Wednesday, February 3, 2016

Homemade Bandung Attap Chee Ice Cream

Although it is cool and raining cool now, yesterday was actually a very hot day!!! Well, you know... Crazy Melbourne weather!!! LOL!

It's dessert time on a hot day and I ask... Anybody want some attap chee ice cream?

Me! I always hear this answer instantly and then I see two salivating faces! LOL!

If you are (1) a Singaporean, (2) a Gen Y or X or earlier and (3) a dessert lover, I'm sure you will know attap chee. Or do you?

According to Wikipedia, nipa palm is commonly known as attap in Singapore. Nipa palm is a species of palm native to the coastlines and estuarine habitats of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. Its seeds (known as chee in most Chinese dialects) are sweet, translucent, jelly-like and chewy. Hence, attap chee is commonly used as an ingredient in Southeast Asian desserts like ice kachang and chendol.

Remember the days when we used to buy plastic bags of attap chee from wet markets? My grandma would said eeew whenever I asked her to buy a bag of attap chee for me because she reckoned that the way that the markets scooped the gluey attap chee from one large transparent tub into plastic bags was not hygienic at all. However, if the attap chee is part of ice kachang, chedol and ice cream, my grandma thinks that those attap chee are ok! Hmmm... It is sometimes good to live in denial, kind of like "if you don't see, you won't know"! LOL!

Here, there is nothing to hide in our attap seed ice cream! ... as all we see and taste are these attap seeds in this yummy milky creamy ice cream.

bandung attap chee ice cream
Homemade Bandung Attap Chee Ice Cream
Where can we buy attap chee in Australia?
Yup! We are not living in Singapore or places along the tropical coastlines.
So the only place we can get out attap chee is from this can!
Attap chee are very sweet!!!
This is made with our favourite basic mix-and-churn Ben and Jerry's ice cream base from here but with the addition of evaporated milk and rose water.
Why pink?
The classic attap chee ice cream that we eat are all pink. Is it because it contrasts the translucent attap chee better or it contains the pink bandung cordial in it? To be honest, I don't know and like mine to be pink too! LOL!
Here we have a light pink ice cream base and it is ready to churn...
In an ice cream machine, churn the ice cream base until it stiffens.
About two minutes before it is done, stir in the attap chee and continue to freeze until ice cream is ready.
bandung attap chee ice cream
Anybody want some attap chee ice cream?
See! There is nothing that I can hide in here!
All these generous addition of attap chee... And this is why this ice cream is so yummy!

What if you are NOT (1) a Singaporean, (2) a Gen Y or X or earlier and (3) have not tasted any attap chee before? Now that you see this yummy recipe, you can't pretend that you don't know! LOL!

Here's the recipe that is mostly adapted from the basic Ben and Jerry Ice Cream at here

Make about 1.3 quart or 1.2 liter
2 large eggs or 3 tbsp whole egg powder* plus 5 tbsp water
1/4 cup (50g) caster sugar (a heavenly reduced amount because attap chee are sweet but please do not omit this addition because the sweetness is just right)
2 cup heavy cream (35% fat)
375g can evaporated milk (regular, not fat reduced**)
the pasteurised egg powder that I used
2 tbsp rose water or more if desired (optional, omit if you don't like this addition)
adequate natural red food colouring, as desired
1 can (625g) attap seeds (attap chee) (drained weight is about 340g), scooped or drained as much you can to remove the heavy syrup, coarsely chopped - Please do not wash attap chee with water to remove the gluey syrup - doing this will make the ice cream very icy!

* I would highly recommend using pasteurised egg powder to avoid any food contamination due to the use of raw eggs.
** Due to the lower amount of sugar added, the addition of the creamy evaporated milk (not the low fat one) helps to enhance the texture and taste of this ice cream base.

Using a hand whisk, whisk eggs (plus water if you are using egg powder) in a mixing bowl until light and fluffy, 1-2 mins. Whisk in sugar, a little at a time, then continue whisking until completely blended, about 1 min. Add cream, milk, condensed milk, rose water and colouring. Whisk to blend.

Chill mixture in a fridge until it is cold. Transfer the mixture to an ice cream maker and freeze following the manufacturer's instructions. After the ice cream stiffens (about 2 mins before it is done), stir in attap seeds, then continue freezing until ice cream is ready.

If your ice cream maker is little and can make only 1 liter ice cream at a go like mine, stir in 3/4 of the attap chee at about 2 mins before it is done. When it is ready, transfer about 1/4 of the mixture into a ice cream container and continue to stir in the remaining attap seed for about 1 mins into the ice cream. Transfer ice cream into a container and continue to freeze ice cream until firm.

Freeze for up to 2 months. Serve whenever you crave to eat some yummy ice cream :)

Enjoy the treat.
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  1. Have to admit I haven't heard of this ice cream. Now that I have, of course I must try it! Sounds like fun, and your recipe is SO good. Thanks.

  2. Wow...this is really unique, Zoe. I love attap chee but have never seen it in ice cream!

  3. I have never heard of this fruit, but sounds something like lychee? Whatever said and done, that ice cream looks really tempting...

  4. Oh, I can even smell through your photos. It's perfect dessert for weekend.

  5. I always wonder why the attap chee ice cream sold by the mobile ice cream ah cek is pink in color.. so it's the colouring? :D

    1. Yes.. It is pink because of the added artificial colouring! Attap chee is not pink :p

  6. Hi, is there any other way if I don't have an ice cream maker?

    1. Hi Michelle,

      If you don't have an ice cream maker, you can try this method that I have seen at pour ice cream mixture (with no attap chee) into a shallow container and freeze for 2 hours until frozen at the edges. Beat with electric beaters, then return to freezer. Repeat 2-3 times, then freeze until firm. Then mix in the attap chee at the last mixing step.


  7. Hi Zoe
    I stumbled upon your website after researching for a palm seed ice cream recipe. In idea after reminiscing of the Singapore treats with a friend of mine. Thank you for the recipe though I doubt I can ever recreate that child hood memory.