Cakes / Pastries / Cookies/ Bread/Muffins.

Sparkling Gulab Jamun Cheese Cake – Gelatin Free Version.

Gulab Jamun Cheese Cake

INGREDIENTS:

21/2 Cups Powdered Marie biscuits

50 gms butter, melted
5 gms agar agar (unflavoured china grass)
1 cup water
400 gms Cream Cheese

120 g sugar

200g Sour Cream

200ml whipping cream
1.5 Tsp cardamom powder

Pinch of saffron strands soaked in 1 tsp milk
Tiny pinch of salt
15 home made or Store bought Gulab jamuns
Chopped pistachios & dried rose petals for garnish

PROCEDURE:

Place all the biscuits in the food processor and pulse to a powder.

Add 1 Tsp Cardamom and melted butter and mix. The resulting mixture resembles the consistency of wet sand.

Line a spring form pan with parchment paper and pour this mixture.

Use a flat based cup or ladle and firmly press the biscuit mixture on to the base.

Cover spring form pan with cling wrap and refrigerate.

In a bowl add the softened cream cheese and whisk/ mix briskly. You do not require a stand mixer, but it can be utilized for a hands free working.

Now add the 120 gms sugar and whisk briskly until combined to a soft batter consistency.

Add 200 gms of sour cream (OR) hung yoghurt ( with absolutely no water) (OR) Greek yoghurt, the pinch of milk with soaked saffron strands (optional) and keep mixing.

Finally add 200 ml of whipping cream and mix vigorously.

Add 5 gms agar agar to 1 cup water in a sauce pan and soak for ten mins

Place sauce pan in the stove and slowly cook the agar agar in the water on a low flame with intermittent stirring. Set aside.

Pour the bloomed and warmed agar agar mix into  the cream cheese mixture and set aside.

Optionally add a pinch of cardamom powder and mix in.

Remove the chilled base from the refrigerator and arrange half sliced gulab jamuns completely on the chilled biscuit base.

Pour the mixed cream cheese batter on to the base and smoothen the top.

Cover with cling wrap and place inside the top shelf of the refrigerator.

Remove after a minimum of 3-4  hours for the cheesecake to be set well.

Decorate the top of the cheesecake with rose petals/ crushed pistachios/ gulab jamuns and silver varq.

Keep refrigerated until ready to serve.

A great option to take to a Diwali potluck or a Indian fusion party!

Naivedhyams/ Festival Offerings. · Sweets

Badushah / Balushahi – Sweets for Anubhavati Second Bloggiversary!!!

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Two of my  favorite sweets are Badushah and Jangiri. Its a very strange pick as one of them is extremely sweet and dripping with syrup, whilst the other is very moderate in its use of sugar, flaky and dry. Yet I love these two contrasting sweets and enjoy them immensely. Badushah was a sweet I make almost very year for Deepavali and this time was no exception.  Today my little one wanted something sweet to go along with her savories and  today also  co-incides with the second bloggiversary of Anubhavati. I decided this was the occasion we were waiting for…Raks version inspired me last year and its a winning formula so Ive stuck to her proportions!

INGREDIENTS:

1 1/2 Cups Maida/All Purpose Flour.

3 Tbsp Butter.

3 Tbsp Hung Curd / Thick Curd.

1 Tsp Sugar.

1 Tsp Ghee.

1/2 Tsp Baking Powder.

1/4 Tsp Baking Soda.

1/4 Cup  Water.

FOR THE SYRUP:

1  Cup Sugar.

1/ 3  Cup water or just about to immerse the sugar completely.

Saffron.

A few drops of rose essence.

A few drops of  lemon juice.

Grated Coconut to garnish.

PREPARATION:

  • Start by making the dough – In a mixing bowl, add the butter at room temperature, and curd and whisk to incorporate.
  • Sieve the measured amount of All Purpose flour along with the baking soda and baking powder,
  • Add the flour and a Tsp of sugar to the mixing bowl and gently mix until you find its almost crumbly..
  • Now add the water slowly and keep kneading it with your hands until you get a soft dough.
  • Heat 1 Tsp of Ghee in a small kadai and pour over the dough. Keep covered for at least ten minutes.

Dough – Soft and pliable.

  • Meanwhile set a kadai with enough oil to fry the badushahs. Keep the flame on medium low. Do not allow to smoke.
  • Divide the dough in to small equal sized balls and roll them out smoothly without any cracks.
  • Press them flat between your palms and pinch the edges to sort of turn them in to decorative rims. They were almost looking  like little Ravioli cuties!!!

  • Optionally you could slightly flatten them between your palms and make a very small depression in the middle. I enjoyed Raks method of decorative rims so I went ahead with that. I made another batch in the traditional way too.
  • Slowly slide in the badushahs and allow them to fry in the oil. When you pop them in , they will sizzle and slide up after a couple minutes.
  • Flip them over and allow them to fry to a golden brown color on both sides.
  • If the oil is too hot or smoky, the badushahs will not cook completely….almost the same rules as in Gulab Jamuns.
  • Keep the flame on medium low and allow them to stay in and cook completely.
  • Drain them on paper napkins and then toss them in the sugar syrup until they are completely coated in them.
  • Allow a couple minutes and then remove and let them sit for some time.
  • When warm garnish with saffron strands, coconut flakes or chopped pistachios.
  • When completely cooled, enjoy flaky, sweet and yet soft badushahs!!!

HINTS:

  1. Kneading the dough plays an important part of getting soft and flaky Badushahs. Do not scrimp on the butter as this makes the dough pliable and extremely soft.
  2. Do not keep the unfried badushahs exposed for a long time before frying as this might crack them up. Cover  them with a soft towel if needed.
  3. The temperature of the oil is the most important. The badushahs need to stay in oil and cook up slowly so do not allow the oil to smoke. If this happens, bring down the heat to low and wait until right temperature is reached.