Wednesday, December 28, 2011


I decided to make this for the New Year treat, but curiousity got the better of me. Saw the recipe on a television show and had long been wondering how this was made in sweet shops. At last i came to know how simple it was. Really simple; doesn't need any attention till the last minute. Yes.. you can leave it alone and attend to it for a mere few minutes and this will be beautifully done. The next time i do this am going to take it away from the flame five minutes before so that it stays much softer which is often called "paal halwa". I  intentionally made it into a burfi because it is easier to serve. Next thing about this sweet is that it does not have any butter or ghee in it. Though i am not a milk sweet person except rosgollas, this was a winner.


Milk                     1 litre
Sugar                    100 gms
Curd                     2 Tbsp
Liquid glucose           1 Tbsp (omit if you cant get it, this just makes the burfi  soft and prevents hardening)
Maida                    1 Tbsp

Mix maida with all of the milk before boiling.Make sure it is well blended and there are no lumps.

Bring the milk to a boil and simmer it for 10 mts until it gets a nice color and aroma.

Add the curd and allow it to curdle.

Do not drain (as we do for paneer). Allow it to cook with the whey until all of the water evaporates.

When the mixture is thick and comes together halwa like, add the sugar and leave to simmer again for another 15mts.

By now it should reach a nice brown color.

When the water from the sugar has evaporated, increase the flame and keep swirling the pan.


When the bottom is crystallized,transfer this into a tray. Allow it to cool and cut into pieces.

Garnish with almonds or pistachios. (i didn't). Neither did i add liquid glucose. Googled it to find that it prevents the dish from hardening and keeps it soft. Doesn't matter. It tasted good even without.

Mmm...should think about New Year Dessert.

Thursday, December 22, 2011


What is Christmas without a fruit cake..?. Though we do now celebrate Christmas, i enjoy the fervour and spirit it spreads in this time of the year. I enjoy all the goodies that my friends pass on during Christmas, and as a return gift, i pack them a slice of this cake.

This is, again, a few of my original recipes that i have developed myself with some innovations each year. The first time i made this was with plain sugar and treacle. Next year it was demerera sugar with home made caramel. The fruits of course, we are spoilt with choice, but, i stay to almonds,walnuts, dates, dried black raisins and dried cranberries. Once you get to taste home made fruit cake, you would never go for a store bought one. I do not restrict this bake to Christmas alone. This family favourite will find a place in the table during any special occasion that needs a cake.

One could play with this recipe (as i did); say you could change the proportion of fruits added or the flavourings or the soaking syrup. We are strict non alcoholics, thus a mix of apple and orange juice. The traditional rum soaking method is always there. Another thing that is amiss in this recipe will be candied peel. That does not work for me. If you want a very strong flavoured cake you can add a dash of it too.

An important tip in this cake is, use the soaking syrup according to the days you will make the cake in advance. I make this cake two weeks in advance , so 200ml. By the time it is 4 days before Christmas(that is when i start distributing), the cake would be packed in flavour and Punch.

Now for the recipe

Flour                    200gms
Demerera Sugar           200gms
Butter                   200gms
Eggs                     4
Salt                     1/4 tsp
Caramel                  4 Tbsp
Cinnamon                 1/4 ts
(i don't enjoy it thus such meagre amt, add 1  tsp if you are a fan of cinnamon)
Nutmeg                   1tsp
Dryginger powder         1/2 tsp
Vanilla                  1 tsp
Dates                    100gms (soaked in hotwater for 15mts)
Dried black raisins      100gms (soaked in hotwater for 15mts)
Dried cranberries        100gms (soaked in hotwater for 15mts)
Walnuts                  100gms toasted
Almonds                  100gms toasted

Apple Juice 100 ml
Orange juice 100ml

Cream butter and sugar till light and creamy.
Add eggs one at a time untill well blended.
Add all the flavourings and mix well
First add the caramel and soaked fruits and make sure they are mixed well
Then add the nuts (cooled).
Now add flour and mix untill well incorporated.

Give it a quick mix (do not worry about over beating) and fill in a 12 inch bundt pan and bake for 35 mts at 180c.

Wait unitll completely cooled. The next day, mix both the juices in a nozzled bottle and spray liberally over the cake. You will find the cake very wet, but have faith, the refrigerator will do the magic. Pack it in a airtight box and leave it in for two weeks. When you open it after two weeks you will never regret the labour of this cake.


I am submitting this to Aspiring Bakers #14: Creative Christmas Bakes (December 2011) hosted by Hankerie

Wednesday, December 7, 2011


This is not a pound cake in the strictest sense. I have learnt that a pound of each butter, sugar, eggs and flour contribute to a good pound cake. To make this extra special, we add condensed milk, i suppose. When i saw the post here, it looked so good. But alas, i ran out of stock of two things, cake flour and vanilla extract. The forever adventure seeker that i am, i went ahead with the recipe with some.....tweaks..yeah you guessed it right. There was AP flour and nutmeg.

The cake was good, i had to steam it for a few seconds the next day to make it extra moist. The flavour of nutmeg was something different to me. Since i prefer nutmeg over cinnamon on any given day, i enjoyed it very much. One thing i missed was the tight crumb that baking fiend had. Must have something to do with the cake flour.

So, this month awaits another variation of pound cake, the "ELVIS PRESLEY FAVOURITE POUND CAKE". Waiting for the right occasion to make it.

Here is the recipe for the cake:

120gm good quality butter
45gm sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup (152gm) condensed milk
1 1/2 tsp vanilla paste  (replaced with 1 teaspoon of nutmeg)
120gm cake flour (replaced with AP flour)
3/4 tsp baking powder
2 large eggs

Sift cake flour and baking powder tog. Set aside.
Cream butter and sugar tog till light and fluffy.
Add in salt and vanilla paste and cream well.
Pour in condensed milk and cream till well combined.
Using the mixer on low speed, add in flour in 3 additions. Mix till batter is smooth.
Add in eggs one at a time. Make sure it's well mixed and smooth.
Bake at 175 degrees for 1 hour. (mine was done in 45 mts)
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