Showing posts with label custard. Show all posts
Showing posts with label custard. Show all posts

Friday, May 17, 2013

Egg Custard with Chocolate Chip Oatmeal in a jar...Breakfast to-go


i'll say it again...

breakfast is my favorite meal

"the most important meal of the day"
blah, blah, blah...

i think it's inscribed somewhere on the Rosetta Stone or was it one of the tablets as the 11th commandment.
this is a compact little breakfast treat i came up with for a quick early morning healthy breakfast.  creamy cholesterol fighting oatmeal with optional "antioxcident" dark chocolate chips on the bottom and calcium, omega rich classic egg custard with a few vitamin C freeze dried tart berries in a cute little jar.  sorry, that was a mouthful.
prepare on a weekend and you'll have something to grab that's a little more fun, a lot more healthy and loads more delicious than that sugar laden muffin or chemical powered protein bar.  you might more likely to grab this treat while dashing out the door.  it's pretty good out of the fridge, great at room temp and even better popped in the microwave for a few seconds, just a bit warm.

pick up some freeze dried raspberries, blueberries, strawberries or pineapple crisps from Trader Joe's or your health food store.  they don't spoil, they're crunchy, tart and sugar free.  stock the pantry, the car, the office desk.  they're a fun snack and good on or in anything.  if you don't have a TJ's near you they are available on the internet (amazon, of course)...raspberries, blueberries, pineapple, mandarin orange, strawberries...this is beginning to sound like an infomercial...enough already.



FOR THE OATMEAL

prepare 3/4 cups dry oatmeal of your choice as you normally would.  you'll probably end up with approx. 2 cups cooked oatmeal.  let come to room temp.

OR...this is what i do...
3/4 cup oatmeal
1 1/2 cup water
1 tsp golden flax seeds
pinch salt

prepare using microwave instructions.
after it's cooked...stir in 1/2 scoop vanilla protein powder, a dash of cinnamon and a dash of cardamom...and add sweetener of choice...i used 2 Tbsp Stevia "cup for cup".  let come to room temp.

PREPARE CUSTARD

preheat oven to 350 F. and grease/spray 6 custard cups, ramekins or small mason jars.
you'll need some boiling water for the bain marie and a large enough roasting pan to hold your custards in the bain marie.

1 2/3 cups whole (2% milk would be ok)...of your choice
NOTE...i have used whole organic milk, goat milk and a mixture of whole milk with 2/3 cup vanilla Pure Protein Shake.
3 whole large eggs
1 yolk
1 tsp vanilla
2 Tbsp Stevia "cup for cup"or sweetener of choice
pinch of salt

whisk eggs, yolk, vanilla, sweetener and pinch of salt.  add milk and whisk to combine.  strain the custard into a vessel that can easily pour.
TO ASSEMBLE...
spoon approx. 1/3 cup oatmeal in the bottom of custard cups.  add some mini chocolate chips, raisins, craisins or whatever and push them down in a bit.
pour equal amount custard into cups over the oatmeal.
place in roasting pan and add enough "almost boiling" water to come up at least half way up the custard.
bake in oven for 25 to 30 minutes.  check them at 25 for the custard jiggle factor.  they should be firm, but with a slight wobble in the middle.  mine took 32 minutes.
NOTE...i tented mine with a sheet of tinfoil 1/2 way through so the tops didn't get too cooked looking, but you can always disguise an ugly top with berries or syrup.


important to strain your custard because these little globs will mess with the creaminess of your beautiful custard.
put a little less than 1 inch of oats (warm/room temp oats) and a few mini chocolate chips.  if you put too much oatmeal, the custard will take longer to cook and might not set in the middle.

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Banh Gan...Vietnamese Flan with Espresso


and so continues my fascination into the Vietnamese culinary world.
 
there are so many sweets and savories that i find interesting, odd, delicious and dare i say...just a bit SCARY?

scary is what keeps me coming back for more.

this Vietnamese treat is strangely addicting.  i've made it 4 times now with different recipes each time.  one better than the next.  i posted Banh Gan #1 here, but didn't find it necessary to post about the others until this one.  the espresso, chocolate and star anise pair so well with the rich caramelized brown sugar.  the texture was spot on....like a very dense flan or egg custard.

a thin slice or a few simple cubes with a nice little Vietnamese coffee or espresso will settle your afternoon or polish off a lovely dinner party.


lately i find my self roaming the streets of Little Saigon here in Westminster about twice a month.   my first experience was rather unpleasant, but that might be due to the "unknown" and my American ways.  i have since gained a little rapport in a few of the tiny shops.  occasionally i can make the vendors crack a smile or two and let me on a few of their secrets...with translation from a helpful customer.

i still stick out like a sore thumb,  have no idea what anyone is saying to or about me, but it has now become a little more familiar and i feel somewhat comfortable in the chaos of a Saturday afternoon.


