Friday, March 27, 2009

Sweet Egg Custard

I have always liked Chinese desserts. The reason is that they use very simple ingredients and the method of cooking is mostly through steaming and stewing. The varieties are not as heavy nor fattening as the Western choices which has more quantities of cream and butter.

I remember during a certain year, these type of steamed Chinese desserts got very popular in Hong Kong that you can simply find every dessert shop at every corner of the streets. Some are served cold with cuts of fruits and some preferred hot or warm, drizzled with syrup laced with ginger or cooked with palm sugar. For the past few years I have been to Hong Kong, I don't see many of these types of shops anymore and most probably the new generation prefers to eat cakes and Western desserts as I see more cake shops and bakeries.

This dessert is the easiest thing to make and the most important thing to follow closely is to strain the egg mixture to rid off the bubbles and steam at medium heat with the bowls covered with foil paper. This is very important so that the steam droplets do not have contact with the egg, or else the surface and the whole custard will come out rough with holes all over and nothing smooth about its texture! For the more health conscious, an egg white version of the same dessert can be made instead. According to the ever so informative Chinese, this dessert is said to give a better skin complexion and good for kids. It can be served both hot or cold but the texture seems to be smoother when it is hot. It is very versatile as it is neither heavy nor light, just the right kind of sweet for the palate on this sunny but cool spring day. The quantity of this recipe can be doubled.

Ingredients :
3 eggs (room temperature)
1-1/2 cup cold milk
1/3 cup cold water
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp sugar

Method :

1)Prepare steamer. Boil water.
2)Beat the eggs to combine the white & yolk. Add in the sugar and whisk till sugar dissolves.
3)Add in the milk and beat for 1 min.
4)Add in the water and beat for 1 min.
5)Strain the mixture into 4 small bowls. Slight presence of film of bubbles at the rim is alright, as long as the surface part is smooth. If bubbles appear, use a paper towel to slowly dab it.
6)When the steamer is ready, turn down heat to medium. Cover the bowls with foil and put into steamer and steam for 10 mins.
7)Toast 1/2 tsp each of white and black sesame seeds, for 1 min. Remove from heat.
8)The egg custard is done as soon as it is set and slightly wiggly. Don't over steam or else it will become tough.
9)Remove from heat and sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds. Serve hot or refrigerate with foil cover.

Serves : 3 or 4


Daphne said...

Thank you for the wonderful and simple recipe! Grandma used to make this for me when I was little, and whenever I was upset, this would make me feel a little bit better. Brings back good memories!

I think this is the subtle kind of sweetness children should learn to appreciate, not the overly sweet snacks and puddings most kids are used to these days.

Anonymous said...

yes steam egg is so good to eat and make!
eaay to do too. i like very the much. good things !