Thursday, December 10, 2009

Aussie Halo Halo

Halo Halo means mix-mix in Philippine. This shaved ice dessert is a cross of Malaysia Ice Kacang and Phillipine Halo Halo. I've used Thai Tub Tim Grob and lots of summer fruits to make up this glass of Halo Halo.

Tub Tim Grob is known as fake pomegranate seeds or little jewels or rubies. At its core, they are just diced and coloured water chestnut coated with tapioca starch and cooked to reveal its beautiful jewel/chestnut inside.

There is a lot of flavour going on in this glass of Halo Halo.Here, I've used Autralia summer fruits or practically any fruits that are in season now in Adelaide to make this. So, instead of papaya, jackfruit and other tropical fruits, I've used blueberries, grapes, mango, strawberry, pomegranate arils, red and green rubies.

I mixed all that together and layer them in a tall glass with shaved ice, mango sorbet and a coconut lime dressing. I top it off with more mango sorbet and serve this with a spoon. As the name says it all, mix it all up to eat it! The coconut lime dressing goes really well with my mango sorbet. Here, I could taste the fruits, the coconut, lime juice, mango and star anise all kept chilled by the layer of shaved ice.

This is really awesome and you don't need a recipe, just rough guidance really.

Ingredients: Serves 2

1/2 cup coconut milk
1 tsp freshly squeezed lime juice
2 tsp castor sugar

Place all the above in a glass jar with lid and chill until needed.

Mango sorbets

Shaved ice
Tub Tim Grobs (Recipe below)
Diced mangoes
Handful of blueberries
Sliced strawberries
Handful of baby grapes
Handful of pomegranate arils

Mix all the above except for shaved ice and mango sorbets. In two tall glass, place half the mixture of fruits and rubies evenly into the glasses. Top with a large scoop of mango sorbet on each glass followed by enough shaved ice to the brim. Pack them a little and fill up the glasses with remaining fruit and rubies mixture. Take the glass jar filled with coconut lime mixture and give it a good shake until it's foamy and all the sugar has dissolved. Pour evenly over the two glasses and serve straight.

Tub Tim Grobs
(Colourful rubies or fake pomegranate seeds)

This is best made on the day it is needed and not overnight else it will expand and you'll get skin flating with water chestnut all over. The reason it is called fake pomegranate seeds is because it is red traditionally but feel free to substitute red with many other colours as you wish. You can also feel free to use food colouring however on days when I feel like I'm in the au naturale mood, I'll use pomegranate juice or beetroot juice to soak the chestnuts to make it red and freshly blended pandan juice to soak the chestnuts and make them green. I will leave some plain too for colour sake.

10 to 15 pieces of fresh water chestnuts, peeled and cubed smallish
Water in a spraying mist can
Tapioca starch placed in a Ziploc Bag
Beetroot juice or pomegranate juice
Freshly blended and strained pandan juice (10 pandan leaves to 1/2 cup water)

Divide the chestnuts into 3 handfuls. Drop one handful in the pomegranate juice, just enough to cover them. Drop the other one in pandan juice and the plain ones, set them aside or feel free to drop them in sugar syrup like I did. Soak them overnight for best results.

Working with one color at a time, drain the juice and retain the juice. Place the coloured chesnuts into the ziploc bag. Shake well to coat and run your fingers through them to breakup any larger clumps. Strain them into a clean baking tray and spray them liberally with water. Return the wet chestnut cubes into the ziploc bag and shake well again. Run fingers through to break smaller lumps. Repeat the water spraying sequence twice or thrice depending on how big you like the rubies to be. Repeat with remaining two colours.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to boil and drop the rubies in. They will cook and float and reveal its beautiful shades of colour when cooked. Drain and drop them in cold icy water for a while to prevent sticking and then drop them back into its respective coloured juice again.

When about to assemble, drain all the rubies and toss them around with all the diced fruits mixture.

Serve this on a hot summer day. They are so ever refreshing!

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  1. Hi,the halo halo look really refreshing. The weather here is so hot, I hope I could have a glass of this now :P

  2. Oh how this brings back fond memories of my biz trip to Mnl. Edith

  3. Quinn, this is a really interesting post. At first, I thought halo-halo was really "halo" above an angel's head LOL!! I didn't know in Tagalog, it means "campur!" Oh boy, I can see lots of flavors going on in one single serving of this shaved ice dessert. Very colorful! Oh hey, you know what? Thought of making this for the hot, hot Christmas of the Down Under? I can't see "no" for this ... LOL!


  4. Gosh, I can't resist this temptation. It looks incredible. The halo halo of these berries and all of that is so heavenly, Quinn. And I have to thank you for teaching me about the soft and stiff peaks. I'm so sorry for posting up the wrong information, Quinn.

  5. Grace: Yeah, the Halo Halo was indeed refreshing and this is very much like eating Ice Kachang or Chendol, different variations of shaved ice desserts!

    Edith: I bet you always see this in Manila last time! They're yummy isn't it. But mine's a little fusion-ized!

    Pei Lin, I love the flavour combinations though! This is a yes and must have for hot hot Down Under!!! Thanks again!!!

    Tracie: I'm so sorry I don't mean to 'lecture' or what, I bet you've seen teh email I shot to you! We're all learning and sharing new things every day! I'm lad you find my info useful and vice versa! Cheers!