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Fest recipes: Dou4 hua1, cheesecake jelly squares, double choc chip cookies

October 13, 2009

What six people made over 11 hours:

1) four pots of dou4 hua1 (豆花, tau huay, soyabeancurd jelly: served warm or cold, a dessert served in East and Southeast Asia)
2) three 9″x13″ pans of peach cheesecake jelly squares (layer of cheesecake + fruit piece + layer of jelly)
3) about 250 double chocolate chip cookies

Cost of ingredients: $135
Revenue: $260

Our ingredients and everyone hard at work.

My camera ran out of batteries as I was taking my first picture AT Spring Fest. So no pictures, but the festival was insannne. It was surprisingly packed. There were more than 50 food stands, selling mostly Asian and S-E Asian food. Instead of pinyin (or even Cantonese pinyin), most of the food was labeled in Hokkien or Indonesian, definitely different than what I’m used to. I spent $35 that night on food for all of us to share, including $9 on cupcakes/muffins.

It was fun selling food we had made ourselves, and the entire event was very ru4 nao4 and exciting. I still don’t have a sufficient English translation for that word; exciting is the best I’ve come up with so far. Selling our food reminded me of selling cookies/cupcakes on Sproul and Girl Scout cookies in front of grocery stores: hawking your wares and trying to engage potential customers in conversations.

Jump for recipes!
A. dou4 hua1 豆花
B. peach jelly cheesecake squares
C. double chocolate chip cookies

Soybeans, lactone, and 2 muslin bags.

Soybeans, lactone, and 2 muslin bags.

A. Dou4 hua1 豆花
Served with a simple sugar syrup.
Recipe from Chris Toh.

Makes 1 big pot, about 20 cups of dou4 hua1.

10½ oz (300 g) soybeans (Aus = soyabeans)
14½ cups (3.5 L) water
3 Tbsp cornstarch (Aus = cornflour)
1¼ tsp lactone*
3 pandan leaves**

for the syrup: brown sugar and/or gula melaka (palm sugar from Malaysia)

1. Soak soybeans in water for at least 4 hours. Discard the water.
2. Blend the beans with 14½ cups of water (may need to split up in batches depending on the capacity of your blender.)
3. Filter the blended beans using 2 layers of muslin bag, conserving the soybean liquid.
4. Discard the solid blended bean bits (although they’re edible, if you can think of something to use them for). From the soybean liquid, set aside ½ cup to keep at room temperature.
5. Add the pandan leaves to the remaining soybean liquid and bring to a slow boil. Let simmer for about 10 minutes, then turn the heat off and let the liquid rest for a few minutes. You want the bubbles to all leak out so the dou4 hua1 can coagulate smoothly.
6. In a large bowl, add the cornstarch and lactone to the ½ cup of the room temperature soybean liquid and stir well to mix.
7. Add the hot (but no longer boiling) soybean liquid to the cornstarch mixture. DO NOT STIR.
8. Let solidify at room temperature, undisturbed. You can refrigerate the dou hua after it has come to room temperature.
9. Make the syrup: You will need about a 2:1 ratio of dou hua to syrup. Bring brown sugar and/or gula melaka and water to a boil and let it simmer for a few minutes, adding a pandan leaf for flavor if desired. This comes the part where you adjust proportions of sugar to water for your own taste, but you want it to be pretty sweet because the dou4 hua1 will have its own liquid.

*So what the heck is lactone? It’s a white, crystalline powder that serves to coagulate the beancurd. Formally, it’s glucono delta-lactone. Chris brought his over from Singapore. A quick web search reveals you can also use edible gypsum powder (you want “cooked,” not “raw”), but I don’t know where you could find either lactone or edible gypsum powder in the States…so good luck! A starting point might be Chinese markets or Chinese medicine shops.
** And what’s pandan? Pandan leaves are a common flavoring agent in Southeast Asian foods. I’ve seen them sold in Asian markets here, but your best bet in the States is to go to a market that caters to Southeast Asians, rather than to East Asians.

Lactone. Let me know where you find if in the Bay Area!

Lactone. Let me know where you find if in the Bay Area!

B. Peach jelly cheesecake squares
Recipe from Joel Tan.

Makes a 9″x13″ pan of 24 cheesecake squares.

10.5 oz (300 g) digestive biscuits (thin, wholemeal cookies), blended or crushed
11 Tbsp (160 g) butter, melted

8 oz (250 g) philly cream cheese
10.5 fl oz (300 mL) heavy cream
8.75 fl oz (260 mL) condensed milk
.9 oz (30 g) gelatin(e) (comes in powdered form) + hot water
lemon rind from ½ – 1 lemon (depending on how lemony you feel)

~24 1″ pieces of fruit: we used canned peach slices, cut in half.
(Our friends have used strawberries, halved lengthwise and cut into heart shapes. Really cute)

170 g (6 oz) powdered lemon-flavored jelly, prepared at double concentration (170 g powder for 500 mL jelly)

1. Combine crushed biscuits and butter. Press into bottom of 9″x13″ pan and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
2. Beat philly cream cheese, cream, and condensed milk until smooth. (We used a blender.)
3. Dissolve gelatin in enough hot water to dissolve. Mix dissolved gelatin in cream mixture until smooth. Stir in lemon rind. Pour mixture over crust and refrigerate for another 15 minutes.
3. Meanwhile, prepare the powdered jelly, but at double concentration. For us, that meant using 170 of powder for 250 mL hot water + 200 mL hot water.
4. After the cheesecake has solidified, press fruit slices into cheesecake.
5. Ladle the dissolved jelly over cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight before cutting and serving.

After refrigerating the crust for 15 minutes, spreading the cheesecake filling:

After then refrigerating the cheesecake+crust for 15 minutes, pressing fruit pieces into the filling.

Dissolved jelly mixture ladled over the fruit+cheesecake+crust. We didn’t want to pour the jelly mixture directly into the pan in case it made a dent in the cheesecake.

Our total 3 pans of cheesecake.

And, last but not least:

C. Double chocolate chip cookies

Recipe from Siying Lim.

Makes 100 cookies

2 cups butter
2 cups granulated sugar
2 cups brown sugar

4 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoons salt
3 cups blended oatmeal (measure oatmeal & blend to a fine powder)
18 oz (500 g) Cadbury bar (grated)

4 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla

3 cups chopped nuts (your choice)
24 oz (680 g) chocolate chips

1. Cream butter and sugar together.
2. Sift together flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Add sifted ingredients, blended oatmeal, and grated chocolate to the butter and sugar.
3. Beat eggs and vanilla together, and stir in well with the flour and and sugar mixture.
4. Stir in nuts and chocolate chips.
5. Form flattened 1½” balls on a greased baking sheet and bake at 350 degrees F for 13-15 minutes. Overbaking leads to a loss of their delicious chewy insides.


3 Comments leave one →
  1. Sophia permalink
    October 14, 2009 14:40

    Sounds delicious! 🙂

    I miss you. :/

  2. October 17, 2009 04:11

    Hello from Russia!
    Can I quote a post in your blog with the link to you?

    • aussieaussieaussieoioioi permalink*
      October 17, 2009 20:43

      Hello! Yes you may; thank you very much for asking!

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