Sunday, 8 July 2012

Recipe: Vietnamese coffee icecream...and deep fry it!

We all have regrets don't we? Like that time I didn't end up going to Holy Basil.  Looking at other people's blog posts and thinking "Gee, why can't I have the sense to go try the fried ice cream asap?!"  But hey, Term 2 holidays would be great to make this! (As well as nailing macarons, my ultimate mission as of yet :)  Saving that feat for after HSC).

Then I realised I've been ever so curious as how to home-make ice cream, without an ice cream machine.  Since that unforgettable matcha latte at Cafe Omelette, and the refreshing matcha ice cream at the Languages Festival, I've had green tea flavour stuck in my mind, so a few weeks ago, I bought a green tea ice cream satchet from Japanese store Maruyu, located near Town Hall station.
Following the instructions on the packet (add milk, stir and freeze), the matcha ice cream tastes more ice than cream, small ice shards in its slightly creamy mixture. Next time, I'll add cream instead, and do it the Phuoc'n Delicious way :)
I've bookmarked her Vietnamese coffee ice cream recipe since weeks ago.  Hmm, green tea and coffee, a great combo for the holidays :)

Then as soon as the holidays hit did I realise we're right in the middle of winter. 

Ice cream.  Winter.  They totally go hand in hand.

Recipe: Vietnamese coffee ice cream
I’ve adapted Phuoc’n Delicious’ recipe, who adapted it from this recipe.
Makes about 750ml.

  • 300mL thickened cream 
  • Anywhere from 1tbsp (15ml measure) to 1/6 cup (40ml measure) instant coffee granules (Nescafe 43 blend)  * 
  • 100mL sweetened condensed milk
* an average coffee measure is 1/8 cup, (30ml measure), and my using 1/6 cup gave my ice cream an intense coffee flavour – to which I got really addicted to, but my dad was like “it’s too strong a coffee flavour”.
1.      Add 300mL of thickened cream and instant coffee granules into a saucepan.
2.      Stir constantly over low heat for 4 to 5 minutes, granules should be completely dissolved. Set aside to cool
3.      Chill in refrigerator for 10 mins.
4.      Meanwhile, whip the remaining cream until soft peaks form – check by lifting the electric beater up, peaks should form, but not stiff.
5.      Slowly stir in condensed milk and coffee-infused cream.
6.      Pour into a container and freeze for 12 hours.
Yummy homemade coffee ice cream in my tub :)
And a while ago I snuck into Grandma's room - while Dong Yi was playing on her TV - and asked her if she knew what biscuits would be good to make fried ice cream.  And she was like "oh yeah I know how to make this, at the restaurant (referring to the one she used to work at, with Dad and our relatives)".  Love a bit of family history sometimes, always so nice to hear little anecdotes that randomly pop up when something triggers it :)

But now that she's flown to Vietnam and staying there for a few months, I've had to soldier on myself and test out what works:

Here are the sites that I based my batter off:
I tried two ways: tenpura batter (the Asian way), but without the pound cake layer (because I didn't have any), and cereal batter.

Recipe: Deep fried ice cream
  • Ice cream
  • Vegetable oil for deep frying
  • Ingredients for cereal batter: 
    • Cornflour mixed with a bit of water, forming a thick paste
    • Cereal :) I used Kelloggs Crunchy Nut
1.  Wrap a serving of cereal in cling wrap, and crush with a rolling pin until the cereal is quite fine.  Put into a bowl.
2. Scoop your ice cream into balls, and place on a lined baking tray.  Place in freezer, and freeze for at least 1 hour.
3.  Take out, and roll ice cream balls into the fine cereal crumbs (It might need a bit of pressing the crumbs into the ice cream balls, which was fun doing despite it nearly freezing my fingers).  Freeze again for at least 1/2 hour.
On the right is my trial tenpura batter, without the layer of pound cake.
4. Take out, and roll covered ice cream balls in the thick cornflour paste (a bit hard to manoeuvre the balls in such a thick and gluggy paste, so you could try pouring the cornflour paste on the balls instead).  Then roll balls into the cereal crumbs again.  Freeze again for at least 1/2 hour.
Egg yolk on the right for the trial tenpura batter
Front: cereal batter batch. Back: badly done tenpura batter batch.
5. Warm up oil in saucepan on high.  Flash fry - place ball in for 10 to 15 seconds, making sure it fries evenly all around, and take out, and place on a dish lined with absorbent paper or napkins. Be careful of oil splashes! :)
6. Serve immediately.
As you can see, my tenpura batter method without the pound cake (so I just used plain flour and egg yolk, in a similar method to the cereal batter) didn't exactly work...  
Tenpura batter without pound cake: Makes the ice cream melt like crazy, but it was like eating an extra yummy version of a custard cream puff :) 
Yeah, definitely needed the pound cake/bread layer.  Reminds me of my last trip to Vietnam, where they sandwiched icecream in a slice of bread or cake or something. And deep fry it.  I thought that was the cheat's way (no offence to the undoubtedly awesome Vietnamese street food). Then a web search confirmed that this is the Asian way of deep frying ice cream, and having a crisp hot outside and cold inside. I like the hot/cold contrast, but crunchy ice cream is always a treat :)

5 minutes after I gave it to Dad. 
He keeps saying "You should study more, and you're horrible in the kitchen!" Well Dad, hopefully from this sign, it means I've proven you wrong :) But ok, I'll study more, after I finish a few more blogposts before hardcore studying for trials! :)


  1. I hope you enjoyed the ice cream; it sounds perfect for you at the moment to get the caffeine hit. Love that you experimented with deep frying the ice cream as well.

    All the best for the HSC, my sister going through it as well. Just like what I tell her, don't stress over it too much. Work smart and not hard, otherwise you'll burn. Then you can look back and realise that high school is nothing compared to uni/collage/work lol

  2. Yummmm! Deep fried ice cream is so good! Good luck for the upcoming HSC. Take it as it comes and dont stress ;)

  3. Good luck for the upcoming HSC Tina! Sounds quite creative and a lot of fun to try!

  4. I LOVE LOVE LOVE deep fried ice cream but have never even thought of attempting them at home! It's the same thing for anything fried really. And I'm glad I came across your blog as now I've got a cyber year 12 foodie who's also spending way too much time on food than studying for trials!

  5. Oh my! I just love this cold coffee recipe! The deep fried ice cream also looks interesting, I haven't tried making it at home though.

  6. Aaron Agopian & Hana Agopian26 July 2012 08:36

    We are serious coffee lovers and I have to say this coffee recipe rocks! Thanks so much for posting!


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