Eid is right around the corner! This has been a lovely and peaceful Ramadan. Every year I celebrate it, along with family and friends, but also in my own way, choosing some piece of personal improvement to work on for the month. This year however, I chose to do what everyone else does, which is to think nice thoughts, act with generosity and kindness…and fast.
I only fasted the first ten days. “That’s not very much!” I was told. Um, true, but afterwards I just couldn’t keep up. I have major respect for those of you with the devotion to fast while still maintaining your responsibilities – it’s absolutely not easy, and not for the faint-hearted!
These ten days weren’t lost on me. The first few were frustrating, I had difficulty focusing at work and difficulty keeping up with housework and kids. However, this really did force me to prioritize what is important in my life. At work I started clearing the clutter (goodbye podcasts, goodbye Twitter, I’ll miss you) and setting lots of minitasks for myself that were completely manageable, less daunting. At home I slowed down on pretty much everything but spending time with my kids. If the house isn’t perfectly clean, if an elaborate meal isn’t cooked, if my blog is neglected, if I take a break from yoga, none of that matters that much. Fasting cleared my vision and showed me what was truly important in my life.
During this time I coincidentally was reading a marvelous book for our Fiction Kitchen podcast, Chocolat (the book is SO much better than the movie by the way) about a woman who opens a chocolaterie during Lent. There are so many parallels between Lent and Ramadan, so it felt interesting reading this at the same time. We talk about it on the episode.
So of course I had chocolate on my mind when thinking of a recipe for Eid Eats, which I was delighted to see Sarah from Flour & Spice, Asiya from Chocolate & Chilis and Henna from My Ninja Naan were organizing again this year! I participated last year and have enjoyed interacting with these ladies over the course of the year – including cooking their delicious recipes!
In the book Chocolat, the main character Vianne has a knack for guessing everyone’s favorites, and I imagined if she guessed mine it would be something floral – I have a mild rosewater obsession, am intrigued by edible flowers, and love floral notes in all kinds of foods, from drinks to sweets to biryanis. These rose creams are an old-fashioned sweet, but made with Rooh Afza, the Pakistani rose syrup that we’ve been making into a refreshing drink almost every night this Ramadan. It seemed fitting to end the month on a sweet rosy note.
I attempted to follow this recipe from The Daily Mail, but it appears making fondant in cool, crisp England may be different than in the sticky, humid American South, so these are the instructions that ended up working for me.
- 3 tablespoons each heavy cream and Rooh Afza syrup. Next time I might tweak this to 4 tablespoons cream, 2 Rooh Afza
- 10+ ounces powdered sugar
- 12 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
- 2 teaspoons peanut oil
In a medium bowl, whisk together heavy cream and Rooh Afza syrup. Sift 10 ounces of powdered sugar and stir into the liquid until thoroughly combined. Add more sugar by the tablespoon until the mixture is very thick and starting to come together as a ball (although the Daily Mail wants you to be able to knead this on the counter, mine wasn’t anywhere close to that and wasn’t getting there even after 6 tablespoons, so I stopped there. Things worked out ok).
Cover with plastic wrap and put in the fridge for at least an hour and up to overnight.
Use the mixture to make 1/2 tablespoon-sized balls, which you can flatten slightly into disks, then place them in two batches on powdered sugar-dusted plates. Make sure the mixture stays cool so it doesn’t get too sticky, and coat your hands well with powdered sugar to make rolling them more manageable. Place in the fridge while you prepare the chocolate.
In a double boiler, melt the chocolate chips with the peanut oil, stirring occasionally. When they are thoroughly melted, remove from heat and cool for 10 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with wax paper. Using two forks, dip and roll each of the rosy fondant disks in the chocolate to coat, working quickly so as not to melt them. Place each on the wax paper and cool completely until the chocolate has hardened.
Makes about 30 with a couple leftover disks I didn’t have enough chocolate for ;)