Wednesday, April 28, 2010

The Great Soymilk Challenge, Part 3 (wrap up)


Well, it finally arrived, the long-awaited barley malt powder, which I had been searching for in vain ever since ordering my new SoyQuick machine and seeing the video of this recipe demonstrated by Julie Hasson on the SoyQuick site.

I'm sure I ordered the right thing. This stuff tastes wonderful, a lot like the Ovaltine of my childhood, and I'm going to find uses for it, but those uses will not, unfortunately, include my daily soymilk. In a chocolate (malted) milkshake! In a creamy (malted) smoothie! Maybe I'll even create some form of vegan Ovaltine.

But after all the hype and anticipation, I was seriously underwhelmed by this recipe. And also, after now many trials of the SoyQuick maker and several different recipes and methods, the video in general.

For the benefit of the uninitated:

1. I love my new SoyQuick Premier Milk Maker 930P. It's a great product and works just exactly as advertised.

2. But you are never, ever, going to be able to filter out all the okara with a single gold coffee filter. I use a three-filter system that I'm getting increasingly comfortable with. Keep your sink full of soapy water and everything goes pretty fast. Pretty fast, but you still end up with 1 1/2 cups of okara, after it's been squeezed in a cloth. That filter of Julie's would hold maybe half a cup, wet. Maybe during the gap in filming she's emptying it several times. But she doesn't say so.

3. So this barley malt stuff. First, it isn't "easily available in health food stores" where I live: I had to order it from another country. But anyway. You're supposed to add it to the milk after it's been strained as a flavouring. Julie Hasson does a little whisking, but, my friends, I assure you that you could whisk for an hour without getting this powder to incorporate into your soymilk. She does murmur something about an immersion blender under her breath, and that is the tool you require. Fortunately, I have one. Unfortunately, barley malt powder is a grain product, a kind of flour, and the texture of the milk with three tablespoons of barley malt powder is somewhat gritty. The taste is okay, but in my opinion no more than that. It didn't separate as it cooled, or in coffee, unlike barley malt syrup or date syrup, so it's viable at least. I had some of my regular homemade soymilk to use as a comparison, and to me that tasted much fresher and just generally brighter and better.

Except for the part about the filter which is just fact, this is all a matter of preference, so I'm going to give both recipes and you can make your own call. The Julie Hasson one I wrote down from the video since I couldn't seem to link to anywhere where it is given in writing.

Julie Hasson's SoyQuick 930P soymilk recipe

(2 cups that come with the maker; I am assuming here) soy beans
1 tbsp jasmine rice
1 tbsp rolled oats

Flavorings:
4 tbsp barley malt extract
2 tbsp sugar
pinch salt
vanilla to taste

* * *

Zoa's favorite soymilk recipe (for lattes; for drinking plain, decrease the oatmeal to 2 tbsp):

2 cups soy beans
3 tbsp rolled oats
2 tbsp chopped dates

Flavorings:
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp salt

And that, for the time being at least, is that!

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