Saturday, 22 September 2012

Coconut and White Chocolate Burfi (Creamy Candy)


Coconut  and White Chocolate Burfi (Creamy Candy)

Oh my goodness.  Indian sweet shops sell burfi that looks so fancy, often with edible silver twinkling its goodness.  But such shops are a hassle of a drive away, so I decided to try making my own.  What got me started was Annarasa’s recipe forcoconut burfi, which made it look really easy.  As usual, I have to cook everything my way, so I have rejigged her recipe, for better or worse.  But thank you to Annarasa for the original idea.
You might think I’ve fallen off my vegan wagon altogether, but as I was having my book club ladies to discuss Serious Men by Manu Joseph, I thought they needed these delicious treats for their dessert.

This version is quite soft, unlike the burfis sold in the shops, which keep their shape more readily.  This tastes like dulce de leche, but with cardamom.  Oh my, can it get any better?
1 cup dessicated coconut (unsweetened)
Find better quality cardamom in Indian groceries.
1 cup whipping cream
7/8 cup jaggery
1 cup evaporated milk
2 tablespoons ghee (Indian clarified butter)
8 green cardamom pods, husked and ground
¾ cup white chocolate pieces

½ cup dessicated coconut, or finely chopped pistachios, or finely chopped cashews (optional, for rolling in)
The colour should go from this
to this...
In the saucepan you will be using, on medium heat, gently dry roast the coconut.  Stir often, and watch it carefully.  Once it starts to turn golden, take it off the heat.  Put in a bowl and set aside.
What could be more heavenly than jaggery?
Pour whipping cream into the same saucepan, whisking in the jaggery.  Annarasa’s recipe calls for regular icing sugar, and sweetened condensed milk, but oh no, India will not lead me down the jaggery path and then snatch it away and replace it with highly processed beat sugar and corn syrup solids!  Jaggery imparts the most heavenly flavour, so race to your nearest Indian grocer, or order it online if you must.

When it's this thick and shiny it's ready for the cardamom.
Put the heat on to medium high, and stay there to whisk it as it starts to boil.  You wouldn’t want this dreamy concoction to burn, and it smells incredible, so you wouldn’t want to miss out on that experience.  Once it’s boiling, add the coconut, and keep stirring until the coconut absorbs the liquid.  Add the milk and ghee, and whisk occasionally, to keep it from scorching.  When it’s reduced by half, watch for the ghee to separate from the mix.  It will start to look shiny. 
When that happens, add the cardamom.  Take off the heat, and stir in most of the white chocolate.  The heat of the mix will melt it.  I merely swirled the white chocolate into the mix, so there would be concentrated bits of it here and there.  Using a spatula spread the mix into a greased square pan, smoothing it out, then dot the rest of the white chocolate pieces over the top.  Wait a few minutes, then spread that melted chocolate into more swirls. 

Put in the fridge, and when thoroughly chilled, cut into pieces.  I kept half in the pan, covered in plastic wrap, and put that in the freezer. 
Later, I was able to cut and place the squares more cleanly on the plate.  If you want squares and diamonds, I recommend this method.  Serve them frozen, so their edges stay sharp.  They don’t taste frozen, just chilled.  Delicious…
But as I needed to get these ready and plated before everyone arrived, I rolled my overly squishy squares in the palm of my hands, rolled them in coconut and plated them on my new Ralph Lauren plate that happens to blend in with my others.  Only the best for the best!

The weather has been warm enough that we were able to have the dinner out on the deck, (with a fire blazing) with lots of wine and laughter.  Like I said, only the best for the best!  My bookclub has been going for twenty years, and it truly is the best!


  1. Mary, the burfi look fab! Thanks for trying my recipe. I just love the fact the you have used jaggery in your version. I can't wait to try it myself. Bet your book club got the best treat ever.