Homemade soy milk & soy pudding

Recently, I started thinking of making my own soy milk as the ones available for sale here contain only 6-11% soy. They were marketed as soy drinks/water rather than soy milk and I felt that they just lacked the soy flavour that comes from soy milk that we get back in Malaysia.

My initial hunt on the Internet churned out recipes that used a soy machine but I wasn’t keen on spending €100 minimum on something which I wasn’t consuming on a regular basis. Then I discovered that I had the recipe for homemade soy milk all along in one of my Asian cookbooks. So it was off to get a blender and some soy beans. I found a good deal on a no-name housebrand style blender for €20 and some organic hulled soy beans at the organic shop where I go to regularly to get my supply of grains, legumes and sugar.

Operation Soy Milk-Pudding finally started!

I soaked the beans yesterday afternoon in cold water and changed the water again before I went to bed. This morning, when I woke up, the water was less cloudy and the beans were quite soft. With Noah watching me in the high chair – we had just finished breakfast – I set to work on grinding up beans with clean drinking water until they resemble a paste or thick batter of some sort. I ground the beans up twice to ensure that I broken the beans down to a fine paste which would mean that I would be able to get more “milk” out of them.

Now here’s the tough part. I squeezed out every single drop of soy milk from the okara (the soy bean pulp) by hand with the aid of an unused cotton cloth nappy. The okara is placed aside; I plan to oven dry it and keep it as a flour to be used in baked goods as okara is high in calcium, iron and other nutrients. The resulting milk is then placed over the stove top to boil and cook – important as crude soy milk don’t go down very well.

(If you have a soy milk maker, you won’t have to do all this as some machines can churn out milk with just dry soy beans. But we all know why I don’t have a soy milk maker!)

The result is a very nice and creamy soy milk that isn’t too thick. It doesn’t have much of a taste to it – maybe because I didn’t add a lot of pandan essence (I wanted to retain the natural soy flavour) but sweetening it with agave syrup or honey made it much more palatable!

Homemade soy milk

Homemade soy milk

Ingredients

250 gms yellow soy beans
1.5 liters water
1-2 drops of pandan/vanilla essence / some fresh pandan leaves

Method

  1. Soak the beans in cold water overnight or for 8 hours minimum. I did it for around 16 hours just to be on the safe side. When ready, wash and remove any debris or skin. Place aside.
  2. Blend the beans together with some water in a food processor or blender until the beans are finely ground and form a paste or thick batter. Add more water into the blender if necessary. Repeat until all the beans are ground – this takes about three tries. When they are done, blend the paste again to ensure a good fine grind.
  3. Using a cheesecloth or muslin (I used traditional white cotton nappies which are made from cotton muslin), squeeze out the liquid from the soy paste. Patience is a virtue at this stage. Place aside the okara (ground soy bean pulp) as it can be used as a flour or in omelettes, etc.
  4. When ready, heat the soy milk over a medium fire until it comes to a boil. Add in the pandan/vanilla essence or fresh leaves and turn the fire down to allow the milk to simmer. Continue to cook the milk on low heat for at least 15 minutes.
  5. Once ready, place the milk aside to cool and store in the fridge. You can serve this with some sugar, syrup or honey to add sweetness to it.

NOTE: Because this is homemade and do not contain any preservatives, please consume within 48 hours.

This is a recipe for a soy pudding or tau foo fah with a twist. Instead of making tau foo fah with gypsum powder or GDL (Glucono delta-lactone) – I can’t seem to find them here in Dole (I might have better luck in Lyon) – I made mine with agar agar, the vegetarian sister of gelatin. I didn’t really follow any recipe but instead just the instructions at the back of the packet.

The resulting pudding is a little firmer than what I would like it to be and I did forget to remove the “skin” off the surface as it was cooling down. Still, it makes for a nice dessert, especially when paired with the ginger sugar syrup that I made. For the syrup, I used a mixture of sugars that I have at home. Do note that coconut sugar isn’t the same as palm sugar. Coconut sugar is made from the coconut flower bud whereas palm sugar is made from the sap of the palm. Coconut sugar has a very lovely fragrant and dark honey colour to it and I find it to rival the flavour of palm sugar.

