Monday, January 7, 2008

Something Purple...

It seems like I love purple this week. I've made Jasmin agar agar tapioca jellies and taro ice cream. Who doesn't love purple? PUrple Purple Purple and lots of restaurant jumping in this entry.

Jasmin Coconut Agar Agar Jelly

This recipe is based on Baking mum's Multi-Color Sago Jelly. Despite the fact that jasmines are white, whenever I take a big whiff of jasmines, I instantly think of purple. If you are wondering where to purchase agar agar, it can be easily found in your near by health food store. I know Eden Food carries agar agar flakes and agar bar but they are rather expensive. Now Foods also carries agar agar in the 2 oz bottle and 2 lb bottle but I think the 2lb bottle is a bit extreme, no? If you are lucky to have access to some Asian supermarket, I really advise you to check there first. There are several brands of agar agar I know of, in which they are the telephone brand and the golden cup brand. They are sold in the .88 oz packets for only a dollar. Those packets are small but goes a long way! 1 gram is equal to 1/4 tsp you don't need much anyways.

The packet looks like this...

Recipe Yields 16 slices (100 Cal/Slice)

Tapioca Portion
70 g 2/5 Cup Tapioca Pearls Aka Sago
1/4 Tsp Jasmin Essence (You can use any extract or essence like orange, almond, vanilla etc. but if you are using extract use a tad bit more.)
1 drop Red Food Coloring (Any colors will do)
1 drop Blue Food Coloring

Coconut Agar Portion
12g 2 Tbsp Agar Agar Powder or 6 Tbsp Agar Flakes
200 g || 1 Cup Sugar
1/2 Tsp Salt
300 mL 1 3/8 Cup Coconut Milk, Canned
1000 mL 4 1/4 Cup Water
1/3 Tsp Jasmin Essence
1 drop Red Food Coloring
1 drop Blue Food Coloring

Tapioca Portion

  • Boil some water on high heat in a pot. Pour the tapioca pearls and cook it until they turn transparent. It takes around 20 minutes.
  • Pour off as much boiling water as you can and rinse it with cold water and strain it.
  • Then divide these into to portion and for one portion mix 1 drop of red and blue food coloring and 1/4 tsp jasmine essence.
Coconut Agar Portion
  • Combine the coconut milk, water, sugar, agar agar and salt in a pot.
  • Mix with a whisk and simmer the mixture until the agar agar and sugar melts.
  • Divide the mixture into three portion.
  • Combine the food coloring and essence into one of the portion.
  • First pour the coconut agar layer into a 2lb loaf pan (8 5/8" x 4 1/2" x 2 3/5" )then let it cool down in the refrigerator. (This layer will take the longest to cool so it is essential for you to be patient or else you would be like me! I messed up on the purple tapioca pearl layer >< ) Stir the other two coconut agar layer to prevent from setting while the first layer sets in the microwave.
  • When the first layer has cooled, warm up the purple tapioca pearls a bit in the microwave for 10-15 sec on high so that it can be able to adhere to the previous layer nicely and for it to set. (Don't microwave too only or it might melt :X ) Spread it evenly on top of the first layer and let it set again in the microwave.
  • When that layer has set, add another layer of the white coconut agar mixture on top, again warm this up in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Mix it with the whisk to dissolve any set agar. Then pour it on top of the purple tapioca and let it return to the refrigerator to set.
  • Microwave the last clear tapioca pearl portion for 10-15 seconds on high and spread it over the white coconut layer and let it set again
  • And for the final layer microwave the purple coconut agar layer in the microwave for about 45 sec on high and mix to dissolve any set pieces and pour it on top of the tapioca layer. Let this set for at least an hour in the refrigerator before unmolding. Don't be impatient like me!

Taro Ice Cream
Taro Ice Cream. I love taro they are delicious. I absolutely love the texture of the taro when it's half solid and half paste. It is naturally sweet and very aromatic. It is simply divine even if you just cook with plain ol' salt. My love for ice cream and the inspiration from A Vegan Ice Cream Paradise.

