PASSION FRUIT KAJU KATLI BLONDIES
Diwali is around the corner, and I enjoy making mithais for the family. I do not go overboard, but making a couple of them is definitely fun! I like to bring my own twist, with fusion flavors in the mithai, making them fun and interesting.
I have the fondest memories of spending Diwali in Mumbai with my family, and friends. It mostly involved dressing up in new, fancy clothes, eating lots of good food, welcoming visitors to our place, going to people’s homes to visit them, bursting fire crackers, giving and receiving gifts, and for my mom – most importantly cleaning the house!
Mom made a ton of sweet and savory snacks, each and everyone made with so much love. I loved helping her in the kitchen make the goodies. The memories are etched in my mind, forever. She made all the Gujarati mithais – that friends and family cherished whole heartedly.
I bring my own twist to the mithais I make during Diwali. Passion fruits are grown in abundance in California, and I get the most beautiful, fruity, floral passion fruits from www.rincontropics.com . Nick has been very generous and kind to send me the beautiful produce from his farms.
I made these absolutely delicious and soft Passion Fruit Kaju(Cashew) Katli Blondies with the passion fruit juice that I extracted from the fresh passion fruit.
EGGLESS CASHEW BLONDIE LAYER:
I first make a cashew blondie layer that is eggless! The blondies have finely chopped pieces of lightly toasted cashew nuts, to enhance the flavor of the cashews throughout the mithai. The dough is quite less, because I want a thin layer throughout the pan.I use an 8×8 inch baking pan that is covered in parchment paper(for an easy lift). The dough forms a thin layer. It is baked for literally 8 to 9 minutes.
PASSION FRUIT KAJU(CASHEW) KATLI LAYER:
The second layer is the passion fruit kaju katli. The ingredients of basic kaju katli are:
- Finely ground cashew nuts
- Granulated sugar
- Coarsely crushed cardamom seeds
- A bit of oil
That is it! Instead of using water, I use pure passion fruit juice and make a passion fruit sugar syrup with the cardamom and saffron. Then once the mixture starts boiling, I add the finely ground, and sifted cashew nut mixture and keep stirring for a total of 8 to 9 minutes. You do not want to cook it further else it hardens quickly and does not remain pliable.
The trick to soft kaju katli is to wrap it in parchment paper for 7 minutes, to retain the moisture once cooked. Then using a plastic scraper, knead the dough (because it is too hot to handle it by hand), such that it cools down and is not sticky and looks smooth and shiny.
You want to roll it out thin with the help of parchment paper on the top and bottom, such that you get a rough 9×9 inch square (¼ inch thickness). Cut off the edges and with the help of the parchment paper, slap it onto the cooled blondie layer. You have to take a flat measuring cup or an offset spatula to smoothen the layer out. Let it cool for 5 minutes. Then remove it from the pan and lay the silver foil on top of the katli layer in a non-uniform fashion. You want it to look uneven.
Using a ruler, cut the katli first in vertical slices, 1 inch apart. Then lay the ruler at an angle, from the left hand or the right hand corner, and cut out 1 inch straight lines, to form diagonal pieces. Using an offset spatula, carefully remove each piece, and put it into an airtight container. You can place a parchment paper on top of the bottom layer, and put more katlis on top of the paper. Store at room temperature for 5-7 days.
CAN I USE MANGO JUICE TO MAKE MANGO KAJU KATLI?
I have not tried this, but it is definitely possible. Do not use mango puree. Use mango juice, where the consistency is almost like water. For example, use Mazaa (mango juice available in bottles in the Indian store), and thin it out slightly with water, such that it is water consistency. Make sure to use the same volume as the passion fruit juice.
WHERE CAN I BUY THE SILVER FOIL FROM?
Here is the link to the edible silver foil that I bought from Amazon. They are always good to keep at hand for decoration of your edible goods! It makes for a pretty presentation.
WHERE CAN I BUY PLASTIC DOUGH SCRAPER FROM?
The link is here. I find this tool very useful for kneading the hot katli mixture. I also use it all the time for kneading any kind of sticky dough, as I wait for the gluten to develop.
Hope these tips are useful for you. If you do make these beautiful katli blondies, please do not forget to tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment on this blog post.