Sunday, July 21, 2013

Petaling Street LuoHanGuo Longan Drink 罗汉果龙眼雪 - (MFF - KL/Selangor)

This Petaling Street Luo Han Guo Longan drink may seems ordinary. Ingredients are easily available. No big deal. But this drink will makes you goes "Wooohooo!!!" and then making the 'slurp slurp' sounds when one is eating, and it gives you brain freeze too!

I had this once, and that was about 9 to 10 years back then. I remembered I waited under the hot sun beside the air mata kucing stall (literally longan drink stall), waiting for my turn to collect my bowl of ice cold drink. And when i savor it, I starts to "oohhh~ahhhs~woohh~!!!". It's so concentrated, so sweet, so cold, so refreshing, so smooth and satisfying! It's under the hot sun, and my hand is holding that metal bowl. My palm's heat melt the ice even faster. This kind of experience is really priceless!

So, here's the thing. I'm trying to replicate the original Petaling Street luo han guo longan drink. Since it is the effort of replicating, I must make sure it taste as close to the original as I could lah. And for it's originality sake, I intentionally used a metal bowl to take a photo of this. It looks kinda quite alike! Hahaha...

There's a way to savor this longan drink. The whole idea is to cook up a pot of luo han guo and longan infused essence, with mad sweetness. And then, pour the infusion over to a bowlful of ice. Let it melt away, and slowly savor. You could argue that it is just too sweet, or it is more convenient to just add more cold water in it to make it faster instead of waiting the ice to melt away. But well, you know? Original one is like that mahhh... :D

If I wanna dilute the infused essence with water, I might as well boil a big pot of luo han guo and longan water loh. What makes it so special? Correct? This one is different. This is the super "kaw" (thick and strong) version of luo han kuo longan drink. They are much more "kaw" than the Kopi-kaw selling at your neighborhood kopitiam. They are like... espresso shot! Woooh!!!

I discussed with my mother about this longan drink. She argued that there's candied melons and melons flesh strips in there! I looked at her with my amazed look. Cos she usually doesn't even remember what she had last week! And now she tells me she remember all these donkey years back thingy?! Hahaha..

So, to kill the curiosity of the cat, I decided to add a handful of candied melon in. Oh well, it's a copycat version la. We can't be having the exact recipe from the stall. Whatever they display at the stall and whatever can be found in the bowl of longan drink can be the possible ingredients. So, anything is possible!

Ingredients (Serves 8 to 10, with bowlful of ice)
(Source : Wendyinkk, with modification)
  • 400g Fresh Winter Melon
  • 100g Candied Melon
  • 3 Luo Han Guo
  • 100g Dark Longan Flesh
  • 250g Rock Sugar
  • 2.2L Water

  1. Discard the winter melon seeds, give the skin a good scrub. Cut them into big chunk (skin on), and set aside. 
  2. In a pot, bring water, winter melon chunks and candied melon to a boil. Lower the fire (the lowest fire) and let it simmer for 2 hours. I'm lazy, I cooked mine for 1.5 hours only. I just can't wait. 
  3. Wash the luo han guo. Crack them. Put them into the pot together with rock sugar and let it continue to boil for another hour. 
  4. Strain the infusion. Pick up some winter melon flesh and candied melons from the strained remainder. You don't have to pick up all of them. Just abit will do. Chop them into small piece, or into strips. 
  5. Put dark longan flesh and chopped melon flesh into the strained infusion and boil it for another 20mins. You should be getting about 1 litre of concentrated infusion at the end.
  6. Let it cool down completely. Chill them in the fridge if you are making it for the next day. 
  7. Take a FULL bowl of ice, scoop some infusion over. Let them melt for 5 mins and slowly savor it. 
Note : There's still alot of flavor on the strained remainder. You can add another 2L water to boil it again. It will give you flavorful longan drinks too. But it's just not as concentrate as the infusion that we had earlier.

This is the dark longan flesh that I got from the chinese medicine hall. They taste really sweet and smells good. If you are replicating this longan drink, I'd highly encourage you to use this type of dark colored longan flesh instead of the lighter color longan, which is usually dehydrated.

This luo han guo and longan infused essence is VERY concentrated and sweet. But when it melts with the bowl of ice, the sweetness is just nice. I serve a bowl to my MIL. For the 1st sip, she complained. But after I explained, and ask her to drink it slowly instead of gulping the bowl of longan drink like a Garfield, she then slow down and let the ice melts away. And after she finished the 1st bowl, she asked if she could have another bowl. Haha..

One of the feature of this drink is the generous presence of longan flesh is not only making it a thirst quencher, but also a bowl of nice dessert too. When the ice started to melt away and it's just nice to drink em'.

So, do you prefer the metal bowl photo that gives more originality look? Or this tauhuay bowl that is arguably better looking?

No matter what, taste is still the most important. Do give it a try! :)

I am submitting this post to Malaysian Food Fest KL Selangor Month hosted by Shannon of Just as Delish.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

Passion Fruit Tofu Cheesecake (百香果豆腐芝士蛋糕)

Ahhh... This is easy. This is one of my favorite cheesecake, and this recipe is going to be in my collection. But at the same time, if I don't share this good recipe, I feel that this recipe wouldn't worth anything. I won't want good recipes to be another buried treasure.

