Christmas, New Year and other festivities might be over, but that does not necessarily mean you can’t have delicacies once in a while. Moreover, we always look for ways to indulge in food that soothes our souls and appetite; for instance, cakes and pastries are some of the most delightful food items that satiate our sweet tooth.
However, most of the time, we buy those from cafes or restaurants; what if you suddenly yearn for something sweet but don’t want to go out? Baking a cake, cookies, or some muffins sounds like a swell plan; hence we bring you a few sweet dishes recipes with an Indian twist. It is simply delightful and easy to make.
Indian Milk Cake (Alwar Ka Mawa)
Indian milk cake, also known as Alwar Ka Malwa, is the Indian version of fudge made of full cream milk, sugar, ghee, and a coagulant. This 4-ingredient Indian Sweet (mithai) Alwar Ka Mawa or Milk Cake originated from Alwar, Rajasthan. It is popular across India and is adored by all age groups. The recipe is as follows:
- Add 2.5 litres of milk to a thick-bottomed pan. Please bring it to a quick boil over high heat while stirring in between.
- Once it starts to boil, lower the heat. Simmer until the milk has reduced to one-third of its volume. Keep stirring in often to avoid it from burning and sticking to the bottom of the pan. Also, using a flat spatula, keep scraping down the milk cream (malai) and sticking it to the sides of the pan.
- After reducing, milk should have grainy fat granules; add coagulant (acidic agent) and keep stirring over low heat. After 2-3 minutes, you will notice that the milk will start curling, and little whey will be separated. This is the consistency we are looking for in this milk cake recipe.
- Stir the milk well and cook until the whey almost completely evaporates.
- Now add sugar in four small batches. Add the first batch and mix well until the sugar is dissolved completely.
- Keep adding, mixing, and stirring until all the sugar is used up. Cook the mixture until the mixture has a thick consistency. The mixture would turn light brown in colour after all the moisture evaporates.
- At this point, start adding four tablespoons of ghee little by little. Add one tablespoon and let it combine with the mixture. Repeat till all the ghee is added and mixed. Keep cooking over medium-high heat until the milk cake starts to leave sides and changes colour slightly. At this point, milk would release a nice fragrant caramelized aroma.
- At this point, milk will release a nice fragrance and a light to dark brown colour. Please turn off the flame and let it cool a little.
- Grease a thick and deep saucepan or baking pan (or mould) for setting the milk cake.
- Immediately transfer the cooked milk mixture into a greased pan. Level and make uniform from the top by pressing with a silicone ladle or something similar.
- Smoothen the top and spread the mixture evenly with a greased spoon or silicone spatula. Cover the pan with the lid.
- Now, wrap the pan with a thick towel and keep it aside to set for 4-8 hours.
- After the set time is over, uncover the pan. And loosen the sides of the pan with a hot knife.
- Flip the pan over and de-mould. If the milk cake is not coming out easily, place the tin on low heat for about 30 seconds and flip it onto a wooden board or plate.
- Cut the milk cake into slices. Decorate with edible silver leaf, pistachios, or any other dried fruit. Serve fresh or store in the refrigerator in a kitchen tissue-lined airtight container for up to 7 days.
Kesar Pista Cupcakes
Kesar Pista means saffron and pistachios, the combination of both makes a unique flavour for ice cream due to its delicate aroma and nutty crunch. However, you can also make baked goods with it, such as the cupcake recipe mentioned below:
- Roast pistachios and grind them into powder. Use 2 tbsp of the flour while grinding to prevent the pistachio mixture from becoming pasty.
- Mix milk with vinegar.
- Sift together all dry ingredients except sugar.
- Beat butter on medium until creamy. Slowly beat in sugar until all is incorporated. Beat in extracts.
- Alternating between dry ingredients and milk, slowly beat into butter/sugar mixture until all is combined.
- Heat oven to 350F and line cupcake tin with liners. Pour cupcake batter into liners to about 3/4 full.
- Bake for 18-22 minutes. Check with a toothpick to ensure fully baked. Let cool completely before icing so they are set up correctly.
Preparation for Saffron Butter Cream Frosting
Mix milk and crushed saffron. Let sit to bloom for 10 minutes. Beat sugar, butter and cream cheese together. Beat in bloomed saffron milk until fluffy. Spoon into a piping bag and top it over the cupcakes.
Gulab Jamun Cake
Gulab Jamun is a solid milk-based sweet that you must have eaten on special occasions. Besides, it is one of the most delectable Indian sweets made with khoya, which needs to be kneaded into a dough with a small amount of white flour. However, imagine how blissful it would taste when you make a cake out of gulab jamun.
- For starters, you need to make gulab jamuns; you can use a gulab jamun mix or make the sweets from scratch.
- Sift together the dry ingredients – Flour, Baking powder, Baking Soda, Salt and Sugar and keep aside.
- Take milk in a bowl. Whisking continuously, add the oil to help it emulsify. Next, add the yogurt and essence and combine them together.
- Add the sifted dry ingredients into the wet in two batches. Combine to form a smooth batter. Divide the batter evenly between three 6-inch pans that have been greased with butter and lined with parchment paper—approximately 275 gms in each tin. Bake in a preheated oven of 180°C for 35-45 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
- Take the measured-out whipping cream, icing sugar and essence in a bowl. Whip until stiff peaks form, and it is ready to use. Chop the gulab jamuns into bite-size pieces.
- Whip the cream cheese until it is creamy. Whipping continuously, add the whipping cream little by little. Scrape the bowl using a spatula, and then add icing sugar and fruit essence. Whip until stiff peaks form.
- Layer the cake onto a cake board. Trim off the top to even the cake. Soak the cake with the sugar syrup that came along with the gulab jamuns.
- Add half of the cream filling and spread it out evenly. Top with half of the bite-size gulab jamuns and slivered pistachios. Place the other cake layer on top and repeat the steps.
- Crumb-coat the cake with the leftover cream filling and let it chill for 30 mins. After 30 mins, frost the cake entirely with the stabilized whipped cream frosting till you get a smooth finish on the sides and top. Let it chill once again for 30 mins.
- And decorate the gulab jamun the way you like. You can use a total of 10 gulab jamuns to fill and frost the cake.