Not too long ago, I tried to make a decadent Rasmalai cake that was created by the very talented Melissa Clark. It was a work of labor and love. More recently, looking at the aisles of Rosogolla in the Indian store sparked an interesting thought. What would happen if I somehow weaved store brought Rosogollas into a tres leches style cake batter with some rasmalai flavors infused in?
That is the experiment that went down in my kitchen tonight. I started with making a tres leches cake base, swapping in cardamom for the vanilla. When the cake batter was ready, I folded in sliced Rosogollas (I squeezed out their sugar syrup first), baked the cake and gave the final touch – a soak in a tres leches (three milks) concoction flavored with saffron, cardamom and crushed pistachios.
My parents were over the moon happy, their neighbors delighted with this unexpected gift and me? I was just beaming because yet another idea came to life beautifully! Here’s how this cake came together.
- 1.5 cups all purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 2 tsps cardamom
- 12 small store bought Rosogollas (I bought a can of Bikaner mini Rosogollas)
- 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 5 eggs
- 1/2 cup half and half
- 1/2 cup 2% milk
- 1 can condensed milk
- 4 strands of saffron, crushed
- 1/8 cup shelled pistachios, toasted and crushed
- 1/2 tsp cardamom
- 1 tbsp ghee or butter for prepping pan
- 1 tbsp flour for prepping pan
1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Brush a 9×13 inch pan with one tbsp of ghee or butter and dust it with the tbsp of flour.
2. Whisk the flour, baking powder and cardamom (two tsps) in a bowl.
3. Slice the Rosogollas in half, gently squeeze out the sugar syrup and set it aside.
3. Cream the butter and sugar together until nice and fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time and beat till blended.
4. Slowly add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, and mix till the ingredients are blended.
5. Fold in the Rosogolla slices into the cake batter.
6. Transfer the batter to the prepared pan and bake for 30 minutes, or till the top of the cake is light brown and a cake tester comes out clean.
7. Remove the cake from the oven, poke holes all over the cake with a wooden skewer or toothpick and set aside to cool.
8. Prepare the tres leches mixture by mixing the half and half, 2% milk, condensed milk, saffron, pistachios, and 1/2 tsp cardamom in a bowl.
9. Pour the tres leches mixture over the cake.
Enjoy every milk infused crumb and be transported to flavor nirvana!
Yesterday afternoon, my husband and I were at Saravana Bhavan for lunch. Me hankering for my favorite combination platter, him scanning for his keto friendly options. And when my plate came with sheera (a cream of wheat dessert), he was not a happy camper. It was like a three-year-old who wanted to have the same dessert, but his disciplined nature would not allow him to!
Back home, I kept hearing the little groans of wanting a similar dessert. So, with the ingredients in our pantry and fridge, I whipped up these almond dessert cups. He loved them and of course, I was happy that they were ready in about 20 minutes (minus the refrigeration time, if you prefer it cold).
- 1.5 cups milk (I used 2% since that’s what I had at home)
- .5 cup heavy cream
- 1.5 cups almond flour
- 1 cup allulose (you could use erythritol)
- 1 tsp cardamom powder
- 2 tsp sliced almonds (plus a few more for decorating)
- 4 tsp ghee
1. Pour the milk and heavy cream into a heavy bottom pan and warm the mixture ever so slightly over a low flame.
2. Turn off the stove, sprinkle the almond flour, allulose, and cardamom powder into the milk/cream mixture and mix thoroughly with a wooden spoon or spatula.
3. Turn the stove back on, add the ghee and keep stirring the mixture at medium heat till it thickens and is the consistency of thick glue (about 15 minutes).
4. Turn off the stove and portion the dessert into six little cups and top with the remaining almonds.
PS. You can have it warm or serve it cold after sticking it in the fridge for an hour.
This winter, I decided to visit one of my incredibly close friends from home who currently attends the University of Maryland. We decided to meet up at Gallery Place in Washington, DC, where the Capital Metro’s red line and green line intersect. We did not make any plans or reservations, that was never our style. This is the kind of person you meet up with and adventures simply happen. As we strolled around the chilly streets of downtown DC, we shared stories of college life and got nostalgic about the simplest things, from an amazing trip to Walt Disney World during our senior year to the coffee runs we would make on a weekly (sometimes daily) basis over the summer. It was then that we stumbled upon Pitango, a store that looked out-of-place amidst the sea of sports fans pouring out of the Verizon Center. It was relatively empty and had an “old meets new” Italian charm to it.
Little did we know we would spend an hour inside this small coffee and gelato shop, trying practically everything on the menu. The service was excellent, with baristas who came with stories to share and memories to make. The coffee was incredible, bold and rich, reminding me of similar drinks in Rome and Venice. The star of the show however, was the sipping hot chocolate, a delicacy I thought only existed in Eastern Europe. The concept was simple, thick, gooey, molten, bittersweet chocolate in a cup. There are not many adjectives needed to describe how delicious it tasted, especially when accompanied by an espresso shot to keep the conversation lively.
If you are ever in the downtown DC area, whether you are there for business, leisure, or catching up with an old friend as I was, I can’t recommend Pitango enough. Their ingredients are fresh, their servers are incredibly charming, and they provide a cozy backdrop on a cold wintry night.
Please do check them out here: http://pitangogelato.com/