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Posts Tagged ‘coconut’

In my home country Malaysia, ‘kaya’ is a local jam that is made of eggs, coconut milk, sugar and pandan juice. All the local coffee shops have this jam available, and ‘kaya’ and butter is the default spread if you ask for a bread or toast.

What is Gula Melaka? It is coconut sugar that is locally made in Malaysia. It is dark brown color, always comes in cylinder block and in different sizes.Gula Melaka is usually used in making local desserts and delicacies. Gula Melaka has a unique sweet fragrance and thus adds the magic to the food. I bring Gula Melaka every time I come back from Malaysia because I haven’t seen it in Asian grocery stores here in U.S.– I found palm sugar, which is product of Indonesia and much light brown in color, but it’s not the same as Gula Melaka.

Anyhow, back to these rolls– given the store bought ‘kaya’ here is not as authentic, the flavor wasn’t as strong as I expected even I added toasted coconut. But hey I got to try new bread flavor, clean out some pantry items, and family got fed for breakfast… that’s good enough.

65C Coconut Jam 'Kaya' Rolls with Gula Melaka Glaze

65C Coconut Jam ‘Kaya’ Rolls with Gula Melaka Glaze

65C Coconut Jam ‘Kaya’ Rolls with Gula Melaka Glaze (makes 14 Rolls)

Ingredients:

Dough starter:
1/4 cup bread flour
250ml water

Dough:
1 egg– beaten
6 tbsp milk, plus 2 tbsp
6 tbsp whipping cream
4 cups bread flour
2 1/2 tsp dry yeast
6 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp milk powder
1 tsp salt
4 tbsp unsalted butter– melted and cooled

Coconut Jam ‘Kaya’– see note below
1/2 cup finely grated dry coconut– toasted and cooled

Gula Melaka Glaze:
1 medium cylinder block of Gula Melaka
2-3 tbsp water
2 tbsp unsalted butter

Method:

  1. Prepare dough starter: Combine bread flour and water in a small sauce pan. Blend well with a balloon whisk over medium low heat (whisk continuously). When the mixture thicken slightly, reduce to lowest heat setting while whisking continuously, until the mixture reaches 65 degree C. The consistency will be like condensed milk. Remove from heat and cool before using.
  2. While dough starter is cooling, beat egg in a bowl, then add in 6 tbsp of milk and whipping cream. Mix well.
  3. Pour in egg mixture to the bottom of bread machine loaf pan, followed by bread starter.
  4. Add flours to loaf pan.  Make an indent in the middle, and add dry yeast to the indent. Add sugar, milk powder and salt to different corners of the loaf pan.
  5. For Zojirushi bread maker (model Zojirushi BB-PAC20), press HOME MADE button and set timing as follow and press START: Rest: OFF–> Knead: 25 min –> Shape: OFF –> Rise 1: 45 min –> Rise 2: 30 min –> Rise 3: 1hour –> Bake: OFF –> Keep Warm: OFF
  6. 1-2 minutes after the knead cycle starts, add in 2 tbsp milk (the dough will be very wet– add more milk if needed). Add melted butter in 2-3 batches before knead cycle completes.
  7. When the final rise cycle is completed, transfer dough to a lightly floured surface. Gently roll out to 15 x 13 rectangle. Spoon a generous layer of coconut jam on the dough, follow by 5 tbsp toasted coconut. Spread evenly with a butter knife. Roll up the dough lengthwise to a log. Pinch dough to seal the end. Cut into 14 pieces. Place dough, cut side up, in a deep dish greased baking pan or glass pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rise to almost double in size.
  8. Brush top with whipping cream, and bake in preheated 350F oven, middle rack, for 25-30 minutes. Remove rolls from the oven.
  9. While bread is cooling in the pan, prepare the glaze: dissolve Gula Melaka with water in a small saucepan at medium low heat, use the back of a spoon to smear if needed. Add a little more water if it’s getting thick. Mix in butter and cook until all blended. Spoon glaze over the top of the rolls, then sprinkle with remaining 3 tbsp of toasted coconut. Rolls are best served warm with glaze.

Regina’s Note:

  • Coconut Jam: can be found in Asian grocery store like 99 Ranch.
  • Don’t let the long steps scare you– most of the time it’s the bread machine that is doing the job. I program my bread machine for each cycle, but you can just follow a simple white bread loaf recipe.
  • For a slightly healthy version, substitute out 1 cup bread flour with 1 cup of wheat flour.
  • The rolls taste the best when it’s warm and freshly glazed as you can taste more flavor of the glaze.
  • Be creative with the filling– raspberry, strawberry, orange, chocolate…
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Pineapple and coconut (and that rum too… shhh!)… Oh yes, say no more, you’re in tropical heaven.

