I have sweet childhood memories of feasting on ‘Alwar ka Kalakand’ brought back by my maternal uncle , who was posted there back then. The milk cake from Alwar comes in a block which is blonde at the top and gets darker towards the bottom. I always loved the bottom layer the best!
Milk cake or Kalakand is simple desi ‘mithai’ which is primarily a two ingredient wonder, the third being patience .Surprisingly, I had never made it till I saw a post on Chef at Large by my friend Souvik Mukherjee. The perfect dark squares left me craving for a piece! An hour and half of stirring and some adjustments to Souvik’s fantastic basic recipe and I had these delicious fudge like ‘Gulab Kalakand’ . Thanks buddy! Had it not been for me, I would have never tried my hand at this wonder.
Here is how I made it
Full Cream milk- 2 litres
Vinegar- 2 tsp (Souvik suggests adding ½ a tsp of alum/fitkari. I didn’t have any and vinegar worked fine)
Sugar- 90 gms (I like the sugar low, you may increase. The original recipe suggests 150 gms)
Gulkand- 2 Tbsp (Optional) (Any fruit pulp may be added to get flavoured kalakand)
Honey – 2 Tbsp
Desi Ghee/clarified butter- 2 Tbsp
In a heavy bottomed pan/kadhai bring the milk to boil and reduce to half. Keep stirring to avoid burning.
Add the vinegar and sugar, and continue to thicken.
When it comes together add the honey and ghee and cook till the mixture leaves the sides of the pan. Add the gulkand.
Transfer to a ghee-greased thaali/large plate and leave to set for a few hours.
Garnish with pistachios or cashews.
Cut into squares and serve.