A Brew-tiful Pudding.


How cute are these puddings, right?

This is The First Mess' vegan coffee pudding. The recipe calls for espresso or very strong coffee. I don't have an espresso machine but I absolutely adore moka pots and they make some mean coffee.  It is definitely my choice of brewing method, that is, if I have the time. This time we used coffee from our local coffee shop, Black Canary

The pudding turned out pretty well: a strong coffee aroma with a hint of coconut. The sweetness was just right. It was pretty easy to make too! We definitely will experiment and explore different flavours using the same techniques. Any suggestions?

One failure we had was the can of coconut cream, which was not-so creamy. The coconut milk we bought couldn't settle into a thick layer of cream as mentioned in the recipe. What we ended up with was just a slightly thicker layer of coconut milk/cream. We hoped to the tropical gods that it will thicken up as the kitchen-aid did it's hard work but it was to no avail. If you know which brand of coconut milk is high in fat content that will thicken up - please let us know!


- Ken

A Tea-riffic Salad.


Tea leaf salad from Burma.  I'm trying to remember the flavours, the scents, the textures all in my mouth.  I didn't expect the dish to taste delicious, but just alright. It exceeded my expectations, probably due to the roasted peanuts and fried beans. It's been 4 years since that trip and we've been wanting to replicate that dish.  Part of the difficulty is trying to find the dried leaves, but after a long while, we located some!

This has to be one of the easiest salads to prepare for.  It's all about finding the different components of the salad: napa cabbage, roasted peanuts, fried chick peas, fish sauce, tomatoes, a hint of lime juice, roasted nuts....and then you mix them altogether!

Admittedly, the salad was moderate. The texture was good, but it was missing the flavour.  Mainly its missing the sounds of the honking taxis as we sit on the low plastic stools.  Whatever our salad lacked, it made up for bringing back all the memories up our trip. 

- Robyn


I Scream for Ice Cream!


It already feels like summer in Toronto and you know what that means? Ice cream time!

Our obsession with Earl Grey is a train that cannot be stopped! We are in loved with Roselle's Earl Grey shorties and Fortnum & Mason's beautiful Earl Grey loose leaf teas.  Next stop homemade Van Leeuwen Earl Grey Ice Cream!  Making ice cream at home is a lot easier than you would imagine.  All you need is the right tool. In this case, an ice cream machine - duh!

First, we made a custard base with Earl Grey tea, heavy cream, egg yolks, and sugar. We conducted a mini research (a quick search on Youtube) on the easiest, foolproof way of separating egg yolks and we ended up using a slotted spoon to crack the egg into, then the egg whites fell through the slotted spoon. I personally prefer the good old egg shell method because it is one less item to wash. After the custard thickened, we strained it and let it chill overnight. 

The next day we invited our friends over to share our sugary concoction. Unlike what the photos led you to believe, we are quite please with the result.  It doesn't have the soft serve swervy look, but regardless of the appearance, we were all very focused on eating.  The custard base made the ice cream extra creamy, and we received requests to make other flavours of ice cream. One thing I would like to modify next time is to add a bit less sugar.  Other than that, our bellies are happy!