The second country I chose from the list of Asian countries is Bangladesh. Being neighbor of West Bengal, most of the recipes are identical. When I was looking for an authentic sweet, I came across this cake Sondesh. You know that sondesh is a paneer based sweet which is absolutely yum. I was interested in knowing more about cake sondesh, but there were not too many recipes out there. I did some serching and found out that cake sondesh is made for Ramzan, but no more details were available about this sweet. And what a coincidence, I too made it on a day of Ramzan.
Looking at the sweet, I was tempted to try. You know about the month long blogging marathon I did on milk sweets, most of them being paneer based. I love making paneer based sweets and so I immediately noted the recipe down. There were some variations of the recipe, some with milk and other with milk powder. I chose to make the milk version. This is not a sweet for a beginner. If you are good with techniques, you will find it easier. But you can always learn. Check out my photo tutorial to know how I made these sondesh.
The reason this is named as cake sondesh is the use of vanilla and cocoa powder. Usually we add cardamom powder which gives the authentic sweet flavour. We add vanilla in this recipe which gives a cake like flavour to the sweet. And there are two layers in the sweet. The inner vanilla sandesh and the outer chocolate sandesh. When you bite into it, you won’t feel like eating sandesh. Believe me, I tasted one and it was just like eating a cake. As the sandesh is soft, it is better to keep it refrigerated. If you are making this, make the soft malai paneer at home. It would give you amazing results.
Recipe Source: Bangla Recipes
Soft Malai Paneer – 400 gm
Sugar – 1/2 cup
Milk – 1/2 cup
Vanilla Essence – 1 tsp
Cocoa Powder – 2 tbs
Ghee – 1 tbs
Mash paneer and knead it until is is soft and lump free.
Add it to a pan along with milk and sugar.
Cook on medium flame until all the water in the pan evaporates. Note, the sugar will be syrupy and it won’t evaporate. So don’t overcook the mixture.
Add ghee and mix well.
Finally switch off flame and allow the mixture to cool completely.
As we were cooking paneer for a longer period, it will be quite lumpy and grainy.
Take the mix in a mixer jar and pulse until it forms a smooth dough.
Place it in a bowl and refrigerate until it firms.
Divide the dough into two portions, one 2/3rd and the other 1/3rd.
Place the 2/3 rd portion in a cling film and roll it to make a cylinder.
Refrigerate until needed.
Add cocoa powder to the remaining 1/3 rd portion and mix well.
Take a baking paper and place the cocoa sandesh on it.
With the help of a spoon, spread it into a rectangle. The length of the cocoa sandesh should be the length of the vanilla cylinder.
The width should be the circumference of the cylinder.
Once it is shaped, remove the vanilla sandesh from the cling film and place it in the centre of the cocoa sandesh aligning the lenght.
Now bring both the sides of the cocoa sandesh and make sure they join without any gap.
Tightly roll the paper and refrigerate it for an hour.
Between make sure to roll the cylinder to get the perfect shape.
Once it is firm enough, slice it gently into 1/4″ thick slices.
Serve them chilled.