My new blog: For those who came here for the cake pop class, I've created a new blog with updates on classes and photos over at guiri in the kitchen

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Clearing debts...

Don't be surprised to see some backdated posts popping up soon.... am trying to clear some backlogs before the Chinese New Year ... there is a saying that we should try to clear all our debts before we welcome the Lunar New Year, and yes, I'm trying to clear my debts with this dear old blog of mine. I don't believe I owe anyone any $$$ though...

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Azuki Bean Ice Cream

I finally succeeded at making some Japanese red beans ice cream that received approvals from my mum, my sisters and and my sister-in-law. The last attempt was a failure as I reduced the amount of sugar required, resulting in a bland and tasteless ice cream. Thanks to my mum's constructive comments, I did another experiment and finally got the right blend :) Here's the recipe!

This recipe makes about 1 quart

For the azuki paste
1 cup washed azuki beans
1/3 cup sugar
3 cups water
A pinch of salt

For the ice cream
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup whipping cream
3/4 cup sugar (or 1 cup if you prefer to have it a little sweeter)
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

For the azuki paste: Put beans in a saucepan full of water, bring to a boil, then drain in a colander. Return beans to pan, add 4 cups of water, cover and simmer until beans after very soft and have absorbed all the water. Stir in sugar and cook over low heat until sugar has dissolved and beans form a soft, chunky paste. Add salt and allow to cool. (I used the slow cooker for this which save me the trouble of watching over the stove. Simmering time maybe between 2.5-3 hours long, depending on the beans. Also with the slow cooker you can put everything in at once).

For the ice cream: In a saucepan, combine the milk and cream and bring to a simmer. While waiting, you can beat the egg yolks and sugar in a medium bowl. When the milk come to a boil, turn off the heat and pour about 1/4 cup of the liquid into the bowl with the egg yolk and whisk until smooth. Pour the yolk mixture back into the pan with the rest of the milk and cook over low heat until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon (custard like consistency). Stir in vanilla essence. Do not overcook or you may get lumps. Pour it through a strainer if required. Refrigerate until ready to use, preferably overnight.

The original recipe calls for adding the bean paste to the ice cream just 10 minutes before it freezes but I prefer to stir the beans (cooled) into the custard before I refrigerate it overnight. The amount of paste to stir into the custard is according to your preference - I used only half the amount prepared. Freeze the mixture in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

Good luck!

Thursday, January 01, 2009

Happy New Year 2009!

This year's countdown was special, unforgettable, and it all took place in Pantai Cheras Medical Centre, room #2006. Dad was hospitalised the very next day we got back from Penang due to suspected dengue fever. Later we found out that it was not dengue but an unknown viral infection. We couldn't bear to let him spend the eve in the hospital alone, so we transformed his room into a party place, with balloon characters to make up those who can't be there (e.g. my sister in law, Ophi & Mr. Goo), along with Stitchie, Weewee, Polar, Bunny, Archer & Lucas (my future nephew).

An almost complete family photo

The hospital was probably not the best place to do a countdown, but at least the whole family is together (well, almost). All I wish for in 2009 is everyone to be happy and in their best of health. It is going to be an exciting year with a new family member joining us soon!!! :D

*Dad was discharged on the afternoon of 01-01-2009.