I had been wanting to make cold-set cheese cake for the longest time. Not because I like it. It's because I just feels like doing it. I'm not a fan of cold-set cheesecakes. Reason is because they are tad too rich to my liking, and to the extend that I sometimes find it bored. Another reason is because I knew I never able to finish a slice of cheesecake on my own over hi-tea. Never. This also makes me hesitate in making cheesecake at home, unless I can get something light in both texture and taste. Like this.... tofu cheesecake :)

(Source : Zen Can Cook, with modification)

For the base crust
  • 10 pcs Digestive Biscuits, crushed into crumbs
  • 110g Unsalted Butter, melted
  • 4 tbsp Castor Sugar
  • 1 tsp Ground Ginger
  • ½ tsp Fine Salt
For the cheesecake
  • 400g Silken Tofu
  • 500g Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 3 tbsp Passion Fruit Juice from fresh and ripe Passion Fruit
  • 1 Vanilla Bean, slit and scrapped (I used Madagascar Vanilla Bean)
  • ½ cup Heavy Cream or Whipping Cream (about 120ml)
  • 3 tsp Powdered Gelatin
  • ¾ cup Castor Sugar (about 85 grams)
For the jelly topping
  • Passion Fruit Juice from 5 fresh and ripe Passion Fruit
  • 1 tsp Powdered Gelatin 

Note : 
1. DO NOT get mixed up between silken tofu and silken egg tofu. They are two different type of tofu. If you get the silken egg tofu, you will ruin the whole cake.

2. Some of you might face problem in melting the gelatin powder evenly. Some will end up with lumps. If you are worried that you can't handle the gelatin powder well, here's the tips. In a small bowl, add a tablespoon of water (at room temperature), and then add in the gelatin powder. Wait for the gelatin powder to bloom and it will bloom into soft texture. Then, you could add these soft gelatin into the hot cream / hot passion fruit juice. Of course, you have to continue to stir it until it dissolved.


For the base crust
  1. Preheat oven to 175 degree. Butter an 8 inch baking dish or ring. I used 9 inch instead. It's up to you. If you are using a ring, line the bottom with aluminium foil and place on a baking tray. 
  2. Put digestive biscuits crumbs in a bowl, add in castor sugar, ground ginger and salt. Mix well with a fork. Add the melted butter and mix until combined. 
  3. Transfer crumbs mixture to the prepared baking tin and press it down. Ensure it is being well pressed evenly. Bake it in the oven for 10 to 15 minutes or until golden. Let it cool completely. 
For the cheesecake
  1. Silken tofu and 3 tablespoons of passion fruit juice into the processor. Blend until smooth. 
  2. Heat heavy cream / whipping cream in a small saucepan under low fire, until cream is warm to the touch. Add powdered gelatin bit by bit and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and let it cool. 
  3. In a mixing bowl, add in softened cream cheese, sugar, salt and vanilla seeds. Mix until fluffy. 
  4. Fold in the cream and passion fruit tofu mixture until incorporated. 
  5. Pour the mixture into the crust and refrigerate until set. At least 7 hours. 
For the jelly topping
  1. Strain the passion fruit juice and place it in a small sauce pan
  2. Heat strained passion fruit juice in a small saucepan under low fire, until juice is warm to the touch. Add powdered gelatin bit by bit and stir until dissolved. Remove from heat and let it cool. 
  3. Gently pour the cooled passion fruit mixture on top.
  4. Rinse some passion fruit seeds and place on top of the set cheesecake. Let it set in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before you gently unmould it by wrapping the side of the cake with a piece of hot towel (or use blow torch if you have), and serve. 

Do not judge it's taste by it's look. Ripe passion fruit might looked deceiving on the outside. But you won't know the goodness until you cut it. Look at this... Isn't it beautiful?

Gently pour the cooled passion fruit mixture on top.

Add some passion fruit seeds on top and let it set in the fridge for at least 2 hours.

For the 1st time when I looked at tofu cheesecake recipe, I was like... "Huh?? Tofu?? Really??". But after I tried this soft, light, sweet and with a hint of tang on this tofu cheesecake, I totally changed the way I feel. The taste is very characteristic. It was creamy, fruity, with a hint of vanilla. This is the kinda cheesecake I like :)

Look at this. They are soft and delicate. The existence of vanilla beans gives really good flavor to the cheesecake. With the crumbly base, taste sweet and light salty, it really gives every mouthful an awesome experience.

Do try it out!

Additional Note : Incase if you are concerned if this cake would heavy tofu taste. Rest assured that it won't. It will only gives you a hint of tofu taste, as if you are eating soft and light cheesecake with the existence of soya bean taste. If you can accept eating soya bean pudding, yes, that's the taste. But the soya bean taste is much much milder. Because you have the richness of cream cheese, good flavour of vanilla and the tang of passion fruit taste blended together.