December 22, 2007

An Ice Cream twist to the Good ol' Dong Zhi 'tong yuen'

It’s that time of the year again; a time for family gatherings and holiday cheer! December really is my favorite month of all the 12. Us in Malaysia get to celebrate many festivals of different races disregarding our own personal cultural and religious backgrounds. We have learnt to celebrate the festivals of our multiracial friends and neighbours; by celebrating the national public holidays declared. More holidays for all! *wink* Just this weekend alone; we have had the Hari Raya Haji celebration for the Malays; the Christmas Season for the Christians; and for us Chinese… tonight is Dong Zhi once again.
“Dong Zhi?” You say…
I remember making a post about Dong Zhi a year ago which gives you an insight into what this day is all about. It’s good to have a read to reflect on old writing. LINK

In a nutshell; it is a night where families come together for a reunion to reconcile lost friendships and catch up with each other at dinner. It serves a very good purpose for our generation of Chinese kids living fast paced lives in different cities and who are constantly traveling for business and work. You’d think that modernization and technological advances in communication brings people closer together. I personally have some doubt in what modernization has done to families. Highways are longer; wider; new cities are found and a vast number of developing countries are becoming more and more assessable. Whilst chasing our dreams and life goals; it’s not difficult to unintentionally take relatives we love for granted. This is why I feel Dong Zhi is such a significant day for families to get together.

Every Dong Zhi season; Chinese families have glutinous rice balls as after dinner dessert. They are generally filled with deliciously indulgent sweet peanut or sesame fillings and served in a ginger syrup infused with pandan leaves.

This year I decided to give the ol’ traditional recipe a little twist in temperature and texture. I was inspired by a dessert café in Sydney which created wonderfully decadent ice cream treats; and one of my favourites on the menu is an asian flavoured sundae with luscious little warm glutinous rice balls covered in tiny crisp seeds.

Follow the recipe guide from this link for the dough.

Shape the dough into tiny 1 inch balls. Dust your hands lightly with a tiny fluff of glutinous rice flour. Drop the tiny balls into a pot of boiling water and wait till they come afloat. Scoop them out with a strainer and roll these sticky little babies in scattered black sesame seeds.

I’m not certain if many of you out there have seen these Chinese peanut brittle cookies from asian grocers; but it’s good to crush a handful of these to serve with your black sesame tong yuen icecream! For those who might find this difficult to source; you can always substitute this with roasted crushed peanuts or even the western version of caramel peanut brittle broken into big chunks.

Scoop in some green tea ice cream; top it with crushed nuts and glutinous rice balls! YUM!


Big Boys Oven said...

OMg! this is so lovely and creative. We love it!

SIG said...

Wow, how cute! Sesame and peanut tang yuen. How ingenious!

Su-Yin -Décorateur said...

thanks boys :)

I hope you guys tried it! my parents loved it! It sure is yum!