Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Condensed Milk Pound Cake with Chocolate Swirls

Driving back home yesterday, I switched from my favorite Public Radio to a CD on the Player.A CD containing literally 100's of songs, Hindi Movie Songs from the late 80's and 90's compiled by someone for someone else. At a moment's whim I had copied them all and there it was playing on my car stereo while I maneuvered traffic on the highway.

While I listened mindlessly to most, this one (Aaye ho Mere Zindagi mein) caught my attention. I couldn't remember the movie or the actors playing out (and thank God for that) but I could faintly recall the song. I could hear it over the air waves, blaring from the loud speaker, seeping through the brick and cement walls and lashing over unsuspecting home stayers. These were days where the mornings started with potential signs that the day was going to be different. The loudspeaker, starting off with a crackling "Hello...Mike testing.. hello..1..2..3" just confirmed it.

It could be anything, religious festival ranging from ShivRatri to DurgaPujo, cultural ones like Rabindra Jayanti to Poila Baishakh or neighbor hood Chintu's Birthday if Chintu's bro or dad indirectly influenced the loudspeaker. The neighborhood youth, self appointed custodians of our cultural enrichment, pounced upon any opportunity to tie up a loudspeaker to the nearest tree and crank up the stereo, deluging the community with their choice of current hit Hindi(Bollywood) Songs and some Bengali ones.

My Dad not being a proponent of any Hindi Movie or it's song that had a release date in the 80's or 90's, the Hindi Songs busting the charts usually eluded us. The loudspeakers on festival days compensated for our lack of knowledge. As did Chitrahar on Wednesday evenings and Rangoli on Sunday mornings.

And then today this blog reminded me of Binaca Geetmala, what a coincidence, to be reminded of songs like "Dekha Hai Pehli Baar" and "Shayad Meri Shaadi ka Khayal", the kinds I would have never wanted to hear unless for the loudspeakers and yet whose beats reverberate deep somewhere.

I don't remember anything being played on Holi though or was it "Rang Barse" played whole day ? Did you have the neighborhood loudspeaker blaring on special days ?

Since I didn't consciously celebrate Holi this time, I forgot to wish anyone around here too. I am like 3 days late but so what, "Happy Holi"

Instead of the traditional Holi Sweets, I made this Condensed Milk Pound Cake from Nags last week. Her step-by-step recipes really helps me visualize what I am baking. The chocolate marbling idea is from here for a similar pound cake.

Everything was good about this cake except the timing which was way off for me & my oven. Since 180C does not convert to 325F I was a bit confused and I checked few more Condensed Milk Pound Cake recipe. Everyone said something different and I went with 325F. Forty minutes later, the cake top was turning golden but the inside was still very soft. So I raised to temp to 375, then 20 mins later the outside was getting very dark brown and inside was just a teeny soft. So I took it out and let it cool.

The cake turned out to be pretty good though and BSS enjoyed it the most. In fact she liked it enough to share her pretty tea set for my blog pictures. I should give this a try again but with that kind of butter and sugar I will wait a while.


Condensed Milk Pound Cake

What you Need

All purpose flour ~ 1&1/3 cups
Sweetened condensed milk ~ 1 cup
Sugar ~ 3/4 cup
Unsalted butter at room temperature ~ 1 cup
Eggs ~ 2
Baking powder ~ 3/4 tsp
Vanilla essence ~ 1 tsp
Salt ~ 1/2 tsp

For Chocolate swirls:

Cocoa powder ~ 2tbsp

How I Made It

Sieve the flour, salt and baking powder until well combined.

Cream butter and sugar together until soft and fluffy with an electric mixer.

Add the eggs one at a time and beat until smooth.

Then add the condensed milk and vanilla essence and repeat for the same time, until well combined.

Add the flour to the wet mixture gradually (in 2 or 3 additions) and mix until batter is smooth.

For the chocolate swirl, take 4 tablespoon of the batter and mix it with 2 tbsp of dark coco powder. Pour half white batter in a greased cake tin or loaf pan. Top with the chocolate batter and finish with remaining white batter. Take a knife and make a few swirls to the batter.

Bake in a pre-heated oven at 180C/325F for 50-60 mins. Insert a toothpick at the center to test if the cake is done. Note: Nags says 30-35 mins but that didn't work for my oven so be sure to check at half an hour and prolong only if needed.

Cool and serve


  1. That song is a bane for me ... my wedding cd has it in the background ... bhabte paro ki jontrona. :-(
    The cake looks awesome Sandeepa ... I always resort to instinct when baking so can never give perfect time or measurement. I think if the top is browning and the insides are soft, the temp should be lowered .. of course am not an expert. Dol chole gele ki holo ... Boshonto ekhono ache .. tai Doler onek shubhccha! :-)

  2. it looks very soft and perfect...that too design is gud.

