Strawberry Falooda Milk Cake
Strawberry Falooda Milk Cake

Strawberry Falooda Milk Cake

Falooda is a rose-tinted milkshake textured with bubbly basil seeds and noodles. They come in many flavours, from mango to pistachio, but this is considered the original and best – rooh afza – made with a thick concentrated floral syrup that turns milk Barbie pink. Rooh afza, which translates enigmatically to ‘soul refresher’ is easily found in Indian and Pakistani supermarkets. Here, rooh afza-flavoured milk makes a sort of tres leches cake. If you can’t find basil seeds, use chia seeds which have a similar tapioca-like texture when hydrated.

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Total Time
1 Hour
225g of plain flour
1 tsp of baking powder
½ tsp of salt
5 eggs
175g of caster sugar
1 tsp of rosewater
115g of unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
50ml of rooh afza
200g of condensed milk
250ml of whole milk
300ml of double cream
300g of strawberries, sliced
2 tbsp of basil seeds
1 tbsp of rosewater
1 tsp of caster sugar
300ml of double cream
Dried rose petals, for sprinkling
Crushed pistachios, for sprinkling
Step 1

Preheat the oven to 180°C/Fan 160°C/Gas Mark 4 and lightly grease a 3 litre (33cm × 23cm) baking dish with butter.

Step 2

In a jug or bowl, whisk together all the ingredients for the falooda milk and leave in the fridge to chill till required.

Step 3

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into a bowl. Put the eggs and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and whisk on high speed for about 7 minutes until thick and pale (or whisk in a bowl with a hand-held electric whisk). Fold in the flour mixture and rosewater, then fold in the melted butter. Spoon into the baking dish, smooth the top and bake for 30-35 minutes until golden brown, and a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean.

Step 4

When you remove the cake from the oven, prick it all over with a skewer and keep warm. Pour over the falooda milk and leave to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight.

Step 5

To serve, mix together the strawberries, basil seeds, rosewater and sugar and set aside. Before serving, gently whisk the double cream in a bowl until it has a soft, rumpled bedsheet texture. Spread the cream over the surface of the cake and then spoon the strawberries over the cake. Top with rose petals and crushed pistachios.

Comfort and Joy by Ravinder Bhogal, published 25 May 2023 by Bloomsbury Publishing (£22.39, was £26.00, hardback)
Photographs © Kristin Perers 

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