VIETNAMESE MOCHA FLAN...BANH GAN
ORIGINAL found at Playing With My Food

12 eggs (apprx. 600g)
1/3 cup (35g) tapioca starch (best to weigh this)
4 tsp single acting baking soda, Alsa brand
pinch of baking soda
1 tsp espresso powder
1 tsp cocoa powder
1 can coconut milk
8 star anise
375g dark brown sugar

preheat oven to 350F
vegetable oil an 8x8 or 9x9 pan
in a sauce pan add coconut milk, sugar and star anise.  bring to a soft boil for a moment, then turn off heat and let steep and cool completely.  remove star anise.  whisk dry ingredients together in a small bowl.   lightly beat egg in a separate bowl then sift dry ingredients in. sifting it in helps create less lumps.  tapioca powder is a hard one to mix in, but combine as well as possible.
NOTE...single acting baking soda works ONCE, when the dry meets the wet.  so it is best not to let that sit.  try to work as quickly as possible (not super speedy) after this point to ensure nice air pocket tunnel  effect.
...at this time put your greased pan into the hot oven for about 5 minutes (empty greased pan).
add cooled syrup/milk mixture to the egg mixture.  combine well.
strain the batter mixture straight into the HOT greased baking pan.  lightly push through left-overs and get this into the oven.
bake at 350F for 30-35 minutes.
remove and cool in pan on wire rack to room temp.
refrigerate and serve chilled.

above is an example of the Banh Gan i found in Little Saigon.  this began the fascination and i have to buy it everytime i'm there.
PS...not to toot my horn or anything...but my trusty taste testers said they preferred mine over the store bought.

Friday, April 19, 2013

Sweet Spiced Vanilla Bean Bone Marrow Custard


one can't help feel primal and a bit righteous eating bone marrow for breakfast.  
absolutely decadent, healthy and delicious way to start your day.

OR...serve this for a flashy finish to a super carnivorous dinner party.

a dessert your guests won't forget.


don't be afraid...i urge you to try this...even for the conversation aspect alone.  you'll be surprised how unassuming the marrow is.  it tastes pretty must like a rich egg custard, but there's just a little something else to it...a certain je ne sais quoi...perhaps.

I'll bet my fellow "marrow mate", Trevor, at Sis. Boom Blog will be all over this one.


i know you probably think bone marrow is all fat, but they are mainly good fats...monounsaturated.  there are many health benefits as well.  i am not a nutritionist, but i have found that marrow is full of minerals, protein, calcium, vitamin A, phosphorous and iron.  in the 19th century is was regarded as a health food.  Queen Victoria was said to eat it every day...that might be over doing it just a bit, but...
a nice little marrow custard every now and then will do just fine.


SWEET SPICED VANILLA BEAN MARROW CUSTARD
with a few adaptions, but many thanks to the original found at
makes four(4)  7-8oz ramekins

1/4 to 1/3 cup rendered beef marrow
1 cup whole milk
3 large eggs, room temp.
1 vanilla bean, scraped or 1 tsp vanilla bean paste
2 to 3 Tbsp honey
4-5 cardamom pods, crushed open
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick, 2-3 inch
butter or veg. oil for ramekins


FIRST...but not absolutely necessary (i always do this)...soak your bones in salted water over night or 24 hours.  change the water 2-3 times with salt each time.  this draws some of the blood out.  blood is not bad, but nice white marrow is preferred.  sometimes it's the luck of the draw so you might want to buy more bones than you need so you can pick the prettiest marrow after you see it rendered.  freeze the remainder for "bone butter".
in a small sauce pan add milk, cardamom pods, cinnamon stick, star anise and vanilla bean scrapings.  bring to a boil and turn off heat.  set aside and let steep while preparing marrow.
in a large stack pot, add bones, cover with water and bring to a boil.  they should probably only need a few minutes until they are ready to render out the marrow (photo above).  if you boil them too long they will start to dissolve.  remove bones with slotted spoon and wait until they are cool enough to handle.  over a bowl, run a small knife between the bone and marrow.  the marrow should slide out of the large end of the bone.  there will be some liquid fat.  leave this behind when measuring out the 1/4-1/3 cup for recipe.
pre-heat oven to 350F
put some water on to boil for your bain marie and butter or grease your ramekins.
in a small bowl, mix the eggs and honey.  set aside.
strain you spiced milk into a medium sauce pan.  cut marrow into small-ish pieces for easy blending with an immersion blender.  add marrow to strained milk mixture.
NOTE... i used an immersion blender because i found that the mixture needed to be "slightly" rewarmed while blending.  the marrow can separate and act like solid fat if it meets cooler temperatures or if your marrow has sat and become solid...as did mine.
if your mixture is warm, slowly temper your eggs into the milk/marrow mixture.  blend with the immersion blender until smooth.  if it looks like the fat is separating...rewarm ever so slightly, while emulsifying  until it comes together and blends well. 
pour mixture into greased/buttered ramekins and place into bain marie/large roasting pan.  pour near-boiling water into roasting pan/dish about 1/2 way up the ramekin.  bake in oven 25-30 minutes...they should look just set...maybe a little wobbly in the center.  they will completely set from residual heat.  mine took 23 minutes.


