This fusion Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake will be the star of your Diwali menu!
Hello, my lovelies! Let me start off by wishing you and yours a very Happy Diwali! May peace, love and joy always reign in your lives, and may you find prosperity everywhere you go. ❤
Diwali, the festival of lights, is celebrated all over India with much fervour. For it is a festival that commemorates new beginnings and the triumph of good over evil. While Diwali is celebrated differently in different parts of the country, a few things you are sure to find are lit diyas (clay lamps) placed around the house; fairy lights and lanterns adorning both the interiors and exteriors of homes and stores; people dressed in their finest Indian wear, coming together to celebrate; and lots of good food and mithai (sweets)! Sounds perfect, doesn’t it?
Though Diwali wasn’t celebrated in our home growing up, I have many a fond memory tied to this occasion. From dressing up in cute desi wear to visit the family’s friends; to savouring freshly made pakoras and savoury, spiced snacks; stuffing my face with one too many jalebis, and eagerly waiting on the 1 Omani Rial note our dad’s boss would hand each of the kids after the Diwali party at his place! 😛
Flash forward to college days. I remember our little group of tight-knit friends planning a potluck, wherein each of us would scramble around in my kitchen, trying to multitask between phoning our mothers for the next step in the recipe and stirring, sauteeing and frying at the same time. It was something else – five young women, homesick, trying to keep a bit of home alive in our Diwali celebrations. ❤ So much has changed since then, but the memories live on…
For the past 3 years, I’ve been celebrating Diwali with the boyfriend and we’ve come up with our own traditions, perfect for a party of two! We light up our little home with diyas and fairy lights, cook up a small feast, dress up, count our blessings, and then there’s a fusion dessert. There’s ALWAYS dessert! This year, though he’s back home with his family for Diwali, I made this gorgeous Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake anyway. A little slice of our new traditions to keep me going through what will be a drab, homesick few days. 😦
But happy thoughts, yeah? Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake… Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake… RASMALAI TRES LECHES CAKE! Sounds like a dream! 😀
This cake serves 8. Here’s what you need:
For the Sponge Cake:
- All Purpose Flour – 1 cup
- Baking Powder – 1 & ½ tsp
- Salt – ¼ tsp
- Eggs – 5, yolks and whites separated
- Sugar – ½ cup, divided
- Vanilla Extract – 2 tsp
- Whole Milk – 1/3 cup
For the Three Milks mixture:
- Evaporated Milk – 1 cup
- Sweetened Condensed Milk – 1 can (400 g)
- Cream – ¼ cup
- Whole Milk – ¼ cup
- Crushed Cardamom – 1 tsp
- Saffron – a few strands
- Heavy Whipping Cream – 500 ml
- Castor Sugar – 2 tbsp
- Dried, edible rose petals
- Pistachios, chopped or slivered
Here’s how you make this beautiful fusion cake:
For the Sponge Cake:
- Preheat your oven to 175 °C/ 350 °F. Generously grease a large square or rectangle cake tin.
- In a bowl, combine flour, salt and baking powder; whisk and set aside.
- In a large bowl, beat egg yolks and ¼ cup sugar until frothy and pale yellow. Stir in the milk and vanilla extract. Gently add the flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture and stir until just combined.
- Beat egg whites on high speed. When soft peaks begin to form, add in the sugar while simultaneously beating the mixture. Beat the egg whites until stiff, glossy peaks are formed.
- Gently fold the egg whites into the batter. Pour batter into the prepared cake tin and even out the surface. Bake for 40 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Once the cake is baked through, pull it out of the oven, cool for 10 minutes and then turn it over on to a rimmed platter/ storage container. Leave to cool.
For the Three Milks Mixture:
- While the cake is baking, bring the cream, evaporated milk, sweetened condensed milk and whole milk to a slow boil. Take it off the heat.
- Use about two tablespoons of hot milk to soak the saffron strands for 10 minutes. Then add the saffron back to the milk mixture.
- Add in the crushed cardamom, cover the pot and allow the flavours of saffron and cardamom to infuse into the milks as the mixture cools.
- Once the cake has cooled completely, use a skewer or fork to pierce the cake surface all over. Then, slowly drizzle the three milks mixture on top of the cake, and watch in awe as it soaks through. Leave aside for 30 minutes.
- Beat the whipping cream and sugar on high speed until soft peaks form and the cream is of frosting consistency.
- When most of the milk has been absorbed, slather/pipe the whipping cream on to the cake and finish off with dried rose petals and pistachios. Chill for a few hours. Then slice and serve!
Apart from warm, crispy jalebis, Rasmalai (flattened rounds of Indian cottage cheese, cooked in sugar syrup and then soaked in mildly sweetened cardamom, saffron milk) is definitely my favourite Indian dessert. My main gripe with a lot of Indian sweets is that they tend to be sickly sweet. But not Rasmalai; grab a bite and there’s the porous texture of the cottage cheese rounds, while the flavoured, velvety milk swishes around. It’s a magical experience. And that’s exactly what I wanted to recreate in this fusion Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake! 🙂
The sponge cake is pure perfection, just airy enough to soak in all the goodness of the three milks mixture without turning soggy or deflated. The tres leches mixture, generously infused with the sweet notes of saffron and the fragrant notes of cardamom, brings this Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake to life! And the mildly sweet whipped cream topping luxuriously coats your palate, elevating the experience. If you don’t believe in magic, you will after you take a bite of this cake! 😛
This Rasmalai Tres Leches Cake celebrates the flavours and textures of traditional Rasmalai while giving it a modern twist, one that is a play on the classic Tres Leches Cake (recipe adapted from The Pioneer Woman). Two absolutely gorgeous desserts rolled into one? Count me in! ❤
Again, here’s wishing you a blessed and safe Diwali! Let’s all stand and strive for good over evil all year round! Lots of love from The Foodscape family to yours ❤
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