One of my ten thousand bad habits is to stock up on the latest superfood, try it once, think it tastes like dirt, and accordingly let it sit in my cabinet for three years past its expiration date. This describes my relationship with moringa to a tee. There are a million promises of its benefits: increased energy and cognitive function and a boost to metabolism. But I still avoided using it until I finally decided that I was not going to let another pack of powder expire on my watch.
I dislike green tea but enjoy green tea desserts, and with that logic, I figured that a moringa dessert, specifically custard, would be tasty and decadent enough to hide its grass-like taste -- and the results were better than I could have imagined. It really does have a similar feel to green tea, so if you like those flavored cakes or custards, this will be just up your alley. The best part is that at the end of the meal, you can tell yourself that it was all in the pursuit of health.
The addition of freeze-dried strawberries are optional, but highly recommended. I originally was just going to use it for photos, but it provided the perfect tart touch.
CARDAMOM MORINGA CUSTARD
Serves: 8 people
Time: 3 hours, 30 minutes (3 hours are chilling time)
2 cups whole milk (no exceptions)
2/3 cup sugar
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/4 cup cornstarch
2 tbsp + 2 tsp moringa powder
4 tsp cardamom powder
1 tbsp dried valencia peel (optional)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tbsp freeze-dried strawberries, crushed (optional, but recommended)
Whipped cream for topping (optional, but recommended)
Heat milk and vanilla extract in a heavy bottom, medium saucepan until at a low simmer. Stir continually and make sure it does not come to a boil.
Meanwhile, place sugar, cornstarch, moringa powder, and salt into a bowl and whisk together.
Add the eggs yolk and whisk again -- this can be done with a stand mixer, beaters, or even just by hand.
Slowly pour milk mixture into eggs while whisking at a low speed. Add the milk slowly so that the eggs do not scramble. Also make sure to whisk gently to avoid too much foaminess.
Transfer the mixture back to the saucepan and cook over medium-low heat for another five minutes, or until thickened to desire. Whisk continually, albeit gently, to prevent mixture from scalding in the pan.
When the mixture is thick enough, remove it from the heat and add the butter. Let it melt and stir to incorporate everything.
Pour the custard into 4 oz ramekins or the dish of choice. Then place in the refrigerator for at least 3 hours.
When the custard is ready, remove and top with a dollop of whipped cream and sprinkle the freeze-dried strawberry powder on top.