OK, I am going to start off this post with a request for a favour from all of you. If you haven't voted, please could you vote for me in the Babble list of Top 100 Mom Food Bloggers? I would really appreciate it, as I am kind of getting used to my top 5 status, and I don't want to lose it :-) You don't need to register, just click on this link and click 'I like this' beside my name. I am currently at 4, 5 or 6 by popularity, depending on if anyone has passed me!
Its been a good few days for me in many ways. Last week this blog was listed in Channel 4 Food's Best Family Food Blogs. I don't have to tell you how delighted I am, and the grin hasn't slipped off my face yet. I also found out later in the week that my first ever cookery class with Kathryn Joel from Get Cooking sold out. Wow! Plus of course I spent a beautiful day out with my family on Friday. We went to a free concert, then for a special lunch. All in all, a really lovely week. And it only seemed perfect to end it with this delicious Indian dessert!
Now, I have never been a 'planner'. While, I am fairly organised, I don't necessarily have an idea of what I am going to cook or make, usually going with what I feel like having that particular day. We normally eat very simply in the house. Good, healthy and easy homecooked food, Indian or otherwise. We don't even have strict mealtimes (except when the in-laws visit, of course) but I make sure we all get a balanced meal, or sometimes even two, depending on how early I've woken up :-)
The only exceptions to this laid back rule are -
a) When Kay is away and I want to eat meat, and
b) when I start craving something that I haven't had for a long time. Like Egg Puffs, for example, or Boti or even Bebinca.
But this time, I wanted to makes this particular kulfi, because I was planning to teach it in my first class. Its an Indian classic, with the delicate, yet powerful flavours of cardamom, saffron and rosewater all carefully blended into one mouthwatering ice cream or kulfi, as its known in India. I have made kulfis before, and this pistachio one is a particular favourite. This is an adapted method of making kulfi, but the taste is identical to that Indian classic, and of course it doesn't involve me standing over a pot of milk for hours. Works for me :-)
This is a no added sugar version too, as the condensed milk is already pre-sweetened. However, do taste as you go along and add a little more sugar if you think it needs it. As you can see in the picture, I have garnished this pretty dessert with dried rose petals, but you can use toasted pistachios instead for a lovely crunchy texture. In the class we served this with slices of fresh, local nectarines, and from the 'mmmms' I heard, it was a pretty good success :-)
If you fancy, why don't you take a look at the pictures of my first class? (Can you tell I am pretty chuffed :-))
300 ml sweetened condensed milk
2 cups whole milk
1 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp cornstarch
4 pods cardamom, seeds taken out and crushed finely
Two to three generous pinches of saffron, dissolved in a little hot milk
3 tbsp rosewater
1 - 2 tbsp sugar (optional)
Pistachios, toasted and chopped, to garnish
To make the kulfi base, take ¼ cup milk out of the 2 cups of milk, and stir in the cornstarch, whisking to a smooth paste, adding a little more milk, if necessary.
Scrape the condensed milk into a deep pan, and whisk in the milk, cornstarch mixture, whipping cream and crushed cardamom seeds. Mix well, taste, and add a little extra sugar if you want it sweeter.
Over a medium heat, bring this mixture to the boil. Lower the heat a little, and cook, stirring often for roughly 10 minutes, until the mixture is fairly thick and coats the back of a spoon. It should have reduced by around a third too.
Whisk in the saffron and then the rosewater.
Take off the heat and refrigerate until cold. Pour into kulfi moulds or ramekins or a freezer safe container and freeze overnight or until firm.
If you are freezing in ramekins, put them in a bowl of hot water to loosen the edges a bit, before unmoulding.
Or, alternatively, churn in an ice cream machine until creamy.
Serve with the pistachios scattered over.