How can there not be a post on gulab jamun when one is sharing festival desserts; even if it happens to be in the form of a cake. Traditionalists might raise an eyebrow at this cake but they need to consider that it is a fusion dessert cake and one that is not just beautiful but tastes brilliant and it is akin to having a gulab jamun. And why not!? The cake has ingredients similar to the milk powder gulab jamuns that I had shared a few years back.
A favourite of all age groups, the syrupy gulab jamuns perfumed with rose water or cardamom powder and saffron are a dreamy kind of dessert present at nearly every Indian festival and celebration. I was inspired by this recipe, and had been meaning to try it in my kitchen. Diwali seemed like just the right time to share this fusion dessert cake. However, I wanted to make it eggless therefore I used my Chocolate Cake recipe since it is a tried and tested kind of recipe and yields beautiful crumb.
Do stay tuned for the two more Diwali dessert posts, which will mark the end of the festival posts series. One of them is a classic western dessert but with exotic flavours and, the other, a very traditional dessert from the state of Odisha that I have been meaning to share since last year. I had, in fact, shared it on my IG stories during the lockdown last year.
1½ C Maida (all purpose flour)
½ C Milk Powder
3 tbsp Suji (semolina)
1¼ tsp Baking Powder
¾ tsp Baking Soda
½ tsp Cardamom Powder
½ C – ¾ C Caster Sugar (we prefer half a cup but if you prefer sweeter cake, go for three fourth cup)
¾ C Yogurt (I used the thick store-brought one)
¼ C Milk
½ C any neutral Oil
10 – 12 strands Saffron soaked in a tablespoon of warm milk
½ C Water
½ C Sugar
½ tsp Rose Essence or Almond Essence
A small pinch Saffron
6 Whole Green Cardamoms, slightly crushed
A teaspoon Lime Juice
½ C Confectioner’s Sugar (Icing Sugar)
1 tbsp warm Milk or warm Water
Small pinch Saffron
Finely chopped nuts to garnish (optional)
Prepare a seven inch round tin by greasing and dusting with flour or lining it with parchment paper. Set aside. Turn on the oven and set it to heat at 175 degrees C.
In a bowl, whisk the dry ingredients together i.e. flour, semolina, milk powder, baking powder, baking soda and cardamom powder. Set aside.
In a mixing bowl whisk together the milk, yogurt and sugar till the sugar is completely dissolved. Add oil and whisk till it gets incorporated completely. Now add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients along with the saffron soaked milk. Whisk till everything just comes together and you attain a smooth batter.
Pour the batter into the prepared tin and place it in the oven for 40 – 50 minutes (depending on thermostat of your oven) or till a skewer or tooth pick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out clean. Once the cake is done, remove it from the oven and place it over a wire rack. After approximately five minutes remove the cake from the tin and place the cake on the wire rack. Using a skewer or tooth pick, poke the cake, so that it absorbs the syrup. Start making the syrup as soon as you remove the cake from the tin. Do not wait for the cake to cool.
Place all ingredients mentioned under the syrup ingredients (except lemon juice) in a sauce pan and bring it to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for approximately five minutes. Discard the green cardamoms and stir in the lemon juice.
Using a large spoon, pour the syrup evenly over the cake. Set it aside to cool completely. (I poured half the syrup on top of the cake and then flipped the cake and poked it again and poured rest of the syrup over the flipped side) Let it rest for ten to fifteen minutes in case you want to eat it straight away. In case you wish to drizzle it with glaze, cool the cake completely before you proceed.
Soak the saffron in the warm milk or warm water, which ever you are using, for half an hour. In a small mixing bowl, whisk together the saffron milk or water and icing sugar and then pour it evenly over the cake, allowing some to trickle down the cake. Garnish by sprinkling some finely chopped nuts. Allow the cake to sit for fifteen minutes or till the glaze sets and then slice and serve. Enjoy!
Serves – 8 to 10
Note – You can use whipped mascarpone (to which you can add a small pinch of saffron soaked in a teaspoon of milk) to make the cake richer and look dressy. Finish off by sprinkling some dry rose petals and finely chopped nuts of your choice.
Thank you for your visit and see you soon again with another exciting recipe!