GAJAR KA HALWA CAKE – INDIAN CARROT CAKE -INDIAN FUSION CAKE

Technically, summer is here, and no was ready to eat the leftover gajar ka halwa, and well I brainstormed and layered it with a cake!
This Indian fusion cake is incredibly moist with soft crumbs, layered with an Indian sweet inspired melt in your mouth cream and then topped with a classic Indian dessert – Gajar ka Halwa.

I had already made a fusion cake in the past – MOTICHOOR CAKE (INFUSED WITH ROSE FLAVOUR ), EGGLESS CHOCO RASMALAI CAKE,

If you are a fan of Indian sweets or desserts then this Gajar Halwa Cake is a must try. Here is how to make Indian carrot cake from scratch:

INSTRUCTIONS:

INGREDIENTS:
For the Cake Base

  • 1.5 cups All purpose Flour/Maida
  • 1.5 tsp Baking Powder
  • 1/2 tsp Baking Soda
  • 1/4 tsp Salt
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 3/4 cup Milk
  • 1/2 cup Yogurt
  • 1/2 cup Oil
  • 1/2 tsp Rabdi Essence 

Sugar Syrup

  • 3 tbsp Sugar
  • 3 tbsp Hot Water

Gajar Ka Halwa

  • 200 gms Gajar halwa
  • 2 tbsp chopped salted pistachios
  • 2 cup Whipped Cream Filling and Frosting
  • 1/4 tsp Rabdi Essence

For Cake Decoration

  • Chocolate Ganache, Fresh Flowers,  Chocolate Spheres, Rose Petals and Crushed Pistachios

INSTRUCTIONS:

Step 1 – For the Cake Base

  1. Sift together the dry ingredients – Flour, Baking powder, Baking Soda, Salt and keep aside
  2. Mix sugar and milk in a bowl until homogenous. Whisking continuously add the oil to help it emulsify. Next, add the yogurt and essence and combine together.wp-16138980004938558957085137890335.jpg
  3. Add the sifted dry ingredients into the wet in two batches. Combine to form a smooth batter
  4. Divide the batter evenly between three 6 inch pans that have been greased with butter and lined with parchment paper. Approximately 275 gms in each tin.wp-1613898001193608997646282241255.jpg
  5. Bake in a preheated oven of 180°C for 35-45 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. After 5 mins, invert the cake pans to release the cake. Remove the parchment paper and allow it to cool completely.

Step 2 – Sugar Syrup

  1. Mix the sugar in the hot water until completely dissolved.
  2. Set aside to cool completely.

Step 3: Whipped Cream for filling and frosting

  1. Add the whipping cream, and rabdi essence in a mixing bowl And set aside.

Step 4: Gajar Ka Halwa

  1. I have a detailed post on how to make gajar ka halwa .Gajar (Carrot) Ka Halwa You can refer that or simply use your mom’s recipe or you can also choose to buy from the market.
  2. You would need 200 gms of halwa for filling and 25 gms for filling the chocolate spheres if you are following my way of decorating the cake.

Step 5 : To Assemble

  1. Start by trimming the top caramelised portion of the cake even if you get flat tops.
  2. Soak the cake with prepared sugar syrup
  3. Add 1/3 of the whipped cream filling and spread to an even layer
  4. 100 gms of gajar halwa goes next. Spread it out too.
  5. A layer of chopped salted pistachios
  6. Then comes the middle cake layer.
  7. Repeat the steps till you reach the very top – sugar syrup, whipped cream, 100 gms halwa, chopped pistachio and the final (third) cake layer.
  8. Crumb coat the cake with the remaining whipped cream to get the rustic look.
  9. Finally pour ganache over it and decorate with white chocolate flakes and bowl and gajar ka halwa .

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NOTES:

  • Allow the cake, sugar syrup, gajar halwa to cool completely before assembling the cake.
  • Soaking the cake with sugar syrup keeps it moist for 3 days. At the same time, do not soak too much or else the cake would become wet rather than moist.
  • Salted pistachio cuts down the sweetness of the cake.
     

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MANGO KALAKAND TARTS

A fusion dessert that is quick and easy to make and you will need just 4 ingredients to make it. It takes only 10 minutes to cook.  Setting and chilling time of 3-4 hrs
Mango Kalakand served with biscuit tarts made with Britania Marie gold biscuit.

Instant Mango Kalakand served in tarts with any cookies or digestive biscuits with a secret ingredient to perk up the taste.. You can call it No-Bake Indian Cheesecake (though it needs some cooking) as this yummy kalakand is made with Indian Cottage Cheese, Mango Puree & White Chocolate.

