Sunday, 26 February 2012

Almond and Orange Blossom Barfi

Barfi, or burfi, is a sweet made with condensed milk from India, like all Indian sweets they are tooth achingly sugary. They are also very delicious, but even I can only eat one or two. I have been meaning to try making all the different Indian sweets that I love so much for a while now, and Barfi seemed like a good starting point as it is a fairly straightforward recipe. My favourite sweet is the gulab jamun, a deep fried ball of milk powder saturated in a rose flavoured syrup, which I will make, once I feel confident with enough other recipes.
I love the taste of almonds with orange blossom water, which is more of a Middle Eastern combination than an Indian one. I added a few drops to the barfi mix after cooking it, but if you want to keep it traditional, just leave it out. The recipe I used came from Mamta's Kitchen, a website with a huge collection of recipes, everything I've cooked from there has been fantastic. If you like or want to learn about cooking authentic Indian food it's a real find.

400g condensed milk
200g ground almonds
20 blanched almonds, roughly chopped
few drops almond essence
1 tsp orange blossom water
Extra blanched almonds, to decorate.

Grease a swiss roll tin. Put the condensed milk, ground almonds, chopped almonds and almond essence in a saucepan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring all the time with a wooden spoon. The mixture is quite stiff, but persevere. When the mix starts pulling away from the sides in one mass as you stir it, it is ready. Off the heat, beat in the orange blossom water. Transfer the barfi mix to the greased tin. I found this easiest by spooning it in, and then smoothing it all down with a knife. I also only used about half the length of the swiss roll tin, making the sweets about 1cm thick. At this point I pressed in some more blanched almonds to decorate. Leave the barfi to cool. When the mixture has set, cut it into squares or diamonds. Lift out of the tin carefully to store.

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