One of my favorites sweet is called Milk Cake. This is an exotic and traditional dessert. This is a very easy and short cut recipe for kalakand. Traditionally kalakand have a very long process to be done. Kalakand is an extremely scrumptious sweet dish, prepared from milk. With this recipe, know how to make kalakand. When I first learned how to cook this delicious dessert, I was so taken up by how easy it was, I made it every excuse I could find! The only difference I keep between kalakand and milk cake is I add color to make milk cake with two colors while I leave natural color for kalakand. You can play around your own way!
Cooking Time: 12-15min
½ gallon whole milk and juice from one lime - to prepare chhena - Ricotta cheese can be used
½ gallon whole milk - to prepare Khoya or use 1/2 cup of ready dry milk powder
1 can sweetened condensed milk or 2 to 2½ cups - sugar
1/4 cup, shelled and unsalted pistachios - slivered or coarsely crushed for garnish
Silver or gold foil to decorate the kalakand -optional
2 big, sturdy, wide based pots
Cardamom powder(elaichi) to taste
Brown or red food color- optional
To make Chhenna and khoya
Place the pots on stove-top and add half gallon milk to each pot to prepare chhana and khoya simultaneously.
Chhana: In one pot, once the milk starts to boil, reduce the heat. Add the limejuice (lemon juice) and stir. Within minutes, you will see small clouds like white curds floating on top. Wait till they get bigger (if they don’t, add some more limejuice and stir) and the whey below gets less milky. This process takes few minutes, so wait at least five minutes. Switch off the heat and let it stand for few more minutes. Then pour the whole thing immediately into a clean muslin or cheese-cloth in a colander, over a sink. Gather the curds by twisting the cloth into a firm lump. The fresh paneer called chhana is ready. You can use simply ricotta cheese. Cook ricotta chees in ghee till it gets thicker solid.
Khoya:In another pot, once the milk starts to boil and lower the heat and simmer, until the milk gets thick and is reduced to about one fourths of the original quantity. This is khoya. (While thickening, stir frequently. Care must be taken that milk does not stick to the bottom of the pot and burn/black.). I simply use dry non fat milk powder to save my cooking time.
Add Sugar or condensed milk:To the khoya, add the freshly prepared chhana (paneer) and sugar. On low heat, cook, continuously mixing, until the khoya-chhana mixture thickens to a waterless-firm lump. This process takes about 45 minutes to one hour.
Decorate: Pour the firm mixture onto a plate. Level it evenly and allow to cool completely. The mixture thickens and firms up even more on cooling. With a knife, cut the cooled kalakand to squares or diamonds. Place the gold or silver foil on kalakand and sprinkle pistachios. Offer the jewel like decorated kalakand neivedyam to Bhagavan Krishna and enjoy the prasadam pieces with family and friends.
Kalakand stays fresh up to a week when refrigerated.
To make two color milk cake
Divide the mixture into two equal portions.
Spread one portion evenly on a greased plate.
To the other portion add the red color and mix well.
Spread it over the white layer and allow it to cool.
Cut into squares and serve.