For those of you who live under a rock, here’s a quick tutorial about one of India’s favorite chai time snack: Parle-G biscuits.
These biscuits are rectangular wheat, milk, and sugar cookies. Time to be schooled. Parle-G biscuits gained popularity in India as an alternative to British biscuits—which was quite the edible political statement, particularly after India gained independence from Britain in 1947. Eat that, Britain!
Parle-G has stood the test of time and still remains a popular snack among children and adults alike. In fact, it is one of India’s oldest brands.
Parle-G Biscuit Inspired Desserts
And though there is nothing wrong with simply dunking these iconic biscuits in your chai or coffee, we thought we’d be extra EXTRA and integrate these biscuits as an ingredient in classic, non-desi dessert dishes.
1. Spiced Poached Pears with Creme Fraiche and Parle-G Biscuits
- 2 cups granulated sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick, crushed
- 1 vanilla bean, split
- 2-star anise
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 8 Bosc pears, peeled, cored, and quartered
- 1/2 cup coarsely crushed Parle-G biscuits
- 8 ounces crème fraîche
- In a large pot, combine sugar with 8 cups water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Add the cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, star anise, cloves, and cardamom. Stir until sugar and spices are dissolved.
- Add the pears to the liquid and reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer the pears until tender, about 20 to 25 minutes.
- Remove pot from heat and let the pears cool in their liquid at room temperature.
- When ready to serve, use a slotted spoon to transfer pears to serving platter. Top with a dollop of crème fraîche, biscuit crumbs, and a light dusting of cinnamon.
2. Parle-G Biscuit Tiramisu
Makes 6 servings; Note: the eggs in this recipe are not cooked.
- 3 large eggs, separated
- 5 tablespoons sugar, divided
- 1 cup mascarpone at room temperature
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup chilled heavy cream
- 1 to 2 cups strongly brewed Indian coffee, cooled to room temperature
- 40 Parle-G biscuits
- Using an electric mixer, beat together egg yolks and 2 tablespoons sugar in a large bowl at medium speed until thick (for about 2 minutes). Beat in mascarpone until just combined.
- In a separate bowl, beat whites with salt until they just hold soft peaks. Add remaining 3 tablespoons sugar in batches, beating until whites just hold stiff peaks.
- Beat cream in another bowl just until it holds stiff peaks. Gently, but thoroughly, fold cream into mascarpone mixture, then fold mixture into whites.
- Pour coffee into a shallow bowl. Dip 20 Parle-G biscuits in the coffee for about 20 seconds, turning to coat both sides and letting excess drip off.
- Arrange in 1 layer on an 8-inch square baking dish. Spread half of mascarpone mixture evenly over biscuits. Make another layer in the same manner with remaining biscuits (also dipped in coffee) and mascarpone mixture. Chill for at least 6 hours.
- Garnish with ground biscuits and cocoa.
3. Ricotta Cheesecake with Parle-G Biscuit Crust
Makes one 9-inch cheesecake
For the biscuit crust:
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup finely ground Parle-G biscuits
- 2 pounds cream cheese
- 1 cup mascarpone cheese
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 2 large eggs
For the crust:
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 3-4 minutes. Next, add flour and ground biscuits to the mixture and blend until fully incorporated. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch pan. Then bake the crust at 350° F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Lastly, allow the crust to cool completely before adding the cheesecake mix.
For the cheesecake:
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and smooth. Add the mascarpone cheese, sugar, cinnamon, and cardamom and continue to beat on medium speed. Then add the eggs one at a time. Once you have evenly mixed all the ingredients, pour the mixture into the cooled crust.
- Set the cheesecake pan into a roasting pan, and add enough water to the roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of the cheesecake pan.
- Place in a 350° F oven for approximately one hour or until the cake is set and the top is golden brown. Remove the cake from the roasting pan and place on a wire rack. Allow cake to cool slightly. Once cooled, place the cake in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
Editor’s Note: This piece was originally published on our partner site, India.com. It is republished here with permission.