Many food bloggers in Singapore have been rather upset over the Dîner en Blanc fiasco (the dust has since settled following an apology from the organiser). Do read here, here and here for the background. Even though I don’t live in Singapore, I thought I’d join in to make my very own Tau Huay (Tau Fu Fa). If Italian’s Pannacotta, which is basically a cream based dessert set with Gelatine, or the French’s very own creme brulee, which is a baked custard with burnt sugar, can be served in fine-dining restaurants, so can Tau Huay!
Tau Huay, or Tau Fu Fa is a traditional Chinese dessert made with coagulated soy milk. It’s usually served with syrup, although in some parts of Chinese it’s actually served as a savoury dish, with soy sauce, chilli oil and various condiments. I’ve read quite a few recipes for Tau Huay and most of them either use Gypsum powder (the traditional way), or GDL (Glucono delta lactone). I have no access to these ingredients so I’ve decided to try using Gelatine.
To make Tau huay at home, it’s advisable to make your own soy milk. That way you can make it thick, and it would be easier to set. Making soy milk is easy! All you need is a blender and a pair of strong hands to extract the milk. I’ve used 250g of organic soy beans with about 1L of distilled water. Soak the beans overnight, removed as much husk as possible the next day and plonk everything into the blender to blend til smooth. Pour the mixture into a muslin/cheese cloth and start squeezing all the liquid out. Then you get this:
Of course, that’s not the end. You’ll need to boil the milk too. That’s the fun part because once it boils, it does this.
Turn off the heat to let the bubbles subside, and then do this twice more. Add some rock sugar to sweeten the mixture slightly.
While this is all happening, take a small bowl of hot water and sprinkle one heap teaspoons of gelatine over. Mix well. Pour the mixture into the bowl or container you are going to make the Tau Huay in, and add the soy milk, stirring vigorously to mix. The ratio is about 300ml soy milk to one teaspoon. Remove the bubbles and send the mixture to the fridge and chill overnight.
To make the palm sugar syrup, just boil half a cup of palm sugar and 1 teaspoon of brown sugar with half a cup of water. Easy Peasy! If you want a really thick syrup, just double the palm sugar.
Admittedly I kept this very simple, just serving it in a regular bowl with the syrup spooned over. Many have gone one step further with the presentation. Check out the event page for many other creative entries!
I’m glad that the Gelatine worked, though next time I’ll try making this with agar-agar powder (as Gelatine is not completely vegetarian). Thank you Alan Goh of travellingfoodies for setting up the event!