Fried Custard

Course : Chinese
Serves: 4
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3 large egg yolks -- beaten
1 cup cold water
1/2 teaspoon almond extract
1/2 cup flour
6 tablespoons cornstarch
4 tablespoons sugar
4 cups peanut oil -- for deep-frying
3 tablespoons sesame seeds -- toasted and ground

Preparation / Directions:

In a 1-quart saucepan place the yolks, water, almond extract, flour and 3 tablespoons of the cornstarch. Add 1 tablespoon of the sugar. Mix thoroughly and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens into a heavy custard. Remove to a flat dish that has been greased with a bit of vegetable oil and spread the custard out to 1/2-inch thickness. Place in the refrigerator to cool. When cool and firm cut the custard into diamond shapes about 1 1/2-inches long. Dust with the remaining 3 tablespoons of cornstarch. Deep-fry the coated diamonds in 360 degree oil until golden brown. Do this in two batches. Mix the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar with the ground sesame seeds and sprinkle over the fried custard. Serve hot. This recipe serves 4 to 5 as a dessert. Comments: The cook who thought up this one must be credited with being very, very clever. The dish goes back many generations in China and is popular at formal banquets in Hong Kong because Westeners are so used to having a sweet dessert. It is not complex to prepare and it is a great deal of fun to serve.

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