HAPPY VALENTINE’S DAY, All!! Hope this cake screams love for you all.
My Ras Malai Cream Cake doesn’t have Ras Malais ducked into it. This layered Sponge Cake is based on the flavors of Ras Malai – Cheese (ricotta), Cardamom, Saffron, Rose Water. Each bite of this ethereal cake will give you the taste of Ras Malai – I assure you that much.
Sometimes around, last week, I came across this Ras Malai flavored Cake. It was a Friday and all I wanted to do was, to flee from work, stop at the grocery store to buy the ingredients and bake the hell out of this cake. My kitchen is my heaven. The kind of happiness that I get from spending time in my clean and clutter free kitchen is priceless.
And I did exactly what I dreamt about at work. I stopped by at the grocery to pick up the ingredients and baked the cake. Once the cake was baked, then most of the night was spent on imagining various ways to style and shoot it. Crazy, no?
This time around last year, I had baked and posted my Cardamom Cream Cake. That was the first time that I had tried my hands on a layer cake. I’m extremely proud of that Cardamom Cream Cake as it made me realize ;
1) If I step out of my comfort zone, I’m capable of doing bigger and better things. Until today, that Cardamom Cream Cake has been my most viewed cake attracting traffic to my blog even after one year of getting published.
2) Your pressing gut feeling will never let you down. And, it was gut feeling alright. I saw the Cardamom Cream Cake’s recipe on NYT times and I was attracted to the flavor profile instantaneously.
So moral of the story is, don’t be scared of stepping out of your comfort zone and you will be surprised what you are capable of. I’m going to repeat the same story again this year. I saw this recipe at Hungry Rabbit and I was instantly drawn to it. I didn’t tweak the original recipe much except for:
1) I replaced the cream cheese icing with Mascarpone icing (Because, I’m crazy about Mascarpone Icing, that’s why).
2) And yet again, I decided to keep the cake partially naked
So, what is Ras Malai ?
Ras Malai is a very popular northern India sweet dish. Essentially, homemade cottage cheese or Chhena dumplings are cooked in reduced creamed milk and then flavored with cardamom, rose essence and chopped nuts. Most Indian restaurants in the USA, serve Ras Malai as well. The taste of Ras Malai, is not overwhelmingly sweet compared to other Indian desserts.
I personally like Ras Malai a lot and I always look forward to my trips to India to try the authentic Ras Malai. So, when I saw a recipe that combines the flavors of Ras Malain in a cake, I was sold.
I spent a whole weekend on this cake. I’m not exaggerating. It’s not a very easy cake to make considering, there are so many components to it unlike the Masala Chai Breakfast Cake, where you just dump everything, mix and bake.
When I love something it’s almost impossible for me to stop talking about it. Every time, I end up making something tasty…, I not only wish from my heart that, I could share it with people I love and take their feedback on it but I also feel a little empty within for not being able to do so as my family and many of my relatives and friends live far from me. Still, I try to share it with as many friends and co-workers as possible and hopefully get them enthusiastic enough to try it too.
Same thing goes for my Food Photography as well. I have a child like curiosity to know the depth of food photography. I started MyYellowApron, a year ago and I still feel like, it’s a work in Progress and as far as I know, it will always be work in progress. The best part about Food Blogging, I find, is, not the recipes (except for the heirloom recipes) …, Its the writing (– well, writing as in Blogging in its entirety…,) ,prop hunting, food styling, food photography, finding the right source of light etc. etc… MyYellowApron is a passion that keeps me going – no matter what.
I think, MyYellowApron is different, because it’s constantly evolving with me.
- (2 1/2 cups whole-milk ricotta (NOTE: If you don’t have Ricotta Cheese, then use homemade Paneer or Chena)
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
- 1 TSP rose water
- 2 and 1/4 Cups Cake Flour
- 1 Cup milk
- 12 TBSP Butter
- 1 and 1/2 cups sugar
- 4 Tsp Baking Soda
- 6 Egg Whites
- 1 Tsp salt
- 2 TSP Cardamom Powder
- 2 cups whole milk
- 6 cardamom pods, crushed or 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 6 TBSP granulated sugar
- 2 TSP rose water
- 1 TSP rose water
- 1/4 TSP pure vanilla extract
- 1/8 TSP (generous pinch) saffron threads
- 12 TBSP unsalted butter, softened
- 1 cup (4 ounces) confectioners’ sugar
- 1 TSP ground cardamom
- 1 TSP fine sea salt
- 8 ounces’ mascarpone cream cheese
- If your ricotta is not very thick then, drain the ricotta in a fine mesh sieve until very thick. If you are using homemade paneer of Chena, then the same thing goes. Make sure its hung long enough to be very thick.
- Beat the ricotta, cream, confectioners’ sugar and rose water until smooth, about 2 minutes. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Heat the oven to 350 degrees
- Grease two 8-inch cake pans with butter and dust with flour
- Sift Cake flour and combine cake flour with salt, cardamom powder and baking soda
- Combine egg whites and milk
- Cream butter in a large bowl
- Gradually add sugar until light and fluffy
- Add flour mixture alternately with milk and egg mixture and blend
- Do not over mix
- Pour into prepared pans and bake for 20/25 minutes
- Bring milk and ground cardamom and sugar to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer the milk until it reduces by half, 30 to 45 minutes.
- Let cool, then stir in the rose water.
- Combine rose water and saffron in a small bowl and let steep for 10 minutes
- In the bowl, cream butter, confectioners’ sugar, cardamom, salt & saffron mixture on medium speed until fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add mascarpone cheese and combine
- Place one cake layer on a cake stand or serving platter, brush top of cake with milk syrup, wait for 1 minute and repeat with 2nd brushing of syrup. Spread half of the cheese filling evenly on top. Repeat with remaining cake layers and filling.
- Refrigerate cake for an hour or so for before applying frosting.
- Remove cake from refrigerator, spread frosting top and side of cake.
Try few other cakes
- Olive Oil Date Loaf Cake (Eggless)
- Cardamom Cream Cake
- Masala Chai Breakfast Cake
- Orange Olive Oil Cake
NOTE: If you don’t have Ricotta, use homemade Paneer or Chhena to make the filling. http://www.ruchiskitchen.com/how-to-make-paneer/