Monday, February 16, 2009

A dessert failure... Red Bean Coconut Milk Cake

Red Bean Coconut Milk cake is almost a must for Cantonese dim sum. You can get it in almost all Chinese dim sum places, proved that they are authentic. If they don't have this dessert, you know they are not the real deal. And me, craving for some chilled dessert and wanting to finish the left over coconut milk from my Sticky Rice Cake, so I decided to take on this Red Bean Coconut Milk dessert challenge.

So, ladies and gentlemen, this is an example of how the red bean cake should look like. Visible beans, pinkish red color, cut into nice cubes. Or you can do it in layers, with a layer of coconut cream mousse, a layer of the red bean cake, and top it with another layer of the same coconut cream mousse. And... it kind of looks like this:
Well, not exactly as I've envisioned this to be. So, it all started from the gelatin. This is my first time working with gelatin, and boy, I didn't know it could smell this bad. I understand that gelatin is made from animals, but the smell of it was enough to make me nauseous. So, I melted the gelatin in a pot of warm water with sugar. As soon as I started mixing them, it foamed and I couldn't seem to make it into a clear mixture... What's worse was that it immediately gel-ed up as I was working through my red bean paste. So now I had to melt it again... Finally mixing it with the coconut milk +milk+ whipping cream mixture. But with all the foam, the gelatin was definitely not blending into the mixture too smoothly... The red bean paste, eeerrrrr.... I didn't add enough sugar, and it was too thick to be blended. And it definitely didn't come out smooth enough to be considered a "dessert". But I still managed to layer them and freeze them. But then, I realized something. If I have to layer the first coconut milk, freeze till it hardens, then layer the red bean paste, till it hardens, then another coconut milk layer. While I was waiting for the first layer to harden, the remaining coconut milk mixture in the bowl was also hardening, just at a slower pace. But still, how could you manage to freeze one layer but not the other? Makes two batches separately? Or like what I did, not caring, and just poured the whole thing on top of the red bean.

That was a mess. And I vow to re-do it for improvement! It would be much better next time! Maybe if Bing's here then he could do all that for me... But that would mean more criticism from Bing telling me I'm not worthy enough to cook anything... tears***


christyzee said...

very interesting...nice blog as well!

heLeN said...

Practice makes perfect! I'm sure you'll do fine next time... don't give up easily... =)

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