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Here are the ingredients for making homemade cherry jam.
- 800 grams cherries
- 1 lemon
- 600 grams white sugar
- 1 tablespoon butter
You will also need some clean glass jars to store the jam. Sterilise the jars by putting them in an oven at 120°C for 20 minutes. Leave the jars in the oven until the jam is ready.
Rinse the cherries and remove the stems.
Squeeze the juice from the lemon.
Put the cherries and lemon juice in a pot. Cook the ingredients for 30 minutes or until the fruits are tender. Press the cherries with a large spoon or potato masher so that the pips get squeezed out from the cherries. Remove the pips. A slotted spoon is useful for separating the pips from the cherries.
Cook the cherries for a few minutes. Add in butter and stir until the butter is melted.
Remove the pot from the stove. Add in the sugar and stir until all the sugar is well mixed and dissolved.
Return the pot to the stove and bring it to a boil. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 20-30 minutes. Test the jam for consistency and continue to cook until the jam thickens to the right consistency. Pour the hot jam into the sterilised jars and tighten the lids.
The cherry jam can be stored in a cool, dark place for several months. Refrigerate when the jars are opened.
300 g rice flour
100 g tapioca starch
1 cup thick coconut cream
200 g white sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pandan essence
green food colouring
pink food colouring
Mix the sugar and salt with the thick coconut cream in a small pot. Heat the coconut mixture gently until the sugar melts. Set aside to cool.
Sift the rice flour and tapioca starch into a mixing bowl. Pour in the coconut mixture and add in water until the mixture weighs 1800 g.
Stir until well mixed and there are no more lumps of flour. If there are lumps, pass the mixture through a sieve.
Divide the mixture equally into three portions.
Add pandan essence and green colour to one portion and red colour to another portion.
Heat up some water in a steamer. Place a square baking container (about 8cm deep and 20cm wide) in the steamer and let it heat up for a few minutes.
Pour one third of the white flour mixture into the square baking container. Cover the steamer and steam the first layer of the cake for 8 minutes or until the layer is not runny.
Pour in the next layer (green colour) and steam, followed by the red layer.
Continue pouring and steaming each layer until there are nine layers. Remember to check the water level in the steamer and not let it run dry!
Cook the steamed cake for another 20 minutes to finish off.
Leave the cake for several hours to cool to room temperature before cutting, otherwise it is too soft and sticky.
The nine layered steamed cake can be kept in the fridge for a couple of days.
Recipe for Two-Layered Coconut Jelly
- 10 grams agar agar strips
- 1 packet coconut powder
- 1 cup hot water
- 2 cups water
- 80 grams white sugar
- a pinch of salt
Add 1 cup of hot water to the coconut powder in a small container. Mix well until there are no lumpy bits of coconut powder in the mixture. Add in a pinch of salt and stir. Set aside the mixture and prepare the agar agar.
Put the agar agar in a small pot and add in 2 cups of water. Cook the agar agar strips over medium heat until they are dissolved.
Pour in sugar and stir until the sugar has melted and dissolved.
Add the coconut mixture to the agar agar and simmer until just before the mixture starts to boil.
Pour the agar agar coconut mixture into a container.
Let the mixture cool slightly before putting the container in the refrigerator to set.
When the agar agar has set, it should have a translucent layer and an opaque layer.
After years of brewing and fermenting my own ginger beer, this is the cheapest, easiest and quickest way to make ginger beer at home. The price of fresh ginger is a such a rip-off in this country that I have resorted to using ginger powder nowadays.
Initially, I was sceptical about the ginger powder but it worked out fine after trying a batch of brew with the powder. I have discovered it all comes down to how I ferment the ginger beer.
I used to transfer the fermented ginger beer into bottles by siphoning with a rubber tubing. The tubing tend to stir up the residue at the bottom of the fermentation container and some residue get siphoned into the bottles as a result. This method also leaves a bit of a mess which I hate when it comes to cleaning up.
It took me a while to find a drink dispenser with a tap at the bottom. By using the tap to fill the bottles, the residue does not get stirred up and the ginger beer turns out clear instead of cloudy when I pour it into a drink glass.
No more messy siphoning with a stubborn tubing, and filling up the ginger beer bottles is a breeze! And, it gives me the motivation to start another new batch of ginger beer right away.
This ginger beer recipe is good for a 3-litre container.
3 tablespoons ginger powder
1 cup white sugar
juice of 1 lemon
3 litres of water
half teaspoon yeast
Make sure the drink dispenser is clean. Pour the ginger powder, sugar, yeast and lemon juice into the dispenser. Add 2 cups of water, close the lid tight and shake the container to mix all the ingredients until the sugar dissolves.
Add in the remaining water and leave the drink dispenser in a warm corner of the kitchen for two to three days. Do not tighten the lid of the container, just leave it loosely covered so that any air that builds up inside can escape. Otherwise, there will be a messy explosion in the kitchen!
You should be able to see some action going on the following day. There will be some bubbles in the liquid. If you place your ear near the top of the container, you should hear some fizzling sounds like the soda drinks.
The ginger beer is ready to be transferred to bottles after two days if you are in a warm country. I usually bottle the ginger beer after three to four days to allow it to ferment properly due to the cool weather in my area.
Use clean dark coloured PET bottles to store the ginger beer.
Pour a teaspoon of sugar into each PET bottle. If you want your ginger beer to be sweeter, you can adjust the amount of sugar but one teaspoon of sugar is good enough for me. Use a funnel to pour in the sugar if necessary.
Release the ginger beer into the bottle through the dispenser tap. Fill the bottle up, leave a gap of about 5cm from the top of the bottle. Put the cap on the bottle and tighten.
Fill the rest of the bottles with ginger beer.
Store the bottles in the refrigerator for at least a week to allow further fermentation to produce more tang and fizz before consuming.