I knew right away, the moment I read about this Ras Malai Cake in The New York Times that this was worth trying. What intrigued me, even more is that there is no Ras Malai tucked in anywhere in the recipe, but the evocation of it with the milk syrup, the mascarpone frosting and sponge cake!
Layer cakes are always festive, particularly when they are four-layered, fluffy and cloudlike. This one, based on the flavors of an Indian dessert called ras malai, combines rose water, ricotta cheese and cardamom. (Photo: Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times)
Rasmalai is a Bengali dessert consisting of soft paneer balls immersed in chilled creamy milk. Like Rasgullas, Rasmalai is also made with homemade cheese known as "paneer" or "chana". Instead of being soaked in sugar syrup like Rasgullas, Rasmalai is soaked in sweet, flavored milk.