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Archive for June, 2011

I love the Internet. When I joined the foodie blog roll, the random five for the day included Tes at home and I liked it, so I joined the newsletter. Even though many ingredents I don’t even know (pandan leaves, dragonfruit) it’s always interesting to see new techniques and ideas. In what other configuration would I be exchanging recipes with someone in Thailand?

I put a bunch of recipes to try out later. One of them was Thai Sweet Gems. It looked easy and gorgeous. Also, I really liked the idea of the natural food coloring. I really don’t like artificial food coloring and almost never use it. On the other hand, sometimes you want somthing red, or green, or blue. It adds festivity and interest. I don’t know why it never occured to me to make my own, but now that it did, I could hardly wait to try it. An additional bonus was that it is non dairy yet creamy, so perfect for Kosher meals!

Natural food colors

The colours:

I used cherry juice for red (I thought that as it stains clothes so effectively it should be great in food 🙂 ), purĂ©ed kiwifruit for green, strained apricot jam for orange, and cocoa for brown. For the fruits, I pureed them and then passed them through a strainer. It was rather slow. The result I placed in seperate cups. The colors looked beautiful!

The recipe:

I mixed the coconut milk and the sugar, and when adding the flour I hit the first snag – it was very very lumpy. Not a few lumps here and there, but more lumpy then liquid. So I took out my trusty blender stick and blended it. First snag solved! Then I split it into 4 bowls, and I mixed the color into each one. The cherry looked purple (no idea why), and the cocoa looked brown, but the kiwi was a very pale green and the jam a very pale orange. If I would have told you to pick out the green one you would have found it, but if I would have asked you which color it is you would have said “off white”. Still, it tasted heavenly. I especially liked the kiwi.

After adding colors

Now for the cooking part. Tes wrote: “Cook the batter one by one over the medium heat. Vigorously and continuously stir until the batter become transparent and very thick (almost like dough). Remove from the heat and keep aside. Repeat the process for other batches.”

So I did that. The color surprisingly intensified during cooking. The result reminded me very much of the lemon pudding in lemon meringue pie – not the color or taste, of course, but the texture. Thick and slightly transparent.

After cooking

Then I wanted to put the coloured dough into a piping bag, and… the second snag: no piping bag. I looked where it was supposed to be, I looked where I could have put it, I looked where someone could have put it – no piping bag.

Sooooo… I tried to make one out of baking paper. At the beginning it worked, but I forgot the crucial point of taping the edges so it won’t fall apart so of course it fell apart in the middle. Armed with experience and sello-tape, I taped a second paper well and started to pipe the dough out to put in the oven. And… the third snag. It didn’t harden. It got a bit dry on the outside, but no “hard and crunchy on the outside”. I tried high temperature, low temperature, and placing it outside on my balcony. Nothing. It remained of the texture of the inside of a jelly bean. Tasty, but not what I wanted. What to do?

I called the kids, told them to taste my sweets and see if they like them. They happily ate ten as quickly as possible so I won’t stop them, and decreed that they loved it.

So the goal was achieved, one way or another 🙂

What I could save before they were eaten

More food coloring ideas:

Red: Cherries were good, probably red beetroot should work well too.

Green: I thought that mint leaves would make a beautiful green and tasty sweets. Kiwi wasn’t green enough.

Blue: Only blueberries come to mind, or blueberry jam, or purple plum jam for bluish-purple

Yellow: Apricots,  orange juice.

Orange: Carrot juice, mango juice.

I have a birthday coming soon, I wonder how my husband would react to cherry and mint flavoured flowers on my chocolate cake?  😼

Have a nice weekend!

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