It has been a hectic time for the Ro-Ri family with way too many things going on and too little time to take it all in. Machines around the household have not been helpful either. Seems like things conspire to break down all at the same time. First it was the dish washer, then the computer started to give problems and it still does, followed by the washing machine. Good thing the basement was not flooded. The boys are busy with their school work and activities. When they are busy, you know mom is also busy. The social calendar has been taking up weekends and while the company is good, there is precious little time for anything else. On top of that we have the chore of gathering all those leaves in the yard…arghhh! Snow showers are expected this Wednesday!
I am pretty handicapped at the moment with the computer hobbling along. I am having to reboot every hour or so and that is getting me totally frustrated. Sorry for not visiting your blogs as regularly as I would like to. As a last ditch effort to avert having to get a new computer, I am planning to reformat the hard disk soon. I am also having problems getting my feed to update your blogrolls. Kindly update your links by changing the URL to www.rotinrice.com instead of the old blogger URL. many thanks for bearing with me.
After a very busy Saturday, I decided to take a break from all that running around. I am so glad to have received this surprise gift from Ann of Anncoo Journal. It was really sweet of Ann to send me these lovely agar-agar molds and agar-agar powder sachets. Making something simple and fun like agar-agar was just the thing I needed. It has been a while since I last made yōkan and these are reminiscent of the ones I had in Komagane, Japan not too long ago. You can see a picture of it here.
The agar-agar powder is really convenient and easy to use. It dissolves easily in the water with almost no residue and it also sets quickly in the fridge. To save time, I used all pre-packaged ingredients that can be easily purchased at any Asian grocery store.
Do give this Yōkan with Ginkgo and Chestnuts a try. It is lovely served as a light dessert or tea time treat.
- 2 tbsp (15g) agar-agar powder
- ¾ cup (155g) sugar
- 1 cup canned red bean paste
- 24 par-boiled ginkgo nuts
- 12 roasted chestnuts, halved
Prepare 24 agar-agar molds, small silicone cups of 1 oz each or 2 large ice cube tray.
Place red bean paste in a pan and cook on medium heat, stirring constantly until most of the moisture has evaporated, about 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Once cooled, divide into 24 equal portions. Shape into flattened balls. Place one ginkgo nut and a halved chestnut on red bean paste. Form into a nice little bundle.
Bring 4 cups (960ml) of water in a sauce pan to boil. Add agar-agar and sugar, stirring constantly until agar-agar and sugar dissolve, about 5 minutes. Reduce heat to the lowest setting so that agar-agar will not set in pan.
Fill molds with 1 tablespoon agar-agar mixture. Place in the fridge to set, about 5 minutes.
Once agar-agar has set, remove from fridge. Place prepared filling of red bean paste, ginkgo nut and chestnut into mold on top of set agar-agar.
Remove pan with agar-agar mixture from heat. Fill mold to the top with remaining agar-agar mixture. Return molds to fridge and allow agar-agar to set, about 30 minutes.
Unmold and serve cold.
Enjoy…..and have a wonderful day!