Hello all! Please join me in welcoming Meeta from What's For Lunch Honey this week for a spectacular blog post exchange where India meets Germany in a delectable delight for your culinary senses. You will find me over at her blog where I've created some Pink Almond Spekulatius Barfi, but for now, over to you Meeta:
Bollywood Cooking: Chocolate Fudge Burfi
If you are looking for Mowie, you'll find him making some Mowielicious magic over at my place! In return I am here to make you lick your fingers with an extremely delicious sweet.
Mowie and I got together a few days ago and decided to have some fun with a very popular Indian sweet called Burfi. I suggested we feature it in my Indian cooking series called Bollywood Cooking, where I highlight a variety of delectable Indian dishes, with the aim to get more people cooking Indian food at home. This time it is an honor for me to share the stage with Mowie and present you with a double variety of a very popular sweet in India.
Burfi is a classic, usually prepared during festivals in Indian homes but often bought from the large number of sweet shops for celebrations with friends and family. It's the Indian version of pralines! You'll find them in all sorts of flavors, varieties and colors. Plain burfi is usually made from either condensed milk or plain milk, cooked with sugar until it solidifies. Some of my own favorite varieties include besan (gram flour) burfi, made with gram flour and pistachio burfi, which is a milk burfi containing ground pistachio nuts. Burfi sometimes resembles cheese, especially if it is made with plain milk which is cooked with a drizzle of lemon juice to curdle the milk and making cheese or khoya out of it. In this case it may have a hint of cheese to it and is sometimes called "Indian cheese cake".
The experience of going to an Indian "sweet shop" is unlike anything I have ever encountered. As one walks into one of these locales all your senses begin to jump with sheer joy, inducing all kinds of rainbow colored tingling feelings in your body. The aromas of spices, nuts, fruits and sugar sends vibes to the brain causing your mouth to salivate the instant you walk in. The kaleidoscopic colors of sweets displayed in the glass vitrines make your eyes glow with a shiny sense of excitement for the final anticipation - a bite. This, of course, is pure pleasure, causing the vendor to grin broadly, because he now knows he has yet again captivated another person to buy boxes full of his sweets.
Mowie and I wanted to have fun in the kitchen. Neither of us had made burfi before and while I was working on a recipe I kept putting it aside. Mowie gave me the kick I needed. I actually "met" Mowie virtually a few weeks back and it was love at first sight - with his blog. Ever since then we've gotten used to emailing each other regularly. In one of his emails he mentioned that he actually comes from Germany and so it seemed fairly inevitable that we give this Indian sweet a bit of a German twist.
So, we tackled burfi for the first time. While I have a very dear-to-me recipe for burfi from my grandmother I was not quite ready to share that yet. My aim was to create a very basic burfi recipe - something without much fuss and with just a few ingredients. I was planning to go the condensed milk way with this burfi, believing it was something unique. Mowie however, confirmed that he had seen several recipes using condensed milk, while I was under the impression that milk was the main ingredient in burfi.
In this recipe five basic ingredients produced a delicious, creamy and very fudge-like composition. This is not a traditional burfi recipe but my interpretation. The result: a luscious and decadent sweet, flavored with a hint of Lebkuchen spice, a lot of rich chocolate and some salted macadamia nuts to cut the sweetness and for that lovely crunch. Just perfect for Christmas gifts for your special friends and family - because let's be honest something like this you either eat yourself or share with the specials in your life ;-)
Chocolate Fudge Burfi
415ml sweetened condensed milk
6 tablespoons butter + more for the form
200g dark rich cocoa powder
1/2 - 1 teaspoon Lebkuchen spice, depending on your taste. See note below for Lebkuchen spice
150g salted macadamia nuts, chopped
- Pour the condensed milk into a saucepan, then add butter, Lebkucken spice and cocoa.
- Heat and cook the mixture on a gentle heat, stirring continuously, the mixture thickens and begins to come off the sides of the pan at approx. 10-12 minutes.
- Butter a rectangular or square dish/form, then pour in the thick cocoa mixture. Using a offset spatula smooth the top and allow to cool and set, preferably in the fridge.
- Sprinkle with the macadamia nuts and cut into squares.
Note: If you cannot find premixed "Lebkuchen Gewürz" from a German store, you may mix your own. Here are the spices that make up "Lebkuchen Gewürz"
2 T. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cloves
1/2 tsp. ground allspice
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. ground coriander
1/2 tsp. ground cardamom
1/2 tsp. ground ginger
1/2 tsp. ground anise seed
Storage: This will keep for a week in the fridge and for up to 2 months in the freezer. If you are freezing these itís a good idea to pre-cut the burfi and first allow to freeze on a tray. Then once frozen you can transfer them to a box. Take them out about 20-30 minutes before serving.
Serving tip: Frozen: I had one straight out of the freezer and they were incredible. A whole new dessert idea Frozen Chocolate Fudge Burfi. I am having guests tomorrow evening and plan to serve this frozen with an exotic fruit salad.
If you want to see Mowie's version come on over to What's For Lunch, Honey? and indulge in his extravagant burfi recipe. In the meantime I'm counting the days (8) when I'll finally be meeting Mowie at the Food Bloggers Connect so I can hug him in person.