I realized I am starting to crave for the food I do not usually love or even consumed in Singapore. Is it because I am missing home or my taste buds are asking for doses of familiarity and nostalgia? It is almost seven months being away for home. I do admit that home does not seem so far after all. Technology has definitely served me well with the ability to Skype, MSN, What's App and even play games ("Draw Something") with my family and friends. However, being physically away from home means I am unable to help my mum in doing cooking, 'fight' with my brother or even carry my niece around. But looking forward, we will returning in a couple of months to a very warm place (both literally and metaphorically). Returning home would also means that I will have to return to daily routines and work. I wish work can be more forgiving to the mind and body. Or maybe it is not about work.... it is about one handles work? For a period of time, the term "Work-Life Balance" was much of a talking point by all management bodies but shortly the term was changed to "Work-Life Harmony", knowing that work and life can never be balanced. So are you in harmony with work and life?
When I was in Singapore, I would occasionally wait for my hubby to knock off and we would go for dinner together. His work place is near Tanjong Pagar and I enjoyed walking around the area to explore the shophouses and newly established eateries. The area offers an interesting mix of traditional chinese established businesses and "arty farty" newly mushroomed start-ups. On one of these occasions, I entered a new Chinese Dessert store and ordered a bowl of Black sesame paste. I have never order this dessert before as I understand that it is very difficult to master a good recipe and I was right.
In my attempt to make this dessert, I aim to duplicate the texture and taste of the Black Sesame Paste. However, the aromatic flavor is still a challenge as the quality and freshness of the sesame seeds is key to an excellent bowl of Black Sesame paste. I would say I would rate this attempt a 4-star (out of 5).
Recipe (Serves 2-3)
1 cup Grounded Black Sesame Seeds, toasted
1/8 cup Grounded Peanuts, toasted
1/4 cup Glutinous Rice Flour
1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
2 cups of Water
In a wok or saucepan, fry the glutinous rice flour for about 15 minutes on low heat. This step helps to remove the uncooked flour taste. Set aside to cool.
In a medium saucepan, boil 2 cups of water.
Add in grounded black sesame seeds and peanuts. Reduce the heat to low. Stir well.
Add in sugar. Taste and add more if desired.
In a bowl, mix 2 tbsp of water with the cooked glutinous rice flour.
Slowly whisk in the flour mixture into the saucepan until the sesame paste reached a thick consistency. You can use a spoon to check if it coats the back of the spoon.
Once the sesame paste boils, you may remove it from heat.
For finer texture, you may sieve the grounded sesame seeds and peanuts before use.