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Thursday, February 11, 2010

Do You Have Pink Champagne? - Taking Inspiration From An Affair To Remember

Champagne 4

Strawberry Mochi 6

Strawberry Mochi 5
Picnik collage

We are counting down to Valentine's Day and Chinese New Year, both of which fall on the same day this year and for the February month of Romance, Singapore Airlines has, aptly, compiled a list of Romantic Classics for their in-flight movie screening. One which I have watched twice within this month, is the old time classic, An Affair To Remember - starring the impossibly suave Gary Grant and the very likeable Deborah Kerr. For those who needs a reminder, this is the movie that was referenced in Sleepless In Seattle - this is the original movie that pitched the promise of meeting on the Empire State Building rooftop.

I risk sounding old fashioned and cliche by saying this but I will say it anyway, they don't make movies like these anymore. Devoid of glitzy pyrotechnics and computer graphic effects, old movies, I feel, always manage to deliver a mega dose of glamour and class. It could be the charisma of the actors and actresses themselves, the clever lines, the evergreen plot -but whatever they are, I find them less forgettable than the newer movies we are flooded with today. I always have to struggle to remember the name of an actress or a movie today but one can never forget Audrey Hepburn, Ingrid Bergman, Lauren Bacall..... The permanent impression of Audrey Hepburn standing in front of Tiffany is indelible and the clever and charged exchanges between Lauren Bacall and Humphrey Bogart in the other Classic Love Story, To Have and Have Not - is priceless and always leave me sighing for more. Here's an example :

[Slim kisses Steve]

Steve(Bogart): What did you do that for?
Slim(Bacall): I've been wondering if I'd like it.
Steve: What's the decision?
Slim: I don't know yet.
[They kiss again]
Slim: It's even better when you help.

These are the type of  lines that are waiting to go terribly wrong but when you hear it in Bacall's husky (non-stereo enchanced) voice and see the moody, cool expression on Bogart's face - it becomes eternally memorable!

As I walked by the Duty Free Shop at Changi Airport, the Moet Chandon's Pink Champagne Valentine promotion pack caught my eyes and immediately brought back this scene from An Affair To Remember - where Gary Grant's and Deborah Kerr's character had both unwittingly ordered pink Champagne at the bar counter.When Deborah Kerr dabbed the champagne behind her ear lobes, I was... bewitched. Don't worry, I am not going to go around dabbing champagne on my pulse points - I know I won't be able to pull it off.

(Click on the Video button on the top left corner to see the video. Please let me know if the video doesn't play...)

Create a playlist at

Determined to find a sweet that would pair with the pink champagne, the first ingredient that came to my mind was strawberry. Once again, I turned to Keiko's Okashi for the Strawberry Mochi recipe. The original recipe called for red bean paste but I decided to put the Prune Paste (枣泥) that I bought in Taiwan to good use and I thought the champagne should pair better with a tangy fruit paste instead of a bean paste.

My first time making a Mochi, I messed up my kitchen quite a bit experimenting with different cooking time for the glutinous rice flour. But all in all, it is quite an easy recipe to follow and I am really glad the Prune Paste is not overly sweet - in fact it was quite subtle allowing the strawberry's sweetness take center stage.

For those who are keen to try something different, I would strongly recommend this.
Strawberry Mochi 7

Recipe (Adapted from Keiko Ishida's Okashi)

Prune Paste            170g
Glutinous Rice flour 70g
Water                     110g
Potato starch for coating
Small strawberries, 4 washed and hulled.

1. Combine glutinous rice flour and water in a bowl. Mix well. Microwave at 600W for 1 min. Stir the mixture again. Microwave again for 1 min.
2. Cool down dough. Coat dough with potato starch, then flatten using hands. Divide into 4 even pieces.
3. Place 40g of Prune Paste on a cling wrap film. Place 1 strawberry in the middle. Roll the paste to cover the strawberry. Chill the filling for a few minutes.
4. Place each filling ball in the middle of each piece of dough. Cover the Prune Paste dough , gently using your fingers, stretch the dough over the Prune paste balls. Coat rice ball with potato starch and serve immediately.


La Table De Nana said...

Who could resist that Pink Champagne w/ the heart and pearls? I must admit this is exquisite your post with the talk of Lauren and Audrey and Grace. and old movies..I never thought of that..the actors and actresses were unique..truly their genre,voice,looks..personas..

And today.. many unfortunately are starting to have the same lips.. chest.. eyes etc:(
We still have Penelope..and Meryl..and Diane..Kate.. we still have special ones !

But you made me think..

Your desserts look beautiful w/ the strawberry in the middle and the photos are treats as always.
Thank you for sharing your talents..(I can't get the little video to play:(..) I'll come back:)

WendyinKK said...

Wah.. strawberry mochi...

Different, truly different.

MsMoon said...

These are gorgeous... the colour of the strawberry stands out in the deep maroon prune paste. I can imagine how the flavours come out and complement each other...

Plain white mochi definitely looks best with the prune and strawberry filling. But for a real romantic dessert on Valentine's Day, I want my mochi PINK! I'm a pink girl.... haha :D

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

:).. actually Moon I did try to make it in Pink but I went overdose on the colouring and it turned out too red so I did not photograph it. I am going to try again today.

Anonymous said...

Awww that's just perfect! Amazing stuff and I think the ideal pairing for pink champagne (how cute is that pink heart?) :D

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

Oh wow, it's exquisite and so romantic! With the pink, girly champagne ... perfect. Was just thinking, the overly red mochi you can use for CNY!

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Ju, that would make it an Ang Gu Kueh :-D

Zurin said...

A lovely post Shirley..perfect timing for valentines!!! and Oh yes its difficult to differentiate the 'satrs'now! tooo mnay perhaps but there are ones that stand out with exceptional talent.

I love the pearls..a;ways a favourite for me and absolutely gorgeous with the pink and the mochi!

I lOve mochi!!! fotos are fabulous!

Irene's Footprints said...

so pretty presentation...
Happy Valentine's Day!

Anonymous said...

Love the song and so pretty!!! I love strawberry mochi. Had them at a local sushi joint and in love with them ever since.

Unknown said...

you mention Champagne and I am here !! I just love it and cook it is also lot of fun !! cheers Pierre

Angie's Recipes said...

A bottle of Moet & Chandon costs about 30 Euros here....I think I would go for some Spanish Champagne-method Sekt.



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