Minnie’s sweet fresh cheese dessert Cups

Cheese cups


Summer and cold desserts – they should be synonyms. Especially frozen cold desserts. Did you know that before advent of the modern day refrigerator, humans devised various ways to make ice and preserve meat and create amazing frozen desserts? For example, ancient Romans used pits in the dessert to make ice. They dug deep pits, covered it in straw, filled it water and covered the pit with shiny reflectors to divert sunlight. At night, they would expose the pots to cold dessert air and in the morning, collect the ice and rush it to ice-house storage. The British in India pretty much followed this practice almost till the time they left India. Romans and ancient Greeks also had ice cut in blocks and brought down from mountains to be stored in ice houses. The royal kings of India too had snow brought down from the mountains and stored in specially built snow houses. In England, and other parts of the world, they cut out large chunks of ice blocks from frozen rivers and mountains and stored them in cellars below the ground that was insulated with sawdust and straw. 


cheese cups 2


Frozen desserts such as slush and flavored ice have found mention in the ancient texts of Emperor Nero. Indians have been making kulfi – an ice cream that is more grainy and not as smooth, but heavenly in taste, for centuries now. Kulfis as a dessert are still very popular in Indian cuisine. Human discovery is such a wonderful thing. Everyday we discover new things and yet marvel on the simplest of discoveries that were made in ancient times.


cheese cup


Today’s dessert, though not a kulfi, can pass as its second cousin. Though it is strictly not a ‘discovery’ – I am sure some version of this exists somewhere – but it’s something that I came up with during very early years of my marriage, when culinary experiments meant something started its process to be one thing and ended up being something entirely different. I wanted to make some traditional kulfi, only to realise I was out of enough milk as well as cream, and had no ‘mawa’ to speak of. I pursed my lips and fetched another disaster I recently had in the kitchen – a failed attempt to set paneer that yielded loads of extra crumbly freshly made cheese in my fridge that I had no idea what to do with. So I decided to make a dessert out of it.


cheese cups


I had never eaten a paneer dessert that had not been cooked or dipped in sugar syrup, so I wasn’t sure how it would turn out. Honestly, even I did not expect that I would literally hit a dessert jackpot. It’s quick, it’s cold, it’s sweet and it has been a party favorite ever since I chanced upon it. The great thing about this dessert is that you could both refrigerate or freeze it, whatever takes your fancy. It’s gooey and soft, it’s texture similar to a soft serve when you refrigerate, and becomes a kulfi if you freeze it. Oh, and it takes about 5 minutes to put together.

4.7 from 3 reviews
Minnie's sweet cheese dessert
  • 1 cup crumbled paneer (you can make fresh, instructions given below or grate some store bought paneer)
  • 1 14 oz can of condensed milk
  • 2 cups chilled milk
  • ½ tsp cardamom powder
To garnish (any or all of the following)
  • ½ tsp saffron strands (optional)
  • sliced almonds or other nuts of your choice to garnish (optional)
  • rose syrup (optional and ONLY if you want the rose flavor)
  • ground pistachios (optional)
  1. Blend all the four main ingredients.
  2. Pour them in mould/cups
  3. Garnish with ingredient of your choice (don't use rose syrup at this stage, it will change the flavor completely)
  4. For soft dessert, place cups in the refrigerator for 4 hours
  5. For kulfi, place the cups/moulds in the refrigerator and freeze for 3-4 hours.
To serve
  1. For soft dessert, serve the cups right away
  2. For kulfi, place the cups in room temperature for 5 minutes. Then invert them on a plate and garnish with ground pistachios. You can add rose syrup too at this point if using it.
  3. Be prepared to serve multiple servings.
Note: Garnish does not change the flavor. However, rose syrup infuses a very strong rose flavor. This dessert is tastes great just as it is.
  1. Also, in case you use open cups, it's OK to freeze them uncovered. However, if you plan to keep the dessert longer, transfer it to a closed container. It stays for good for at least a week.


To make fresh crumbly paneer at home, simply follow these steps:

Bring 2 liter of milk to boil

Making paneer


2. Once it comes to boil, lower the flame and add 1/4 cup of vinegar


Add vinegar


3) The milk will start curdling. Let it cook for a minute. Stir once or twice.


Let it curdle


4) The water should run clear.


Let the water run clear


5) Strain in a cheese cloth (I used a thin cotton napkin, I ran out of cheese cloth :D)


paneer 2013-06-21 007


Basically this is how paneer is made. I will show you how to set it in another post (once I make and photograph it).

Sending to following events 🙂


Cook it with Cheese


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32 comments for “Minnie’s sweet fresh cheese dessert Cups

  1. July 20, 2013 at 1:05 AM

    hhee ur story of ice and icecream is interesting

    somehow history and geography have not held tht much appeal for me

    and wow if u had not said about paneer i would hv thought it as some other dish

    looks great yaar
    wud love to try it
    meena recently posted..Left over pulao parathaMy Profile

  2. July 20, 2013 at 5:04 AM

    Anything described as a dessert jackpot is definitely one I need to make. Looks wonderful, Minnie!
    Maureen | Orgasmic Chef recently posted..White Chocolate and Roasted Strawberry FoolMy Profile

  3. July 20, 2013 at 8:11 AM

    I like desserts with a history 🙂

  4. July 20, 2013 at 9:22 AM

    love this instant kulfi or dessert dish.
    Kitchen Queen recently posted..My 1 year blog Anniversary and Chocolate Chip Cookie BrittleMy Profile

  5. July 20, 2013 at 5:31 PM

    Chance desserts are the best! And I so love kulfi. Love the ice history too 🙂

    Coffee and Crumpets recently posted..Potato SamosasMy Profile

  6. July 21, 2013 at 6:37 AM

    I had no idea that that was how they made ice! They were so inventive weren’t they! Like you are with your delicious cheese cups 🙂

