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Lavender Badaam (Almond) Cake


It seemed SUCH a sacrilege to trifle with something that is such an integral part of South Indian dessert  confections, that the crazy part of me JUST had to do it!! Of course, I did justify to my self in my head & one of the most valid sounding excuses for the Badaam cake was.. Hmm.. Almonds are very much a part of Mediterranean cuisine & the best Saffron is supposed to come from Spain (Also Mediterranean).. & Guess what? So is Lavender.. or some such convoluted logic like that!
The Traditional Badaam cake was always a Diwali tradition growing up along with such fantasy confections such as Wheat Halwa (Fantasy, only because I could NEVER get it done the way my mom used to & I don't even want to try!!). As one progresses in age, the nostalgia of all things associated with ones childhood comes to the fore & begs to be passed on to the next generation. Yes, our mothers used to drum it into our heads & the full extent of their words settle upon us when we take over the mantle of Parenthood.

It was indeed surprising how well lavender blends with almonds. & yes, very little is required to infuse the entire batch with a mild aroma reminiscent of citrus. Sorry.. No pix since I whipped up this late last night & have completely run out of the necessary ingredients for an encore!

For this you need:
1 cup raw almonds (soaked overnight & skinned)
1 cup Full Fat milk (or half & half)
1- 2 tsp dried Lavender blossoms (as per personal taste)
3 cups icing sugar OR 2 cups regular sugar
2 tbsp ghee + some more if preferred
A baking sheet or plate coated generously with butter or ghee


Add the lavender to the milk & heat till it comes to a boil.
Strain the milk and add to the almonds.Discard the lavender.
Grind the almonds to a coarse paste with the lavender infused milk. (you may wash out the blender jar with some extra milt & add it to the paste)
In a heavy bottom skillet, heat the ghee and add the almond paste.
Stir well till the ghee & almond paste combine. Then, add the 3 cups of icing sugar ( the reason to use this instead of regular sugar is that it melts almost instantly).
Cook on a slow flame stirring constantly & pushing down the almond paste from the sides of the pan. (I recommend using a silicone spatula instead of the traditional ladle.)
Cook down until all the moisture has evaporated & the mix begins leaving the sides of the pan (the mix should drop off in sheets from the spatula).
Transfer the mixture onto the buttered plate. Spread evenly & smooth out.
Allow to cool before cutting into squares.


(and NO.. The color remains the same as the traditional version..NOT a mauve lavender hue!!)

;-)

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