almond cream with mandarin oranges

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This is one of the oldest recipes in my recipe collection. I bought Alison’s book when I was in graduate school, and I made this dessert for its cool refreshing quality after a spicy meal. This dessert and another one called Almond Lake, a rice pudding, were early favorites when company came over.

Almond Cream with Mandarin Oranges (Alison Burt)

Prep time: 20 minutes
Chill time: 2 1/2-3 1/2 hours

1 x 16 oz can mandarin oranges or chopped fresh fruit, such as kiwi, mango, dragon fruit, and tangerines, chilled
2 1/2 cups water
4 tablespoons gelatin powder (4 gelatin leaves = 1 tablespoon)
2 cups milk
2/3 cup sugar
1 teaspoon almond extract

I made this with gelatin leaves. I put 16 leaves in a large bowl of cool water for 4 minutes or until softened.

In a medium sauce pan add the water, milk, and sugar, then heat over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Drain the gelatin and add drained gelatin to the milk mixture. Stir until the gelatin is dissolved. Remove the pot from the heat source. Add the almond extract and stir. Let the mixture cool to room temperature about 30 minutes.

Pour into an ungreased glass dish about 9 inches square. Chill until set about 2 hours. Cut into small squares and pour into a large bowl. Add the mandarin oranges, syrup and all. Chill and serve in individual bowls.

mooncake festival, emquartier, bangkok

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This month is the Chinese mid-autumn festival. The mooncake festival as it’s also called is about eating cakes filled with sweet nutty paste, sometimes with an egg yolk in the center.

DSC05841.jpg There are so many varieties of mooncakes to try. There are new varieties that include durian, chocolate, and honey.

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mochi moon cake

DSC05046At this time of year, moon cakes make their appearance in the shops in celebration of the traditional Chinese mid-autumn festival. A variety of moon cakes are available to suit every taste, including durian, chestnut, and sesame. But this one is my favorite. It is a mochi moon cake, a scoop of chocolate ice cream encased in a sweet rice dough that the Japanese call mochi. It’s cold, sweet, and chewy!