Taro Ice Cream Recipe Yields about 2 1/2 - 3 Cup Ice Cream (170 Cal/ 1/2 Cup)

Taro Paste Yields about 290 g Taro Paste
226 g Taro Root, Cubed 1"
591 mL ||2 1/2 Cup Water (Give or take some taro may require more or less)
1/3 || 66 g Sugar ** EDIT add 50g || 1/4 Cup more Sugar
1/4 Tsp Salt

(If you are using the paste as filling for steamed buns or cake)
** From what my b/f had learned from CIA, he said that when things are frozen, there are less flavor so you need to add more flavor to frozen food.

Ice Cream Mixture
All the Taro Paste
180 mL 3/4 Cup Non Dairy Creamer (You can use unsweetened non dairy milk but I highly recommend using soy creamer or you can add 1 1/2 tbsp of Vegetable Oil)
Plus 60 mL 1/4 Cup Non Dairy Creamer.
30g 1 Tbsp Tapioca Starch

For the Paste
  • Mix the sugar into the water and bring it to a simmer in a sauce pan on high medium.
  • Then put the diced taro into the simmer water. Break the taro down with a fork or spatula as you cook it. You can leave small pieces of taro to give it texture and a bite.
  • If all the water has all be absorbed by the taro and the taro is still hard, add more water. It's okay if you add a bit too much since the taro will absorb all the water or it will all be evaporated.
  • Continue to cook the taro has absorbed all the water and it is in the consistency of a paste.
  • Sprinkle the salt and combine. Then take it off the heat and let it cool down. It yields about 290 g, almost 2 cup of paste. You can store it or make a bigger batch for steamed taro buns.
Ice cream mixture
  • Take the taro paste and combine it with 3/4 cup soy creamer or nondairy milk + the oil.
  • Whisk everything as you bring the mixture to a small simmer on medium heat.
  • Dissolve the tapioca starch in the remaining 1/4 cup soy creamer.
  • Whisk the ice mixture as you slowly pour in the tapioca and soy cream mixture.
  • Continue cooking on medium heat until you feel the mixture thicken.
  • Then pour it into your ice cream maker and freeze according to manufacturer instruction.
OR (if you don't have a ice cream maker like me)
  • Poor it into a very wide pan (I used a 14" round pan). Any pan with a huge surface area will do.
  • Put it into the freezer and beat it with a whisk or electric beater ever 15 minutes until the mixture is almost frozen into a solid.
  • Put it into a container and freeze it.
    (note the quality will not be as good as the ice cream machine)
Dosa Hutt of Flushing NY!!
Vegan restaurant hunting!! I've been going to so many vegatarian/vegan places around NYC with my handy dandy VegOut: Vegetarian Guide to New York City. They have other VegOut books for Southern California, Seattle and Portland, Chicago and other large cities. Although I wish they had a vegan guide to NYC :[ it's alright many of the vegetarian place serve great vegan dishes as well. With in this month I went to Oneness Fountain Heart, Spice, Cafe Spice, Buddah Bodai, Wholes Food, LifeThyme, Dosa Hutt, My GOd I'm a freaking pig and I'm planning to go to Red Bamboo Soul Cafethis thursday.

I must say Dosa Hutt is AWESOME!! Spice authentic Indian food right by my house too awesome. Now i don't always have to eat at Buddah Bodai or Happy Buddah. Getting sick of Chinese food. My b/f ordered so much food cause it was extremely cheap :x Pondicherry Masala Dosa, Rava Masala Dosa, rava Mysore Masala Dosa and the Medhu Vada in Bowl. Cafe spice was nothing in comparison to Dosa Hutt. Cafe Spice was lacking in the spiciness for the tourist. For all those who live in Queens or the Tristate area please do try Dosa Hutt. everything is less than 4.75 with the exception of 2 items in which it is the Special rava masala dosa which is $5.25 and the speical low carb. dosa which is $6.00.
Everything is mostly vegan!! HOrray Hoorah!! I believe the butter masala dosa and cheese dosa are the only two that are vegetarian. Well that's what the cashier said but ask to make sure when you go there for an updated list. The desserts are not on the menu. It's located on the leftt side of the counter in plastic boxes. Too bad they aren't vegan since they contain milk though :/ but the besan ladoo didnt contain any milk. It's traditionally made with ghee but according to the cashier, it's vegan. Yayy

Chickpea, cardamom, golden raisins, cashews, almonds, LOTS OF OIL and I believe some kind of flowery essence. Probably rose or jasmin. Hm.... I must say it was very oily though. When i squeezed it, oil was gushing out. Don't as why I was squishing at it. It was rather fun.

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