It’s time for this month’s Daring Bakers Challenge!
Aparna of My Diverse Kitchen was our August 2013 Daring Bakers’ hostess and she challenged us to make some amazing regional Indian desserts. The Mawa Cake, the Bolinhas de Coco cookies and the Masala cookies – beautifully spiced and delicious!
Mawa Cake – An Iranian delight!
Irani cafés are Iranian or Persian style cafés in India. They were originally run by Persian immigrants to India in the 19th century. Today, Mumbai boasts the largest number of Irani cafes, which are very popular for their Irani chai (tea), bun maska (bread & butter), paani kam chai (a strong Iranian tea), mutton samosas, plain khari biscuits to name a few.
One of the most popular eating place is the 102 year old Kyani Cafe, a heritage landmark in south Mumbai.
For the Mawa
Milk 4 cups
For the Cake
Cake flour 2 cups (500ml) (9 oz) (260 gm)
Baking powder 1 teaspoon (5 ml) (5 gm)
Cardamom powder 1 tsp
Salt 1/4 tsp
Sugar 1-1/4 cups (300 ml) (10 oz) (280 gm)
Unsalted Butter 1/2 cup (1 stick) (120 ml) (4 oz) (115 gm), soft at room temperature
Mawa/Khoa 3/4 cup (180 ml)
Milk 1/2 cup (120 ml)
Blanched almonds to decorate (about 15)
For the Mawa
• Add milk into a heavy bottomed vessel, preferably non-stick.
• Bring the milk to boil, stirring it often.
• Keep stirring it in medium flame until the milk reduces to 1/4 th of its original volume. Taking care not to burn any.
• Once you get the milk solids (Mawa) without any liquid, switch off the flame.
• Transfer it to a bowl and allow it to cool to room temperature.
• Cover and refrigerate it for a day or two (not more) till you are ready to make the cake. Don’t forget to bring it back to room temperature while making the cake.
• You should get about 3/4 to 1 cup of mawa from 1 litre (4 cups) of full-fat milk.
For the Cake
• Preheat oven to 180°C/350°F.
• Grease and dust an eight inch round pan and keep it ready.
• Beat butter, crumbled mawa and sugar in a large bowl, using a hand held electric beater on a high speed until soft and fluffy.
• Add eggs, one at a time and beat in medium speed until its well incorporated.
• Add milk and mix well.
• Sift the cake flour, baking powder, cardamom powder and salt in to the batter and blend at medium speed. (Cake flour substitute: Place 2 tablespoon of cornstarch in the
bottom of your 1-cup measure and then fill it with all-purpose (plain) flour to make up to 1 cup).
• Pour batter into the greased and dusted 8″ pan and lightly smooth the top. Place blanched almonds or cashews on top of the batter. (Do not press the nuts down into the batter). Mawa Cake always has a rustic finished look rather than a decorated look.
• Bake cake for about an hour until the cake becomes golden brown and a skewer pushed into the centre comes out clean.
• Do not over bake the cake or it will dry out. If the cake seems to be browning too quickly, cover it will aluminum foil halfway through the baking time.
• Remove from oven and allow it to cool for 10 min in the pan.
• Transfer it to cooling rack and let it cool completely.
Storage & Freezing Instructions
Mawa cake can be refrigerated for 2-3 days. It holds good in the freezer for about a week.
Don’t forget to warm the cake slice in microwave for few minutes before you serve.