I never regret the road I took although peers around me back then often teased me. They even nicknamed me "banana-ish person," which is literally translated from a local Chinese term "香蕉人" (Cantonese pronunciation : HEE-ong Jee-Ewe YEE-aan / Mandarin pronunciation : xiang jiao ren). It's a derogative term that refers to a Chinese who looks Asian on the outside and white on the inside. I don't know if you get the point here as it may take some cross-cultural understanding to get the point. If not, oh well, forget about it. =)
So, all these efforts are starting to pay off as I now can speak four languages and write to earn a living. And yet, I began to realize people, who aren't in the field, have a false assumption of writers. They expect someone well-versed in a particular language to be able to come up with just about any type of write-up. Journalistic, corporate and creative writing are three different kinds of art. I think people can't transform a copywriter into a journalist or public relations officer overnight. People can't expect an English writer to be so versatile that he or she can write a press release, followed by copywriting for an ad and then, a technical write-up for consumer product. This is ridiculous and overdemanding!
What's worse, some people even regard writers as psychoanalysts who can "read minds." They can just ask you to produce an impressive and creative copy for, say, an employee appreciation letter--without providing the relevant context and details. Whenever that happens to me, I feel like as if I'm diving into a deep, dark pool without knowing what to expect. They are simply turning me into a creative writer who writes beautiful fictional lies! Oh, yes! Some people even take bilingual translation work a piece of cake! I was even asked to emcee an event. So, how would you define a writer?
Even when I blog, it always happens whenever my muse has struck with me interesting ideas (or so I think.) And, this is exactly the point of blogging--sharing! Good writing connects the many aspects of life together in a piece of writing and conveys certain message(s). Of course, I can only churn out words after words when I'm armed with information. I won't blog because everyone has a blog, wasting others' time through reading my nonsense. I seriously think blogging has improved my writing. At least, there aren't any gatekeepers but myself. =D
Anyhow, back to FOOD! (LOL!) I was initially surprised as I've not shared my ice-cream making experience with you. You probably see most ice cream recipes end with something like "Pour the chilled mixture into your ice-cream maker and follow the manufacturer's instructions." In fact, I don't have ice-cream maker. Yet, I was VERY tempted to make my own ice cream.
So, I decided to venture into this sweet little niche of dessert making after research. Boy, it's sure been fun and satisfying though some workout is inevitable ... just like kneading a bread dough! For me, the process is messy, gooey, sticky and yet soothingly sweet. If you're machine-less, the churning process is what you should pay attention to then provided you have the basics. That's because as you freeze the custard (for ice-cream), ice crystals will form. When you have a churner to help you with that, you're guaranteed to get smooth, creamy, velvety ice cream. In other words, the churner keeps blocking ice crystals from forming as it beats the custard during the freezing process.
Nonetheless, our forefathers didn't have the luxury of enjoying what technologies can bring into our home. So, they could only churn ice cream by hands! Just remember to remove the half-frozen ice cream mixture out from the freezer to churn it every so often. This is to ensure a smooth, silky ice-cream that's preservatives- and additives-free!
So, my first ice cream entry here is none other than the all-time killer CHOCOLATE--chocolat noir! This super dark chocolate ice cream is egg-free. In this case, no custard (i.e. crème anglaise.) Less guilt, eh? It was perfectly sweet, creamy, smooth and DARK enough for dark chocolate fans. Highly recommended! In my next ice cream post, I'll share some awesome tips on ice-cream making I've learned from other bloggers. Why wait? If our ancestors could do it, so can we!
Hmm ... I served mine with fresh hand-picked raspberries from my family friends when I made this in the U.S. this summer
Super Dark Chocolate Ice Cream (Recipe shared by Pook and adapted from the Perfect Scoop by David Lebovitz)
414ml (1-3/4 cups) chilled heavy cream
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
115g (1/2 cup) sugar
**I used less sugar, around 80g (1/3 cup)
1/8 tsp salt
85g (3 oz) unsweetened dark chocolate, chopped into small bits
59ml (1/4 cup) sweetened condensed milk
118ml (0.5 cup) whole milk
118ml (0.5 cup) whole milk
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- Combine and heat (A) together in a saucepan--keep whisking the mixture as you heat it. Heat till it's come to a full rolling boil--foam will surface shortly thereafter
- Remove the hot cocoa-cream mixture from the heat, then stir in the chopped chocolate till melted. However, the chocolate won't melt away completely--you'll see tiny bits of it floating around the mixture. No worries!
- Stir in (B) and mix to combine, then blend the mixture in a blender to really combine them well for 30 seconds to also help dissolve the tiny chocolate bits better
- Then, cover and chill the mixture in the fridge till it's completely cold--should take at least 2 hours
- Remove the chilled chocolate mixture from fridge and using a hand/stand mixer, whip it till it's doubled in volume. Next, pour the whipped mixture into a container; send it to freeze in the freezer
**I don't have my container covered all along.
- After 45 minutes or as soon as you start to see ice crystals forming around the edges, remove the cold mixture from the freezer and break up all the ice crystals with hand mixer, a sturdy whisk or spatula
- Repeat step #6 every 30 minutes--keep stirring to "disturb" it as the mixture is freezing
- Check the mixture every so often e.g. 1 - 1.5 hours, stirring it as it freezes till the ice cream is frozen and set
- Transfer the ice cream into a container and cover it airtight till it's ready to be served
P.S. Here's a shout-out to Cheryl. Thanks a million for the pointers you gave me! The quality of the photos look way better!! Thanks, gal! =D