For those who know me, you would know that the extent of my cooking abilities is limited to making instant noodles and frying hotdogs and eggs. I am almost useless in the kitchen and have never willingly stayed longer than I have to (only as long as I need to reheat old nomz in the microwave).
Inspired by the wonderful dishes from Carnation’s Good Eats! Bloggers’ Night, I attempted to actually use our kitchen (and not start a fire). I wasn’t going to be overly ambitious the first time so thought to start with something small and simple. Scouring the net for the easiest thing to make that involved sweets and milk, I found a short recipe from the post Yema Balls – A Simple Filipino Treat on the blog A Cupcake or Two.
|4 egg yolks, 3 tablespoons of butter, 2 small cans of condensed milk, sugar (for coating) and small cupcake cups|
It sounded easy enough to make, with too few ingredients for a noob to mess up. Come Friday night, I passed by the grocery to get eggs, Carnation condensed milk, sugar, butter, and cupcake paper for BaconTunaMelt’s version of yema balls.
Up bright and early on a Saturday (also a first), I had my ingredients prepared, utensils ready and the recipe printed out by 9am. There was a bit of a snafu right when I started because I didn’t know how to separate the egg yolk from the egg whites. That should have been my indicator that although the recipe is simple, a kitchen noob will remain a kitchen noob without any actual practice.
Here’s how NOT to make yema:
Step 1- Melt butter in a non stick pan over low heat;
Step 2- As soon as the butter is melted, pour in the can of condensed milk and stir for half a minute;
Step 3- Pour in the egg yolks;
Step 4- Keep the heat on low and stir. Your mixture should be a light yellow color and slightly thick;
Step 5– You’d notice your mixture getting thicker, keep stirring over low heat;
Step 6– The mixture would be bubbling a little because of the heat, but keep stirring;
Step 7– After about 15 minutes, your mixture should be getting darker and you’d still be stirring;
Step 8– Your stirring arm should be feeling really numb now, but keep stirring.
Now if you weren’t such a noob, you’d figure out that the mixture is thick enough and you should stop the heat to let it cool down and when it’s cool enough, you start rolling them into balls and then coating them with sugar. But for noobs like me, we keep going.
Step 9- Stir until your arm feels like it’s about to fall off and until the mixture looks like brown paste;
Step 10- The mixture is cool, but is also rock hard. Take it out of the pan if you can and end up with this solid mass of brown.
You now have a yema that’s not really yema, but a hard candy that kinna tastes like toasted pastillas. Or peanut brittle without the peanut. If you’re really nice, we can call it candied yema. And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how NOT to make yema.
*this isn’t going to dishearten me from wanting to make yema, I’ll try again soon enough. Tune in next week to find out what I’ll end up with then.
UPDATE: My next attempt at making yema was successful! Check out the fantastic results here- How To Make Yema Balls: Possibly the Simplest Recipe Ever! ^_~