The prized pizza
When the tween put together her own version of a chocolate “too sweet” pizza and then accorded it a special occasion dish status
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The last month or two have not been so good as far food adventures with my 11-year old go. Our last high on experimental food was the Momo Food Festival organised in Delhi in early October where we had tandoori momos and butter chicken momos for the first and definitely the last time.
Perhaps part reason of this slowdown has been exams and a big family wedding that has commandeered quite a few weekends this last month. But we are back to talking about food and one of our conversations has centred around a dinner party for the just-married couple where my tween says she wants to take charge—from start to finish—of one dessert item, her award-winning calorie bomb. What else can I call a Chocolate Pita Pizza which has Nutella, Hershey’s chocolate syrup, marshmallows and powdered sugar.
To be fair, the dish is not the tween’s invention. We have had a version of it at Qwaha Diner Cafe near our home but the chocolate syrup, coloured sparkles, marshmallows, powdered sugar are her own additions.
And perhaps it was these that had her and her team secure the first position in her school’s ‘Cooking Without Fire’ competition.
In the early part of November, science lessons in school centred around nutrition, food groups and all that. Unlike our times when we just read about proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals, these days children are also encouraged to identify these in the food they consume. And they are also asked to cook (or, in this case, assemble) dishes so that they can see for themselves how much sugar, fats etc are put in “yummy” dishes.
At the time when the tween decided that this is the dish that her team (five children in all) would present in the class competition, we also had discussed how we could make the dish healthy. Okay, not super-duper-nutritious but at least less of a calorie bomb than it could have been. So the normal pizza base gave way for Pita Bread; ordinary biscuits were ditched in favour of digestive ones. She stood firm on marshmallows and refused to replace them with banana slices and also declined my suggestion to ditch Nutella and use very little chocolate syrup.
I guess in the end—since all the teachers who judged the competition asked for seconds (and even sent a couple of pieces to their colleagues in the staff room)—her choices, though not at all on ‘healthy’, at least made the dish tasty. Besides, now that she has made this pizza herself it has been stricken off her favourite things to eat “because it is just too sweet”. Instead, it has been accorded the status of a “special occasion dish” and we all know that there is no harm in indulging or binge eating every once in a while.
Chocolate Pita Pizza
1 pita bread
100 ml Hershey’s chocolate syrup
2 tbsp Nutella
3-4 digestive biscuits (crushed)
2 coloured marshmallows
1/2 tsp coloured sparkles
1 tsp powdered sugar
Grill the pita bread in the oven for 3-4 minutes at 120 degree Celsius. Cool it and them spread Nutella evenly. Spread half the crushed biscuits on this, and then drizzle the chocolate syrup unevenly. Add the marshmallows, sparkles, and the remaining crushed biscuits. Using a sieve, sprinkle powdered sugar light on the pizza.
This weekly series, which appears on Tuesdays, looks at what’s new with food and drink, and how we are interacting with it.