Thursday, 3 November 2016

Baked Bengal Curds with Macerated Berries

With creamy cheesecake like curds, colourful berries and contrasting texture courtesy of the almond crumble, this traditional Indian dessert of Baked Bengal Curds is certainly one to try. 

Baked Bengal Curds are a traditional Indian dessert which is very easy to make.  It tastes remarkably like cheesecake.

If you're looking for an easy dessert which is perfect either as a mid-week treat or even to serve when entertaining guests then look no further, you've found it!

An easy dessert to make which is suitable for mid-week treats or perfect when entertaining guests.

All three elements of this delicious dessert, the curds, almond crumble and macerated berries, requires about 10 minutes of hands on time, which includes getting the kitchen scales out of the cupboard and weighing the ingredients, or up to 15 minutes if you're working particularly slowly!  If that's not enticement enough just check out how inviting it looks with those beautiful berries against the creamy white of the baked curds.  And the piece de resistance, for some, me included, is that this dessert tastes remarkably like cheesecake!



Made with just a few ingredients, Baked Bengal Curds are an easy dessert to make.

Yes, I did say cheesecake!  Smooth.  Creamy.  Delicately flavoured.   It's far quicker to rustle up than a regular baked cheesecake and being baked in ramekins it spends far less time in the oven too.   Another issue with baked cheesecakes, despite their deliciousness, is that they can easily crack potentially affecting the aesthetic appeal of your dessert.  But these easy to make Baked Bengal Curds don't seem to have that issue (or at least the baked surface hasn't cracked on the two occasions that I've rustled them up). 

A dessert perfect when entertaining guests or as a mid-week treat

Baked Bengal Curds, also known as Bhapa Doi, is a dessert which is new to Mr E & I, having come across it in an edition of the Metro newspaper way back in August.  Being enticed to try it and learn more about this simple yet delicious dessert I called upon our friend Google.  A quick search taught me that this is a traditional Indian dessert, and is often served for religious celebrations in the Hindi calendar.  The name Bhapa Doi literally means steamed yogurt, as the dessert can be steamed rather than baked.

Baked Bengal Curds, a traditional dessert which is easy to make.

It transpires that the dessert itself is quite a wonderful base for carrying other flavours and textures.  Many of the recipes I read on-line incorporated cardamom powder in the curds and some talk of using pineapple extract, though I chose to stick with vanilla for our first experience of Baked Curds!  The dessert is then often finished with some form of fruit and nuts.  The recipe in the Metro used a little tamarind paste to enliven some mixed berries.  Other cooks have served their traditional Bengal dessert with pomegranate seeds, pistachios, and even sliced kiwi fruits.   Some suggest baking the dessert with a few saffron strands resting on top of the white curds to create a wonderful orange colour giving a beautiful contrast when pistachios are scattered over the top.

Baked Bengal Curds, a traditional dessert which is easy to make.

These Baked Bengal Curds with Macerated Berries looked so enticing when I lined them up in their ramekin dishes for their 'photo shoot'.  One of the shots I was hoping to capture was of the dessert having been broken into with a teaspoon about to be enjoyed, but that wasn't to be.  Not because I was called away, or because my camera ran out of battery, nor because the image was declined (even though my over head images do often have a little shake in them) but simply because, before I knew where I was, the dessert had almost been completely eaten by yours truly.....oops!            

Baked Bengal Curds, a traditional dessert which is easy to make.

With creamy cheesecake like curds, colourful berries and contrasting texture courtesy of the almond crumble this Baked Bengal Curds dessert is certainly one to try.  In fact I'd recommend making a few extra as you may kick yourself when you realise how fabulously delicious it is......but don't despair as its such an easy dessert to make you'll soon have made another batch!

Oh, and did I say it tastes remarkably like cheesecake?!


So, let's get to it and bake!






print recipe

Baked Bengal Curds with Macerated Berries
This easy dessert, with creamy cheesecake like curds, colourful berries and contrasting texture courtesy of the almond crumble, is a traditional Indian dessert and certainly one to try. 

