Mawa cakes are typically associated with Irani cafés found mostly in Mumbai, Pune and Hyderabad.These cafés, owned by Zoroastrians who emigrated to Mumbai from Iran in the 19th century to escape persecution of non-muslims, are famous for their good, honest, reasonably priced food and beverages. Some of the very popular food sold in these cafe's are ‘bun maska’ (bread and butter) and ‘paani kam chai’ (a strong Iranian tea), or khari chai (very strong tea), mutton samosas, and Keema Pavs, akuri (a scrambled spicy egg preparation), berry Pulao, Veg/Chicken Dhansak (a spicy broth with lentils, pulses) and Biryani, cheese khari biscuits, shrewsbury biscuits...just to name a few.
Mawa, also called khoya, is made by reducing milk (usually full-fat) on low heat until all that remain is a mass of slightly caramelized granular dough-like milk solids. This is then used to make a rich and dense cake which along with cardamom and almonds gives it the rich and milky flavour.
I decided to make cupcakes and enhance the Indian flavours with some saffron infused milk that goes in the batter. Along with chopped pista and almonds on top, these cupcakes certainly are full of the true Indian essence.
Ingredients : I halved the recipe to yield 6 cupcakes and a 3 1/2" round small cake
- 500 ml full fat milk
- 1/4 cup butter, at room temperature
- 5 tbsp packed crumbled mawa
- 1/2 cup + 2 tbsp sugar, powdered
- 1 egg
- 2 cardamom pods, powdered
- 1 cup cake flour (Add 2 tbsp cornflour in 1 cup measurement and fill the rest with all purpose flour)
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 cup milk
- Cashewnuts to top
- Chopped pista-little
- few saffron threads
Pour milk in a heavy bottomed pan and bring it to a boil. Turn down heat to medium and keep cooking the milk till it has reduced to a quarter of the original volume, stirring frequently. This can take between 30-45 mins. By now the colour of milk will be light brownish.
Keep stirring till the milk solids take a lumpy appearance. This is called Mawa/Khoya. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
This yielded around 1/2 cup mawa.
You may refrigerate the mawa for 2-3 days and bring it to room temperature while using it.
Preheat oven to 180 degree Celsius.
Line cupcake moulds with liners or just grease them well.
Warm milk and add 5-6 saffron threads and leave aside.
Beat butter, mawa (at room temperature) and sugar till soft and fluffy. I used my electric beater for it.
Add egg and the saffron infused milk(reserving the saffron threads to top on the cupcakes) and beat well.
Add cake flour, baking powder and cardamom powder and mix.
Pour this batter in the prepared cupcake liners. (My batter was still in excess after filling 6 cupcake liners and so I prepared a 3 1/2" round cake tin and poured the leftover batter in it)
Place cashew nuts(I halved them lengthwise), saffron threads and chopped pista on the cupcakes and the small cake.
Bake for 25-30 mins or till a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean.
Allow to cool and serve.
This recipe is also a part of the amazing KFB blogging marathon that I am part of, along with my fellow members. Do drop in to check what they are doing here :
A Homemaker's Diary
My Food My Life