Sunday 24 April 2011

Durian Gelato, anyone?

          It's hard to ignore the durians whenever I go to the market these days. You see, my hb and I love durian. The problem  is, it's hard for him to control himself when eating durians. So I've been refraining myself from approaching the durian section until a few days ago.... I gave in... Bought 3 packs, ate 2 packs and used 1 pack to make Durian Puffs and  Durian Gelato! Not very happy with the puffs but the gelato was a success!

          There are not many good quality durian ice-cream in the market. Even Swensons'  has the artificial flavour and lack the pure durian flavour. Straits Kitchen's is better. Still I think the recipe that I used is the best. It's like eating frozen durian but better. When this rich and creamy gelato melts in my mouth, it leaves some pulp as if to remind me not to forget the source of this heavenly taste frozen dessert! All the time and effort put in in the preparation and the facial expression of my testers make it all worth it!

            I know some of you are wondering what the difference between gelato and ice-cream is. Actually, both are prepared using essentially the same ingredients and method. The major difference is the amount of air and butterfat contained in each. Gelato contains between 6% & 8% butterfat whereas ice-cream contains 10 to 16 % butterfat. Since gelato contains less fat, less air is whipped into it when it is simultaneously churned and frozen in an ice-cream maker. So, gelato has a slightly denser and softer consistency than ice-cream. (Source: Making Artisan Gelato by Toffance Kopfer)

             I've tried Kopfer's recipes a few times and I'm happy with the outcome. So I've adapted his recipe to prepare my Durian Gelato.

2 cups (470ml) whole milk
1/2 cup (100g) granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 cup (235ml) dairy whipping cream (I used 38% fat)
1/2 tsp pure vanilla paste
100g durian flesh (buy the best available and mash with folk)

1.Combine the milk and 2/3 of the sugar in a medium-sized, heavy-bottomed saucepan. Place over medium heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until it registers 77 degC on an instant-read thermometer.
2.In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and the remaining sugar until foamy and slightly thickened.
3.Carefully temper the egg yolks with the milk mixture by slowly adding about half of the hot liquid to the eggs, whisking continuously.
4.Pour the heated egg mixture into the saucepan with the hot milk and return to the stove top. Stirring continuously with a wooden spoon , cook the mixture over medium heat until it registers 85degC on an instant-read thermometer or is thick enough to coat the back of the spoon or spatula, taking care to make sure  the mixture does not boil. Remove from the heat.
5.If the mixture is not completely smooth, emulsify it by using a hand whisk or stand  blender and blending it until smooth.
6. Pour the heavy cream into a clean, large stainless steel or glass mixing bowl set over an ice bath.
7.Pour the heated custard through a fine-mesh sieve or strainer into the cold cream and stir until fully incorporated and the mixture has fully cooled.
8. Then remove the bowl of  mixture from the ice bath, cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours or overnight.
9. When ready, pour the chilled mixture into the  ice-cream maker, add in the mashed durian and vanilla and process according to manufacturer's specifications.

Makes about 1 litre.
Adapted from Making Artisan Gelato by Toffance Kopfer.

Friday 22 April 2011

Oreo Banana Muffin

          I love baking muffins because it's easy to prepare and  they always turn out great. The key is to mix the dry and liquid ingredients separately first. Then mix them together gently and do not overmix. When I saw the recipe of this muffin here, I couldn't wait to try it. The muffins are moist and delicious. They look pretty too!

135g  all-purpose flour (sieved)
1/2 tsp baking powder 
1/2 tsp baking soda     
1/4 tsp salt
Oreo biscuits, cream removed, break into pieces (I used 5 pieces)

30g brown sugar
30g castor sugar
1 egg ( lightly beaten)
1/2 tsp  vanilla essence ( I used pure vanilla paste)
40g melted butter
25g corn oil ( I used canola oil)
1 tbsp golden syrup ( I used pure maple syrup)
1 tbsp condensed milk
1/4 cup sour cream ( I used plain yoghurt)
1/2 cup mashed banana ( I used 1 large banana)

Oreo cookies
Banana - sliced into small pieces

1. Mix A together.
2. Mix B together in a mixing bowl.
3. Pour A into B and mix everything with minimum handling.
4. Spoon batter into muffin tray lined with paper muffin cups up to 80% full.
5. Top with sliced banana and oreo pieces.
6. Bake at 180C for 20 minutes - 30 minutes or till cooked.

Makes about 23 small muffins.
Source: Do What I Like

Wednesday 6 April 2011

What??? Tomato ketchup?

I don't believe it! I've only seen jam and honey is these elegant little bottles,  not tomato ketchup!! The company, tiptree, traditionally produces jams and honey. Now I know they also produce tomato ketchup. Come to think of it, it's quite logical since it has huge fruit farm and tomato ketchup is a staple for many. So there's a huge market for it.

My husband got these bottles on his recent trip to Amman. They were served to the customers in a cafe at the hotel he was staying. He just had to bring home to show me coz he knows I've never seen this before. He asked the staff at the cafe for extra bottles for him to take away. And the staff nice.

The kind of eating places I go to only serve tomato ketchup like these..... goes to show the kind of eating places i go to versus the ones hubby gets to go to. This hotel must be  one which has many stars!  Anyway, I still have the bottles of ketchup on my bedroom dresser.... not sure I'm going to consume it in the near future! Hehe..

Monday 4 April 2011

My Favourite Brand of Baklava.....

My  hubby came back from Amman, Jordan a few days ago. As usual he got this at Dubai Airport. We've tried a few brands but so far, we like this best. The sweetness and richness is just nice, not soaked in sugar syrup and fat. So those who love baklava like I do, this brand is highly recommended! Enjoy these pictures!


He also bought these........

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