This time of the year I get filled with joy and excitement as from October to November we celebrate a few festivals in our hindu religion. Following on from there we gently lead into Christmas which means more festivities. I love participating in all the joyous occasions as it’s when you get the opportunity to dress up, meet families and friends who you may not have seen for sometime and enjoy lots of good food. On the 5th of October 2013 starts our festival of Navratri which is celebrated for nine nights and it symbolises victory over evil. For indian women it is a very auspicious time and an opportunity to go shopping to buy new clothes and jewellery. During these nine nights special puja’s and offerings are made to god, families and friends feast on a vast variety of foods and all men, women and children enjoy dancing the night away. Since a young age I always looked forward to this time of the year as I was super excited to choose my clothes for nine nights and accessorize with gorgeous necklaces, earrings and shiny bangles. This year I have my baby girl to dress up and adorn and I can’t wait. Over the next few months I will be posting some of my festival related recipes that I have made in the past. I hope you enjoy reading my festival related posts and recipes all of which will be eggless but a mixture of east and west. All recipes posted will be suitable for “Prasad” which is foods offered to god.
Millionaires shortbread – I have made these for several years now and they never fail to disappoint, recently I have trialled and experimented with various ingredients and this blend of flavours works really well. With every bite you can taste the layer of chocolate orange followed by a soft crumbly cardamom biscuit base.
Makes about 20 Squares depending on size cut.
For biscuit base-
165g Plain Flour
10g Corn Flour
1 Tsp cardamom powder ( alternatively can grind cardamom seeds in a pestle and mortar)
55g Light Muscavado Sugar
For caramel layer-
1 Tin (397g) Condense Milk
55g Light Muscavado sugar
2Tbsp Orange zest
1/2 Tsp Orange extract
For Chocolate layer-
200g Dark chocolate
1 Tbsp Orange zest
1. Preheat oven to 180 degree C or 160 for fan assisted. Grease a square tin approx 10″x8″ or equivalent.
2. In a food processor add flour, butter and cardamom powder and blend till bread crumb consistency. Add sugar and mix into a firm dough.
3. Place the dough into the prepared tin and with the palm of your hand gently spread the mixture to cover the tin. Prick the dough with fork before placing in the oven to bake for 20 mins.
4. Once baked the dough should have a golden colour, remove from oven and leave to cool in tin.
5. To make the caramel layer, in a non stick pan mix the condense milk, butter and sugar and cook on a low-medium heat stirring continuously till you reach a boil.
6. Once you reach a boil, reduce the heat further, continue stirring till the caramel comes away from the sides of the pan approx 4-5 mins. Stir in the zest and essence. It is important to continuously stir the caramel when cooking to prevent sticking or lumps forming.
7. Pour the caramel layer over the biscuit base and spread. To even it out tap the tin on the work top 3-4 times. Let the caramel layer cool before th chocolate layer is added.
8. To make the chocolate layer, break up chocolate into equal pieces and melt in a bane mare (place chocolate in a glass bowl over a pan of boiling water ensuring the bowl doesn’t come in contact with water).
9. Pour the melted chocolate over the cooled caramel layer and spread, again tap the tin to even out the chocolate. Sprinkle orange zest and leave until chocolate has set.
10. Once all layers have set, cut into required pieces.