  7. July 21, 2013 at 12:53 PM

    Paneer…dessert…oh good god I really need to make this now. Apparently ever since I was teeny tiny, I have loved crumbled paneer mixed with sugar (yes, all crunchy). I have about a hundred and two photographs to prove that. So this, I am sure, I am going absolutely love! And it looks so amazing too.
    Antara recently posted..Ah those two syllablesMy Profile

  8. July 21, 2013 at 5:05 PM

    There is something so fulfilling about a delicious dessert my friend, nice one 🙂

    Choc Chip Uru

    P.S. To prepare for my exams now I won’t be commenting for around 4 weeks – See you in a month my friend 🙂
    Choc Chip Uru recently posted..Au Revoir Does Not Mean GoodbyeMy Profile

  9. July 22, 2013 at 11:23 PM

    What an amazingly simple, flexible & inventive dessert … Sounds yummy!!!
    CJ at Food Stories recently posted..Monday Muster – Baked PancakeMy Profile

    • July 28, 2013 at 1:18 AM

      Thanks CJ!! It is quick too, which is what I love best about it.

  10. July 23, 2013 at 12:30 AM

    Oh Minnie, love your recipes!
    Lizzy (Good Things) recently posted..Postcards and Morsels – Truffles at Le Très BonMy Profile

    • July 28, 2013 at 1:18 AM

      Thanks you Lizzy, that is sweet of you to say.

  11. July 23, 2013 at 5:14 AM

    You have invented a wonderful dessert, Minnie! Wow, this is so simple, yet so unique and tasty! I appreciate your kitchen experiments. Way to go!

    • July 28, 2013 at 1:18 AM

      Thank you Purabi 🙂

  12. July 23, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    What a fabulous dessert! It’s quite different from anything I usually serve, but since we both are fresh cheese lovers, I know this would be a HUGE hit in this house. Great choice of toppngs.
    mjskit recently posted..Calabacitas Chowder (Summer Squash, Corn, and Green Chile)My Profile

    • July 28, 2013 at 1:19 AM

      If you make it, do let me know how it turned out. Thanks so much!

  13. July 23, 2013 at 3:04 PM

    Hmm, the paneer looks just like cottage cheese. Thanks for introducing me to new foods like ‘kulfi’- nice how food blogging opens up a whole new world for me!
    Fran @ G’day Souffle’ recently posted..Profiteroles with Custard Cream and Chocolate SauceMy Profile

    • July 28, 2013 at 1:24 AM

      The difference between cottage cheese and paneer is rather fine – cottage cheese is salted and has more cream in it I think. Paneer is more closer to Rocotta in taste though Ricotta has more water and is smoother. Thank you so much, hopefully you will try it and like it too.

  14. July 23, 2013 at 6:32 PM

    Hi Minnie, it’s true – things which have been for literally hundreds, if not thousands of years are still so, so popular. We will come up with new things, new techniques, new methods, but sometimes still fall back on the traditional favourites that have stood the test of time!

    This looks like a very interesting dessert – I’ve made some paneer before, though I never imagined it could be turned into this delightful refreshing looking dessert. Nice to see the process of making paneer can have so many uses!
    Charles recently posted..Beetroot CarpaccioMy Profile

    • July 28, 2013 at 1:25 AM

      Yup, I agree Charles. Thank you so much for your kind comments.

  15. July 24, 2013 at 12:15 AM

    This looks like a wonderful dessert and so perfect for the hot weather you’re experiencing. It must have lovely flavours and your images are gorgeous xx
    Hotly Spiced recently posted..Japan City, ChatswoodMy Profile

    • July 28, 2013 at 1:25 AM

      Thank you Charlie, you just now made my day, tee hee!

  16. July 24, 2013 at 6:07 AM

    Easy & Lovely Dessert Minniw.
    Asiya Omar recently posted..Wonderful Awards & Gift CardMy Profile

    • July 28, 2013 at 1:25 AM

      Thanks Asiya!!

  17. July 26, 2013 at 2:38 PM
    • July 28, 2013 at 1:28 AM

      Thank you Aparna!!

  18. July 29, 2013 at 2:57 AM

    Minnie, dessert cups look lovely and delicious.

  19. August 16, 2013 at 9:49 PM

    Love the way you have presented it dear.. Looks awesome and love the history behind the creation of the dessert 🙂
    Avika recently posted..Whats with my Cuppa 2 – Nupur’s Event for August – SeptemberMy Profile

  20. August 17, 2013 at 2:07 PM

    Lovely dessert looks rich and creamy. Thankyou for sending it to lets cook with cheese event
    Nayna Kanabar (@SIMPLYF00D) recently posted..Innocent Inspires -An evening of good taste.My Profile

  21. August 20, 2013 at 10:54 AM

    An informative post on ice and I loved to see how u transformed a disaster into a sweet.Thanks for linking. August’13 Event, ‘ONLY’ Food For Pregnancy + Cookbook Giveaway
    Pari recently posted..Raw Banana & Tender Fenugreek Leaves Paratha | Vegan | Flatbread | Stepwise | Pregnancy RecipesMy Profile

    • August 20, 2013 at 10:06 PM

      Thank you so much Pari!

  22. September 7, 2013 at 12:36 AM

    Ohhh I love this! Especially as I have a big box of ricotta in my fridge that I have no idea what to do with!
    I am trying to avoid using sweetened condensed milk due to the sugar content- do you think cream and a bit of honey might be a suitable alternative?
    Deepaonesmallpot recently posted..Chocolate Orange Macadamia TrufflesMy Profile

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