It’s a fascinating thing about memories. How even the most insignificant and ordinary part of our daily lives, gets etched on our minds. And all without a trace, till one fine day, something, by mere remote association makes you travel back in time, reminding fondly of the days gone by.
It was late in the evening and I had just finished making Gajar ka halwa (carrot pudding). As I cleaned the kitchen counter, I quickly put away all the leftover ingredients in the fridge – a bit of mawa (milk solids) and some condensed milk. Too tired to even think of anything else, I resigned from my kitchen duties for the day. The following day, I was back in action to prepare our meals. I opened the fridge to get some things out. Another look and I made a mental note to use these leftovers.
Leftovers…yes, strangely something like leftovers took me back in time. Grandmom grew up during the hard times. Probably, that’s why it was so very important to not throw away things that could be reused. Something she had learnt, something she taught us as well. Leftover food would get a new avatar the next day so that we would find it interesting enough to eat it again.
I find no shame in being frugal. It’s not like we cannot afford to go and buy a whole lot of stuff to cook whatever we want, whenever we want. It means we should respect the value for things and not be callous about it.
Don’t waste, I told myself, like my grandmom would tell me. But these ingredients would probably only be used for desserts and having made one just the previous night, I wasn’t too keen. What can I use mawa for?! Not that I did not already know, Mawa holds its royal kingship in most Indian desserts. But I wasn’t in a mood of anything really sweet. A little search online and I saw… Mawa cakes! Why didn’t I think of mawa cakes before! As a kid I had eaten plenty of mawa cupcakes. Subtly sweet, with the slightest lingering of cardamom that are perfect for tea time. While most recipes use sugar, I intended to use the leftover condensed milk instead. If you have some leftover condensed milk and want something light, here is the recipe for the Mawa cakelets.
(The quantities mentioned in this recipe makes around 8-10 regular sized cupcakes)
Mawa 100 gms
Condensed milk 120 gms
Egg 1 medium
Butter 50 gms
Flour/Maida 160 gms
Cardamom powder 1/2 tsp
Baking powder 1 tsp
Milk 6-7 tbsp
Almonds, slivered for garnish
- Preheat the oven at 175 degrees C for 10 mins.
- In a bowl, take mawa, condensed milk, egg and butter. Whisk till smooth and runny.
- In another bowl mix the dry ingredients together. Flour, cardamom powder and baking powder.
- Add half the dry ingredients to the smooth and runny batter and fold in till well combined.
- Add in the milk and mix well to incorporate. Fold in the remaining flour mix.
- Add the batter to a lined cake tin, top with slivered almonds and bake for 25-30 mins (time mentioned is for cakelets and for cupcakes, a loaf may take a while longer)
- To test the doneness, insert a skewer or a clean knife. If it comes out clean, its ready.
Note: The cake, although baked will look white. For a golden hue on top, increase the temperature and bake on top rack with top side heat for 3-5 mins. Condensed milk gives a slightly dense texture like a blondie. Because it is subtly sweet, it may not come through with the first bite itself, but the second bite onwards you will be assured of its sweetness.