Friday, July 4, 2014

Toying with Tonka Beans

I guess I should break my silence and blog again.

While in the UK, I got to cook with and taste unpasteurised cheese.  Tartiflette

Here is more on the artisan cheese front:

....Anyway, I also got to discover:

Tonka beans are illegal in the United States (Horray freedom!) 

The ingredient in Tonka beans that make the FDA verklempt is coumarin.  Coumarin is feared as a nasty anti-coagulant .  It appears that it isn't that simple.  Wait, before you develop shpilkis in your genechtagazoink.  

"Humans would need to eat an unreasonably bovine amount of tonka bean to fall ill. The shavings of a single bean is enough for 80 plates. At least 30 entire tonka beans (250 servings, or 1 gram of coumarin total) would need to be eaten to approach levels reported as toxic—about the same volume at which nutmeg and other everyday spices are toxic."

Read more:

On to dessert!
Creme Caramel/Flan is wonderful, right?  Well, add some cream cheese and tonka beans 

Viola, we now have Flan de Queso w/ Tonka Bean.

1 cup sugar
1 (12 ounce) can evaporated milk
1 (14 ounce) can condensed milk
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese
6 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 grated tonka bean

Caramelize sugar on stove top over low heat. Once caramelized pour into 8 ramekins. Let cool. Mix all other ingredients in blender. Once the caramel has cooled, pour this mixture over caramelized sugar in ramekins.
Place ramekins in 1 inch of water and bake in oven at 325 degrees for 30 minutes to 1 hour until only the very middle jiggles.  Let cool then refrigerate.  Like most baked custards let set for at least 4 hours, but these taste even better overnight.

Be even more defiant by finely grating a tad more of the bean over the top of the finished, plated dessert.


In other news:

The garden WAS doing really well this season, in spite of; delayed planting, bunnies, bugs, etc.  Plenty of dedicated elbow grease for two months.....And this:

Gets hit with this:

....And becomes this:


Tomato plants become sticks.

 We may eek out a garden yet.  Some of the garden centres offered BOGO deals on vegetable plants.

Here is what I am phasing in for a solution to a multitude of gardening woes.  The rails to put hail/frost cover on are recycled old trampoline legs.  I even padded the edge with split pool noodles.  It is a work in progress, however.



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