelty this time. For vegans, we have soya savouries also. Our sweets have a low glycemic index and are 100% eggless”, said P.G. Muralidaran, General Manager, Diabetic Dezire. He added that most of their sales are through their website. They undertake online orders and deliver items across the world.
“Hot breads in Gandhi nagar makes a few desserts with Diabliss sugar. It is healthy because it is made from pure cane sugar which is blended with herbal extracts using techniques from Life Sciences of Indian Herbal practices”, said V.R. Ramanathan, owner, Diabliss.
While diabetics can be delighted with these ingenious sugar substitutes, Dr. Akila Ravikumar, Family Physician and Diabetologist, said, “It is wise to choose a healthier option. But it is important to see the kind of sugar substitutes used. Fructose as substitutes can be avoided. It is better to eat in moderation even with available sugar substitutes.”
She added that since patients have abnormally high sugar levels after Diwali, they can consciously avoid a non-carbohydrate diet and continue exercise regimes after the festival to maintain normal levels.
Young entrepreneurs like Sanjana Galada, owner, The Cupcakery, have developed creative cupcakes for those looking for a little indulgence. “Nutella cookie cups are new on the shelf. A cup made out of cookie and filled with Nutella, this dessert is completely eggless”, she said.
Being health conscious herself, Sanjana said that she bakes wheat cupcakes on order. According to her, The Cupcakery is exclusive as it offers twenty five different flavours which are completely eggless. Her cakes are order-based and cost between Rs. 40 – Rs. 63 per cupcake.
There are some bakeries like Mind Over Batter in Besant Nagar which use fondant to lend a festive look to their cupcakes. “These cupcakes will be decorated with firecrackers of different kinds for the gift boxes”, said Aarthi Rajkumar, owner, Mind Over Batter.
Most of these stores market their products through Facebook and personal websites, where their product catalogues can be viewed.
Visit their pages to view more of their products. Happy Diwali!