Making Rasmalai the traditional way is a time-consuming process and you should get each step right (paneer, rasgulla) for your rasmalai to taste yum. There's this short cut way of preparing this dessert by using Ricotta cheese. Actually, kudos to the brilliant mind who came up with the idea of making an Indian sweet with cheese. Got the recipe from my cousin. Her recipe with my modifications is what I made for Diwali and it tasted so good. Couldn't resist eating them all myself.
- Ricotta cheese - 15oz tub
- Sugar - 1/3-1/2 cup for making the patties; about 2-3 spoons for the milk syrup
- 2% milk - 2 cups
- Half-and-half milk - 1 cup
- Elachi pods - about 7,8
- Pista and badam - handful
- Saffron strands - a pinch
- Boil the 2% milk in a non-stick pan on a low flame with 2 spoons sugar added. Make sure you stir the milk now and then in between so that it doesn't stick to the bottom of the pan and burn.
- Warm a spoon full of milk and soak the saffron strands in it. Slightly twist the strands with your fingers so that milk gets the saffron flavor and color.
- Mix the ricotta cheese and sugar (1/3rd - 1/2 cup) in a bowl by constantly whipping with a spoon until a smooth mixture is formed.
- Take a muffin pan and spoon the cheese mix into the cups. 15oz ricotta makes about 12 rasmalai patties. So, evenly distribute the cheese into 12 parts.
- Cook on 350F for atleast 20 minutes in the oven. After 20min, keep pricking the pattie every 5 minutes with a toothpick until its done.
- Using a spoon carefully remove the patties from the pan. They'll be quite soft, so handle them carefully lest they should break.
- After the milk has thickened in consistency, pour in the half and half milk. Now, half and half is already enough thick. So add it towards the end of the boiling process, otherwise it would taste buttery when boiled for a long time.
- Take some pista, badam and grind them along with elachi/cardamom to a somewhat fine powder. Add this to the boiling milk. Doing so, imparts a rich badam-milk kind of flavour to the milk. Use just a few elachi pods, rasmalai has a very subtle flavour of elachi unlike kesari or kheer.
- Continue boiling the milk for about 5-10 minutes after adding the half and half. Remove from gas and let it cool. Add more sugar if needed. Add the milk containing saffron to this and stir.
- Arrange the patties in a tray and pour the milk.
- Sliver the remaining nuts and garnish over rasmalai.
- Refrigerate for atleast 6 hours before serving so that the pattie absorbs the milk.
Of late, most of my posts have been centered around sweets. Now that Diwali, the last festival of this year is over, no more sweets for me until the New Year. But you know what, while making rasmalai I figured out something interesting. The pattie soon after baking tasted so much like the milk-sweet Kalakand. On the next occasion to prepare a dessert, I'll try to make Kalakand with ricotta. Till then, adios to sweets!