Gajar (Carrot) Halwa Blondie (or redhead?) bars
Winter in New Delhi means usually heralds the advent of warm comfort foods like Jalebi, Coal grilled sweet potatoes & decadent Gajar Halwa, none of which may be defined as soft & melt in your mouth, These are foods to be masticated well to extract every bit of flavor before they go down the hatch. Over on the other side of the Suez canal & the atlantic, I associate fall in NYC with warm chestnuts & those amazing honey roasted nuts that are sold in almost every street corner & decadent hot chocolate from Godiva!.
The flip side of Gajar halwa is that it isnt something that you multitask with, No leisurely stroll with a cuppa joe in one hand & a sticky brownie like treat in the other while window shopping!
This weeks offering combines the satiating feel of warm Gajar halwa with the portability of a white chocolate macadamia Blondie.
its astonishingly simple to make.
1 can condensed milk
1/2 cup of evaporated milk or regular whole milk (if necessary)
5 tbsp sugar
2 cups all purpose flour
3 level tsp double acting baking powder (NOT baking soda)
1 stick (8 tbsp) unsalted butter melted.
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup almond slivers for garnishing
5-7 pods cardamom crushed
1/2 nutmeg powdered
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Sieve together the flour & baking powder in a large mixing bowl. Set aside.
Combine shredded carrots, condensed milk, sugar and raisins in an oven proof bowl. (rinse out the condensed milk sticking to the sides of the can with the evaporated milk and add to the carrots)
Mix well & microwave for 5-8 minutes till the carrots are soft & have lost their raw taste. Add melted butter and ground spices & combine well. ( I prefer to add the spices after the carrots are cooked to ensure that the essential oils in the spices do not dissipate)
Line a baking sheet with Aluminum foil & grease completely with butter.
Pour the carrot mixture into the centre of the mixing bowl containing the flour. Fold in gently from the sides towards the centre.
Take care not to over mix as this can cause the gluten to bind together, resulting in a tough & leathery texture.
Spread evenly onto baking tray and sprinkle with slivered almonds. Bake for ~ 20-25 minutes till the top is golden brown.
Allow to cool, cut into squares & serve. These bars freeze well & will keep for upto a month in the freezer.