  3. Sharmila

    You are right, I should have just continued at 325F for an hour. Since the recipe said 30-35 mins, and mine wasn't done, I thought I had started off wrong as 180C ~ 370F. So I just cranked up the oven

  4. Hindi bangla gaan to tao ekrokom, ar ekrokom praaNghaatee function hoto paRay, 'konthee' sondhya. Kishore konthee, Lata konthee der protaap-e paRasuddhu thorohorikompo. keno jani ei jolsa gulo sobsomoy porikkhar thik mukhomukhi hoto. protibaad korar bokamo keui korto na. karoN shokh kore ke ar chongar mukh nijer baRir dike rakhte chay..

  5. I like Ek ladki ko dekha to aisa laga, without the visuals. What struck me immediately when I clicked on the link to your post was the tea set, so typically old world - the kind I'd see as part of illustrations in kids' books.

  6. "The loudspeakers on festival days compensated for our lack of knowledge." Very aptly said! I can relate those days dads didnot like us to follow much of Hindi songs!

    Nice post! I like the way you write!

  7. Don't worry in 19 yrs I have only celebrate Onam once, so you are forgiven for not celebratin holii this year.
    Love the pound cake and that swirls. I love cakes like this ,

  8. I like most hindi songs without the visuals. The picturisation just kills the songs sometimes!

    Your cake looks very soft and moist and I just love that marbled effect.

    Oven temperatures...well I can go on and on about it. I am convinced that my oven has a mind of its own, there are days when a cake recipe I have used for ages does not get done at the said time and temp. If you don't mind, my two bits if your cake starts browning too soon - cover the pan with aluminium foil/butter paper. It stops the cake from browning and doesn't affect the baking in any way.

  9. Me too! Some old cds and few songs (Poonam Dillon and Kumar Gaurav!!:D)take me right back to my teenage years or college days (so carefree, why did we marry?!), makes you feel wonderful and forget the present for a while. I perfectly understand. Smell of Cardamom and Camphor do that too while my kids prefer Vanilla!

    Pound cake looks yum, moist. I thought they might be BS's Tea set when I saw the photo!Good of her to share with you! :)

    My blog's "edit posts" has gone Kaput, can't access it at all. Have complained to blogger, don't know when they fix it. No posts from me until then.

    Trisha is coming home Friday night and will go back on 14th!:)

  10. Happy Holi to you too.

    Hindi music was blaring at my neighbourhood at Bandra too. Streets around my house were empty too. As was my house. So couldn't see any '...sajan ki aakhon me pyar'. Btw did you know of the 'deem parooti' echo whcih people used to give to the refrain of this song?

    A probashi friend of mine in KL went to the Bengali dol ushob a couple of times. Only to find that the mashimas had cooked veg food. Never went back.

    The cake reminds of the Britannia Tiffin Cake slices. Very professional

  11. Wat a beautiful,soft and scrumptious cake...fantastic!!

  12. Cake looks like the Indian bakery types- Just georgeous!

  13. Sandeepa, for someone who claims she is a baking novice this cake looks grand.

    With butter and sugar a slightly undercooked cakes disappear anyway.

  14. Sandeepa,
    I can echo Indu's word here ,this cake is fantastic, an expert can make that kind of cake,look so moist and dense.1 cup of butter is way too much though but when it's festival time,no complains enjoy!
    and loudspeakers , hey! bhagvaan , Kolkata te bochore 12 maas 13 parbon r seta e loudspeaker baja it's part of ritual, na shonte parle ,seyita ekta ashchorjo hobe.
    wish you and your family happy Holi.
    hugs and smiles

  15. The chocolate swirls look so wicked. I would eat that whole cake by myself. Yum!

  16. 350F for around 45 min is kind of what I have found out after lots of trials

  17. and bhule gelam - :Happy Holi: Belated :)

  18. Wow the cake looks very soft and the pic is perfect.... Love those miniature cups and saucers!!

  19. We never celebrated Holi! U ve baked beautifully love the swirl :) Mostly cakes are baked under 350, i never tried with condensed milk!
    Haha only after marriage I hear hindi songs :) Still cannot understand a single word :)

  20. Just clicked on the song and realized after looking at the video that it was from Raja hindustani which was so bad that I couldn't sit through even half the movie..

    I mostly grew up on a diet of old hindi songs (old as in 1950s, 60s and 70s), so those melodies make me more nostalgic than the ones which were actually released during my childhood in the 80s and 90s.

    Ofcourse I do remember the blaring Hindi music on the streets outside our apartment in Bangalore. I also suddenly remembered these autos which had loud speakers with popular film songs dubbed over with words from political party slogans (or maybe I am mixing too many memories course during festivals the whole street would be blocked by temporary platforms/stages and shamianas (and of course blaring film music).

    At one point, we lived in Madurai just next to a theatre- so every night I had to fall asleep to 'Muqala muqabula , Laila' (remember that A.R. Rahman song?) and other Tamil hits..:)

    Loved your post- generated a flood of memories..

    The cake reminded me of the Nilgiri tea cakes..Will make it sometime

  21. there was supposed to be a smiley face after my description of raja hindustani..:D

  22. Oooohhh, that cake looks so good, me likey the choc swirl very much too! I had bookmarked this recipe from nags a while back, but never got around to making it.
    BTW - all those old Hindi songs are sucha retro blast, I did not grow up in India, but on occassion we would viti, and that Doordarshan TV show you mentioned about movie songs were my only respite on boring evenings stuck at home. What amemory...and I can't stop laughing at AB in the Laawaris video....

