January 29, 2013
Why won't Carl Malamud reveal his Durian Cheesecake recipe? What is he hiding?
Said Carl Malamud to Kate Murphy in Sunday's New York Times, "I invented a killer recipe for durian cheesecake while living in Bangkok. It has a coconut biscuit crust and it was published in The Bangkok Post. It's my claim to fame when I go to Bangkok. It's like going to Italy and saying you invented a pasta."
I read that and thought "No worries — I'll just go online and put "Durian Cheesecake Bangkok Times Carl Malamud" into the Google Search Box and Bob's my uncle."
Not so fast, Kemo Sabe: turns out you get this when you do that.
Browsing Malamud's tweets brought back the information pictured up top.
Come on, Carl — we know you're in there....
FunFact: There's a sushi bar called Kemosabe in Frisco, Colorado.
You could look it up.
No — they don't serve Durian Cheesecake.
Trust me on this.
But if you don't trust me, hey — videre est credere.
Note added at 4:48 p.m. today.
Good news/bad news from Carl Malamud.
The good news: He got right back to me.
The bad news: "well, you're simply going to have to wait. your messages and web sites totally inappropriate. go do something that matters."
Videre est credere:
I am crushed.
Maybe Waldo Jaquith — whom Carl spoke highly approvingly of in the Times piece — will do an intervention.
January 29, 2013 at 04:01 PM | Permalink
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Who needs Malamud?
My spouse can't stand the smell of any grocery store that sells fresh Durian, yet she loves this creation.
Fresh Durian has significantly more cellular integrity than does frozen Durian. If you elect to use frozen Durian (and, most of you will have no other choice) then increase the number of egg yolks by two.
Here is the world premier of my Durian delight!
Pots de Creme-Durian
You will need:
a good blender
a large, non-reactive bowl to whisk the ingredients together
a double-boiler with the double boiler insert capacity of at least 2 quarts, at a low simmer
a large, high-sided pan (like a Lasagna pan), at least 3" deep (to serve as a bain-marie)
6 pyrex custard cups (or, whatever you have that can withstand 250f - coffee mugs, etc.)
a large, fine sieve (lined with a double thickness of cheesecloth (a chinois is perfect, if you have one)) and a large Pyrex measuring bowl with a pouring lip
Set your oven at 250f and place the lasagna pan into the oven with enough water to fill the pan to at least 2" in depth (the water should be right at the steaming stage and never reach a boil)
Making the custard:
If you haven't dealt with fresh Durian before, here's a quick video demonstration of how to open and remove seeds from the fruit:
9 ounces fresh Durian, blended on high for at least a minute (you may add up to 3/4 cup of the whole milk called for in this recipe to aid in creating a smoothly processed Durian)
1 1/2 cups whole milk (3/4 cup if you took the optional step, supra)
1 1/2 cups heavy cream
6 large egg yolks (8 if using frozen Durian)
5 tablespoons extra fine granulated sugar ("Baker's Sugar")
1/4 teaspoon salt
Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt while the Durian is blending. The yolks should be very light and form a "ribbon" when you lift the whisk from the bowl.
Slowly whisk in the blended Durian, milk and one (1) cup of the cream. Once thoroughly combined transfer the custard mixture to the double-boiler insert and place over the simmering water. Whisk the custard for five (5) to ten (1) minutes until it just begins to thicken (a spoon dipped half-way into the custard will have a coat of thin custard cling to the spoon). Remover the insert with the custard from the double boiler and turn off the burner.
Set your cheesecloth-lined sieve over your Pyrex measuring bowl and carefully pour the custard from the double boiler insert into the sieve. Using the back of a spoon, gently press on the cheesecloth lining to facilitate filtering the solids from your custard.
Pour the filtered custard into the Pyrex custard cups and then transfer all six to the bain-marie (the Lasagna pan with the hot water in it) in your oven. Cook at 250f for 50 min, or until the custard is firmly set (constantly topping off the hot water as it evaporates).
Carefully remove the custard cups from the water bath and chill.
Whip the remaining 1/2 cup of cream with a tablespoon of sugar and a drop or two of vanilla extract. Serve your Durian Pots de Creme with whipped cream on top. Don't tell you dinner guests what they are eating until after they compliment you.
Posted by: 6.02*10^23 | Jan 29, 2013 6:09:28 PM
Posted by: joepeach | Jan 29, 2013 5:28:06 PM
Somewhat surprisingly, I can't seem to find it even given the name of the food writer who put it in his column, Bob Halliday. Malamud mentions the recipe and column in his 1992 book -- without any more detail -- so guess number 1 is that the Bangkok Times hasn't got ca. 1990 stuff online. Guess number 2 is that, besides a butter and crushed coconut biscuit (cookie) crust instead of, say, cinnamon graham or ginger snaps, the other major change would be to substitute durian for half the cream cheese, give or take. "Give or take" meaning "stop adding durian when it starts to smell very much like a public toilet."
Posted by: Mike Harney | Jan 29, 2013 4:40:38 PM
Why don't you try what he had to say?
Durian has a creamy vanilla consistency and knowing this, you know what flavors not to spike and what you may need to back off on.
Have the fun of cooking is figuring out how someone else figured out something themselves and improving it.
Posted by: clifyt | Jan 29, 2013 4:19:37 PM
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