Corn and Coconut Agar #20

It is another agar recipe. If you wonder why I never post jelly recipe using gelatin, it is because I don’t really know how to work with it. I grew up eating agar for our version of jell-o and it is what I am doing again.

One more agar recipe, with palm sugar, grated coconut and corn. This is a simple and homey dessert often served at home. It is easy, delicious and non-fussy. All three main ingredients are crunchy, it is a dessert with serious bite. The agar is not that sweet, the main sweetener is palm sugar, which gives it an earthy kind of sweetness. The brown color depends on the quality of the palm sugar (or gula melaka) used. The darker the palm sugar used, the more brown it would be. Do taste before pouring into mould. Add more sugar if it is not sweet enough.

Grate fresh coconut flesh as coarse as possible.

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Baked Alaska #19

 

For the next part of the challenge, I am already more than a week late because of work, where it is just one of those week when everything that could go wrong, actually went wrong. I wrote to the people at Royal Selangor that I have to drop out of the challenge but I will still complete the 30 posts. And, for the people who don’t know it yet, I agreed to take part of a 30 day challenge by Royal Selangor, a pewter making company, to create recipes using these cone-shaped mould designed by Nick Munro in this October for Breast Cancer Awareness cause. That is why you have been seeing a lot of booby shaped food in this blog, and nine others.

For my 20th birthday, I was working at a restaurant in the city and the chef, who is a dear friend of mine, made a huge birthday cake in form of baked alaska. He lit it up on fire at this birthday party they held for me. It was pretty impressive, as many people had never seen or eaten baked alaska before. It was a cake with style.

Again, not my most original idea, but I had huge craving for some chocolate ice cream. So after I churned out a batch of the ice cream, I froze some on the mould and decided to make one.

I had never made it before, but with so many disasters going on, there’s nothing that could go more wrong, I suppose. Let’s burn some ice cream.

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This dessert is very easy to make. Mother told me that it is a very common Indonesian dessert, but I have never seen or eaten any before. It was quite surreal when she whipped it out and served small portions of it on these tiny little saucers in no time at all.

The key of success lies on the mould you are using. If you are being super creative (like what I have been doing for the past couple of weeks, shameless self promotion, that is), it is going to look absolutely delicious. Nobody will believe you that it is that easy to make. It is sticky, it is sweet and it looks pretty, in a rustic kind of way.

Anybody knows what this dessert is called?

I used a couple of medium sized cassava roots. I washed and scrubbed the skin under running water for quite a bit. The cassava we got here from the market come very fresh, complete with dirt and all.

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Claypot Pork Rice #17

I love claypot rice, although I have to admit that we don’t own a claypot. Mother uses ceramic bowl to individually steam the rice and flips the rice on serving plate. It is very delicious and every time she makes this, it is a treat. This is a pork version of our family’s claypot rice. You can substitute it with beef or chicken. Or a bit of everything.

The dish is a bit of fragrant rice topped with succulent braised pork, shiitake mushrooms and hard boiled egg. Our version is always served with heaps of fresh coriander and pickled shallots, chilies and cucumber.

I think the cone-shape mould is just perfect for this dish. It is very pretty. I served this to a couple of friends and they were impressed. It was the first time I didn’t get the “This looks like …  Bhawahaha” remark.

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This is a classic dish for Indonesian Chinese one-month-old baby celebration. They are not normally prepared at home. Family with new-born babies are expected to send a complete dish of yellow sticky rice, grilled chicken, red bean cakes and red boiled eggs to relatives and friends who have sent their best wishes during the first month. I love the grilled chicken pack, although some families now choose to send overly decorated cupcakes, which I think are only good to look at. I would pick over grilled chicken over cupcakes any day.

This way of preparing Indonesian grilled chicken (or ayam panggang) was  from our grandmother’s trick. It is not always fun to start up open fire to cook off the chicken, so the last charring period is done in oven.

Don’t expect the grilled chicken to be the much expected juicy roast chicken. Chicken, both fried and grilled, in Indonesian cuisine is meant to be cardboard hard, served with elaborated chili sauce or sweet soy sauce-based sauces. So do expect the chicken to be slightly tough and dry with succulent spicy sauce. The chicken with such strange texture may taste unpalatable, but it is to be served with well-cooked turmeric-scented rice or sticky rice.

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