The weather is definitely warming up here in Taiwan. Believe it or not, but I finally figured out that while eating ice cream makes you feel chilled and refreshed, the making of the ice cream is actually a pretty hot process. So this summer season, my new order of operations is to make the ice cream mixture at night when the weather is cooler, and then let the mixture chill in the fridge overnight before putting it through the ice cream maker the next morning.
I love lemon flavored desserts, and so this time, I decided to experiment with Jeni’s frozen yogurt recipe. Before you get started, please remember that this particular recipe involves a bit of prep work. You need to drain the yogurt of excess water, so you won’t end up with too much liquid in your ice cream. The yogurt needs about 6-8 hours to drain thoroughly. Don’t be tempted to skip this step, because too much liquid means an ice cream full of icy shards. I’ve noticed that Taiwanese yogurt is actually much “runnier” in comparisons to the yogurts I ate abroad, so this step is absolutely necessary! For this recipe, I used unsweetened yogurt from Matthew’s Choice, available at Matsusei, or City Super. After draining, this yogurt is wonderfully thick and creamy, almost like Greek yogurt in texture.
The next step is to peel the lemons for zest. Jeni recommends that you peel the lemon zest into long strips, so they are easy to remove from the ice cream mixture before freezing. I found that my Oxo vegetable peeler worked beautifully for this purpose. Next, make the lemon syrup which consists of lemon juice and sugar (please see below for the exact measurements). Then as with all of Jeni’s recipes, you have to prepare the cream cheese mixture and cornstarch slurry. (In one bowl, combine the cream cheese with salt, in a separate bowl, combine the cornstarch and 2 tablespoons of milk)
As many of you know, my love for my Panasonic bread maker knows no bounds. Since its purchase nine months ago, the novelty has not worn off, and it’s still one of the most heavily used appliances in my kitchen. I use it mainly for baking basic breads, but lately, I discovered that you can bake a variety of desserts with it too. Initially, I wasn’t really interested in these additional functions, because I have a pretty well stocked kitchen with all sorts of tools and appliances. But every once in awhile, a bread machine produced cheesecake emerges on my Instagram feed, and I’m curious enough about both the process and results to try it for myself. The ingredients needed are fairly basic: for the cheesecake base, you need cream cheese, milk, sugar and an egg, and some flour. For the crust, you can use either graham crackers or digestive biscuits. Since graham crackers aren’t easily available in Taiwan, I used digestive biscuits. A few of the recipes I researched had just the cheesecake, and no crust! But for me, a cheesecake without a crumbly crust to go with it, is just like a bathroom without a door. Or a car without wheels. Ok, you get the idea.
For the crust:
- Digestive biscuits 60 grams (about 3-4 crackers)
- Unsalted butter 25 grams
For the cheesecake:
- Cream cheese (cut into cubes, softened) 250 grams
- 1 egg
- Sugar 35 grams
- Flavorings (optional) vanilla, or lemon juice, or lemon zest
- Flour 20 grams
- Milk 70 cc
Update: Recently, my soy milk machine stopped working~ and I had to send it in for repairs. I was pleasantly surprised by how user-friendly the process was. I dropped it off at a Phillips service counter of my choice (in my case, the Sogo department store in Taipei). Then a technician called me a few days later to let me know what repairs would take place. It turns out that water had accidentally gotten into the top part of the machine and damaged the control board. Luckily, the warranty on this machine is for two years, so my repair costs were covered by the warranty. I received a text message a short while later and picked up my machine at my convenience. Thanks, Phillips!
Some of you may remember, my slightly nerve-wracking run with an older version of a soy milk machine, from this blog post. After that experience, I decided to research and purchase a new machine. I finally bought one from Philips, and is the HD2079 model. I purchased it during the annual department store anniversary sales in Taiwan, so it was quite a good deal. (I keep telling myself that it was worth it to brave the crazy crazy crowds that day) I also wanted to use the machine several times before writing the post, so I can give you a thorough review.