Sunday, January 20, 2013

Almond Pistachio Fudge. Another Gluten Free Dessert, Plus a Giveaway

   One of my favorite Indian desserts is sweet milk fudge. There are a few ways of making this treat, most of which involve cooking either milk or milk powder up close and personal for quite a while. Bring a stool and some Crocs if you're planning this. The other involves the use of chenna cheese, not always an easily found commodity here in Sonoma. I prefer to make my own. The process is pretty easy and the addition of sweetener turns it into chenna cheese. However when the fudge jones hits, there's not always time or patience available to bother with making chenna cheese. Which is where I found myself the other day with friends (one of whom is gluten free) coming over for a movie night, not a whole lot of time and definitely no chenna cheese on hand. This is where internet rumor comes in.

   You know those stories always circulating out there.  Stuff that sends one scurrying to to check them out. Well there's been one around for a while now that Barfi, the delicious  Indian dessert can be made easily and quickly in a microwave, and  without any chenna cheese. I'd been reading versions of this technique for a while now and had been waiting for the opportunity to try it. According to internet lore, barfi could be whipped up in a microwave in about 20 minutes or less simply using ricotta cheese as a sub for chenna.  It sounded impossible but I was intrigued, plus I had everything necessary for the recipe right in my pantry. It can't get easier than that.

  Of course I backed myself up with all the ingredients to make ice cream just in case the rumors of perfect  instant barfi were about as real as the End of the Mayan Calendar. The rumors I'm happy to report, turned out to be correct. Barfi can be made fast and easily.

Almond Pistachio Barfi

Here's What You Need:

1 can of sweetened condensed milk
1 16 oz container of ricotta
1/2 tsp of rose water
1/4 tsp of ground cardamom
2 Tbs finely chopped pistachios
2 Tbs finely chopped almonds

Here's What To Do:

Mix the ricotta and condensed milk together well.

Pour the mixture into a microwave safe bowl.
Cook the mixture in the microwave uncovered for 5 minutes.

 While it's cooking, chop the pistachios and almonds and set them aside.

When the 5 minutes have passed,  take the ricotta and condensed milk out and mix it up well.

Pop it back in the microwave for 3 minutes uncovered.
Whip it up again.
Pop it back in for another 2 minutes covered.
Whip it some more.

It will start to darken and thicken as you whip it.
Put it back in for another 2 minutes partially covering the bowl.
Whip it up again.
Micowave it for another 6 minutes.
Take it out of the microwave every 3 minutes, give at a good stirring then pop it back in again.
When it's finished, give it another good stirring, and add in the 1/4 tsp of ground cardamom and 1/2 tsp of rose water. Mix them in well.
Pour the mixture into a lightly buttered square pan.
Press it down well and flatten it.
Sprinkle the top with the ground pistachios and almonds.

Press them in well.
Cover the pan and either chill it in the fridge for a hour to set, or set it out on a counter for a few hours.
When you are ready to serve cut it into squares.

Serve it with a nice cup of chai.

   So how does the barfi made in a microwave stack up next to conventionally made barfi? Besides being fast, and easy? It tasted just as good and was a perfect dessert to whip up  in a hurry. As long as you can get your pie-hooks on some ricotta and sweetened condensed milk, you're golden. I'm definitely going to be doing this again, with experimenting with different flavors and nuts.

   Now I have to add here that we had another feature after the film and before the dessert. Our friend Chip brought over a selection of artisanal liquors.

I'm totally ignorant about these things, but Chip comes from the hill country, aka The Holler and knows about such stuff. He had a Birthday/New Years Eve party a few weeks ago.

This is when he acquired the hooch.  The  Hooker's House Corn Liquor in the jar also known as White Lightening is from a small local company called  Prohibition Spirits  and was a gift from us. He wanted to share this  bounty with his friends, so he brought it all over to our house. Shots were poured, and people sampled. I was an observer.

   Chip said he would demonstrate the purity of the Corn Liquor. The next thing I knew he was pouring it into the jar lid and and setting it on fire on my dining room table.


I felt as though I had stepped into a scene from Lawless.

It seems the old saying is true. You can take the boy out of The Holler but you can't take The Holler out of the boy.
   Finally, if you want a chance to win a Masala Dabba (spice box) from GitaDiniUSA

The spice box they sent me is very cool and I think anyone who enjoys cooking would love it.

Just follow me on Twitter @kathygori  and them @GitaDiniUSA and leave a comment letting me know. I'll be drawing a winner on Jan 31st.  Coming up next, a quick soup and treats for Superbowl Sunday and Oscar crowds.


  1. Mmm! Was just talking yesterday about how much I love condensed milk!

  2. I almost missed this one, saw it on FB and was waiting for the recipe cant wait to try it... I just love Pistachio anything and this sounds fabulous! Thanks Kathy...

  3. I was out browsing for vegetarian recipes and found this recipe. It looks delicious! It is kind of cool that you have a giveaway for spices as we are just now exploring going vegetarian due to our health and spices would help us create delicious, healthy dishes. I'm following @kathygori and them @GitaDiniUSA now. Thanks for the chance to win! kmassman gmail

    1. thanks for following, hope you find lots of good recipes using a variety of spices at my site.

  4. i just wondering how did you manage to prepare such a wonderful dish. It seems easy, but while implementing is too tough i know that. I am having experience of ruining the dishes.

    1. it's pretty easy with the microwave....all one needs is the correct timing and a good stirring arm

  5. I love that you used ricotta in this. Microwave burfi is my absolute favourite way to make it. Stunning!

    1. yes, now that I've discovered microwave burfi we might see a bit more of it around our house

  6. I love barfi & peda too Kathy, never saw a microwave method but now that I do it makes complete sense.:) My sister is big on microwave cooking and my mom too now that she is getting old. I really usually don't but when I was in Israel I was really pleasantly surprised at the results.:)

    1. I usually only use the microwave to heat or melt something, but here I've found there's a whole new use for it.

  7. I have never tried making microwave Burfi..I may have to do it soon! When I was in India, I could never get enough burfi...or sandesh...or kala jamuns. haha I love Indian sweets!

    Love the masala dabba! It's gorgeous! I'm now following both you and Gitadini on twitter. :) @myfancypantry

  8. What would be the way to do the same without using microwave? Thanks

    1. You can make it on the stove top, but it takes quite a bit longer, and I use different ingredients such as powdered milk. I may be publishing a recipe for that process in a bit.

    2. That would be awesome! Thank you very much

  9. What would be the way, to do the same without using a microwave? Thanks.

  10. Mouth watering Fudge and to top it all, made out of pistachio what a lovely combination of nuts.First time ever i' ve come across such a delightful recipe.Surely will give it a try without fail.cheeserecipe



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