What is mava, you might ask.
A very good question, especially that the word never caught my attention until about ten days ago.
In the words of tartelette, mava is a reduction of milk and/or cream that gives a thick spread complementing the butter and other ingredients in the cakes.
If you are lucky enough to easily buy ready-made mava, by all means do so instead of making your own.
How did it come to my attention, you might also ask.
A kind commentator asked me if they want to make my vanilla cake with mava, how would they proceed.
So I went on a research spree and found this wonderful cardamom mava cake on tartelette, who had learned it from her Indian friend. Tartelette made mini cakes, whereas I adapted the recipe to make a single larger cake.
If it weren't for you, kind commentator, I would still be ignorant of mava and the mava cake wonder.
For the mava:
800ml evaporated milk (full fat)
1 cup (250ml) heavy cream
For the cake:
2 1/2 cups flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp cardamom
pinch of salt
1 cup mava, at room temperature
3/4 cup butter, at room temperature
2 cups sugar
12 Tbsp whole milk
cashew halves (optional)
Prepare the mava:
Place the evaporated milk and heavy cream in a large pot with tall sides.
Bring the mixture to a boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat to medium high and let it cook, stirring more than occasionally for about 10 minutes.
Turn the heat to medium and let the mixture cook for another 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the mixture starts to thicken.
Turn the heat to medium low and cook another 10 minutes.
At this point, the mixture starts looking like a grainy butterscotch pudding.
No worries, everything is going according to plan.
Turn the heat down to low and continue cooking another 10-15 minutes.
Do more than stirring occasionally there too: there is very little moisture left and the higher risks of scorching happen at that point.
The whole process should take about 50 minutes, pay close attention to the mixture during the first and last 10 minutes of cooking.
The final consistency is that of a very thick pudding.
Let cool to room temperature.
Refrigerate if not using right away.
The mava can also be frozen for up to 3 months.
With this mava recipe, you have 3/4 cup to 1 cup of mava, enough for more than a single batch of cake.
Prepare the cake:
Preheat the oven to 350 and position a rack in the middle.
Butter and flour a cake tin. Set aside.
In a large bowl, stir together the flour, baking powder, cardamom and salt. Reserve.
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the mava, butter and sugar at medium speed until light and fluffy.
Turn the speed to low and add the eggs, one at a time and beating well after each addition.
Still with the motor running on low, add the reserved flour mixture and the milk.
Turn the speed back up to medium and beat until the mixture is smooth.
Pour the batter into the prepared cake tin, top decoratively with a cashew halves, if using, and bake for 60-65minutes.
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