Details
Hands on time: Cook time:     Yield: 3

Specific Equipment
    3 ramekins, we used GU dessert glasses which hold 100ml
Ingredients
For the Baked Curds
  • 125ml Greek Yogurt
  • 100g Condensed Milk
  • 75ml Double Cream
  • 1/2 Capful Vanilla Extract (optional)
For the Almond Crumble
  • 10g Butter, unsalted
  • 35g Ground Almonds
  • 15g Sugar
For the Macerated Berries
  • 75g Mixed Fresh Berries, cleaned (such as strawberries, raspberries, blueberries) + a few extra to dress the plate
  • 1 - 2 tsp Icing Sugar
  • drizzle Balsamic Vinegar

Method
1. Preheat oven to 150c / 140 Fan / Gas 2. Fill the kettle with water, and set it to boil.2. Make the curd mixture. Place the greek yogurt into a bowl and stir to make smooth. Add the condensed milk and double cream. Use a balloon whisk to mix together until well combined.  It will feel to thicken slightly. 3. Fill the ramekins. Spoon the mixture evenly between the ramekins. Avoid over filling them as the mixture will puff up a little during the bake. 4. Prepare to bake. Place the ramekins in a roasting tin. Carefully pour the water from the kettle into the roasting tin, so that it comes half way up the side of the ramekins. Avoid getting water on the curd mixture. 5. Bake. Place the roasting tin in the centre of the oven. Bake for 25 minutes. The curds will puff up a little during the bake.  The curds will still have a slight wobble at this stage.6. Cool. Remove the roasting tray from the oven and set aside to cool. Once the curds and ramekins have cooled, remove them from the water bath and wipe the ramekins to dry. Place in the fridge for 1-2 hours (or even over night) to set completely. 7. Prepare the almond crumble. Place the butter, almonds and sugar into a frying pan. Set on the hob over a medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and the almonds to slightly toast. Stir regularly.  The mixture will clump together a little. Remove from the hob and transfer the almond mixture into a small bowl. Set aside until required. 8. Prepare the macerated berries. Up to half an hour before serving prepare the berries. Cut the strawberries into quarters and raspberries in half. Place the fruit into a bowl. Scatter with icing sugar. Drizzle with a little balsamic vinegar (no more than half a teaspoon). Stir together to combine. Set aside for about 30 minutes to allow the flavours to meld together and a juice to develop. 9. Enjoy! Serve the baked curds with the macerated berries and almond mixture. 
Notes:
a) The quantity used was perfect was filling 3 TU dessert sized ramekins, of course if your ramekins are a little larger you may need to consider increasing the quantity of ingredients.  b) The almond crumble mixture makes sufficient to allow guests to add extra if desired. c) Can be made the day ahead if required.















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Baked Bengal Curds is a traditional Indian dessert which is very easy to make.  it is perfect to make ahead of time when entertaining guests or as a mid-week treat.





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18 comments:

  1. What a lovely, easy sounding dessert. And you did make me chuckle when you mentioned you might have accidentally almost polished one off!! That sounds like the sort of thing I'd do...have you noticed how few baking posts appear on my blog? ;-) I do like the sound of adding cardamon. I am huge fan of that particular spice and have been cooking a lot with it recently, but always in savoury cooking. But I know it tastes fab in desserts and sweet treats too - need to get my thinking cap on! Eb x

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    1. It's a million times easier than some of the GBBO inspired bakes I've been making these past few weeks Eb...infact it's probably one of the easiest ones on the blog tbh. Haha, it was amazing Eb, I only meant to take one small spoonful but before I knew it...well there wasn't much left - it weas so good! I love cardamom too, I don't use it nearly enough. the one thing I struggle with cardamom is, I only seem to be able to buy it as the pods so once the seeds are removed which is easy enough i struggle to ground them down. Though a friend has told me I can get it ready ground from Asian stores. i'll keep my eyes peeled for what you and your thinking cap come up with ;-)
      Angela x

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  2. These look so pretty Angela and I'd love to try them! Cheesecake is one of my favourite desserts so I'm sure I'd love them and they definitely look good enough to serve to guests at a dinner party. Thank you so much for sharing with #CookOnceEatTwice!

