Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Sesame Blancmange with Sweetened Compote of Adzuki Beans

For the blancmange:
4oz/110g sesame seeds
1 pint/570ml whole milk
5oz/150ml water
1.5oz/40g golden caster sugar
one sachet of powdered gelatine (11g)

For the compote:
4oz/110g adzuki beans, pre-soaked in 1 pint of water, soaking liquid reserved
3oz/75g golden caster sugar
1/2 tsp salt

Place the beans and their soaking liquid in a medium sized saucepan over medium to high heat and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 min, then turn the heat down. Cover with a lid and simmer for 30 min, topping with more water if necessary. Drain, reserving the cooking liquid, and make this up to 10oz/450ml, using cold water.
Return the liquid and the beans to the pan and add half the sugar. Stir to dissolve and continue to simmer for 10 min, this time without a lid. Then add the remaining sugar and salt and simmer till you have a nice syrupy consistency, about 15-20 min. Then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

Toast the sesame seeds in a frying pan for about 1 or 2 min, then remove them to a plate to cool. Bring the milk to a boil and add the sesame seeds, remove from heat and leave to infuse until it is completely cool.
Put the water and sugar into a pan over medium heat and stir to dissolve the sugar, boil for a min, then remove from heat and sprinkle in the gelatine powder, stirring until it is completely dissolved.
Now strain the sesame seeds and milk through a fine sieve into a large jug. When you have strained the milk through, press the seeds to extract the last bit of milk.
Add the gelatine mixture to the milk, whisking to combine thoroughly , then pour into four individual mini pudding basins, cover with cling film and chill in the fridge to set.

This was interesting. I had never used gelatin before, so that was totally new to me. It’s fun. I want to make more things into unlikely jello. I found a recipe for using gelatin with broccoli which I am definitely going to try.
This had a really subtle flavor to it. The sesame seeds added the kind of taste that’s really more of a scent, and the fact that it was a milk gelatin made it seem kind of creamy or something. It took a really long time to set completely, but once it did it was just lovely. The compote that goes with it is fabulous! It reminds me of the Chinese pastries that I used to get. It’s really sweet, but not cloyingly so, and the texture of the beans makes it unusual. I really like the compote. I plan on finding other things I can make from it.

Unfortunately I’m not sure where this recipe came from, as it’s just an un-labeled photo copy. I think it might have been from a Delia Smith book, but I don’t know that for sure. I though it would be a fun dessert to have with sushi (which I made again without the over dose of wasabi). It did compliment it really well, and though I plan to find many more fun things to do with gelatin, and with adzuki bean compote, I don’t know that I would make this again. So many desserts in this world, so little time.


Kevin said...

That looks really good and interesting tasting. Is blancmange the same thing as panna cotta? And if you can get it, I recommend using gelatin sheets which are easy to use. I once had a green tea blancmange that uses matcha powder, I'm sure it's just like your recipe but add some matcha to it.

AteThat said...

I think there is some difference between blancmange and panna cotta, because panna cotta always seem to hold their shape in a so much less wiggly fashion, but I'm not sure. I was actually planning on branching into panna cottas sometime soon (but not too soon, I've had too many desserts lately). Green tea blancmange sounds amazing though. I love green tea icecream, but I've not had it in other desserts before. I bet that flavor would work beautifully with the sliky-ness of the blancmange.