Burfee (Burfi) is a fudge like milk sweet. It is by far the most decadent of Diwali treats. Lush, milky and fragrant, it is a treat best enjoyed shared – not just in the spirit of Deepavali but to avoid overindulgence! Burfi can be made by boiling a milk powder and sugar mixture or can be uncooked. Like fudge, the process of making burfee may seem simple but can be tricky.
If you’ve tried making burfee but end up with milk sludge, don’t worry
I’ve been there too. Whether you’re making cooked or uncooked burfee –
the key to making perfectly set burfee lies in the consistency of the
sugar syrup. If the syrup is too weak the burfee will not set. If you
overcook the syrup it will caramelize, rendering it useless before you
even add it to the milk mix. It is best to make the syrup in a heavy
based cookware and use medium heat. The sugar : water ratio is equally
important. While burfee is traditionally cut into squares you could also
use cookie cutters to create various forms.
How to Make Burfee without KLIM, Nestle Creme or a Food Processor…
The recipe shared is uncooked burfee and a recipe concocted from ingredients available. Amma’s recipe
was made using KLIM powdered milk and Nestle crème. Unfortunately I
donot have either, so adapted the recipe using ingredients I could find –
Nestle NIDO instant milk powder. Avoid using coffee creamers, this
recipe works best with instant milk powders. Amma’s recipe used 500g
Klim- Nestle NIDO was only available in 400g so I opted for 400g milk
powder + 100g ground almonds to make my almond burfee. I used a syrup
ratio of 1 part water : 2 parts sugar. Most burfee recipes also
recommend using a food processor to mix the milk and sugar to avoid
lumps from forming.This recipe is proof that you donot need one. The old
fashioned hand made method works just as well. You may end up with sore
arms at the end of the process but it is well worth the effort.
Prep time: 20 minutes
Set time: 8 hours
Total time: 8 hours 20 minutes
Yield: 25cm x 25 cm x 4 cm block of burfee that can be divided into approximatedly 20 x 5cm x 4cm squares.
- 400g full fat milk powder (I used Nestle NIDO)
- 100g ground almonds
- 250g icing sugar
- 3 level tablespoons ghee
- pinch of cardamom powder
- coloured almond nibs
- 1 cup water
- 2 cups white sugar
1. Start by preparing the sugar syrup. Heat the water in a heavy based pan on medium heat. Add the sugar. Stir until dissolved. Leave to simmer on medium heat while you prepare the milk and icing sugar mix.
2. Sieve the milk powder, icing sugar and cardamom powder to avoid lumps from forming. Check on the syrup.
3. Add the ghee to the powder mix. Rub together with palm of your hands. Combine until no lumps are visible. Check the syrup. If it has reached boiling point – you will see bubbles forming. Turn off the heat and set aside. The syrup should have a sticky texture. It should leave a sticky residue on the spoon (see image below) and similar to the coconut ice syrup you can test the consistency by placing your finger on the residue. Lift your finger slightly. If a thread is visible then you can expect flop proof burfee. Donot overcook the syrup. If you notice a change in colour – remove from heat immediately. The syrup should be clear.
4. If the syrup is at the right consistency, slowly pour into the powdered mix, stirring continuously to avoid lumps from forming. The mixture may seem tough at first – continue mixing with all your might until it forms a lush thick mixure like cake batter.
5. Pour into a lined or non stick dish, preferably a deep one for generously proportioned burfee.
6. Top with coloured almond nibs. Place in the fridge overnight.
7. Cut in squares.