Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Daring to do it: Indian desserts

I love that over the last month or so I have gotten to learn so much about Indian food.  First with the biryani, and now with desserts!

Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen was our August 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to make some amazing regional Indian desserts. The Mawa Cake, the Bolinhas de Coco cookies and the Masala cookies – beautifully spiced and delicious! Smile

I truly like and respect Aparna, and I really wanted to participate in her challenge.  But it was kind of hard this month.  The recipes she provided looked amazing, but they all had ingredients which I either don't or can't keep in the house.  The don'ts were spices, which I know I could have found, but I was afraid they would go to waste.  That can't was the main ingredient in the cake - mawa.  Mawa is, simply put, milk cooked down to its solids.  With my lactose intolerance and Little Girl's milk allergy, milk based foods are a no-go.  But I found a recipe for a vegan version of the mawa cake and decided to give it a go.
The vegan alternative for mawa was vegan cream cheese.  Which I happened to have in the house for Little Girl.
The other key ingredient in this cake is cardamom.  I have used this spice once before, but didn't really appreciate it for what it was.
If you have never used cardamom before, please do yourself a favor and get some.  I toasted the pods before opening them, but that really wasn't necessary.  The smell when the pods were opened and crushed was AMAZING.  Like, I was almost mad at myself for not using real cardamom before.
The finished cake looked and smelled lovely.
As you can see from the slice, my cardamom wasn't very finely crushed, and I think I might have needed to cook the cake a bit longer (the tester came out clean...!), but oh, my, this was amazing.
I am so glad I made this cake.  I am so going to make it again!
Now, the challenge, as Aparna gave to us, was to make the mawa cake and also a cookie or biscuit from the listed recipes.  I only made the cake...  Oh well...  Sorry, Aparna!  But the cake is so worthwhile, and I am so glad you introduced it to us!!
Take a look at what my fellow Daring Bakers did with this awesome challenge.  You won't be disappointed!!


  1. Your cake looks great! And yes - it tastes divine. Well substituting all that work for creating mawa I'm not suprised you'll be doing it again ;) I on the contrary won't - unless I won't bother with making mawa again (lots of work!). The cake is delish tho and that kind of rewarded me after all that hard work (standing above it and constant stirring ;) ).
    Pozdrawiam, Anula.

  2. I know exactly what you mean about the fresh cardamom - so amazing and such better flavour than pre-powdered! Glad you were able to find a way around the milk issue for this challenge :)