Noah had a few spoonfuls of this and was screaming for more when the bowl was empty! I reckon it’s the fragrant, smooth yet textured feel of the soy pudding that he likes.

Soy pudding / Tau foo fah

Soy pudding

Ingredients

(A) Pudding
600 ml soy milk (see recipe above)
1/2 tbsp agar agar

(B) Ginger syrup
1″ ginger, thinly sliced
25 gms white sugar
30 gms brown sugar
50 gms coconut sugar
10 gms palm sugar
Approx 30 ml water

Method

  1. In a pot, heat up 300 ml soy milk until it begins to simmer. Add in the agar agar and stir well. Add the remainder of the soy milk and bring the mixture to a boil for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Remove from the heat and pour into a mould, ramekins or pan of your choice using a sieve. Place aside for a few minutes to cool before removing the “skin” (a skin would form over the surface – you could leave it as it’s edible but for appearance sake, it looks better removed).
  3. Allow the mixture to set – about 2-4 hours – before placing it in the fridge.
  4. Place all the ingredients for the syrup in a small pot and slowly heat over a medium-low fire until the sugar has dissolved. Use a whisk to stir and incorporate the sugar with the water.
  5. Once the mixture bubbles, turn down to a low heat and allow it to simmer for a further 5 minutes. Be careful not to let it come to a boil.
  6. When ready, remove and store in a clean, glass jar. Allow the syrup to cool before storing it in the fridge.
  7. Serve your soy pudding with drizzles of the syrup – it goes down well hot or cold.
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A last minute birthday wish.

If I we had the space…

If I we had the money…

I wouldn’t mind getting my hands on a piano, especially considering that I would have access to music sheets of all sorts, courtesy of the local library.

I miss tinkling the keys and it doesn’t help that we live in a rented place. Hm, you know what would really really make a great birthday present?

A house with a nice garden.

My own home.

(Can’t you tell that I’m sick of rental spaces?)

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Pandan chiffon cake

Eva enjoying some pandan chiffon cake!

On a whim, I decided to try my hand at making a pandan chiffon cake for the first time (people posting pictures of their chiffon cakes while I’m working on mens diamond rings reviews don’t help!). I wanted another flavour – lemon or orange – but didn’t have any on hand. Despite my pandan plant looking really sad, I was reluctant to lob off some leaves so have decided to use pandan paste and essence I purchased during my last trip to Paris Store in Lyon.

A quick search on google yield a lot – in fact, too many – results and I had to slowly go through them to pick them right ones. I finally settled for three and adapted my recipe to suit the chiffon cake tins I had stocked up on when we were packing to move from Singapore. They are mini chiffon cake tins from Phoon Huat – about 6-7″ in diameter – and because of their size, I had to halve the recipe…which required further time expanded into calculating and making sure I had everything I needed.

The result is an edible cake that is quite fragrant but still lacking in original flavour and taste. If you have access to real pandan leaves (about 10-20 small-medium sized leaves with 1/4 cup water should do the trick) and freshly squeezed coconut milk, USE IT. For someone who has no access to such luxuries these days, I’d have to settle for a twin. Someone isn’t really complaining tho (as you can see in the picture above) – she wolfed down a good three slices!

Pandan chiffon cake

Pandan chiffon cake
Adapted from Little Teochew, Kitchen Tigress and Kuali.com

Ingredients

(A) Egg yolk based batter

3 egg yolks (from large eggs)
35 gms coconut milk
1-2 tsp pandan essence/paste
75 gms all purpose flour/cake flour
2 gms baking powder
45 gms castor sugar (drop this to 40 gms – I find it a little on the sweet side)
1-2 gms salt (do not omit as this contributes to the flavour)
42 gms grapeseed oil/vegetable oil

(B) Meringue base
4 egg whites (from large eggs)
50 gms sugar (drop this to 45 gms)
1/4 tsp cream of tartar

