Every year during september I get into a zone, hands itching and nose twitching, like a researcher in a lab working my mind at various flavour combinations and textures to create a sweet that is exciting and different, for my kids to take to school on their birthdays.
People usually buy something and send it but what’s the fun in that right?
I have been dabbling with the idea of combining sweet chocolate fudge and salty cashew cake.
Today, is the day it all came together. The start was a bit shakey because organic shops arent open on sundays and I dont have any cashew at home. Then it struck me. I have so many more dry fruits – almonds can certainly replace cashew. I decided to step out of organic cooking zone this time.
In my mind I went
Gram flour- tick
Chocolate powder- tick
Usually the combinations for mysore pak is always 1:1 for ghee and gramflour. Sugar is double. It is 1:1 for cashew and sugar is also 1:1 for kaju katli, which doesnt need ghee as there is already a lot of fat in it. I decided not to watch out for ghee too much – always the more the better!
Ghee 250 grams
Sugar 3 cups
Almond 2 cups
Gram flour 1 cup
Chocolate powder 1/2 cup
Cardamom – 10
Cloves – 6
I dealt with this in two different batches, first the gram flour and chocolate powder. Then the almond mix.
Chocolate Mysore pak halfway:
In a wok I added a table spoon of ghee and I mixed in the gram flour and chocolate powder till it was nice and warm and removed as many lumps as possible. (I didnt bother sifting it). Then I removed it and kept aside.
Meanwhile, in warm water I soaked all the almonds and kept it closed.
Then for the caramel in the same wok I added two cups of sugar and a pinch of salt, pored in two tablespoons of water and brought it to boil. Once it formed a nice froth I checked for a stringy sticky consistency and switched off the stove. I then added the warmly prepared gram flour mixture into the caramel. I kept stirring it vigourously so that lumps dont form, I was surprised to see how it changed from a goey consistency to that of dry toasty breadcrumbs. It felt like a ‘heston blumenthal’ surprise. 😂
I added two more table spoons of ghee in it and kept stirring. It was now a little less powdery. I poured it on a greased plate and thought it will set after it cools.
Then I ventured on my next experiment:
The soaked almonds looked nicely bloated and golden. I strained them, saved the water, and then quickly squeezed them out of their skins. (I saved the skin too for my home-made shampoo😉)
In a wok, I added a tsp of salt, the rest of the sugar and two table spoons of water from soaked almonds and let it come to boil for the caramel.
Meanwhile, in a food processor I added the almonds, with the core of the cardamoms and the head of the cloves, saving the left overs for a later day biriyani. Then I blitzed it to a powder as smooth and I could.
Once the caramel was stringy and sticky I added the almond mixture and began stirring. It looked fab. First sticky, then a foldable consistency, all in a few minutes.
I checked on the chocolate mysore pak while stirring and sadly, it was still powdery. So I decided to add it all in the almond cake and stirred them all in folding them from all sides. When it was goey enough and leaving the sides of the pan I took it off heat and poured it all on a greasy plate. Voila!
Now, what do I call this chocolatey almondy mysorepak, I thought.
Alcho mysore pak!