I was brought up around food and people preparing wonderful dishes. I used to bring many packets of nasi lemak sold by my aunt to get extra pocket money until many teachers in school know me as ‘the nasi lemak girl’. It was also my duty to bring kuih prepared by Mak to a stall ran by one of the makcik every afternoon. Why, if you may ask, I felt great doing all those things mentioned. Being associated with good food was certainly a pleasure.
When it comes to cooking, I would say that I’m prone to the ‘heavy duty’ tasks. This means, I would prefer cooking chicken curry to baking a cheesecake. I like chopping, grinding ad stirring more than rolling fondant or putting buttercream on dainty cupcakes. I don’t have enough patience to shape biscuits and that’s why I enjoy bread-making. The kneading alone can bring much satisfaction!
However, I do have several exceptions. Having been brought up in the kampung, I do have a soft spot for traditional Malay kuih. Using basic ingredients like rice or glutinous rice flour,sugar and coconut milk, a delightful array of sumptuous tea time snacks are created. Don’t you feel indebted to those intelligent and creative womenfolk of the yesteryears? Making do with what was available around the house. That’s creativity at its utmost level! As a way to appreciate what our great great grandmothers had started, I still enjoy ‘kuih koci’, ‘lepat pisang’, ‘bingka ubi’ and ‘bubur kacang’, just to name a few. Undoubtedly, a slice of blueberry cheesecake would tempt me but a slice of ‘bingka ubi’ would bring me way back to my childhood days. With that memories in mind, I tried making ‘Kuih Keria’ or easily translated as Sweet Potato Doughnuts. I could still picture out how Mak was trying to get the right consistency of her sugar syrup so that it would eventually turn out as a frosting to coat her ‘Kuih Keria’. After several attempts, she did find out how. True enough, cooking is about practice. You’ll get better if you keep on trying.
For my Kuih Keria, I had used a recipe by Rohani Jelani, from her book, Malaysian Cakes and Desserts. Making a traditional Malay kuih using a recipe in English. How contradictory is that? Just to let her know that I just retyped the recipe. All the words were from the book.Anyway, let’s have a look at my product.
- 350g of sweet potatoes (I used the orange variety, which I found sweeter compared to the white)
- 75g flour
- 1/2 teaspoonful of baking powder
- Oil for deep frying
- caster sugar to coat
- Scrub the sweet potatoes clean, then place them in a pan and cover with generous amount of water. Boil until tender. Drain the water and let to cool.
- Once cooled, peel off the skins. Mash the flesh until free of lumps. remove any tough fibres and discard.
- Sift the flour and baking powder together and add to the mashed sweet potatoes, kneading lightly until smooth. (I added another 25g of flour for I think my sweet potatoes had a higher water content so the dough was initially sticky.)
- Roll the dough into 30g/1oz balls, flouring your hands lightly to prevent the dough from sticking. Flatten the balls slightly and make a hole through the centre of each one with a floured handle of a wooden spoon. with your fingers, lightly pat the edges around the hole to form a nice, smooth doughnut shape. Lay the doughnuts on a lightly-floured tray.
- heat the oil in a wok over medium heat. Keeping the heat on low, fry the doughnuts until golden brown on both sides, about 6-7 minutes. Drain on paper towels.
- Then, coat with caster sugar. Traditionally, these doughnuts are rolled in hot, melted sugar to create a frosting around them. The writer mentioned that caster sugar is a healthier option but I have to admit that I opted for caster sugar for sheer laziness for I stand by the motto, fast to cook, fast to eat!
Besides conducting experiments in the kitchen, long school break also means time to clean and rearrange my larder. It is like a treasure hunt for me because in the process, I would ‘discover’ some baking stuff that I’ve bought and left abandoned. This process also includes disposing certain items which are already expired ( and this definitely involves throwing away unopened bottles and unused ingredients!) So silly of me but to tell you the truth, I never learn. If you check my shopping trolley whenever I go for grocery shopping, there would certainly be at least one or two items related to baking. Come to think of it, I’m very glad that my baking tins and moulds do not have any expiry date. Just imagine what would happen if they do. A kitchen full of rotten junks due to not excessive use but total abandonment!
In my mission to ‘save’ my available ingredients, perhaps, I should be thanking Daus for asking for some doughnuts some time this week. As usual, I went through my recipe folder to look for the simplest recipe and I came across one which was actually a leaflet in my one of my flour boxes. I was very delighted because the recipe required for superfine flour and I was actually looking for recipes so I can use up the stock. This recipe is taken from the leaflet in my Blue Key Superfine, Superwhite Flour box. I did half of the amount of the recipe given and I did some amendments. My experiment produced a colourful outcome as seen in the photo below.
- 250g superfine flour
- 3/4 teaspoonful of instant yeast
- 105ml of water
- 1/2 teaspoonful of salt
- 25g of butter
- 20g of caster sugar
- 25g of egg ( well-beaten and weighed)
- enough melted cooking chocolate
- icing sugar for dusting
- hundreds and thousands (those colourful beads you see in the photo)
- In a mixer fitted with a dough hook, mix all ingredients and mix to form a dough. Round it up into a ball shape.
- Leave the dough in a bowl covered with a piece of cling plastic. Let to rise till it doubles in size. this usually takes 1 hour.
- After proofing, roll dough out to 1.5cm thick.
- Cut dough using a doughnut cutter and place the dough pieces on a greased tray. Let to proof for about 30-40 minutes.
- Deep fry until golden brown.
- Coat doughnuts with icing sugar while it is still warm. Coat your cooled doughnuts with melted chocolate and sprinkle with hundreds and thousands.
Good morrow peeps. What is your plan today? As for me, the usual activities – cooking, cleaning my messy room (the kids’ stuff scattered continuously) and trying to finish marking my students’ exercise books. After a tiring day at school yesterday, I couldn’t stop thinking of what to cook for dinner as I was driving home. Thanks to Mr KHz who only requested for my home version of ‘Prosperity Burger’. As usual, burgers are very simple but never fails to satisfy his hunger pang. Notice the burgers in the photo below? Yes, he gobbled up three!
I tried the recipe for the sauce after reading MamaFami’s blog. I had my first try making the sauce when I went back to Melaka last month. The verdict? The recipe is definitely a keeper! Since the buns and meat patties were bought, I shall include the recipe for the sauce. Please have a try!
2 cups of chicken stock ( I used 1 chicken cube and mixed with boiling water)
1/4 cup of fresh milk
2 tbsp black peppercorns (coarsely ground)
1/2 onion (diced)
1 tbsp cooking oil
2 tbsp sweet soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp butter (MamaFaMi used margarine)
3 tbsp of cornflour (mixed with 3 tbsp of water)
salt and sugar (if necessary)
- Heat the oil and stir fry the onion till fragrant.
- Then, pour in the chicken stock and let to boil.
- Next, put all the ingredients except the cornflour mixture and let to boil again.
- After that, lower the heat and pour the cornflour mixture until you have achieved the desired consistency.
- Dip the meat patties into the sauce and enjoy your burger!