Sunday, October 09, 2005

Four dishes, one baker, twelve hours, and then some.

My brownies again

Here's a slice of brownie for you, my beloved readers.

Okay okay, i know you can't taste it or smell it, but well you could always imagine!

Terribly sorry for the lack of posts. Been a busy bee as usual.

And... especially since I volunteered to cater food for a mini-event hosted by Amplify on Saturday. It was for about 40pax and I spent the entire friday night/saturday morning churning out 4 dishes, here's the menu:

1. Brownies
2. Onde Onde
3. Kueh Salat
4. Croquettes

Now now, ain't I crazy? To attempt all four by myself in one night? It was tiring - try standing for 12 hours straight in the kitchen, slaving over the hot stove, oven etc. hahaa almost suicidal no?

But I must say, it's been a real experience. Have never cooked so much at one shot for so many people. It was a true test of my skills and endurance and I'm so glad I passed!

Everyone loved the food... no complaints whatsoever. Isn't that great? It was certainly telling of my culinary skills. :)

Anyway here's some photos for you, it might give you a better idea of what food i churned out! enjoy... (P.S., recipes at the bottom):

mashing sweet potatoes
mashing up sweet potatoes for my Onde Onde

Gula Melaka
Gula Melaka (brown sugar) to fill the Onde Onde

Gula Melaka Centre
Here's how you stuff the dough with gula melaka in the centre

Onde onde – before cooking
There you go: an onde onde all rolled up!

Lots of onde onde
My onde onde, after cooking and coating them with grated coconut

These onde onde are amazing, and I love the fact that they have that orange glow. Used the same recipe I came across while watching 'The Cook, His Food and The Dishy Nyonyas' on Arts Central eons ago. I like this recipe; it's very easy to follow.

coconut milk
Pouring lots of coconut milk - this is for the top green custard-like layer for my kueh salat

Glutinous rice
Steamed glutinous rice - this makes up the bottom layer of the kueh

Traditional Nonya Kueh
A sea of green - you can only see the top layer of my kueh salat in this shot

Kueh Salat
My kueh salat - the 2 layers are quite distinct here

It was my first attempt at making kueh salat, a typical nonya snack and I'm so glad I pulled it off! I do admit it's a bit tricky, making the top layer especially! But i love how it turned out. It's one of my most favourite kuehs and I'm delighted that I can now make my own anytime...

Mashing potatoes
mashing up potatoes for my croquettes

YES, most of my time was spent mashing up these potatoes for my croquettes. There were 2 kg worth of potatoes mind you! My arms felt so strong after. haha. Check out my previous croquette post for the recipe and step by step photos. Here's the completed croquettes, post frying.

More of my potato croquettes

There was plenty of filling left over so I rushed out to buy some 'popiah' (spring roll) skins to wrap the stuff in. I can't bear to be wasteful!

Spring rolls
Looks good eh? well it tastes even better.

So there you have it, my first attempt at 'catering', alone. The kitchen was in such a big mess after! But well, i managed to clean everything up.

Would I do this again? Yes I would, but I guess I would start in the morning so that I can end by the night, next time. But right now, time to hit the books again... can't compromise my studies can i? hahaa... till next time then!

Kueh Salat

Bottom layer:
400g glutinous rice
200ml thick coconut milk with 100ml water
2-3 pandan leaves
some blue food colouring
a pinch of salt

Top layer:
6 eggs
800 ml thick coconut milk
200g rice flour
320g sugar
50 ml pandan juice
some green food colouring
a pinch of salt

Method:

Bottom Layer:
1. Soak glutinous rice for 2-3 hours. Drain.
2. Steam the rice on pandan leaves with a pinch of salt for 15-20 minutes or till tender.
3. Remove from heat and add in coconut milk. Mix well with a wooden chopstick.
4. Then sprinkle some blue food colouring all over the rice (optional).
3. Transfer back to heat and steam for 10 minutes further or till cooked.
4. Lay a banana leaf on the bottom of an 8 inch square tray. Place steamed rice in the tray and press down firmly with a banana leaf on top to compact it.
5. Return to steamer and steam for another 5 minutes. The bottom layer has to be hot when the top layer is poured on.

