These Sandesh Mishti desserts must be the most strange thing I’ve ever made. I decided to make these for the latest Great British Bake Off challenge. It was Dairy week, quite a strange choice considering that, unless vegan, almost of all the bakes have a type of dairy in them. I imagined they will be challenged to make Papanasi, Romanian cheese-based doughnuts covered in sour cream and jam, but it wasn’t that. The showstopper was to make Indian mishti (means sweets).
I’ve decided to do a quick Bengali recipe, Sandesh Mishti, using milk powder because I already had that in my cupboard and I wasn’t going to use it for another recipe. It might sound strange, but I’ve used only ingredients that I have in my cupboards, as I never run out of cardamom and rose water. These are the kind of flavours I love. On the day I made these desserts I’ve also used cardamom for a vegan creamy risotto with a coconut milk base. My husband used the last drops of the rose water the day before (to flavour his tea), but I had another bottle in the back of the cupboards. As I said, these never run out in my house.
There are a few ways the Sandesh can be made, from boiling milk on the hob, stirring constantly, until it gets to the consistency of a paste. Another way is to use partly fresh milk and partly milk powder, to speed up the process. The easiest and strangest (for me) is to make it in the microwave. I don’t cook in the microwave and I seldom use it anyway. As I wasn’t sure how these will turn out, I’ve made a try the day before and it worked nicely. On top of that, to shape the Sandesh I’ve used a press for Chinese mooncakes. I have four stencils for this press and I picked one that had a versatile design.
I’ve used soy milk because we stopped drinking dairy milk. This is another reason why I had a bag of milk powder in the cupboards. I still have milk powder left and I will use it to make these again. If you don’t have a biscuit press, just roll the dough into balls or in a cylinder shape. I would suggest adding a bit less rose water, taste, and add some more if you are not sure if you like its taste.
Ingredients for 6 Sandesh Mishti:
– 175g milk powder
– 40g icing sugar
– 1 tsp cardamom
– 2 spoons of rose water
– 100ml soy milk
– purple food colouring
– oil for the press
Put the milk powder, the icing sugar, and the cardamom in a bowl. Mix the ingredients with a spoon. Add the food colouring and pour the rose water and the milk. Mix the ingredients with the spoon. Put the bowl in the microwave and cook for 30 seconds at maximum heat. Take the bowl out and incorporate all the ingredients with the spoon.
For this amount of ingredients, 30 seconds is enough to make the dessert mixture.
Oil your hands as well and knead the mixture until is smooth. It should take a minute or so. Spray oil in the press. Now make the Sandesh by rolling a big ball in your hands. Press it down in the mooncake press, making sure the mixture is even and covers the sides too. Push the press and wiggle the Sandesh into your hand. Continue with the rest of the mixture. Leave the desserts on the plate for about 30 minutes so they can harden a bit.
If you keep them in the fridge over night they will continue to harden. These can be eaten as a biscuit, by picking them up with your fingers.
By making this recipe for Sandesh, I’ve also added a new recipe in my Taste the World challenge. I hope you liked this recipe.