It’s that time of the month again! For those of you who aren’t familiar, Daring Bakers is a group of bloggers and non-bloggers who are assigned a “secret” challenge at the beginning of each month. The 27th of each month is the “reveal” date, in which those who blog can write about their experiences and recipes for the challenge.
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!
Our guidelines this month were to make the Mawa Cake and one of the two given cookies. Mawa is the Hindi term for milk that has been cooked down to the point all of the liquid content has been evaporated and all that is left is milk solids. The Mawa in Mawa Cake results in a deliciously dense and caramel-y flavor that is reminiscent of pound cake.
Of the two cookies, I chose to make Bolinhas de Coco, which are semolina and coconut cookies. Although crispy and light on the first day, the cookies failed to retain their texture from the second day onwards. The recipe for these cookies can be found at Aparna’s site.
The Mawa Cake, however, was amazing! I made it for Eid because we were expecting lots of guests and I thought that it would make a nice addition to our spread. Boy, was it a hit! Everyone enjoyed the cake and asked for seconds! This cake will definitely be made over and over again in our home. Thanks Aparna for the fabulous challenge!
Yield: 1 Cake
- 4 cups whole milk
- ½ cup unsalted butter, softened
- ¾ cup crumbled mawa
- 1¼ cup sugar
- 3 eggs
- ½ cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 cups cake flour
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cardamom powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- Blanched or sliced nuts to decorate
Pour the milk into a heavy-bottomed pan and bring it to a boil, stirring often to prevent burning.
Reduce heat to medium and continue cooking until the milk has reduced to one-fourth of the original quantity. Stir often to avoid burning. Reduce heat to low and allow the milk to cook a little longer. Stir regularly until the milk solids (mawa) take on a lumpy appearance. There should be no visible liquid left in the pan, but the mawa should be moist.
Remove from heat and transfer to a bowl to cool. Once completely cooled, mawa can stored in the refrigerator for up to two days. Allow to come to room temperature before using.
4 cups of milk yields approximately ¾ to 1 cup mawa.
Preheat oven to 350°F and set aside a greased 9-inch spring form pan (or 8-inch baking pan that is deep).
In a large bowl, beat butter, crumbled mawa, and sugar on high speed until light and fluffy.
Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated. Add milk and vanilla and mix well.
Sift the flour, baking powder, cardamom powder, and salt into the batter and beat on medium speed until completely incorporated.
Pour the prepared batter into the spring form pan. Lightly smooth the top. Decorate with nuts.
Bake for about 1 hour, until the cake is golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. If the cake seems to be browning too quickly, cover with aluminum foil.
Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove from pan and cool completely.