This year, among other things, I had this idea to make a luscious mousse or pudding dessert using an indian mithai staple, mawa or khoya. I wanted to keep it free of eggs and gelatin though. If you cannot already tell, mawa is one of my favorite ingredients :), it is so milky and rich and kid you not, I get a little obsessed with it as the festival season approaches.
Pots de creme is a classic French dessert literally translating to pots of cream. Imagine these little creamy pots as eating a piece of burfi with a spoon.These are ridiculously easy to make and because they are quite rich, a quarter or third of a cup portion is more than enough to satiate you. The recipe makes four servings which is perfect for a small family. As the pots chill in the fridge, they set and are fragrant with floral & lemony notes of rose and elaichi (green cardamom). I used rose syrup only that's why the color is a faint shade of pink, however you can add food color for a more pronounced color.
You cannot use milk powder in this recipe, I tried it and the texture was quite grainy. Also full fat unsweetened coconut milk is the key here, I serve them with a dollop of whipped cream however you can use coconut cream for serving as well. Chilling is an important part of the recipe and I chill them overnight, this gives time to the flavors to mingle and the right consistency to be achieved.
Ingredients (Makes 4)
- 80 gms raw cashews
- 120 gms mawa/khoya, grated
- 1 +½ cup full fat thick coconut milk, unsweetened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ cup heavy cream
- 1-2 tablespoon rose syrup (use few drops of food color for a dark shade)
- ½ teaspoon rose essence
- 2 green cardamom pods, seeds only
- Pomegranate arils, nuts, rose petals and whipped cream for serving
Dry toast the cashews stirring continously for 2-3 minutes on very low heat. They should not turn too dark color. you will smell a nice aroma. Transfer to a bowl and let cool. Once cooled, grind the cashews to a fine powder, do so a small batch at a time, and don't over grind else oils of the cashews will be released. Use a colander to separate any big pieces form the fine powder and grind the piece again. Repeat till all the cashews have been ground. Set aside.
Return the same heavy pan to stove, keeping your stove to lowest, add the grated mawa. Using a spatula or a wooden spoon, keep on stirring the mawa and cook it for no longer than 6-7 minutes (time will vary as per the quality of mawa, please adjust) until the mawa is soft and you can see it glistening. Do not let the color change. Immediately transfer to a plate and let cool down.
Using a mortal and pestle, grind the cardamom pods to a fine powder.
In a large bowl, add the cooled mawa and sprinkle the cashews powder over it. Next add ½ cup coconut milk and using a whisk mix gently to make a lump free paste until all the sugar has dissolved.
Add the remaining coconut milk and heavy cream to the bowl and using a whisk, mix rigorously for 3-5 minutes till everything is combined and the mixture gets a little thickish as you whisk. Make sure that the mixture is lump free, you can run it through muslin or a strainer to make sure its smooth.You can also tip everything into a blender and pulse 2-3 times (do not overmix in blender else everything will be be whipped, we want it pourable consistency)
Add the rose syrup, rose essence and ground cardamom and mix thoroughly. Pour the mixture into 4 ramekins, cover with a cling film and let chill for atleast 6 hours or overnight.
Garnish with pomegranate, some nuts if desired and a dollop of whipped cream. Serve chilled.