My little Pumpkin turned 2 yesterday 🙂 ! Time actually flies! 2 years back when I first hold Pasta in my hand I was a novice then and to be very frank till date it is a journey of learning and experiencing every bit of motherhood and probably daughterhood for both of us! Given Mehebub is not presently in India; both of us (me and hubby) are a bit conscious with the arrangements. We know that in Pasta’s age it is not possible to mark the difference of not being with Papa physically on her special day but we are feeling it differently and probably this is the reason I wanted to prepare homemade goodies for my princess and obviously she will be sharing those with Papa over skype 😆 ! Goodie list is though limited as I will have to manage those along with my office core and with limited access to fancy ingredients in Kolkata 😡 . I really miss Gurgaon for this! However, first item that I decided to prepare is a sweet that I used to enjoy in my childhood too and even today: Cashew Apple; colourful cute apple shaped Sweet prepared with Cashew Nut. This is my take on starting A for APPLE….
Cashew Apple is a popular Sweet in India and a hot cake in almost all Confectioner’s shop. Cashew Apple is actually prepared with the same dough that is used for making Cashew Barfi or Cashew Katli but look wise it is altogether a different experience. Pasta always felt attracted towards colourful food which is quite obvious in her age! In fact I used to prepare colourful Tutti Frutti for her at home with better quality colour. It is often told that food colours are not good for health but we cannot restrict our kiddos having food with colours every time since it is a general child tendency to attract towards colours. This is probably the reason I prefer to make colourful food at home with good quality food colours in gel base and even sometimes substitute colours with natural colour extracted from different veggies, fruits or flower. For my Cashew Apple instead of using store bought food colour I have used extract of Beetroot to colour my Apples and this is my take on “taste bhi aur healrh bhi” 😎 . You can use normal food colour in case you wish to.
Though it is really easy to make Cashew Apples but there are few things we should keep in mind while making those at home. First of all, Cashew Nuts has to be in room temperature and chunky; else we will not be able make a coarse Powder from it to make the dough. Never use refrigerated Cashew Nut even. I am available with around 750 g of Cashew which I purchased from Kerala few months back and obviously those are not that chunky as required. I have oven roasted my Cashew Nuts for 2 minutes before making the powder. In case oven is not available roast Cashew Nut using a Wok. In confectioner’s shop they use normal Sugar for making the Sugar syrup required for Cashew Apple but I found it easy to use Sugar Powder instead of granulated Sugar. Nothing more to be remembered 😀 . Just few minutes of cooking and little painting skill is what you need to make those little cute apples 😛 .Print
To make Cashew Apple:
- Cashew Nut: 500g
- Sugar Powder: 150g
To make Colours for decorating the Cashew Apple:
- Saffron: 8-10 Strands
- Beetroot: 1
- Sugar Powder: 1 Tsp.
- Clove: 20
- Painting Brush: Size 2
Making of the Colour:
- Grate Beetroot and boil it along with ½ Tsp. of Sugar Powder till sugar dissolves completely and grated beetroot releases water in low flame for 1-2 minute.
- Switch the flame off and using a strainer extract the semi thick red coloured juice in a bowl and keep that aside for future use.
- Crush Saffron using a mortar pestle.
- Mix ½ Tsp. of Sugar Powder with 1 Tbsp. of Hot Water in a bowl and mix crushed Saffron and leave it to release bright yellow colour. This will not only give yellow colour to the Cashew Apple but an amazing flavour of saffron will be added.
Making of Cashew Apple Dough:
- Roast Cashew Nuts in low flame or in oven (200 degree C) for 2 minute to make them chunky.
- Leave roasted Cashew Nuts in a plate to bring back to normal temperature for around 1 hour.
- Now make Powder of Cashew Nut using a food processor. Don’t opt for switching on and switching off the food processor while making the Cashew Powder and do it in one go. It will take around 40 seconds to make Powder of around 200g Cashews in one go.
- Depending on the quantity of Cashew make the powder in batches. I have made Cashew Powder in 3 batches.
- Now start making the Sugar Syrup required for making the Cashew Apple.
- For 150 g of Sugar Powder (1 cup full) I have added 1/3 Cup of water while making the syrup.
- Start cooking the Sugar powder along with water in medium flame and stir continuously in a non-stick thick bottomed pan.
- We need a thick syrup (2 string consistency) for making the Cashew Apples and it took me 4 minutes of boiling to get the desired consistency.
- When the sugar riches perfect consistency add previously prepared “Saffron Mix” to give it a bright yellow colour.
- Keep the flame in low and add entire cashew Powder to the sugar Syrup and mix vigorously to get rid of lump.
- Once Cashew Powder mixed properly with the Sugar Syrup then keep cooking and stirring in medium flame until Cashew Paste leaves the edges of the pan and turned into a consistency of Halwa. It took me 3 minutes of cooking to get the perfect consistency.
- Switched the flame off and transfer entire content of the Pan in a separate plate. This step is essential else the cashew Dough will be overcooked.
- Leave the dough as it is for 5 minutes or till the temperature decreases a bit.
- Note that we need to make the apple when the mixture is warm enough.
- Now make small balls out of the dough while the mixture is sufficient warm and press from both upper and bottom side to give the balls a shape of apple (as shown in the picture).
- Try to make Balls as smooth as possible to give those a proper look.
Decorating Cashew Apples:
- Now place 1 Clove in the upper side to make the Stem of Apple (refer to the picture).
- Finally hold each Cashew Apple carefully and using the painting brush and Natural Red Colour prepared from Beetroot colour each Cashew Apple to give those the look of a typical Apple.
- Bright Coloured Cashew Apples can be served or can be stored for 3-4 days in refrigerator.
Instead of Natural coloring, artificial food colour can also be used.
Sugar Powder can be replaced with granulated Sugar.
In case it is found difficult to shape the apples, rub both the palm with some Ghee/ clarified butter and start shaping.