i suggest serving them just a bit warm...on it's own or with a few fresh berries.  they keep well.  i refrigerated 3 and have rewarmed them slightly in the microwave for breakfast...
i feel like i start my day at the top of the food chain.


for more info on Rendering Bone Marrow check this post i did a while back.  next up?...Jennifer McLagan's savory Bone Marrow and Porchini Mushroom Custard from one of her fabulous books, "ODD BITS".  stay tuned




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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Banh Gan. Vietnamese Flan...aka "Liver Cake"


DON'T ADJUST YOUR SCREEN...

YES...this is the color of Banh Gan.
translation..."LIVER CAKE"

NO...THERE IS NOT LIVER IN THE CAKE!

BUT...this has got to be one of the top 5 weirdest things i have ever baked.  make that top 3.
and as you know......i know some weird stuff.


i was introduced to this odd dessert one day when i took my mother on an adventure to Little Saigon here in Westminster, CA.  our goal was to go to 2 of the establishments where they make fresh tofu and serve their wares right on the spot...Tan Tan Tofu seemed to be the most popular on the Internet...closed on Wednesday.  on to  Dong Phuong Tofu just the next street over.  
sorry to say, but the experience was less than we had anticipated...we felt like aliens.  i'm used to feeling out of place because i go to some out of the ordinary places, but the employees (probably the owners) didn't really want to help us AT ALL.  knowing that i was out of my element i was as nice as nice could be, but to no avail.  even my little mother felt uncomfortable.  we muddled our way through the language barrier, with no help from the guy behind the counter...bought a few pieces of fried tofu...good, but not great and didn't see any of the fresh tofu i was hoping for...at that point i didn't dare ask.
BUT at the register there was this odd flat squishy brownish looking dessert.
i saw the word "flan" and threw it in with our small purchase.


when we got home i had to check this "flan" out...
to be honest...first bite?...ewe!  this is NOT the flan i was used to.  way too sweet, gummy, odd texture and a waste of money, might have to throw it out...
second day?...second bite...hmmm, not too bad.  it would be wasteful to throw out...i'll keep it.
third day?...hey, i think i like this.  WHAT THE HECK IS IT?  i liked it so much i ripped off the label and googled Bahn Gan to see what exactly i was eating.  maybe i could find the recipe.


i only found 2...two recipes that really resembled the strange brown spongy liver looking block that i had become fascinated with.
most of the recipes out there looked like regular flan or creme caramel.  as you can see this is not your basic flan...as a matter of fact, it barely resembles a flan.  maybe a well cooked "WOOPS, I OVER COOKED THE FLAN" type of flan.

i wish i could explain exactly how weird this was to cook, but i will
cut to the chase...
this post is getting too long.  i could go on and on.
in short...i have already cooked this dessert 3 times and have more to report with a different recipe involving espresso and chocolate that is equally as good as this one.  i will post about banh gan #2 and #3 later.

if you want to try something out of the ordinary and totally weird, BUT DELICIOUS...
whip one of these up.  i have had quite a bit of fun asking friends to try it.  when i explain there is no liver involved at all, only then are they willing to give it a try.
i've already been asked for the recipe twice.

BANH GAN #4 is in the works...

by the way...what's the weirdest dessert you've ever come across ?...
  

