January, 2016: Mumbai winters are supposed to be a myth. And maybe they are.. But there is a slight cool breeze in the air, ceiling fans are not necessarily a must 24*7 and our air-conditioners get some time off..
It is also the season of delicious long sweet carrots! So when there was an opportunity to cut a celebratory cake in January, I wanted to leverage a traditional seasonal favorite – hot Gajar Halwa with vanilla ice cream!
The challenge was more around making it something to ‘cut’ to celebrate than the actual Gajar Halwa itself..
- Gajar Halwa worth 1/2 kg of carrots + 1/2 carrot
- 1/2 ltr pack of store bought plain vanilla ice cream
- 1 small heart shaped silicon mold since it was a 15th anniversary celebration
- Plastic cling film
- Dough (Wheat flour – only for shaping)
- Creating the vanilla mold: The only big step here is to create the vanilla mold which would hold my Gajar Halwa.
My heart shaped silicon mold was great for the outer vanilla cover. I needed to make an inner boundary within that mold to form a small concentric shape which would then hold my hot Gajar Halwa.For this, I used my every day dough out of simple wheat flour to mold a smaller version of the heart so that it fits exactly in the middle. I then wrapped this in clingy plastic film so as to retain the shape and refrigerated the dough till it was hard. About 45 mins in the deep freezer.Then, I melted my vanilla ice cream till it was quite soft but not yet liquid. I preferred to keep it outside till it reached my desired consistency rather than microwave it.
I then scooped handful of the ice cream and completely filled my heart shaped mold packing it loosely.
A smaller shaped dough heart (which by now was rock solid) was placed in the center of my ice cream filled silicon heart (I like that term). On pressing gently, the soft ice-cream gave way to accommodate the mold in the center so that the vanilla ice cream was now encasing the dough heart. Ensure the ice cream is not too liquid that the dough shape touches the bottom (we want a 3-sided mold to hold the halwa).
Once done, the silicon mold-ice cream and dough heart was back in my deep freezer for about 4-5 hours till the ice cream was solid.
- Carrot Decors: To provide some light decors on the top of this ‘cake’, I cut fine round slices of the thin end of a carrot and lightly sauteed them with a little sugar on a low flame. (Everything till now was prepared beforehand)
- Assembly: Finally, when the anniversary couple arrived and it was time to present the ‘cake’. The ice cream was removed from the fridge and I removed the frozen dough by pulling up the plastic cling. Since all layers were frozen, this was done quite gently.
The halwa was heated and filled tightly in the heart shaped ice cream gap. (I realize, the ice cream would have held better with a cold halwa, but it is so much more yum hot!)
A small plate was kept on top, over turned and the heart shaped mold lightly lifted.The cut carrots were sprinkled quickly over and it was time to celebrate!
The ice cream mold gave way in some places, but a thicker level of the same may work