Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Cultural Exchange - Malaysian Strawberries and Cream!

How in the world does Strawberries and Cream become a topic for cultural exchange? Well read on and find out!

My son is a great fan of fruits and cream. He just loves it. Even better is Strawberries and Cream! Now Strawberries are rather expensive as they are not your typical Malaysian fruit. You can get the frozen variety but those are expensive as well and end up being quite mushy.

Most of the Strawberries you find are imported. Did I say most? Indeed!
There is a place called Cameron Highlands, one of four well known highland resorts that rise more than 1000 meters above sea level (the others being Genting Highlands, Frasers Hill and Maxwell Hill). At this height, the climate is cool with temperatures rarely rising about 25C and no lower than 12C. So that kind of makes it great for Strawberries!

Cameron Highlands is also where they cultivate tea leaves - and Malaysia is famous for its tea as well!

One of my fave foodie friends, Valli, who is in Canada knows all about Cameron Highlands - or at least her father does! See how small the world really is?

Even though you can get local strawberries, they are still expensive.
Nowhere near as expensive as the imported variety but expensive nonetheless. They are not easy to get either as they kind of get snapped up really fast.

So when I saw a heap of packets down at one of the hypermarts, I couldn't resist picking one up. With strawberries in one hand, I went round looking for cream. The usual assortment of cream seemed to have disappeared and the only option left was a rather exorbitantly priced brand. Bugger it. Maybe I"ll just use some yoghurt. So I bought a large container of yoghurt and made a mental note to check out how to sweeten and thicken yoghurt.

Lovely fresh strawberries!

Later that evening...

After a quick check on the web, I knew what had to be done. I made a thickened
vanilla cream out of yoghurt and it was just superb! It tasted almost like cream although it was much lighter. It was nice and thick and tasted lovely. It could even have been vanilla yoghurt ice cream!
This is what I did.

400ml yoghurt
4 tbsp icing sugar
2 tsp vanilla

Line a colander with cheese cloth or lots of paper kitchen towels. Put the yoghurt in and let it drain for about an hour so that it becomes nice and thick. Next, add in the sugar and vanilla and whisk together till smooth. Return to the fridge and let it chill until ready to serve.

See? It even Looks like cream!

Cut the strawberries and arrange them on a nice plate - just to make it look nice.

Then bring out the Faux Cream, spoon over the strawberries and enjoy! I really dont have to tell you how to enjoy strawberries with cream...!

Both the kids and the lovely wife LOVED the Faux Cream! As you can see, they polished off the bowl of yoghurt and my little princess asked for more.

Unfortunately, I had used up all the yoghurt. I'll definitely make this 'cream' again and perhaps even experiment with substituting it for cream in other desserts. The possibilities are really quite endless...

So now not only do you know a little bit more about Malaysia but you can also 'wow' your friends with the fact that Strawberries DO grow in the tropics!


glamah16 said...

You know I much prefer the yougurt variation. Delish!

Bellini Valli said...

Well done Dharm:D I should ask dad more stories about Malaysia. He had always meant to go back for a visit, but you know how life sometimes gets in the way of your plans.

Cynthia said...

I like your yogurt cream idea!

We only get imported strawberries here too but I don't buy them.

I buy the frozen ones to make smoothies and so on.

marye said...

Nice! Actually I often use lightly sweetened sour cream rather than cream...


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