Wednesday, August 10, 2011
Boy wants to make an Indian wife out of me before we're even married.
He requested Kaju Barfi for dessert, as though I knew what it was.
I googled it and said, "Easy!"
Although the recipe looked easy, I struggled to gain my composure for a bit because sugar, water and I don't get along. I've burned of many caramels in my past.
But this is really easy!
Simply made with cashews, sugar, water and cardamom. And a little splash of rose water if you have some handy (I do).
This is normally adorned with edible foil, but I don't have edible foil. I'm not that fancy.
Adapted from this recipe
2 c cashews, unsalted
3/4 c sugar (I used half of the original recipe I looked up)
water (enough to dissolve the sugar)
cardamom (a few pods, finely chopped with my razor-blade knife)
rose water (just a splash, optional)
First things first. Why did I use half the amount of sugar? The first time I made this, it was too sweet for us. The sugar does give the barfi a more crystalline structure so it has a nice little bite to it. Reducing the sugar gave it the slight chewy texture of traditional barfi (according to Boy).
Finely powder cashew in small batches with a coffee grinder. Small batches will avoid making a sticky/oily mess (think peanut butter, except you don't want that).
Mix sugar and water in a large pan (I used a wok; I'm Asian) on medium heat until it turns into a nice syrup (no need to caramelize based on my experience).
In another pan, ever-so-lightly toast freshly-powdered cashew. Add cardamom to toasting cashew. Add cashew/cardamom mix into syrup and stir.
Add a splash of rose water for fun and stir to incorporate. You'll end up with a dryish "dough".
Plop "dough" onto oiled surface. Let it cool a bit and work it! It will never come together like a dough dough (no gluten or anything to hold it together). Just work it until it cools enough to roll with a rolling pin (or a wine bottle if you don't have a rolling pin like me). 1/4" thick works fine for me.
Use a pizza cutter to cut into diamonds or squares. You can use cookie cutters and make them into whatever shape you'd like. Don't go moving around the dough and stuff after you cut. Leave it be and place in refrigerator to cool and set. In 30-60 minutes, you will have a nice fudge-like cashew treat!