I’m thrilled to have received so many success stories from you all about the Eggless Birthday Cupcake recipe I posted a few weeks ago. You’ve shared them across Facebook, Instagram and via email and like a proud mum, I fill up with joy every time I see your recipe remakes.
Today is my 30th birthday and I’ve been sharing recipes here for 10 years. Can you believe it?! With each year, I’ve grown as a person, learning more about myself than I ever thought I would through a medium as lighthearted as a recipe blog. Exploring my cultural heritage through food has helped me get to grips with my own personal identity. With this I’ve understood and embraced what “home” really means to me. It’s where my family are; My husband, my son, my parents, my brother and sister-in-law, and their children, all sitting around a dinner table eating great food and just being… well, a family.
Many of you know that I was born in Britain, the daughter of immigrants with Indian and East African roots. I was raised as a vegetarian Hindu so the food I ate growing up was a mishmash of spices, starches, vegetables and pulses. Learning to cook from my mum and her haul of Gujarati and Swahili cookbooks was both a pleasure and a privilege. I’m so glad I was able to extract happiness from those things early on because if I didn’t, I wouldn’t be able to share so many of my favourite recipes with you all today.
I feel honoured to be connected with so many fans and readers. Together we are a community of 60,000 people from around the world across social media, each of us passionate about vegetarian Indian and East African food. Whether it’s a comfort classic or a modern take on an old favourite, we all appreciate a plate of food cooked with love. I hope to continue to grow, learn, explore and share recipes with you for years to come.
Being an oversharer, you probably know a tonne about me, but for a bit of fun, here are a few things you may not have known…
- I’ve never been to India, yet Indian food is one of my biggest passions in life.
- I’m a pyjama-holic. I’d live in loungewear if I could. Don’t let styled food and good photography fool you. Developing recipes and spending a lot of time covered in flour means that fancy clothes are off the cards and comfy joggers and vest tops are the norm. After a hard day’s work I’ll have butter in my hair, icing sugar on my top and and a smile on my face. An Insta-perfect life doesn’t exist and in today’s world of social media overload it’s important we don’t measure ourselves against someone else’s online persona – most of it is make believe anyway!
- I’m an avid and life-long wrestling fan. But we’ll leave that story for another day.
Now let’s eat Birthday Cake Burfi and celebrate this old gal’s 30th.
- 400 g full-fat milk powder
- 200 ml double cream
- 2 x 397g tins sweetened condensed milk
- 3 eggless birthday cupcakes not frosted (recipe is on the blog)
- 150 g white chocolate to decorate
- 2 tbsp sprinkles to decorate
- Crumble up the birthday cake cupcakes with clean hands, making sure you have fine crumbs. Don’t use a food processor for this and ensure the cupcakes are have been allowed to cool completely. I like to make the cupcakes the day before so they’re completely cool and ready to crumble.
To make the burfi:
- Combine the milk powder, cream and condensed milk in a pan. Cook on a low heat, stirring all the time until the mixture starts exuding oil and begins to come away from the sides of the pan. If you have a sugar thermometer, the mixture should reach 116°C (this is known as the soft ball stage). Keep stirring to ensure the mixture doesn’t burn as it can catch quite easily. Don’t worry if you do not have a sugar thermometer. You can check it’s ready by first spreading a little mixture on a cold plate and if you can roll it into a soft ball between your thumb and finger, it’s ready. Time to work quickly!
- Remove from the heat and spread half of the mixture inside the greased brownie tin. Even the mixture out with the help of a spatula. Top with the birthday cake crumbs immediately, making the layer as even as possible. Top with the rest of the Burfi mixture and again, use a spatula to even it out. You need to make quick work of this to ensure the Burfi mixture is still hot when you’re spreading it. You don’t want it to start setting or it will be hard to work with.
- Melt the chocolate in a glass bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Ensure the bowl isn’t touching the water. Pour the chocolate over the Burfi layer and spread it out evenly. Scatter with sprinkles and allow to sit at room temperature until set, about 8 hours or preferably overnight. Slice into squares and serve.
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