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

Compote:
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.

Blancmange:
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.

2 comments:

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.