- 2 cups raw cashews
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch or other starch optional
- 1/3 cup water
- 1/2 cup ground raw sugar
- Flavor options: 1/4 teaspoon cardamom powder 6 strands of saffron, or a few drops of kewra or rose essence
Grind the cashews to a powder in a dry grinder and keep aside. If using a blender, add cornstarch and then blend. Remove the buttery cashew powder from the sides of the blender in between to help with even blending.
Make the sugar syrup: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine water and sugar and mix well. Bring to a boil, about 3 minutes. Continue to cook over medium heat, until the syrup is a just about single thread consistency (close to 230°F), 3 to 4 minutes. (See note below for how to check single thread consistency.) Stir a few times in between. The syrup will get bubbly while it thickens. Add cardamom or other flavors and mix in.
Reduce heat to low, then add half of the ground cashews. Mix in well. Keep adding the cashew mixture, a few tablespoons at a time, until the mixture gets thick and adds resistance to the movement of the spatula. Mix well each time by dragging and mixing. The mixture will be somewhere between a thick batter and a soft dough. You will use up anywhere from 1 1/2 cups to the entire 2 cups cashews.
Transfer the hot mixture to parchment or a greased flat plate or pan. Carefully pat it down or shape using a spatula, into a 1/4 inch thick somewhat rectangle. If the mixture is too sticky or hot, let it cool for a minute before patting it down. You can also roll it between 2 parchments. You can knead the mixture a bit at this point to make it smoother, before shaping into a rectangle.
Using a knife or pizza cutter, cut the rectangle into a grid. Let cool completely before separating into pieces and storing. Store in an airtight container for a few days on the counter or several weeks refrigerated.
Single thread consistency:
Take a drop of sugar syrup carefully between one finger and thumb or between two spoons. When you separate the finger and thumb the syrup should form a single thread at least 1/2-inch long before breaking. You can also check the consistency by dropping a single drop of the syrup in a bowl of cold water. The syrup should not immediately dissolve and should splash into one or more visible threads.
• Sugar syrups are tricky. So you can get a really soft fudge or a crumbly burfi. Either way they are absolutely delicious.
• If the mixture gets too crumbly after adding cashews and does not lump up, that means the sugar syrup got too thick or over cooked. Keep the cashew mixture on low heat. Boil some water in another pan and add a teaspoon at a time to the cashew mixture, mix well, adding more if needed, until the mixture is more like a thick batter. Then proceed to make the fudge pieces.
• If the fudge is too soft, the sugar syrup was likely undercooked. Serve with a spoon as halwa.
Nutritional values based on one serving
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