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    You are in: Home / Community Forums / Breads & Baking / Diwali ~ Festival of Lights
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    Diwali ~ Festival of Lights

    Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:06 am
    Forum Host
    Diwali starts on November 3 here in North America. It's a great opportunity for non-Indians to experiment with an exotic cuisine. icon_smile.gif

    I spotted this online at the Cupcake Project and had to share! Even if you're not wild about Indian food, I bet you'd like this.

    Diwali Cupcakes with Carrot Halwa and Gulab Jamun

    I'm not going to claim that these Diwali cupcakes are easy. They require making carrot halwa and gulab jamun before you can even get started with cupcake making. But, if you bake them, you will have an opportunity to experience some of the unique and wonderful flavors of India.

    Yield: 14 cupcakes

    * 1 1/2 C all-purpose flour
    * 1 tsp baking soda
    * 1 tsp ground cardamom
    * 1/2 C sugar
    * 1 recipe carrot halwa (see carrot halwa below)
    * 2 eggs
    * 1/2 C ghee
    * 3/4 C gulab jamun cardamom syrup (see gulab jamun recipe below)
    * 14 gulab jamun for toppers (see gulab jamun recipe below)

    1. In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda and cardamom.
    2. In another medium-sized bowl, mix sugar, 3/4 cup of tightly packed halwa, and eggs until well combined.
    3. Mix the ghee and cardamom syrup into the carrot halwa mixture until well combined.
    4. Mix in the flour mixture until fully incorporated.
    5. Fill cupcake liners 3/4 full.
    6. Bake at 350 F for 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle of a cupcake comes out clean.
    7. Take the remaining carrot halwa (don't worry, I know that you will have eaten several spoonfulls of it at least - I took that into account) and mix it up using an electic mixer or your own arm strength to incorporate some air into it.
    8. Spread the halwa on top of the cupcakes.
    9. Just before serving, warm the gulab jamun in the microwave and use them to top the cupcakes.

    Gulab Jamun
    Dough ingredients:

    * 2 C powdered milk
    * 1/2 C all-purpose flour
    * 1/4 C + 2 tbsp ghee (clarified butter)
    * 1/2 C milk, room temperature
    * 1/2 tsp baking soda
    * vegetable oil for frying

    Syrup ingredients:

    * 3 C water
    * 1 1/2 C sugar
    * 1/2 tsp ground cardamom


    1. Mix powdered milk, flour and baking soda in a bowl.
    2. Add ghee to flour and milk powder mixture. Mix well.
    3. Slowly add milk. The dough will be very soft.
    4. Let it rest for 20 minutes.
    5. Bring all syrup ingredients to a boil in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan.
    6. Reduce to low heat. Keep the syrup warm and ready for the addition of the fried gulab jamun.
    7. After 20 minutes, pinch off small pieces of dough and roll them into little balls.
    8. Fry the balls in vegetable oil. I used my mini deep fryer. I very lightly fried mine (maybe that's why they didn't hold up as well). I liked them that way, but you could also keep them in the fryer for a few minutes to make them a darker brown.
    9. Add the fried balls to the warm syrup. See my notes above about how long to soak them.
    10. Serve warm over syrup.

    Carrot Halwa
    Yield: An 8" square baking dish of halwa

    * 3 C finely chopped carrots, tightly packed
    * 1/2 C ghee (If you can't find this near you, you can make your own ghee)
    * 1/4 C cashews, split in half
    * 1/4 C sliced almonds
    * 1 C whole ricotta cheese
    * 1 C dried milk (I used skim and it worked fine, but if you can find whole milk, use that)
    * 1/4 C milk (I used 2%, but whatever you have around will work)
    * 1 C sugar
    * 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
    * 1/4 C shelled pistachios, crushed

    1. Put carrots in a covered/airtight microwave-safe dish.
    2. Microwave for 10 minutes on high. Set aside.
    3. Heat ghee in a heavy-bottomed pan on medium-low.
    4. Fry cashews and almonds in the ghee until golden. Keep a close eye on them to ensure that they don't burn.
    5. Remove the nuts with a slotted spoon and set them aside.
    6. Add ricotta cheese and dried milk to the ghee and stir to combine.
    7. Fry till almost all the moisture is gone and the cheese just starts to turn brown.
    8. Add cooked carrots, stir to combine, and cook for two minutes.
    9. Add milk, sugar and cardamom. Stir. Cook on low heat until almost all the moisture is gone again. (The original instructions said that this should take about ten minutes, but it took me about twenty.) Stir periodically to keep from scorching the bottom.
    10. Remove from heat and mix in cashews and almonds.
    11. Serve the carrot halwa immediately, garnished with the pistachios; or, transfer the mixture into an 8" square baking pan, let it cool to room temperature, and then refrigerate it. After two hours, cut it as squares and serve.

    Mon Oct 28, 2013 10:54 am
    Forum Host
    Molly, thanks - Diwali is noted for the lovely pastries and other sweets that are served during this festival, and these are just lovely.
    Bonnie G #2
    Tue Oct 29, 2013 8:30 am Groupie
    Lovely, I've been fortunate enough to experience Diwali on several different occasions - the last when living in Trinidad and it's such an amazing festival and the foods are an experience in taste explosions - this photo is amazing.
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