By The Book - Coconut Burfi Fudge
"Gasp!" you might say. "What? Really? How can that be true? You love food and have a food blog and a ton of cookbooks!" Well, it is true. I love cookbooks and have a HUGE collection of cookbooks. I even own a few cookbooks in languages I'm not really fluent in and a couple in languages I can't even read! But as for cooking something from them, I hardly ever do. I may sometimes use a recipe as an inspiration, but usually add/modify ingredients to suit my tastes.
I buy cookbooks to pour over the beautiful pictures. Cookbooks are part of my bedtime reading repertoire. I like the light reading that cookbooks offer - pleasant, relaxing and soporific. I flip the pages, drool over the exotic dishes and reminisce over the familiar ones. I admire the food styling in the pictures and make a mental note about some unusual ingredient or spice that catches my eye. I lay back on the pillow and try to image what it must taste like. I have pleasant, happy images of me churning out one perfect looking dish after another - just as the cookbook promises - and drift off to sleep with lingering thoughts of delightful dishes all lined up on a perfectly set table, with perfectly behaved kids (and husband!) sitting at the table, tucking in heartily and singing praises of me. Sigh! a girl can dream, can't she?
Once in a while though, a certain recipe will catch my eye for its sparsity of ingredients, simplicity of preparation and the promised elegance of taste. Once such recipe I saved from a newspaper is for "Coconut Fudge". I love coconut based sweets, but have never tried to make the traditional coconut burfi. It tends to be a bit sweet for my liking and I've always been afraid to meddle with the proportion of sugar because it seems sacrosanct to the recipe. When I came across this recipe, I filed it away as I do with a lot of recipes.
Years passed before I stumbled across it again. This time, I immediately added the required ingredients to my weekly shopping list. At the next available opportunity, I made the dish and followed the recipe exactly!
I was rewarded with wonderfully moist, chewy, coconut fudge. It was perhaps a little bit too sweet and the next time, I'm going to reduce the sugar a little bit. It was still fantastic and the empty box in the fridge was a mute testimony not only to the deliciousness of the sweet, but also to the fact that my family does not remove empty boxes from the fridge! They happily help themselves to the last of the laddoo or burfi or milk and place the empty carton back in the fridge! Arrrghhh!
The recipe is from Chicago Tribune a few years ago. Here is the recipe verbatim:
Preparation time: 5 minutes
Cooking time: 50 minutes
Chilling time: 8 hours (I started sampling right away!)
Yield: 32 pieces (considerably less after 8 hours due to constant sampling)
1 cup each: sugar, milk, whipping cream, unsweetened grated coconut (I used frozen grated coconut that I thawed in the microwave)
1 teaspoon ground cardamom
2 tablespoons sliced pistachios or almonds
- Heat sugar, milk, cream and coconut to a boil in a medium saucepan over medium-low heat.
- Reduce heat to simmer.
- Cook until mixture becomes very thick and starts to leave the side of the pan, about 50 minutes.
- Transfer mixture to a buttered 8-inch square baking dish/tray. I lined the tray with aluminum foil and ghee'ed (new word alert!) the foil.
- Sprinkle with cardamom powder and nuts.
- Cover with plastic wrap and chill for 8 hours.
- Cut into 1 inch diamonds or squares.
This fudge/burfi has to be refrigerated or else it becomes very soft. The taste is reminiscent of Dulce De Leche and if you like that flavor or that of caramel, then this burfi is for you. I happen to love Häagen-Dazs version of this flavor, so I loved this burfi.