Many many years ago, when I was in Mangalore I had the opportunity of tasting the milk toffee which was part of the Christmas goodies served by my aunt when I was visiting her. On the first look I found it pretty unusual that something like a burfi was served on the otherwise traditional platter. I was pretty young that time and didn't know much about cooking let alone know what went on the Christmas platter. What I tasted was simply marvellous. Yes, the sweetness was tooth tingling but it had this great taste that wasn't simply milky like peda but more of an intense, rich taste of milk that has been reduced over slow fire. I have been trying out different recipes and I guess the one below resulted in what was closest to what I had eaten several years ago.
If you are the kind who loves milky sweets then you must try this recipe as it is an easy one that uses condensed milk instead of regular milk. It is half the battle won as you don't have to stir the mixture endlessly waiting for the milk to thicken. The addition of cocoa powder is purely optional but it does give a mildly chocolatey taste which is perfect for chocoholics with a sweet tooth
Prep time: 5 mins | Cook time: 30 -35 mins | Yield 16 large squares.
Cup measure used: 1 cup = 250ml
- 1 cup (220 grams) caster sugar
- 1 can (395 grams) sweetened condensed milk
- 1/2 cup (125 ml) water
- 2 tablespoons (30 grams) unsalted butter, softened at room temperature
- 2 teaspoons unsweetened cocoa powder
- 1/3rd cup (50 grams) unsalted cashew nuts, chopped
1. Grease and line a 7" square baking tin with baking parchment. Alternatively you can grease a round 8" plate (thali) or even a clean working surface (like a chopping board) with ghee and keep it ready.
2. Place the water and sugar in a large. heavy based kadhai or wok and over a medium heat cook the mixture till the sugar dissolves completely.
3. Mix the cocoa powder into the butter till smooth and no lumps remain.
4. Add the condensed milk and the butter-cocoa mixture and cook on a medium - medium high heat stirring every now and then till the colour changes and the mixture thickens.
5. When the mixture starts to form tiny bubbles at the edge of the pan, pay attention. From now on give it your undivided attention and stir until the mixture begins to leave the sides of the pan and forms a big lump. Add the chopped cashewnuts and mix well. Remove pan from heat.
6. Transfer the contents of the pan into the prepared baking pan and level the surface using the back of a spoon.
7. Let the toffee cool a bit before scoring the top into squares. Allow to cool completely and then cut and serve. The toffee will harden once it has cooled.