For the Mawa
- 1 litre full fat milk
For the cake:
- 2 cups cake flour * see notes
- 1/2 cup grams unsalted butter softened at room temperature
- 3/4th cup mawa, crumbled
- 1-1/4 cups castor sugar
- 5-6 cardamom pods, powdered
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- (blanched) almonds or cashew nuts to decorate
Prepare the mawa:
1. Place the milk in a heavy based saucepan or non stick kadhai and bring it to a boil, reduce the heat and continue to cook the milk until it reduces to just about a quarter of the original volume. Do take care to see that the milk does not get scorched/stick to the bottom of the pan so keep stirring every now and then. Scrape down the milk from the sides of the pan as it thickens. When the milk reduces to almost half in volume you will need to be extra cautious as it can burn quickly, so maintain the heat to a medium. The whole process will take a little over an hour.
2. When you see the milk reduced to a thick, lumpy paste continue to cook a little longer until the extra moisture evaporates and the mixture leaves the sides of the pan – the mawa needs to be moist yet dryish (not too dry as it will turn very crumbly). Remove from heat and allow to cool completely. Place it in an airtight container and refrigerate it for upto 2 days. Bring it to room temperature before using it.
Prepare the Cake:
1. Sift the flour, baking powder, salt and cardamom powder a couple of times and keep it aside.
2. Preheat the oven at 175 degrees C. Grease and line the bottom of an 8 inch (20cm) spring form pan / pan with a loose bottom with parchment.
3. In a large bowl beat the butter, sugar and the crumbled mawa (at room temperature) till it is well incorporated.
4. Add one egg at a time beating it well between each addition. Pour in the vanilla and the milk and beat well.
5. Add the sifted flour mixture in parts and mix using a spatula until all the flour is mixed well.
6. Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin. If desired decorate the surface of the cake with almonds/cashew nuts, don’t press them into the batter or they may sink. Bake in the preheated oven for about 55-60 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean. It is ok if the surface has a light golden colour, if you over bake it, it may turn out too dry.
7. Remove the pan from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cook for 10-15 minutes, then carefully release the cake onto the rack, peel off the parchment and allow the cake to cool completely.
8. Cut, serve and enjoy with a cup of tea!
Cake flour is different from your regular all purpose flour (maida) – it results in cakes that are lighter in texture. To make 1 cup cake flour, place 2 tablespoons of cornstarch (cornflour) into your measuring cup (1 cup = 237 ml) and then sift maida into the cup and level it off using a knife. For this recipe you need 2 cups cake flour, so measure accordingly.