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Gulkand cupcakes (left) and Pistachio Panna cotta
Gulkand cupcakes (left) and Pistachio Panna cotta

Cook Out | Gulkand Cupcakes and Pistachio Panna Cotta

Chef Swasti Aggarwal, regional head of gourmet supermarket Foodhall in Delhi/NCR, gives an Indian twist to two easy desserts for Diwali

Ditch boring shop-bought mithai, chocolates and dry fruit and nut hampers and make your own Diwali treats at home, using these simple recipes by Foodhall Delhi’s chef Swasti Aggarwal. Aggarwal shows us an easy-to-bake, eggless cupcake recipe that incorporates the sweet rose petal preserve gulkand and a pistachio panna cotta you can whip up quite quickly for a festive dinner party.

Gulkand Cupcakes

Makes 12 small cupcakes


200g all-purpose flour or plain refined flour (maida)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp baking soda

100g milk powder

100g sugar

100g melted butter

1 cup milk

1 tsp cardamom powder

50g gulkand

For the frosting

150g unsalted butter

120g icing sugar

2 tbsp toned milk

4 tsp rose water

Fresh rose petals for garnish


Line a muffin tray with paper cases. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Sift the flour, milk powder, baking powder and baking soda in a large bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the butter and sugar until the butter is soft and fluffy. Fold in the sifted flour mixture into the butter and sugar using a whisk by adding small quantities of it at a time. Add milk, a little at a time, making sure there are no lumps in the batter. Mix in the cardamom powder before spooning the batter into the individual paper cases. Bake for 25 minutes or until a skewer or toothpick inserted into the cakes comes out clean.

For the frosting, whisk the butter using a handheld blender until it is soft and fluffy. Add the rose water, sugar and milk to the butter and continue to whisk until the ingredients are well incorporated to a piping consistency. Once the muffins are cooled, scoop out their centres with a teaspoon and fill the holes with gulkand. Finish them with the butter icing and garnish with fresh rose petals.

Pistachio Panna cotta

Serves 8-10


500ml cream

80g sugar

250g pistachio

1 tbsp gelatin

100ml toned milk


Boil the pistachios in water for a few minutes. Cool and rub them gently to remove the skin. Bring the milk, cream, sugar and pistachios to a boil on a low flame. Once cooled, blend and strain the mixture to get a smooth, creamy paste. Melt the gelatin in a few teaspoons of warm water and add it to the panna-cotta batter. Pour the mixture into desired moulds or plastic shot glasses (if you wish to gift the panna cotta) and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight before serving. Garnish with finely chopped pistachios.

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