All the knowledge I possess everyone can acquire, but my heart is all my own.
Remember when I told you that I bought a whole big bunch of pandan leaves for next to nothing? Well, I finally got around to doing something with them. My ice cream days are not over yet (with our weather, it will never be over), so I decided to turn the distinctive pandan scent into one of my favorite frozen treat flavors, pandan ice cream.
If you've never smelled pandan before, its scent is somewhat familiar to white bread, jasmine rice and basmati rice because all of these contain the same aromatic compound, (2-acetyl-1-pyrroline, if you must know). To extract the sweet, piney fragrance of pandan, I blended several leaves with the milk and squeezed the pandan juice out from that. Then I used the pandan-flavored milk to make the custard base for the ice cream.
There was a ripe honey melon in the kitchen that just begged to be used so I decided to take pity on it and included it in the ice cream. To act like a sidekick to the main pandan star, you know. The melon was simply chopped up into little cubes and only stirred into the pandan custard when it was semi-frozen. The combination was a winner, well my girlfriends certainly loved the subtleness of both flavor profiles!
Pandan is a very versatile ingredient and can be used as a flavoring across a range of dishes, from sweet to savory. I've also showcased the use of pandan leaves in a savory dish, Pandan Chicken over at Spicie Foodie blog where I am guest posting today. If you're my friend, you'll probably want to check it out right after you finish here. :-)
Lastly, I got tagged by my blogger pal, Michael of Me, My Food and I to identify 7 of my most memorable posts throughout my blogging 'career' (LOL, that's what it feels like sometimes...*work*). It was so hard to choose because there were so many posts I liked most of which had my life stories tied to them. Perhaps I should start a new game called 70-links, that should be more realistic. Or maybe not.
Without further ado, here are the 7 links I consider most:
Beautiful, Popular, Controversial, Helpful, Surprisingly Successful, Overlooked (did not get deserved attention), Proud Of.
Now, I'm supposed to pass the game on to someone else but I'm not going to stress you all about it. I know plenty of people who've already posted up their 7-links but in case you haven't yet and you're good at leaving me comments, then I'm tagging you!
I'm taking the rest of the week off because it's now Eid, marking the end of our fasting month. I'll be busy visiting family and friends right into the weekend. Well, actually in Brunei we celebrate Eid for a whole month! Forget diets, forget the gym for now, it's all about guilt-free (hah!) feasting. I shall be back next week wearing my new set of wardrobe, two sizes bigger.
Pandan and Honey Melon Ice Cream
1 cup whole milk
2 pandan leaves, chopped coarsely
1/4 cup milk
1/3 cup caster sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 cup heavy cream, chilled
1 cup honey melon cubes (small)
1 cup honey melon cubes (small)
1. Place 1 cup of milk and pandan leaves in a blender and process until smooth. Strain the mixture using a fine mesh sieve, and press the pandan leaves down with the back of a spoon to extract the remaining liquid.
2. Pour this mixture into a medium, heavy-bottom saucepan and bring to boiling point. Remove from heat.
3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk the remaining 1/4 cup of milk, sugar and cornstarch until well combined. Add the cornstarch mixture to the hot milk and return saucepan to heat. As soon as the mixture reaches boiling point, reduce heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens to a custard-like consistency. Stir in the chilled heavy cream until well combined.
4. Leave pandan custard to cool to room temperature. Once cooled, refrigerate until well chilled, about 2 hours in the refrigerator or 45 minutes in the freezer.
5. Pour the custard into the ice-cream maker and freeze according to the instructions of your ice-cream machine. When the ice cream is semi-frozen (about 15-20 minutes), pour the chopped melon into the bowl of the ice cream maker and churn until the fruit is well incorporated, about 1 minute. Transfer to a container and freeze until ready to serve. Remove from freezer and let stand for 10 minutes until softened before serving.