  23. ki sundor dekhte hoeche cake ta. chotobelay double bite bole akta bhishon crumbly cake paoya jeto akdom serom dakhache piecegulo. eta ami banabo shiggri amar bhai asche o khub bhalobase ei dharoner cake.

  24. Kuntala

    "Konthi" amader o utyakto korto. Kintu sei gulo Bochore e 2-3 bar er beshi noy


    "1942" was a movie I liked at that time, now not sure


    Thanks :)


    I am not too fond of celebrating Holi with colors anyway :) So that was ok


    Thank You :)

  25. Aqua

    Thanks for the tip, will follow that next time. I will update the post with your tip soon


    Kumar Gaurav !!! You were a fan :-)


    OMG, you are too funny. I couldn't recall the "deem parooti" and asked D. He sang it with the "deem Parooti" echo and I am humming while writing this ;-) Didn't ever dare to watch Sajan




    Oh my, thanks dear :)


    The butter and the sugar really kills me. And because I am a novice, I need to eat the cake half way through to make sure that it tastes right ;-)


    Ha, ha ekhono loudspeaker er chara chari !!!


    Those swirls look pretty, right ;-)

  26. Kausum
    Ki shoubhagyo. Ki khobor tomar ? Anekdin post nei, dekha nei ?


    Thank You :)


    Aww you should start hearing them more :)


    Strangely I do not remember a single loudspeaker from my stay in B'lore for 2 years. We lived in a quiet neighborhood and I thought Loudspeakers were passe in whole of Southern India.

    You are right about songs from the 60's and 70's, even late 90's are turning out to be good. It was the 80's and early nineties that had movies I would not dare to see for most part


    Yeah, those were a respite in pre-MTV days


    Hyan Double bite mone ache, amar half pink, half white ta khub bhalo lagto. Eita kintu ektu dense hobe

  27. Hi Sandeepa,

    As usual the post is brilliant and nostalgic. Cake dekhte toh daarun hoyechhei, 1 cup butter must have done its wonder in taste as well.

    But I am moved with the sight of the tea set. Isshhhh.... meye thaakle kato maja. You can at least re-live your childhood, and take care of all unfulfilled wishes of your childhood.

    Happy Holi to all of you and specially to BSS for sharing the tea set with all your blog readers

  28. BWM

    Sottiy bolte ki amar meyer tea set etc. te bishal kono interest nei. Ota oke keu gift korechilo :-)

  29. That looks so tempting and i love the chocolate swirl. Btw, my daughter has the exact same tea set and adores it :)

  30. i make this but without the choc. you have just given me a nice idea :D

  31. looks so perfect 'n soft... nice clicks!

  32. Condensed milk is a favorite ingredient of mine, I am going to try this today I think :)

  33. Am I invited to this tea party? :)

  34. My next door church switches on the loudspeakers every sinlge monrning from 5 to 7 am :( Even police complaints don't work. I have once made this condensed milk cake sans the swirls and I could understand about the temparature and time for this. Till end it stayed little goey but hardened once cooled. Yah but it tasted great! BSS's tea set is the prettiest of all the bowls I see here!

  35. Hi Sandeepa, could you suggest a substitute for hilsa in Doi Ilish? My local grocer doesn't carry hilsa. There is a speciality store near by which carries large variety of seafood. I will check there but, incase I can't hilsa, which fish would u suggest?

  36. hello sandipa
    Love reading your posts and recipes...:) the tea set looked so cute!! Loved your cake recipe but I'll try it with half cup butter (1 stick) & half cup milk....Will feel less guilty but hey nothing better than butter.....:) keep writing!

  37. LOL, tell me about the blaring speakers dishing out all those songs. I can still hear the somewhere :-)

    A very pretty cake with a pretty tea set to go with it :-)

  38. Condensed milk pound cake sounds wonderful, toothsome' very tempting pictures, infact.

  39. Beautiful pictures Sandeepa and loved the look of the dense pound cake.
    I listen to NPR too while driving, but then switch back to old hindi music and become nostalgic.

  40. Perfect and beautiful slices

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  42. This blog is a life saver for me.. Being married just one year and trying to set up everything from scratch here in US is such a task I realized. A never-cooked-before bengali girl grown up in delhi, married to a kolkata bangali, trying to do everything on her own is finding this blog space very useful specially during bangali socializing (here in US seems higher than in Kolkata or delhi),friends ask for a potluck with authentic bengali dish.. OMG.. the only rescue is this blog.. and recently I am also trying to impress them with some baking tricks.. this choco twirl cake seemed to put them to AWE..!!! Thanks a lot Mashi / Didi.. !

  43. I tried this cake second time mixing some ground peanut in the batter and coating the top with that too.. This gives a very presentable look to this cake even before cutting it.. (after cutting it anyway is such a surprise..! )


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