Desserts for Navratri

Amrita Prasad
Thursday, 21 September 2017

The Oven Affair, along with chef Pankaj Sunil Deshpande, is presenting A Masterclass on Exotic Eggless Desserts on September 24, where you can learn how to make delicious sweet dishes for the festive season

With Navratri underway, you may be fasting and keeping away from non-vegetarian fare. But if you are fond of desserts and find hard to resist cakes, puddings and pastries, then the eggless variety is what you would want to indulge in. And it’s even better if you can make them at home. The Oven Affair, along with chef Pankaj Sunil Deshpande, is organising a workshop titled A Masterclass on Exotic Eggless Desserts where you can learn some of the most delightful desserts. Deshpande will teach you how to make Chocolate Cheesecake Brownies, Red Velvet Cheesecake Brownies, Decadent Chocolate Orange Mousse, Black Forest Cake, Chilli Mousse. etc at the masterclass.   

The concept
Saba Poonawala, founder, The Oven Affair, and city-based home chef and baker who has always been passionate about baking and loves experimenting with new ingredients and flavours, says, “On a daily basis, I’m not too fond of eggs. But if I can have eggless desserts — which is the best part of a meal — I would love to indulge. That’s how the idea of this workshop came to my mind.”  

Ask the young baker about some of the best eggless confectionaries she has made till date and she says, “An eggless Dark Chocolate Mousse with Cake tops the list. I have also made Tiramisu, Lemon Pie and Chocolate Fudge.”

Poonawala says that it a conscious choice to keep the workshop during Navratri so that people can enjoy sweets beyond conventional Indian sweets. “Keeping the festive season in mind, we hope for a good session.  Navratri has already started and given the preference for eggless food during this season, we aim to hit the sweet spot of dessert lovers in Pune,” she explains.

The eggless delight
Although eggless sweets and desserts are easily available at most bakeries and pâtisseries, they are often highly priced or you have some reservations about eating them without doubting the ingredients. While you can still order from your nearby cake shop, the joy of making an eggless dessert at home and savouring it with your family and friends is inexplicable.

That said, eggs do play an important role in the texture and taste of sweets, especially non-Indian desserts. “So when you skip the important ingredient, a few things about the dessert will change. However, you can still make desserts like Trifle Pudding, all sorts of cream-based Mousse in different variants like Lemon, Orange, Chocolate, etc, Fresh Fruit Tarts, Champagne Strawberry Jelly, and Bread and Custard Pudding without using eggs,” he explains.

Alternatives to eggs
When egg is such an essential ingredient in desserts, it is but obvious that the alternative has to be chosen with care. Speaking about the substitutes, Deshpande says, “Instead of eggs, you can opt for creams, milk solids and condensed milk in rare cases, Agar Agar or veg gelatin, but while making desserts you must ensure that the ingredients are used at the right temperature. If you use cream, it should be of a premium quality. Make sure that the solid milk that you use is skimmed milk powder.”

However, he points out that although an eggless dessert will taste good, it cannot equal the taste, flavour and velvety texture of a dessert made with egg.

When asked if not using eggs change the nutritional value of the desserts, the chef answers, “Not really. Desserts are light (French desserts) thus if consumed too much, only then there is an issue. Desserts are made with soy cream or milk, dark chocolate, natural flavours obtained from fruits, so they are healthy.”

Chef Deshpande lists some dos and don’ts:

 Use the right ingredients
 Use natural ingredients
 Use less of setting agents
 Always serve chilled

 Do not use synthetic essence
 Do not make it too strong in flavouring
 Do not freeze for longer time
 Do not serve it warm
A Masterclass on Exotic Eggless Desserts will be conducted at G- 7/8, Jagannath Society, Boat Club Road, on September 24, between 10.30 am and 4.30 pm. The course is inclusive of products for practice, lunch, refreshments, and printed notes! To register, visit

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