Happy Chinese New Year!
Haha, fancy me saying that on the second day of Chinese New Year >< I’ve been slightly busy with Chinese New Year. I wish I could say I’ve been busy making pineapple tarts and kueh bangkit, but no, I can’t. Actually, all I’ve been occupied with is the simple tradition of visiting relatives (or in other words, bai nian).
Still, what better way to celebrate the new year than with some Chinese dessert?
Alright, I’ll admit I didn’t make this specifically for Chinese New Year. We had the traditional reunion dinner on the eve of Chinese New Year and to think of a dessert was rather challenging. It would not be very appropriate to serve an elaborate layer cake or an elegant plated dessert because those tend to veer toward western styles. And of course, it is a bit out of place for a humble reunion dinner.
So I opted for this: 炖奶 (dun nai).
I first had this in Macau, two years ago, when I went there for a small judo competition.
What I had was a smooth, silky milk pudding. It was rich, creamy and simply delightful. I didn’t quite know what to make of it. The subtle taste of ginger ensured the richness was not overpowering.
I’ve duplicated it here so for all you readers who’ll never go to Hong Kong or Macau, you can make this at home, anytime.
3/4 cup cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon ginger, sliced thinly
¾ cup milk
2 egg whites
Bring cream, sugar and ginger to a boil, stirring gently.
Remove from heat and stir in milk till just lukewarm – about 50 degrees Celsius to 55 degrees Celsius.
Whisk in the egg whites vigorously.
Strain into 4 2 ounce ramekins.
Steam for 20-24 minutes.
It will be very jiggly.
Either eat warm or chill and serve cold (it’s slightly firmer once chilled).