When the weather is unbearably hot, what is the food that you will most want to eat?
A) Ice cream?
Hmmm... tough one, isn't it?
My answer is... A, B, C and D! Though I will not eat all of them at the same time at one go, but I will want to eat all of these food in this hot scorchy weather.
I went for a picnic at Marina Barrage yesterday in the late afternoon and stayed there all the way at night. If I have the time, I will try to post more photos of that place up (but knowing my very lazy nature, you should just go to my facebook and look at those photos).
Here's a view in the late afternoon:
We didn't go all the way up to the roof top area as there's no shelter over there, so we seek shelter at the pavilion built along the bridge, enjoying the first round of our picnic and playing some card games. The sun is so bright and sunny that the water surface glitters. It is that hot, even though it is almost 5pm.
Oh by the way, if I am boring you with all those pictures of the place or you are just interested in the jelly recipes, please - scroll right down to the bottom for the recipe. You know I always put it in the end. (: I hope I am not boring you... am I?
See the sun sets!
We shifted to the rooftop area towards the evening time. The view there is much magnificent, overlooking the Integrated Resort (on the left hand side of the photo above).
On the right hand side of the photo above is the Singapore Flyer! I have never been on it before. I know my logic is kind of weird, but seriously, there is simply nothing much to see right now! It's just construction everywhere. I plan to take the Singapore Flyer when the Integrated Resort has been completed. God knows what will be the price of the ride be by then... but I know I'll be there only then. xD
The evening view is lovely... no?
And here is the night view:
Together with the Singapore Flyer:
The four of us sat on a straw mat eating the food that we each prepared at home, while admiring the lovely view and enjoying the cooling sea breeze. Knowing the hot weather, instead of making some elaborated cream-loaded cakes, I prepared some easy strawberry jellys to help cool the heat a little (well to be honest, I made them also because they are so much more easy to prepare than cakes... I am a little bit lazy to bake a cake that day...hah).
These jellys were made by cooking some strawberries before mixing with some sparkling juice and then with the help of gelatine, solidify in small cups and finally served with a little honey baked pistachios. The texture is... hard to describe. It is between that of a strawberry jam and those commercial jellys. Soft and not very soft at the same time. Konnayku jellys are able to solidify even when they are not put into the fridge, however, these strawberry jellys can't. Without a fridge, they will remain as liquid... or semi-solid. So, these jellys aren't able to stay out in the sun for too long, they will "melt".
As for the taste, in my opinion it's a balance between the sour and the sweet. In the future if I am making this again, I will be substituting the sugar with honey, and see how the taste will be different. Of course I will be trying the jellys with other fruits, like mango, oranges, grapes... etc. Whatever I can think of. (:
Overall I've gotten good reviews for these jellys so I will definitely be making them more often. Yum!
Strawberry Jellys with Honey-ed Pistachios (serves 6)
700 grams strawberries
½ cup sugar*
1 cup water
¾ cup sparkling juice**
1 tablespoon gelatine powder***
¼ cup unsalted pistachios, removed from their shells
1 teaspoon honey
*Take a bite of the strawberries you are gonna use - if your strawberries are sweet, use less sugar!
**Use any flavour that you think will go well with it - I used grape juice with raspberry. If you are on the splurging end, go for some sweet dessert wine.
***You can use more gelatine if you want the texture to be harder - but not too much!
Chop 500 grams of strawberries coarsely and transfer into a medium-sized pot. Sprinkle the sugar over the strawberries and stir to mix them up. Cover the pot with a lid and let stand for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. The strawberries will release juices, so don't be alarmed or pour away any of the liquid! They are the gems of the this dessert.
Meanwhile, get a large bowl and a small bowl. Half-fill the large bowl with ice water - this is the ice bath - and set the small bowl in it. Make sure your small bowl is big enough to contain all the liquid in the pot later.
Stir in the 1 cup of water and place the pot on the hob over medium heat and bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to low and simmer, stirring frequently until the strawberries soften - for 5 minutes. Remove the pot from the heat and stir in the sparkling juice. Strain the mixture into the small bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press the solid against the sieve to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Discard what is left in the sieve. Stir the liquid in the small bowl until the liquid is chilled.
Wash the pot and dry it. Return the chilled liquid into the pot and sprinkle the gelatine evenly over it. Do not stir. Let set for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, wash, hull and slice the remaining 200 grams of strawberries and divide them into 6 ½-cup ramekins/short glasses. If using more strawberries, get larger ramekins/glasses.
Heat the pot containing the liquid and gelatine over medium heat, stirring constantly until the gelatine has dissolved. Ladle the liquid into the ramekins/glasses and let it cool to room temperature before refrigerating them for 4 hours or overnight.
To make the honey-ed pistachios, preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius. Mix the honey and pistachios in a small bowl and transfer them onto a baking sheet that has been lined with a greaseproof paper. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes until golden. Let cool and chop the pistachios. Store in a airtight container for up to 2 days.
You can serve the jellys directly in the cups or simply dip each ramekin in hot, boiling water for 5 seconds and unmould them onto plates. Sprinkle with the pistachios and extra strawberries and serve.
Hope you'll like it! (: