Dark Chocolate and Almond Fudge
To celebrate Easter, ITC Sonar has decided to be as elaborately traditional as they can be. From 16th to 20th April, the Gourmet Shop at ITC Sonar is going to have Easter Special desserts and breads, and on the 20th, there will be a lovely brunch from 12.30 to 3.45 pm at Eden Pavilion, the 24-hour fine-dining restaurant. 

L- Chef Harpawan Singh Kapoor, R – Chef Gaurav Lavania

Chef Harpawan Singh Kapoor, Executive Sous Chef & Pastry Chef, ITC Sonar and Chef Gaurav Lavania, Senior Sous Chef, was responsible for creating a host of traditional Easter delicacies, sweet treats and breads at The Gourmet Shop and Eden Pavilion. As soon as I entered, we were greeted with the sight of a huge trolley filled with an incredible array of goodies – breads, buns, fudge, cakes – the recipes were all traditional. Chef Harpawan took us through the extensive menu that will be available at The Gourmet Shop from 16th to 20th – Carrot Cake, Hot Cross Buns, Peanut and Chocolate eggs, Sour Cherry Turnovers and Dark Chocolate fudge to name a few.

Clockwise from top right – Hot cross buns, Nougatine, Coconut and Lemon Tart, Sour Cherry Turnover, Peanut and Chocolate Eggs, Lemon and Poppy Seed Cake with Berry Topping, Carrot Cake. Center – Dark Chocolate and almond Fudge.

While we were quite happy to see the host of traditional fare on offer, my eyes continually strayed to the bread. There were, among other kinds, a beautifully made Easter Bread, which was basically a version of a Challah bread, braided and topped with eggs which would cook with the bread while it bakes. It was not yeasty, but rather was an egg-based bread which was salty and gloriously dense, with a sweet glaze which added to the flavors beautifully. I kept on going back to it while trying out the other sweet treats.

Easter Bread

I am perennially weak towards fudge, and the Milk Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Fudge proved to be my nemesis. Extremely sweet, this fudge was dense, smooth and filled with Macadamia nuts, a combination which has never failed to perk me up.

Milk Chocolate and Macadamia Nut Fudge

 As we moved to our main course, Chef Lavania explained that the menu for the Easter Brunch was a combination of Indian and Western Traditions. As a result of which, we started off our meal with a glass of Prawn and Egg Cocktail, with small, sweet prawns immersed in Thousand Island dressing, garnished with some lettuce and slices of hard-boiled eggs.

The Asparagus and Balsamic Trio was a small huddle of cooked asparagus, topped with Parmesan and drizzled with some Balsamic. Although summery and light, the asparagus for me was slightly less seasoned than I would have liked, and I would have preferred eating this with the main course as a side, rather than an individual dish.

Asparagus Balsamic Trio

Eggs are on the Brunch Menu, and I was excited to see Eggs Benedictine on the list. However, what came to the table puzzled me to no end. On top of a well-buttered muffin lay a slice of ham, and over the ham was a perfectly fried egg, which oozed yolk at the touch of a fork. However, I missed the presence of the Hollandaise Sauce which is supposed to cover the eggs. I was curious, and wanted to question the Chef about it, but by the time the Chef came over, I had forgotten about it completely, drat my strange mind!

Eggs Benedictine

The Saltimbocca, generally made with veal, was prepared with Pork here, a slight deviation on traditional theme for the benefit of the Indian palate. The meat was cooked perfectly, the bacon salty and lean, the jus delicately flavoring but not overpowering, with a few scattered blueberries to add a certain something to the meat. For me, this would have stolen the show with its layers of flavors, but I was already seduced by the other meat on offer.

Pork Saltimbocca
And what a meat it was! Turkey roasted to moist perfection, covered with a layer of perfectly silky gravy, and topped with a dash of berry glazed jus, with a  serving of Four Cheese Scalloped Potatoes as a side. I was enamored of the sweet turkey meat which parted at the touch of a fork, and the sweet berries which added the hint of tangy sweetness to the beautifully cooked meat.  
Herb Roasted Turkey with Berry Glazed Jus
Dazed and replete, we finished our meal with more sweetmeats distributed by Chef Harpawan, and received Easter Eggs (which I will open on Sunday, I swear!). 
The Easter goodies can be purchased from The Gourmet Shop at ITC Sonar with the average pricing being somewhere around INR 500/-, while the Easter Brunch is priced at INR 2250/- (plus tax) per person. 
Disclaimer: Poorna Banerjee dined as a guest of ITC Sonar. Her opinions are her own and is in no way influenced.
Written by Poorna Banerjee

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