Baked Coconut Milk Cake (Baked Coconut Halwa)

Photo courtesy: Pradipta Deb

Ingredients

(serves 12-15 persons)

  • Coconut flakes/scrapes 200gms
  • Full-fat milk 1 liter or condensed milk 300 ml
  • Raisins 1/2 cup
  • Dry roasted cashews 1/4 cup (broken into small uneven pieces)
  • Dry roasted Almonds 1/4 cup (cut into small pieces)
  • Sugar 1 cup or around 10-12 tea-spoonful
  • Ghee 2 table-spoonful
  • Vanilla essence 1/2 tea-spoonful (optional)

Recipe

  • If you are not using store-bought condensed milk, then put a pan on medium heat and reduce the milk to one-third of its original volume. Cool it down a bit.
  • Dry roast the almonds and cut them into slices. Dry roast the cashews to break them into uneven pieces. 
  • Take a big round bowl. Add ghee in liquid form for ease of mixing with other ingredients. Add the condensed milk, coconut scrapes, and raisins, cashews, and almonds, sugar, vanilla essence. Remember to adjust sugar as store-bought condensed milk often packs up a high amount of sugar in it. You can replace sugar with other sweeteners like honey or stevia. Mix well. If the mixture is too runny, then you can add a little bit of corn-flour to get it into cake-batter consistency.
  • Grease an oven-proof pan with ghee or place a butter-paper in it. Pour the mixture in the pan and flatten the top by tapping the pan on a flat surface. This will release any air bubbles trapped inside.
  • Let it bake in the oven for around 20 minutes in 170 degrees. The time may vary depending on the consistency. 
  • Keep it on the check and once the top starts to get golden, get it out of the oven. Let it cool and refrigerate for a few hours. Once it hardens, cut them into small pieces of your choice before serving as dessert. If you prefer soft gooey desserts, then you can directly scoop it up into your bowl. Unlike most desserts, it tastes equally amazing when served hot.
  • You can easily store it in an air-tight container or a jar in the refrigerator for a month.

My food story

I spent my childhood in India. My mother used to make a similar preparation, but not in the oven. I tried to make it in a different style here and it tasted as good. But anyone without a baking oven can easily make this on the cooktop where you mix everything in a pan and cook for 20 minutes or so, till it starts to get color. My mother used to add a pinch of cardamom powder instead of the vanilla essence. She also used to let it cool for a bit, and then turn them into little doughs rolling them into cute balls between her palms. We called them “Naru” or “Laddu”. Then she used to refrigerate them in a glass jar. You should try both and let us know which one you like more.

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