Pina Colada Muffins

Pina Colada Muffins~ fluffy and moist, with a hint of rum flavor. Bake these muffins 1-2 minutes longer if you want crunchier muffin top as pictured.


Pina Colada Muffins (makes 12 muffins)

Ingredients:
1/2 cup chopped dried pineapples– in small pieces– see note below
3 tbsp water
2 cups flour
1 tbsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup dried coconut flakes– toasted– see note below
2/3 cup whipping cream
2 tbsp golden rum
2 eggs– room temperature
1/2 cup (1stick) unsalted butter– melted and cooled

Method:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degree F. Line muffin molds with muffin cup papers.
  2. Combine pineapple and water in a small bowl. Cover and microwave for 30 seconds to soften. Set aside for the pineapple to soak up all the liquid.
  3. In a large bowl, sift flour, baking powder, salt and both types of sugars. Press brown sugar crumbs through the sieve if needed. Mix in toasted coconut flakes.
  4. In a separate bowl, whisk together whipping cream, rum and eggs to combine.
  5. Pour egg mixture and melted butter, all at once, to flour mixture. Use a spatula, gently fold in until just combined.
  6. Add in pineapples, fold in a couple of times. Do not over work the batter.
  7. Spoon batter into lined muffin molds. Bake at preheated 400 F oven for 20-22minutes, or until the top springs back when touched. Remove from oven and cool on a rack.

Regina’s Note:

  • Pineapples: I used dried pineapple rings. If canned pineapples is used, use less sugar as canned pineapples are much sweeter than dried pineapple rings.
  • Coconut flakes: I used unsweetened dessicated coconut flakes. If you use sweetened coconut flakes, cut down the amount of sugar.
  • Baking time: Bake muffins 1-2 minutes longer if you want crunchier muffin top.

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In Malaysia there are lots of “kuih” (cakes sold in small pieces) made with glutinous rice and coconut– “pulut inti” is one of them. People eat it as breakfast, tea time snack or dessert. Traditional pulut inti are glutinous rice with sweetened grated coconut on the top, then wrapped with banana leave to a pyramid shape with a square or rectangle bottom. I cheated by using cling wrap instead of banana leaves :-). Also, some pulut inti sold in Malaysia are bluish in color– this is because people sometimes use blue pea flower to dye the rice. I don’t have such flower here for the coloring, but I do have pandan extract that gives green color. The first time I made these treats, I over mixed pandan extract into the rice, so the rice came out very evenly green. So this time I just slightly mixed in pandan extract, and it turned out very beautiful with that marble look– just like a piece of jade with all kinds of green and shade.

Glutinous Rice Packets with Coconut "Pulut Inti"

Glutinous Rice Packets with Coconut "Pulut Inti"

Pulut Inti Recipe (makes about 38 bite size pieces)

Ingredients:

for Glutinous Rice:
5 cups glutinous rice– soaked for 1 1/2 to 2 hours
1/2 tsp salt
2 cans (5.6 oz/165ml each) coconut milk
2 tbsp water
1/2 tsp green pandan extract (Butterfly brand preferred)

for Coconut topping:
1 pack (4 oz) desiccated coconut
1 cylinder block coconut sugar (“gula Melaka”)– about 3 inch diameter
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
200 ml water

Method:

  1. Prepare glutinous rice: drain the rice, then add salt, coconut milk and water. Mix well. Drizzle in green pandan extract and stir briefly. This is to create a marble look on the rice so don’t over stir it. Lay rice evenly on a deep dish steam tray, steam for 20-30 minute over high heat. Set aside.
  2. Prepare coconut topping: In a small sauce pan dissolve sugars in water, then strain to remove impurities in coconut sugar. Return sugar syrup back to the pot, add in coconut and salt. Cook on low heat until coconut is tender and fragrant, and the liquid is almost dry. Stir to prevent burning at the bottom.
  3. To assemble, line mini muffin molds with small pieces of cling wrap. Put in about 1 tsp of coconut at the bottom of muffin molds, then pack in about 2-3 tbsp of glutinous rice on top of coconut. Wrap up with cling wrap. Invert the packets so the coconut is on the top of the rice.

Regina’s Note:

  • Preparing coconut topping: taste for sweetness. Add in some brown sugar if necessary for sweetness and darker brown color.

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This a new cookie recipe that I tried out during the holiday cookie bake maniac. It is very crunchy, but if you prefer your cookies a bit on the chewy side then bake them for a shorter time (maybe 15 minutes?). I find the cookies are still a little too sweet, so I will cut down on the sugars next time.

Coconut Crunch for the holidays!

Coconut Crunch for the holidays!