BANH GAN...VIETNAMESE FLAN
very slightly adapted from QlinArt

7 large eggs
1 cup good quality coconut milk
2/3 cup dark brown sugar or raw cane sugar
1/4 tsp each...powdered cinnamon, anise, cloves.
i did not have powdered anise so i steeped 3 star anise in the coconut?sugar mixture.
1 tsp ginger juice (use garlic press)
1 tsp baking soda

preheat oven to 350 F degrees
grease a 8"x 3"x 4" loaf pan.  i used a glass pyrex because that's what i though would be good for a custard.  ALSO, i wanted to see what it was looking like from top to bottom.

melt sugar in coconut milk over medium high heat in  a medium sauce pan and boil or simmer for about 15 minutes.
add spices, ginger juice and baking soda.  whip with whisk for about 1 minute...it will foam up a bit.
remove mixture from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.
add slightly beaten eggs in a slow steady stream and beat the mixture until smooth with a whisk.
pour batter through a strainer into a preheated greased loaf pan

bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes in regular oven.
i think mine was in for 45 minutes.  i kept a close eye on it...not knowing what it was supposed to look like, i waited until the center looked like it had risen enough and i knew the eggs were cooked through. 
BY THE WAY...it was soooo odd looking while it cooked...something out of Alien.  it looked like it was alive all bubbling underneath it's thin brown crust.  i've never seen anything like it.

remove from oven and let the cake stand for at least 15 minutes for it to cool before removing from pan.
as the cake cools it will deflate considerably.  don't be alarmed.  it will condense into a firm custard.

chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours.
another BY THE WAY...right out of the oven this thing smelled like rotten eggs...sulfur in fact.  i thought, what the heck is this?...how can this be edible?  i put it in the fridge for a few hours and gave it a try...ewe, still rotten eggs.  yikes.  i was going to throw it out, but knew i needed to blog about it.  i let it sit in the fridge while i thought about it.   a day or two later i brought it out again...after messing around for about an hour taking pictures i realized the smell had gone away.  miraculously the smell had disappeared.

again...cut to the chase....
after it is cooked, put it in the fridge for at least a day or two.  then bring it out and give it a try.  maybe it will need some airing out as well.
i know this doesn't sound all that tempting to a lot of you out there, but it sure makes for great conversation.  if you take the chance and make it, i hope you will be pleasantly surprised like i was...
i'm still fascinated.



Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Healthy Breakfast Bread Custard


healthy, warm, filling...creamy, sweet, delicious.
protein, calcium and fiber that tastes like 
dessert for breakfast...
or is it breakfast for dessert?...

you can serve this as a guilt-free dessert on a sunday evening.
then..reheat for a quick healthy breakfast treat throughout the week with vanilla greek yogurt and fresh berries.


straight out of the oven, it's soft and custardy. add a few extra mini chips or shave some dark chocolate on before serving to make it look like more of a dessert.  on it's own it's fabulous, but you could  dress it up a bit... top with lite whipped cream, a slight drizzle of chocolate syrup or sugar free maple syrup...add some toasted almonds or pecans for a little texture?...fresh berries and some creme anglais...?


it's also great the next day, slightly warmed  or even right out of the fridge.  for a "get-up-and-go" breakfast i like to cut it into squares and layer it with yogurt and berries... drizzle with a little maple syrup in your favorite sturdy glass and your out the door in minutes with a satisfying meal to start your day.


HEALTHY BREAKFAST BREAD CUSTARD

8 - 10 slices whole wheat bread cut in 1 inch cubes (stale or slightly toasted)
i used Weight Watchers (45 cal.slice)
after the crust was cut off it weighed the same as 8 slices
1 cup whole milk
1 cup non fat milk
4 large eggs, slightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp maple extract
1/3 cup granulated Z Sweet, Erythritol or another sugar substitute
1/2 scoop vanilla whey protein powder, optional
i like to use Jay Robb Vanilla Whey Powder
1 tsp cinnamon 
1/4 tsp ground ginger
a dash of cardamom...or more if you like, optional
a few grates of fresh nutmeg
14 grams mini chocolate chips
more chips if you like but i wanted to keep it healthier

preheat oven to 350 F degrees
this cooks in a bain marie (water bath) so heat some water on the stove and put a larger baking dish in the oven to prepare for the bain marie.
dry out your bread on a rack for a few minutes while preheating...not toasted, just a little dried.  then cube bread in approximate 1 inch squares...set aside.
in a large bowl whisk eggs and extracts...then add milks and whisk...just blend, not foamy.
in a small bowl whisk together the dry...protein powder, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom and sugar substitute.  this will prevent potein powder and spices from clumping.
slowly whisk dry into wet.  incorporate well.
add bread cubes and fold or gently stir so that everything is coated and cubes are absorbing liquid...let sit for a few minutes and stir again...soaking is good if you have the time.

spray an 8 inch baking dish and pour mixture in...evenly distribute cubes in dish.
sprinkle mini chips evenly and poke a few down in mixture.  you'll be surprised how much that measly 14 grams of chips will cover.
bake for 35 - 40 minutes in the bain marie or until a knife is inserted and comes out clean with no moisture or leakage at the cut.

approx. NUTRITIONAL FACTS
for 8 servings

122 cals
13.5 carbs
10.5 protein
4.5 fats
3.2 fiber
3.6 sugars
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