It is really hot! I’ve been trying to think of desserts I can make without having to use the oven. That being said….

In Taiwan, we had some really good food. One of those places with really good food was recommended to us by our Hualien-born friend, Ingrid. Thanks again, Ingrid, for all the food recs (all were amazing!). Cai Ji Dou Hua, also known by Ingrid+fam as ‘Ah Piao ShuShu’s’ (the name of the owner), is a dessert shop that serves goodies like grass jelly, tofu pudding, cooked pressed barley, along with add-ins like boba, sweetened red or mung beans, brown sugar syrup, whole milk, or condensed milk shaved ice. As I mention in this earlier post, this place was so good we returned the very next day, and in total had about 8 bowls of delicious desserts in 3 days 🙂

We loved the dou hua a lot, and when I was at Nan Men Market, I made sure to buy dou hua powder so I could make it at home when we returned to the US. The powder made some pretty good dou hua, but I noticed a slight bitter aftertaste to the dou hua, and thought maybe I was imagining things? A Chinese blogger confirmed my thoughts when she did a comparison of 3 dou hua powder brands; she also found the brand I used slightly bitter.

So, without access to Nan Men Market, no sightings of dou hua powder at the stores in Philly, and the determination to make dou hua at home, what’s a girl to do? Luckily my YTower Tofu cookbook had the answer!

What is this tofu pudding you speak of? Imagine if tofu had the smooth and creamy texture of a light flan, but the taste of soymilk; that’s how I would describe dou hua.  There is a sugar syrup that the dou hua sits in; either a sweet ginger syrup, or brown sugar syrup. Then, there are endless numbers of toppings/accompaniments that can go with it..

hong tang

Literally translated as black sugar, this can be found at some Asian grocery stores. This brown sugar is sooo good and resembles dark red dirt more than sand (what I think Western brown sugar looks like).

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Sketchy source of gypsum powder. Few little information on this…I took a chance! Will be buying it from MySpiceSage soon.

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