Top Layer:
1. Beat eggs in a mixing bowl lightly with a fork. Mix in the rice flour. Strain.
2. Cook coconut milk, pandan juice, sugar, salt and green food colouring over low heat. Keep stirring and add in the egg mixture. Stir continuously over low heat, until mixture thickens.
3. Pour the yellow mixture over the steamed glutinous rice in the steamer slowly. Steam for 15-20 minutes or until set
4. Cool the kueh before cutting.

*Note, i didn't have banana leaves, so I used normal grease proof paper instead. works fine.

__________________________________________________

Onde Onde

Dough:
350g glutinous rice flour
250g sweet potatoes
3 tbsp pandan juice
1/2 tsp salt
2 & 1/2 tbsp water

Other ingredients:
200g gula melaka
1 grated coconut

Method:
1. Cut the gula melaka into small pieces.
2. Cook and mash sweet potatoes.
3. Sieve glutinous flour into a large bowl.
4. Add the mashed sweet potatoes and pandan jice.
5. Mix well and knead into dough
6. Form dough into marble sized balls.
7. Make a hole in the center and fill withe some pieces of gula melaka
8. Make it into a small ball
9. Boil water and put the boils in to boil
10. Take the balls out when they float to the surface
11. Add salt to the grated coconut and mix well
12. Roll the cooked glutinous balls over grated coconut and serve

17 comments:

tfp said...

All of those dishes look fantastic!

gwenda said...

wowww these look really good! i tried making kueh salat but i couldnt find pandan leaves here so i used pandan essence and it tasted really artificial.. :( glad yours turned out so good!

Alanna said...

Lovely post - very inspiring! Can you suggest substitutions for the glutinous flour and the pandan juice in the onde onde -- also what does the name mean, if translatable?! Thanks much! Alanna

Lazyg3r said...

Hello
I made ondeh Ondeh previously, but the gula melaka filling solidified shortly after cooking. Does yours too?

the baker said...

tfp: thanks! :) it was fun preparing all these.

gwenda: they don't have pandan leaves there? man, it would have made a world of a difference. nvm, you can always get some and make the kueh when you're back here ya? =)

ak: heya, i'm afraid you have to use glutinous rice flour for the 'onde onde' (pronouced as own-day). That's because this flour has more starch i think, which is required for that sticky, buoyancy that the onde onde has. Hmmm i'm not sure what it means, but it's actually a sweet snack eaten during tea. pandan leaves are actually screwpine leaves. it's just a different name. Hope they have it there!

lazyg3r: hmmm it's not supposed to solidify. did you soften it before filling up the onde onde? it can't be too hard or else it won't melt when you cook the balls.

Bel said...

oh my... my two favourite kuehs!!
how i miss them so much. thanks for posting up pictures, they sure do look very tasty.

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Hi,
I just made your "Kueh Salat" recipe today and it worked out perfectly! I love Kuehs and this one was very yummy!
By the way, could you recommend me a Kueh recipe book?... Thanks.
Regards,
Rosa

the baker said...

hey rosa! glad you liked it... i love the custard-like texture and taste. not sure if you know what kaya (coconut egg jam) is, but you should try making it one day. it tastes somewhat like this kueh's top layer. Check this link out to get a better idea: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kaya_%28jam%29

hmmm there's this kueh recipe book my mum bought and that's where i got the kueh salat recipe from. It's called "Delicious Nyonya Kueh & Desserts". It's by a Patricia Lee, the owner of this award winning Nyonya restaurant here. It's called Chilli Padi (www.chillipadi.com.sg). I am not sure if this book is available in Switzerland though. But you know what? i have a brilliant idea. hahaa why don't you email me at thebakerwhocooks.gmail.com and I'll explain further :) cheers!

the baker said...

oops, i meant
thebakerwhocooks@gmail.com

Anonymous said...

