Introduction: Red Bean Ice Dessert
In China beans, seeds and grains play a large part in desserts.
This basic dessert can be made using a huge variety of main ingredients.
I chose red and green beans as that is classic, but less adventurous people can substitute the beans for stewed fruits (mango is very nice).
1/2 cup dry red adzuki beans (I chose beans mixed with a chinese type of barley (薏米), you can substitute with pearl barley or just use red beans)
1/2 cup dry green beans (ie mung beans)
2 tablespoons of sugar
small can of condensed milk
Ice (2-3 cups ice cubes)
shaved ice maker or a good blender/ food processor which can crush ice
pots and pans
a rice cooker with a 'soup' setting or a slow cooker is useful
something sort of cone shaped to use as a mold for the ice
Takes about 6 hours if using dried beans (including soaking time).
If cheating and using canned beans takes about 20min
Step 1: Prepare the Beans
Wash the beans, pick out any bad beans and put in two seperate bowls.
Add water and let soak in the fridge (overnight is good, 2-3 hours are good enough).
Simmer beans in two seperate pots for about 2 hours each until mushy. (I used a small slow cooker and a rice cooker )
After they are cooked drain but retain the liquids (put them in ridge in different container). Put 1 type of bean in a pan and add about 1 tablespoon of sugar. Taste. beans should have a little sweetness but not quite as sweet as you would want to eat them by themselves as a dessert (remember you will be adding condensed milk later), put in a bowl and let cool in fridge.
Repeat with green beans.
Step 2: Prepare the Ice
Wait until beens are cool.
Then you need to crush your ice.
If you have a shaved ice maker this is easy, otherwise use your blender/ food processor to get it crushed (when using a blender try not to take too long as ice may start melting, sometimes it is better if there is a couple of cubes that do not crush to just take them out rather than persisting with getting them crushed (After taking blender off the electric bit, no-one likes fingers in their dessert).
Put your ice into the mold (I just used my blender as the mold)/ do not pack/press it hard or you will end up with ahard lump of ice which is not tasty. Turn mold upside down on a plate.
Step 3: Construct
Get your red and green beans out of the fridge.
Slowly add back their juices until they reach a good "construction consistency' they should be reasnobly easy to work with but not so runny that they just fall down the tower.
Ladel the beans on either side of the tower and use the back of a spoon to smooth down (again this does not have to be perfect, if you take too long Ice will begin to melt).
Drizzle condensed milk over the top. Retain the rest of the condensed milk in a side dish so people can add extra milk to their portions if needed.
Enjoy the sweet beaniness.
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