INGREDIENTS:
For Tart base
12 Britania Marie gold biscuit
4-5 tbsp Butter
1/4 tsp Salt when using unsalted butter
For Mango Kalakand
1/2 cup Condensed Milk
1/2 Cup Fresh Homemade Paneer
1/2 cup Mango Puree
2 tbsp White Chocolate
1 tsp Thandai Powder (optional)
Finely chopped Pistachios or Almonds
1 tsp Ghee or Butter

 

INSTRUCTIONS:
 To make Tarts base

  1. In a food processor, grind biscuits coarsely.
  2. Melt butter, add to biscuits and pulse again till the mixture resembles bread crumbs.
  3. Press the mixture in tart shells. Keep in the refrigerator to chill, till the base is set.
  4. wp-15949149318975825052734994150830.jpg
  5. To make Mango Kalakand
  6. In a non-stick pan, add a tsp of ghee, condensed milk, paneer and thandai powder.
  7. Mix well and start cooking the mixture on low flame. Keep stirring the mixture.
  8. When the mixture starts to thicken. switch off the flame.
  9. Add white chocolate chips, mix well, till it melts.wp-15949149316962775143046255054975.jpg
  10. Keep aside the mixture to cool.
  11. Then add mango puree and mix well.
  12. Transfer to the tart shells and chill 4-5 hrs or till serving,
  13. Garnish with finely chopped pistachios or almonds.

 

NOTES:

  • If using store-bought Paneer/Indian Cottage Cheese, soften it a bit in lukewarm water if it is hard and crumble it finely.
  • When using fresh mango puree, add sugar accordingly(1-2 tbsp or as required).
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SPICY PIRI PIRI MACARONI

It is no secret that I love pasta and thus I keep try ing to make lots of different variations of pasta every chance I get. I initially started by making Indian style macaroni, then ended up using piri piri masala and let me tell you… it was a game-changer!

Here is homemade spicy macaroni. If you are someone who wants to enjoy their pasta with your Indian spices and a touch of peri-peri, this is for you. This pasta version does not just taste buds- pleasing but also eye-pleasing because of its impressive red colour. Spice up with this delicious treat! Feel free to add more veggies to it if you would like.
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INGREDIENTS:

2 cups elbow macaroni pasta
1 onion, chopped
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 small tomato, chopped
1 Capsicum chopped
1.5 tsp of olive oil
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/8 tsp asafetida
½ tsp turmeric powder
½ tsp red chilli powder
1 tsp cumin-coriander powder
1 tsp Piri Piri masala
½ tsp oregano
½ tsp red crushed pepper (optional)
Salt to taste
Pepper to taste
Half of lemon, juiced
5-6 sprigs cilantro, chopped (optional)
Basil leaves chopped

INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Cook the pasta according to packaged directions.
  2. In a pan, heat some oil then add cumin seeds; once the cumin seeds start to splatter, add the asafetida then add onion and garlic immediately.wp-15899061198316731161811264240822.jpg
  3. Let it cook until the onions are translucent, around 2 minutes. Then add the capsicum and let that cook for another minute.
  4. Add tomatoes, all the remaining spices, and a splash of water. Let the spices cook for a minute, then add the cooked pasta. Add more olive oil if the pasta seems dry (you can also add a ladle of the pasta water to marry everything together.) Mix everything well.wp-15899061200247713344474381654917.jpg
  5. Turn off the heat then add lemon juice and chopped cilantro (if using)
    Serve hot!
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NOTES:

  • You can use any pasta you like or have on hand.
  • I use the  Key brand Piri Piri Masala
  • You can add cheese to this if you like.
  • Taste the salt before adding more as the Piri Piri masala and the pasta water will have salt in them.
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KESAR BADAM CUPCAKES WITH COLOURED THANDAI FLAVOUR FROSTING

The festive season has already begun with Holi just here.
I have some Indo-fusion desserts to share with all of you to make this Holi fun and delicious.

Innovation is the key in the world of fusion.
The first recipe   “Kesar Badam Cupcakes with coloured thandai flavour Frosting” is an innovation in sweets.
This international dessert tastes so good in its desi version. It is a cupcake no doubt, but it is packed with Indian flavours.
The saffron and almond flavour in the cupcakes just takes it to the next level.
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INGREDIENTS :

Almonds (soaked, peeled and chopped) – 20
Saffron strands – a pinch (soaked in 1 tbsp warm milk)
All-purpose flour – 1 cup
Baking powder – 1 tsp
Butter – ¼ cup (Instead of using oil, you can use ½ cup butter or vice versa)
Vegetable oil – ¼ cup
Condensed milk – ½ cup
Curd/yoghurt – ¼ cup
Almond essence – few drops

For the Thandai frosting:
Whipped.cream
2 tsp thandai powder
Food colour
red, yellow, blue, green