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    1. Thankyou Corina, if you like cheesecake I'd definitely recommend you trying these - they really are fabulous.
      Angela x

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  3. Your little pots of Baked Bengal Curds look so delicious Angela, I love the idea of the almond crumble with the macerated berries. Your photos are beautiful as always x

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  4. Someone's been nomming lots of Gu desserts! Not that I would know about such things, of course... I don't have scores of those ramekins. Honest. :-p

    Cardamom is a wonderful spice for sweet desserts - try it in rice pudding or coconut, vanilla, or mango kulfi, I think you'll love it! In fact, if you're a fan of Indian desserts and rice pudding (and who in their right mind isn't?!), do try out kheer (mostly made with rice) or payasam (similar but made with vermicelli), both of which are divine!

    Re. grinding up the cardamom, the trouble with ready-ground spices is that they soon lose their potency, flavour, and goodness, and since there's no way to know how long they've been sitting around in the shop (especially in smaller Asian supermarkets where they bag up the spices themselves), you may well end up with stale spices. So... you have a few choices; grind them yourself as you need them (mortar and pestle, coffee/spice grinder, spice attachment for food processor or blender, bottom of a mug, back of a tablespoon), bruise the pods so they start to split open, and add them whole, then fish them out before serving, or remove and bruise the seeds, and put them into a little muslin bag to be removed once the cooking is done.

    If you really want to use pre-ground spices, do you have a Julian Graves near you? As I recall, they used to sell lots of spices... of course, I haven't lived in Blighty for years, so they may not do them any more! You might be able to get it Waitrose too. No idea about other supermarkets.

    Lovely recipe, by the way, I'm almost sorry I don't eat dairy!

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    1. Hahaha, I believe you ;-) They're such a great little container to keep hold of aren't they - we use them for a number of things Nico.
      That's a good point Nico, I'd not really considered that some smaller Asian shops may have their ground spices for too long. I do bruise them sometimes if i want to put them in a pot of tea for instance, but when I want a smooth powder for a cake or a dessert like this I usually try to grind them in a make shift pestle & mortar (I clumsily dropped and broke ours a while ago!) I like the idea of using a small muslin bag. Unfortunately I've never come across a Julian Graves and we don't have a Waitrose near us either. I've checked out our local supermarkets to no avail!
      Thanks for your lovely comment Nico, and the cardamom/spice hints & tips
      Angela x

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  5. Oh this sounds lovely. My boys claim they don't like cheesecake but I reckon I could change their mind with this! #Bakeoftheweek

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    1. Thank you Louise. Hubby doen't care for cheesecake and sadly wasn't a fan of these baked curds for that reason (they taste so much like cheesecake), but I looooved it for that same reason, so don't be too disappointed if you give it a go and they turn their nose up at it.
      Angela x

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  6. i have never heard of Bengal Curds but i admit they make for a delicious looking dessert, and as a fan of cheesecake then they sound great too! Beautiful x commenting on behalf of #BakeoftheWeek and myself! xx

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    1. Ooh if you're a cheesecake fan Jenny then you have to give it a whirl! They're seriosuly yummy!
      Thanks for your lovely comments,
      Angela x

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  7. Sounds perfect! I might try it, as I'm planning a few International recipes for the next month.

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    1. It's really scrummy Anca, well worth a try if you enjoy cheesecake. Ooh international recipes sound interesting, I'll defo keep an eye out for what you make.
      Angela x

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  8. This is a brilliant dessert, I've never made anything like this and I am always excited to learn something new. And I just love dessert served in ramekins!

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    1. Thank you Monika, you have to try it - it's so easy to make and amazingly delicious if you enjoy cheesecake! Me to, ramekins are fab meaning everybody has their own special little dessert just for them! I'd love to hear how you get on with it if you give it a go Monika,
      Angela x

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  9. Is this sweetened condensed milk or evaporated milk

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    1. Hi Andypandy, you'll need sweetened condensed milk for this recipe. Do get in touch if you have any further queries. Hope you enjoy it as much as we did,
      Angela

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