Hihi,
i tried your onde-onde recipe with much enthusiasm last night. two hours and much flour tasting later, i only had a lot of very green uncooked flour and a hot bowl of leaked gula melaka. boooohooo.... so sad. the balls floated but were still uncooked. i don't have fresh pandan leaves so i used pandan essence, i would have green onde onde if the flour cooked well. i m in japan by the way and there are many types of glutinous rice flour. i might have used the wrong one. anyway, i might try again soon, fingers crossed. just to double check, u only need 2 tablespoon of water? and this u add into the mixture?

you have very good cooking skills to pull off cooking so many yummy food in one night. u made them seem so simple too!

the baker said...

hi anon,

oh no.. what happened? as far as I know, there's only one type of glutinous rice flour. actually it's okay if you don't use pandan at all. there are many onde onde recipes and if you used my sweet potato one, it'll end up orange (which is a nice colour by the way!) honestly, the recipe is just a guide, please do feel free to add more or less of what you think is appropriate. it says 2 tbsp water, but if your dough is still dry, you can add more. :)
Do let me know if you face any more problems ya?

P.S. email me if you still have any doubts, i'll be more than happy to help

Anonymous said...

hello,
thanks! i'm gonna try again tonight! yes, never give up. the problem is my japanese is not that great and there are many types of flour here, so different from sg. there are combination flour for making mochi (rice cakes/balls), so some are 100% of rice flour, some a combination of rice flour and something else. and since the texture of the japanese dango and the ones we know as tang yuan are not quite the same, i wasn't sure if the glutinous rice flour we hv in sg is the same as the 100% ones here or something different. anyway, the supermarket will be pleased with my flour purchases for experiment. ;P

did u only used 2.5 TBS of water for 350g of flour? i find that really hard to believe.

anyway, later...

blaze said...

I really enjoyed you chinese cooking website. I also have a site about chinese cooking Please take a look. I hope you will find it interesting

tabehodai said...

I finally made it! Well, almost. I'm almost getting it right. The first time I used 上新粉 and the coconut balls floated after a long time (30mins or more?!) despite being uncooked. The second time I used 白玉粉 and this time the coconut balls cooked well and floated within 2-3 mins. I happily tossed them onto slightly salted and warmed grated coconut. Although I found it a little tough, the onde-onde looked great and tasted good, the gula melaka oozing out from the inside as I bit into one. THEN after letting the onde-onde cool down, the texture was just wrong, it was too tough.

I learnt a lesson, therein lies the difference between Japanese dango and Chinese tang yuan. I've always wondered why the two tasted different. Now I know. It's cos the flour used to make Chinese tang yuan is 100% pure glutinous rice flour whilst that used to make the Japanese equivalent is a mix of glutinous rice flour and rice flour.

In the next attempt, I will have to look carefully at the packet description and find not just the flour used to make dango but 100% glutinous rice flour. Now it seems so clear, but when I was at the supermarket, I just get so confused with which flour to buy.

By the way, 上新粉 is actually rice flour and some 白玉粉 are made of 100% glutinous rice flour and others are a mix of rice and glutinous rice flour.

V. said...

Hi,
Loved your kuih salat recipe. Thanks for sharing!:)

linq1 said...

hi,
was looking for a puteri salat recipe and remembered your blog. I just want to ask you how was the texture of your 'top' layer.V. gummy or more like bengawan solo-type. My maid had tried a recipe before and it turned out like a hardened glue (gummy) texture. Am worried about amount of flour in the mixture. Do you think that less is better to get the bengawan solo effect ? Or more coconut milk (arghhh...there goes my arteries). Haha. Anyway, thanks.....

Clara said...

Hi,

I tried the kueh salat recipe today and was quite disappointed by the texture of the top layer. I was wondering how you managed to "strain" the egg and flour mixture? It was too batter-like for me to strain, and I ended up mixing it into the coconut mixture. Unfortunately it didn't turn out as smooth as I had hoped it'd be - I agree with linq1 that perhaps there was too much rice flour in the recipe. What do you think?

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