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Preheat oven at 180-degree celsius.
  2. Line a cupcake mould with cupcake liners.
  3. First of all, soak saffron strands in warm milk and keep aside, also chop the almonds.
  4. In a mixing bowl, take condensed milk, curd, butter, vegetable oil, almond essence and whisk till well combined.
  5. Now sift in the flour, baking powder and fold lightly until entire flour is well combined.
  6. Add in the chopped almonds and soaked saffron strands along with the milk. Combine well using a whisk or spatula. The batter is now ready.wp-15838258412338696014662876366914.jpg
  7. Fill each cupcake cavity with one scoop full of the batter. The mould should be ⅔ rd full leaving space to rise.
  8. Bake them for 15 minutes at 180-degree Celsius or until a skewer inserted in the centre of a cupcake comes out clean.
  9. Once done, keep the cupcakes on a wire rack to cool.
  10. To make the Frosting: inTake whipped cream in mixing bowl and add thandai powder to it.
  11. Transfer the prepared frosting with colours into a piping bag with a nozzle of your choice and pipe on the cupcakes, once they are fully cool.

    Ta-da! Your cupcakes are ready to eat.

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BLUEBERRY THANDAI PHIRNI

Thandai is synonymous to Holi and so instead of making the drink this time, you can surprise your friends and family with this delicious dessert. Here is how to make Blueberry Thandai Phirni.

This Thandai Phirni is a twist on the traditional Phirni recipe which is a rice pudding and making it very Holi-ish by adding some Thandai Masala Powder & crushed blueberry to it.
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INGREDIENTS:
1 tsp Ghee
1 and 1/2 litre Full cream milk
3 tbsp long grain basmati rice
15-20 Saffron Soaked in 2 tbsp milk
3 tbsp Thandai masala powder
1/4 cup Sugar
1/ 2tbsp  crushed blueberries
1/2 tbsp blueberries for decoration

INSTRUCTIONS :

  1. Wash the rice and soak in enough water for 30 minutes.
  2. Drain the water and grind in a blender to make a coarse paste.
  3. Heat ghee in the heavy bottom pan. Add milk.
  4. Once the milk comes to a boil, simmer the heat.
  5. Add ground rice, thandai masala powder and saffron soaked in milk and cook on
  6. low heat till the milk is reduced to half and the phirni has thickened.
  7. Now add crushed blueberries.
  8. Keep in mind that phirni will thicken some more once cooled.
  9. Transfer the phirni in small bowl and chill in the refrigerator.
  10. Garnish with some coloured sugar and blueberries.
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GULAB JAMUN CUSTARD (A FUSION INDIAN DESSERT)

Gulab Jamun Custard (A Fusion Indian Dessert)

Gulab jamun custard is a milk based sweet and a fusion sweet/dessert. Gulab jamun is soft milk balls soaked in sugar syrup and in this fusion version, Jamun is served with custard and garnished with praline / chikki.

I’ve always liked fusion desserts, so this summer I made this delicious Indian- flavoured custard.

picsart_04-30-074459559414767592920.jpgINGREDIENTS :

Custard
Mini Gulab Jamun (Homemade ) recipe…DIL JAMUN ❤(Heart-Shaped Gulab Jamun )
Nut Brittle ~ Praline ~ Chikki

Custard Ingredients:

3 cups Milk
3 tbsp Custard Powder
¼ – ⅓ tsp Cardamom Seeds, powdered
5 – 6 tbsp Sugar (to taste)INSTRUCTIONS:

  1. Take 2 – 3 tbsp of milk in a bowl, add custard powder, cardamom powder to the bowl and make a fine, lump-free paste. Keep the paste aside.1526990280639
  2. Take remaining milk in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.1526990362630
  3. Reduce the flame, add some hot milk to custard paste, mix well and pour it back into a hot pan of milk, stirring constantly.
    Cook/simmer for few minutes until custard thickens and coats the back of the spoon.1526990512158
  4. Keeping aside a tbsp of sugar, add sugar to custard and mix until it melts into the custard.
  5. When desired consistency is reached, turn off the flame. Mind you, custard thickens when it cools.
  6. Crumble brittle/chikki to small pieces.
    Take custard in serving bowls, add gulab jamun and top it with broken chikki.

NOTES:

  • Sprinkle remaining one tbsp of sugar on custard and let it cool. Sugar will melt and prevent the custard from forming a thick layer on the surface.
  • When the custard is cool, refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Since custard is served with jamun, which is soaked in sugar syrup, I went a little easy on the sugar.If you ever try this recipe don’t forget to share your photos with me on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter or tag me on Instagram @Asthas_kitchen  using the hashtag #Asthaskitchrn and stay connected* I would love to see your creations from my space!!
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