This is also called a terrine style of icecream.
The world is no stranger to malai kulfi. If you’ve EVER visited an Indian or a Pakistani restaurant in your life, you would’ve definitely seen some form of kulfi on the dessert menu. It’s the Indian/Pakistani equivalent of vanilla ice cream. And just like vanilla ice cream, this is the most basic kulfi recipe out there. And you can create a sea of flavors with this same ice cream base.
You can use this kulfi base to create a wide array of flavored kulfi by adding crushed bits in to the recipe. Here are a couple of pet favorite flavors for you to try.
Flavors you can create with a basic malai kulfi recipe.
- Chocolate kulfi – Add 1 cup of chocolate shavings in the kulfi base.
- Almond / Pistachio kulfi (any nut kulfi) – Add chopped almonds / pistachios / walnuts in the ice cream base. Chopped or powder.
- Crunch kulfi – add chopped up hardened caramel in the kulfi base
- Rose kulfi – introduce 2 tbsp of rose water in the kulfi base and top it off with rose syrup (like rooh afzah or jam-e-shireen)
- Rose pistachio kulfi – Shown in picture above
- Chocolate crunch kulfi – Chocolate shavings and caramel crunch bits.
- Toffee crunch kulfi – Toffee bits and caramel crunch bits.
- Kulfi falooda – Add the plain version of this recipe on falooda noodles and drizzle rose syrup on top.
Basically, anything you can chop and add to kulfi base or sprinkle on top can become a flavor.
Traditionally any kind of kulfi is made by slow cooking the milk to reduce its volume, and then adding sweeteners and aromatic ingredients to it. This malai kulfi recipe is a no-cook recipe, where you don’t need to spend hours waiting for the milk to reduce. Let me walk you through the steps.
Steps to make the easiest creamiest Malai kulfi ever
Making the kulfi base
All the ingredients are pretty upfront. But lots of people wonder what kinds of cream they can use in this recipe. So here’s the answer. You can use all kinds of cream for this recipe EXCEPT heavy cream. You can use fresh cream, tetra pak cream or creams that come in cans.
To make this kulfi base, it will probably take you 5 mins tops! Just add all the ingredients in a blender and blend away! You can also use a hand held blender to do it.
Cover the kulfi with cling wrap or a lid and place it in the freezer for 6 to 7 hours to become semi-frozen.
Choosing the nuts or toppings.
Even though I am making a basic malai kulfi, almost all kulfis have a nut topping on them to make them look pretty. I’m using pistachios which is the most popular choice for kulfi toppings.
I prepared my pistachios 2 ways
- Half of my pistachios went into the chopper to make them powder-ish.
- The other half, I chopped coarsely.
Preparing the bread pan/molds for kulfi
- I am using a 12 x 4 inch bread loaf pan. But you can also opt for the standard 9 x 5 loaf pan.
- My loaf pan was non-stick so I didn’t need to cover or coat it with anything and used it as is.
- IF your loaf pan is NOT non-stick, you can layer it with foil or wax paper to line your pan.
- I will not recommend using cling wrap to cover the loaf, because it tends to crease up and will ruin all the edges around your frozen kulfi when you take it out.
When it has been 6 to 7 hours already, prepare your bread loaf pan. Cover the base of your loaf pan with the powder-ish pistachios to create an even carpet like look. You can create as thick or as thin a carpet you want. This will give you a nice smooth pistachio layer on top when you flip the kulfi over.
You can also make this kulfi in regular popsicle molds or kulfi molds. In which case, you can line the bottom of the popsicle with pistachio powder.
Pouring the kulfi for the final freeze.
After 6 to 7 hours, your kulfi base will be semi-frozen. Which means it will be frozen from the sides and still liquid in the centre. This semi-frozen state is crucial to make a smooth creamy kulfi with no ice-crystals.
Take the bowl of semi-frozen kulfi base out and whip it with an electric beater. Make sure that all your frozen kulfi is broken and whipped into the liquid. This step helps in 2 ways:
- This second beating introduce air into your kulfi making it lighter.
- This step also helps in minimizing ice-crystal formations
If you want to introduce any added flavoring bits to your kulfi, this is the time to do it. Add your fillers and whip for 30 secs. Since I made basic malai kulfi, I didn’t add any fillers to it. When your kulfi is whipped, pour it into the kulfi base.. Chocolate chunks or more pistachio etc, add it your base and whip for 30 secs.
Pour you kulfi base in the prepared pan. Add more pistachio powder if you want to. Cover the pan with a cling wrap. Press the cling wrap down on the kulfi to make sure the wrap touches the kulfi base and all the corners are perfectly sealed.
NOTE: Covering the kulfi with a tightly sealed cling wraps helps in avoiding direct air contact in the freezer. This also helps in prevent ice crystals.
De-molding and dish selection
For a large kulfi log like mine, try to find a serving dish that is larger than the mould and has at least 1/2 an inch of depth to catch any melted kulfi in it.
To de-mold the kulfi from a loaf pan:
- Bring the kulfi out of the freezer and let it thaw for 5 minutes. If you live in a warm tropical country, you can skip this step.
- Remove the cling wrap from the kulfi and invert it into the serving dish.
- Dip a kitchen towel in hot water in rub it all over the inverted loaf pan for a minute.
- Pick up the loaf from the edges and press right at the centre of the pan with your thumbs. The kulfi should slide right out.
- IF the kulfi doesn’t slide out, repeat the warm towel step again and try again.
- Put the kulfi back again in the freezer for 10 min to allow the edges to solidify.
De-molding kulfi from individual molds.
- Simply run the molds under tap water for 30 secs and the kulfi should slide out.
Add some chopped pistachios and serve. Use a sharp knife to cut slices.
How to prevent ice crystals in a kulfi
All the steps that I’ve explained above eventually lead to a creamier, crystal free kulfi. But here’s a quick recap
- Crystal formation happens when the time that an ice-cream takes to freeze it very long. Double freezing the kulfi helps in reducing the time it takes for the kulfi to freeze in the final step, as it already is a very low temperature. The quicker the icecream freezes, the lesser the crystal formation happens.
- Whipping the kulfi a second time, not only breaks the ice-crystals, but also introduces air into the ice cream. Which makes it more fluffy, light and the texture becomes a lot like store-bought ice-cream
- The second enemy of any good crystal free kulfi / ice-cream is air. Minimizing air contact once the kulfi is in the freezer is crucial to get the perfect texture. The best way to minimize air-contact is by covering the kulfi with a cling wrap directly on top of the kulfi, so that the cling wrap sticks to the ice-cream base. And THEN placing it in the freezer.
- You have to keep in mind however, that home-made icecream that do not use a churner will only last for a month in the freezer. Over time they tend to deflate. Unforutantely, this is a reality for all home-made icecream as they aren’t churned with a professional industrial grade churners.
How long can the kulfi survive in the freezer?
Home-made kulfis or ice creams usually should be consumed within a month as they may lose their texture over time. Always cover the left over kulfi with cling wrap or foil before placing it back in the freezer.
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