Rasmalai* is a dessert beloved by many cultures, with various iterations and tweaks across Central Asian and South Asian cuisine. Foundationally, however, they all share core components: the creamy texture of ricotta cheese, an indulgent whole milk or cream base, cardamom, and an infusion of rose water.
I've loved the sweet creamy texture of rasmalai, enjoying it on special occasions and when guests were visiting. Finding a way to reincorporate rasmalai into my diasporic kitchen has been a fun adventure. Many years ago, before Imanistan was created, my love for cake pops had me finding any excuse to create these sweet treats. They were the perfect blend of aesthetically pleasing, easy to transport, and both delicious and fun to enjoy. Thus from this came rasmalai cake pops, a blend of the classic cake pops I have become notorious for making in my family and my mother's rasmalai I love to indulge in. I hope you enjoy this new addition to my Nawroz table as much as my family has. Noshejaan!
Rasmalai Cake Pops Recipe
14 oz sweetened condensed milk
1 tbsp rose water
4 oz cream cheese
15 oz ricotta cheese
1 tsp cardamom powder
4 tbsp butter
1 package of white candy melts or melting white chocolate
Crushed pistachio and/or sprinkles
Lollipop/cake pop sticks
Block of styrofoam (optional)
Bake vanilla cake, either from a pre made cake mix or your recipe of choice. Set aside to cool.
While your cake is cooling, combine condensed milk, rose water, cream cheese, ricotta cheese, cardamom, and butter into a large bowl. Mix with an electric mixer until well beaten and combined thoroughly into a thick paste resembling a frosting.
Crumble cake into small sized crumbs in a large bowl.
Add the frosting mix from step two into the crumbled cake bits. Mix well (ideally with your hands to get the right texture) until you are able to form balls out of the mixture.
Form equal sized balls (about tablespoon sized) from the cake frosting mix, set on a pan spaced apart.
Microwave 2-4 oz of melting chocolate in a bowl until they are melted
Dip the cake pop sticks into the white chocolate to be covered only around the tip. Insert this chocolate end of the cake pop stick into the cake balls, about half way.
a. If you are not using cake pop sticks and are making these into cake ball truffles, simply freeze the cake balls alone.
Freeze these for 20-30 minutes.
In the meantime, prepare decorating ingredients.
Melt the remaining chocolate in a bowl in the microwave, such that you are able to completely dip the cake ball and have it be covered by chocolate in that bowl.
Set sprinkles or crushed pistachio aside to be able to utilize easily.
Remove cake balls from freezer
Carefully one by one, hold the stick and dip the cake ball into the chocolate so that it is submerged and fully covered.
a. If you are not using cake pop sticks and making these into cake ball truffles, stick a fork into cake ball and using a spoon cover it with melted chocolate. Or submerge cake ball into melted chocolate with a fork stuck in it and a spoon guiding it out.
Let the excess chocolate drip off, swirl and tap gently if needed.
Cover with sprinkles and/or crushed pistachios while chocolate is still wet before it hardens.
Place the bottom of the stick into styrofoam block so that the cake pop can set. If you are not intending to have them stand, they can also be set on a plate stick side up
Place in freezer to increase setting time. Noshejaan!
* Rasmalai is pronounced ras-ma-law-ieee in Dari/Farsi