Thursday, 31 October 2013

Cashew and Almond Laddoo (Kaju Badam Laddoo)

I have always had a sweet tooth and Diwali is a time when I don't even think about the calories before taking a bite (well, when it comes to something sweet, I don't give a thought anyway!). While we do get all Indian sweets in Singapore, but this time I wanted to be a little adventurous and try making sweets at home. There is a popular food group in Facebook, Chef at Large, which I regularly follow. On the occasion of Diwali, there have been quite many posts of homemade sweets recipes and after reading one of them, I felt quite confident of being able to achieve the desired result. However, I forgot that the person posting the recipe is a pro and is certain to achieve the result. The kaju barfi that I made was undoubtedly super tasty, but I failed to give it any shape as it was too soft to lift. However, the members of my CAL family came to my rescue and gave me some superb suggestions which not only saved my barfis but also made them look a lot more sophisticated and delicious! So my Diwali message to you all is "Never Give Up". Wishing all my readers and their families a very happy and safe Diwali! 

1 cup cashew nuts
1 cup almonds, soaked in hot water for 20 minutes
2 tsp cornflour
1-2 tbsp milk, for grinding the nuts
1/4 cup pistachio powder (grinded pistachio nuts)
1/4 cup almond powder
1/2 tsp almond essence (you can replace it with cardamom powder)
1 tbsp ghee
1/4 cup water
3/4 cup sugar
Mini cupcake wrappers

Peel the almonds. In a grinder, put the cashew, almonds, cornflour, and a little milk and make a fine paste. Add very little milk, only if required. 
In a heavy bottomed non-stick pan, add the water and sugar and make the sugar syrup. The syrup will be perfectly done when you put a thumb behind the stirring spoon and can pull out a single string with another finger. Add the nut paste you have just prepared and keep stirring continuosly to make an even consistency. Add the essence and 1 tbsp ghee. Keep stirring on low flame till the mass starts leaving the sides of the pan. Meanwhile, grease a flat surface with very little ghee and keep aside. Transfer the cashew and almond mix into the greased surface and smoothen the top with a plastic knife or rolling pin with a plastic sheet below. Let the mixture cool completely. You can also refrigerate it for a few hours if it is a little too soft even after cooling. 
In a small bowl, mix the pistachio and almond powder. Make small balls out of the cashew and almond paste and roll it in the pista-almond powder and arrange in mini cupcake wrappers. Your diwali sweets are ready to be served !


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