Don’t get misled by the name. It is not a cake as in a baked cake, but a burfi. How it ended up with that name can be just a conjecture. In the south, burfis are generally called cakes. Don’t ask me why!
Anyway, this is one of the easiest sweets to make. You will appreciate how easy it is, from the fact that even I hadn’t goofed up the first time I had tried it! Ever since, it has been my staple sweet for festivals and other occasions.
The measures call for seven cups of ingredients, of which three are supposed to be sugar. However, it becomes too sweet if you add three measures. I usually add only two, increasing the coconut and adding milk powder or dry fruits to make one more cup to bring it to the magic number of seven. I have added milk powder in the recipe.
If you like it sweeter, you can add another half-a-cup of sugar and make up the seventh cup with one of the other ingredients (not ghee!).
(You can use any measure, but use the same one to measure all the ingredients).
• Besan 1 cup
• Coconut (grated) 1 ½ cup
• Sugar 2 cups
• Milk 1 cup
• Milk Powder or dry fruits ½ cup
• Ghee 1 cup
• Cardamom powder ½ tsp
• Take a heavy bottomed kadhai or vessel and toast the besan till it turns aromatic. Don’t brown it. The original recipe calls for raw besan, but I like the toasted fragrance.
• If using dry fruits, toast almonds and cashews lightly in the kadhai and crush them coarsely.
• If using milk powder, dissolve it in the milk.
• Grind the grated coconut to get a smooth texture.
• Dissolve the toasted besan in the milk and milk powder mix and whisk it till there are no lumps.
• Grease a tray with ghee and keep aside.
• Take a heavy-bottomed kadhai or vessel and add all the ingredients one by one. Mix them well. Put the vessel on the gas and switch it on.
• Cook the mixture on medium to low heat, stirring continuously. It will take approximately 15 or 20 mins.
• The mixture will start coming together into a mass and leaving the sides of the kadhai. Soon, the edges will become frothy. This is the stage when you have to remove it from the heat. Before taking it off, you can test it by taking a little bit and putting it on a plate. It should harden slightly in a few seconds as it cools. But if it remains like halwa, cook for another few minutes.
• Tip it over in the greased thali. Grease the bottom of a flat cup and level the surface with it.
• Let it set for five minutes. Make indentations with a sharp, greased knife and leave it to cool and harden.
• Once cooled sufficiently, cut the pieces and serve the 7-cup cake!
• Store in an airtight container.
• You can increase any ingredient if you are reducing the amount of sugar. I like to add ½ cup of milk powder and half a cup of coconut to make it into seven cups.
• If adding nuts, add only almonds and cashews. They go well with the other flavours in the burfi.
• If the mixture seems too soft after turning it out on the tray, tip it right back into the kadhai and cook for another five minutes. It will set properly after that. Didn’t I tell you, you can’t ever go wrong?