Method

  1. Preheat your oven to 160°C and put aside an ungreased chiffon cake tin. I used two mini chiffon cake tins but this should be okay for a big 15-18 cm tin, if you have one
  2. Separate the egg whites from the egg yolk. Place the egg whites in a separate clean and dry bowl and put aside for later use.
  3. Mix the egg yolk, sugar, coconut milk and pandan essence/paste well. Sift in the flour, baking powder and salt. Gradually add in the oil as you’re folding in the flour. Be careful not to overbeat. I usually do this by hand. When it’s done, put aside.
  4. Add the cream of tartar to the egg whites and whisk until foamy before gradually adding in the sugar – take your time. Do not dump all the sugar at once; this will result in clumps and lumps forming. Beat your egg whites until they resemble stiff peaks (you can lift the whisk and the egg whites will hold its own shape OR place the bowl over your head – if you don’t have a mess on your hair, you’re good to go!).
  5. Take a small amount of egg whites and fold it into the egg yolk batter. Use a spatula – not a whisk or wooden spoon. Be gentle and take your time. Once the egg whites are well-incorporate and your batter has been “tempered”, add in the remaining egg whites. Fold gently until they are well-incorporated.
  6. Slowly pour into the cake tins; jiggle the cake tin A LITTLE to ensure that everything is level (no banging please) and level and smooth the top if necessary.
  7. Place the cake tins on the lowest rake, lower the temperature to 150°C and bake for 45 minutes. When ready, immediately remove from the oven and invert it – I turn it upside down and placed it over glass jars. The higher it is from the table, the better. Let it cool for 30 minutes to an hour and remove with a serrated knife.

NOTE: Chiffon cakes don’t keep for long as they tend to dry out fast so this is best eaten fresh. If you must keep it, consider wrapping it in foil and storing in the fridge or placing it in an airtight container.

Pandan chiffon cake

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Knit: Simple Handspun Socks

Simple Handspun Socks

Simple Handspun Socks
Pattern | Adapted from Socks on a Plane by Laura Linneman
Yarn | Simple Scarves Handspun Superwash Merino in Cherry Peach
Needles | 2.75 mm & 2.25 mm DPNs

After nearly a year of no sock-knitting, I decided to cast one my first pair using my own handspun. To count for the thick yarn, I decided to continue using 2.75 mm needles as I have always and also increase the stitch count from 64 to 68. While the resulting sock fits just alright on the foot, it was a little baggy on the leg. If you look closely, you can see that I waited too long to start the gusset, resulting in a little crinkly action going on on the instep. O’well…the socks still fit and they’ll do for home wear.

If I had to change anything, I would knit these in a smaller size around the leg and then drop another size (2.25 mm like what I did for the cuff) for the bind off. The Russian bind-off works like a charm and the cuff is a definite improvement compared to my previous attempts. The only snag in the whole thing is the length of the leg. I underestimated the yardage; had thought I was going to run out of yarn so I bound off the socks sooner than needed.

This project has inspired me to come up with a goal – to knit at least one sock a month starting from September (when I started) till June or July next year. This should help me destash all that fingering-weight yarn that I have lying around. I do foresee one thing though. With all this knitting action going on, I’ll have less time for my quilting project and winter knitting for the kids. Hm, time to manage projects again!

Ravelry Project Page Ravelry info available here.

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Socktopia: Simple Handspun Socks (WIP)

Simple Handspun Socks: Progress

In conjunction with the annual knitting craze called Socktober (guess which month knitters hold this event?), I’ve decided to run a little thing of my own; a goal of some sorts. For the next six months to a year (I haven’t exactly decided), I’ll be knitting socks on top of the other things I have to work on. My plan is to at least churn out four to six socks – most for myself with a pair or two for the hubs despite his complaints about it being too warm (the socks that is).

To start off, I’m been working on a simple pattern to suit my feet. The previous “standard” patterns don’t seem to fit me very well – they are usually too tight around the heel which probably means the foot length and circumference is off. So I’ve come up with a basic toe up, gusset heel pattern and have been diligently making notes on just about every modification I made. My current issue is with the gusset heel – it doesn’t seem to line up nicely with the instep stitches so that needs a little bit more work, especially if I were to incorporate cables into the picture.

But for now, this sock will do…can’t wait to finish the pair. I reckon it’ll look downright cherry for winter!

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