Coconut Crunch (makes at least 5 dozens)

Ingredients:
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
3/4 tsp baking powder
3 tbsp dry milk powder
3 cups unsweetened desiccated coconut
1 cup sugar– should cut down to 3/4 cup
1 cup packed brown sugar– should cut down to 3/4 cup
2 sticks (4 oz each) butter– softened
2 eggs

Method:

  1. Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and milk powder together. Stir in desiccated coconut and mix well.
  2. In a large mixing bowl, cream butter, brown sugar and sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time.
  3. Add in flour mixture slowly and mix well.
  4. take some dough and roll in your palm to a form a 1-inch diameter ball. Place the dough ball on the baking sheet, 2 inches apart (as cookies spread out flat during baking). Repeat with the remaining dough.
  5. Bake in preheated 300°F oven for 18 minutes, turning half way to brown cookies evenly if necessary. Let cookies cool in the tray for 5 minutes before transferring to rack to cool completely. Store in air tight container.

Regina’s Note:

  • If the cookies are not baked enough they will have a chewy texture– simply return to the 300°F oven and bake for a few more minutes until cookies are browned and crunchy.

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I made this dish for dinner the other night. While my boys were having diced chicken, shrimp and corn kennel medley, Richard and I were enjoying rendang chicken. It was so mouth watering good with a bowl of steamed rice! Rendang chicken was one of the dishes I learned from a cooking class couple of years ago. I am proud of it as I made it all from scratch including the rendang paste. Just like many other Southeast Asian food, it took me quite some time to cook the chicken, mainly because to thicken the sauce and to cook the meat throughly… the result is worthy nevertheless.

Rendang Chicken

Rendang Chicken

Rendang Chicken Recipe (serves 4-6 people)

Ingredients:

8 pieces chicken pieces (legs, thighs, wings, breasts)– trim off extra fat

1 can coconut milk (14oz)

salt to taste

2 stalks lemon grass– use only the white part, bruise or cut into 2 inch length with some slits

2-3 tbsp tamarind juice

Rendang paste:

3-4 tbsp sambal chili paste ( or use 20-30 red dried chilies pre-soaked in water)

15 small shallots

1/2 inch galangal

1 inch ginger

6-8 cloves garlic

Method:

  1. Make rendang paste: grind all paste ingredients in blender until smooth, adding enough water to facilitate blending.
  2. Heat oil in deep frying pan and fry rendang paste  and lemon grass until fragrant and the paste is quite dry. Add 1/4 can of coconut milk and salt and cook until the paste is bubbly and oil starts to come out. (Do not attempt to fry paste with lots of oil even it looks a little dry because more oil will form later when chicken is cooking in coconut milk).
  3. Add in chicken, stir till the meat is lightly brown on the outside. Add remaining coconut milk and cook until the gravy is thick and chicken is cooked thoroughly. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Add tamarind juice and cook until oil appears. Dish out and serve hot with steamed rice.

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Pandan is a screwpine plant that is very fragrant and often used in making dessert in South East Asia. Since I can’t get fresh pandan juice here in US, I use pandan extract that has green coloring to it, and thus giving this cake a bright green color. My American friends don’t know pandan so they just call this cake “The Green Cake”. It is fluffy and moist, just like biting into air infused with coconut and pandan fragrant… mmm…my all time favorite.

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake

Pandan Chiffon Cake Recipe (adapted from Yochana’s Cake Delight)

Ingredients (egg yolk mixture):
6 egg yolks
1/4 cup sugar
4 tbsp cooking oil
1 small can coconut milk (164 ml)
1/2 tsp pandan extract (green- I used butterfly brand)
1 cup cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt

Ingredients (egg white mixture):
6 egg whites
1/4 tsp cream of tartar
1/3 cup sugar

Method:

  1. Preheat oven 335°F. Combine flour, baking powder and salt then set aside.
  2. Hand whisk egg yolks and sugar until fluffy and pale in color, about 4-5 minutes. Add in coconut milk, oil and pandan extract and mix well.
  3. Sift in flour mixture and mix until well blended.
  4. Whisk egg whites until foamy, add cream of tartar and beat for a little while. Gradually add in sugar and beat on high speed till peaks form (reduce to med speed later to avoid big air bubbles).
  5. FOLD IN 1/3 of egg white into egg yolk mixture gently with a spatula until just blended. FOLD IN remaining 2/3 of egg white into the egg yolk mixture. Take care not to over blended.
  6. Pour the batter into a chiffon cake pan. Lightly smooth the top and bake for 45 minutes. Do not open the oven door while it’s baking or the cake won’t rise.
  7. Invert the cake IMMEDIATELY after baking to let cool. Remove the cake from the pan when it is completely cool.

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