Yes, yes I know….it’s been a bit of a dessert overload around here, hasn’t it? I mean, there were these Pots de Crème and these feline Pumpkin Cheesecake Bars. Oh OH! And this Crumble!
But let’s just think about that phrase…..dessert overload.
Is there such a thing, really?
No, no I thought not.
Certainly not at this time of the year when the air is ripe with the cheer of one festival or another. For Hindus, the one just gone by, Diwali, is a major one and surely not a time to be worrying about silly things like the waistline.
Diwali, or Deepavali is the festival of lights. Yes you read that right- a festival named after me. Or was it the other way around? I’m not keeping track.
The lighting of lamps and the setting off of firecrackers symbolises an awakening. An illumination by the light of truth to dispel the darkness of ignorance.
Diwali to us is like our Christmas and New Years rolled into one. We pray to the Goddess Lakshmi for prosperity and exchange gifts of new clothes to symbolise fresh beginnings.
And after the prayer is done, lamps are lit and gifts are given, we do what we do best…….cook up a storm and eat ourselves into a food and sugar coma.
This year, Mum and I put together several sweets in addition to the main meal. I decided to try my hand at Chocolate Burfi, which it will surprise none of you to hear is one of my favourite Indian sweets. There are two versions of this sweet that I have seen. Many like to mix cocoa powder in with the basic burfi (milk sweet) mixture. My preference is the way that the sweet shop down the road from me used to make it when I lived in London.
The base is a fudgy, milky layer and it is topped by a good thick layer of dark chocolate. I like a chocolate to milk sweet ratio of around 1:2. You could use milk chocolate, but I enjoy the way the dark chocolate cuts through the sweetness of the bottom layer.
I hope you enjoy this as much as I do. For those who celebrate, I hope your Diwali was filled with love and decadence, and was the fresh start you needed.
The microwave milk sweet technique is also described here
For the milk sweet layer:
120g butter, cubed
1 can condensed milk
2 cups full-cream milk powder
For the chocolate layer:
200g good quality dark chocolate (I like Plaistowe 70%)
2 tbsp thickened or double cream
1/3 cup nuts coarsely ground (I used pistachios)
Prepare a tray. I used a greased silicone 20cm x 20cm baking pan. If you are using a non-flexible pan, I suggest you grease it and line it with baking paper.
In a large microwave safe bowl, place butter and microwave until melted (about a minute). Add condensed milk and milk powder and whisk well.
Microwave on high for a minute, then whisk again till smooth.
Microwave on high for another minute and whisk again.
Microwave on high for 30 seconds, then 30 seconds again, whisking in between.
Spoon into the prepared tray and spread evenly. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
When the milk sweet layer has set, melt the chocolate in a microwave safe bowl in 20-30 second bursts, stirring in between. When the chocolate has melted, stir in the cream. If the mixture starts to seize up, microwave for a further 20 seconds.
Pour the chocolate mixture over the milk sweet layer and spread evenly. Sprinkle with coarsely ground nuts and refrigerate until the chocolate is set (at least 3 hours).
With a sharp knife, cut into shapes of your choice. I went for squares that were then cut diagonally to make triangles.