Friday, 24 February 2012

Pandan Mania!


For those who do not know what Pandan is, it is a leaf that is generally used to add flavour to food, by either being wrapped around the food or infused with a cream or milk. I have a slight obsession with pandan, and along with my friends we constantly crave for some of the pandan waffles you can get from Cabramatta. With that little obsession inside of me, I decided to make pandan waffles and pandan  ice cream!

Pandan waffles (A recipe guided by vietworldkitchen)
Ingredients (original)
1 cup of plain flour
7 tablespoons sugar 
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon bicarbonate soda 
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 egg, separated
1 cup coconut milk 
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled
1 1/2 teaspoon pandan extract

**NOTE: You can generally purchase pandan extract/essence from most Vietnamese grocery stores.

Method: (When I made this I doubled the recipe)
1. In a bowl, whisk together the flour, sugar, salt, bicarbonate soda and baking powder.
2. In a jug combine coconut milk, egg yolk, butter and pandan extract.
3. Add the liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients and gently stir using a rubber spatula. Set aside momentarily 
**NOTE: Expect the batter to be thick and somewhat lumpy. Avoid over stirring. 

4. Use an electric mixer to beat the egg white until a firm peak and use the rubber spatula to gently fold in the egg white into the mixture.
5. Heat up your waffle iron and spread a decent amount of batter onto the waffle iron, cooking as waffle iron instructions.
 **NOTE: Every waffle iron is different, but general rule is to stop the mixture about 1cm from the edge as when you close the lid the mixture spreads across. Cook the waffle until golden brown.
6. To remove the waffle, I would advise to use wooden chopsticks. This will allow you to lift up the waffle without tearing the waffle.

Pandan Ice-cream (guided by userealbutter)
1 cup whole milk

3/4 cup sugar
2 cups cream
pinch salt
5 pandan leaves, each tied in a knot
6 egg yolks
1/2 teaspoon pandan extract

1. In a medium saucepan, heat the milk, sugar, 1 cup of the cream, and salt over medium-high heat. Stir to dissolve the sugar.
2. When the milk begins to steam, remove from heat and place the pandan leaves in the cream. **NOTE: I used fresh pandan leaves, so I wet them a bit and then tied them into a knot.
3. Cover and steep for 30 minutes. (steep: means to leave in the liquid so the flavours becomes infused)
4. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate medium bowl.
5. Strain and slowly pour the cream mixture (with the pandan leaves) into the egg yolks while whisking (this is to temper so the eggs don’t curdle).
6. Scrape everything back into the saucepan and set over medium heat.
7. Constantly stir the custard, scraping the sides and bottom until it thickens.
8. Place remaining cup of cream in a large bowl and set aside.
9. Remove custard from heat and strain into the cream (cold cream).
10. Stir in the pandan extract until well-blended.
11. Let the custard cool and then refrigerate (covered) until it is completely chilled.
12. Churn using an ice cream maker, per the manufacturer’s instructions.

This was my first time making ice cream, and it was a great success! It had a natural taste, with a creamy smooth texture. This was definitely one of those moments in my life, where I felt that I have achieved something really great (may seem strange but the power of good food can do that sometimes). All the people who were lucky enough to try it enjoyed every spoonful, and some even said it was better then some restaurants (which was a huge compliment). From this success, I am very keen to try to make other ice cream flavours.

Good food, good times!


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