Kueh Bangkit

Friday, 28 December 2012

Bangkit isn't a kit for banging. "Bang" is "香" in Teochew and Hokkien; "kit" is "cake" mangled; "kueh" is . . . (just about) anything edible any local delicacy served kinda snack size. In short, "kueh bangkit" means fragrant cookies.

How to make "fragrant cookies" that are not only fragrant but also melt-in-the-mouth?

First, bake or nuke the tapioca (or sago) starch till its weight is reduced by 13% (or 12% if it's a newly opened bag). This is a crucial step because H20 is the #1 enemy. If the starch isn't dry enough, the kueh bangkit will not crumble in the mouth and melt. Instead, it'll be hard and crisp.

Second, use coconut cream instead of coconut milk because cream has less water than milk, and is more fragrant. It doesn't make sense to remove the moisture in the starch, then put it back by adding watery milk, right?

Third, there must be enough eggs because eggs have a leavening and softening effect on the dough.

Can you use canned instead of fresh coconut cream? Pandan essence instead of pandan leaves? Well, there're many roads to Rome. Do you want to arrive in Rome in a Ferrari or Toyota?  Or, god forbid, Proton?

The recipe I'm sharing is from Cooking for the President. It's the only kueh bangkit recipe I've tried but I feel I don't need to search further. This is "the one" for me. Me being me, however, there're a few minor changes to the original recipe. I have:

 Added 1/8 tsp salt to cut through the sweetness. Don't underestimate the importance of a large pinch of salt. It improves the taste of the cookies significantly.

Omitted stirring the eggs and sugar with pandan leaves, unheated, because I don't think much pandan flavour would be released just by stirring.

Replaced undiluted coconut milk with coconut cream. The original recipe uses part milk and part cream whereas I use only cream.

Changed the method for drying tapioca starch. Baking is better, I think, than dry-frying in a wok over low heat. I'll try the traditional method when I want to change my kitchen's colour scheme to white!

Increased the baking temperature to 160°C from 150°C. The higher temperature makes the cookies puff up a bit. The slight puff helps make the cookies more crumbly. And the hairline cracks created as a result are quite pretty, don't you think? Of course, if you're a stickler for tradition, you may still want to make patterns on the cookies by pinching each and every one of these little suckers with tweezers. Hey, be my guest, have fun; don't let me stop you, you go right ahead; enjoy yourself . . . .

Image Image

Chinese New Year is just round the corner. Wanna make some kueh bangkit? Here's my video to show you how:



This is my last post for the year. See you in 2013. May we all cook and eat better in the new year.

KUEH BANGKIT (KUIH BANGKEK; COCONUT COOKIES)
Source: Adapted from Cooking for the President
((Recipe for about 150 pieces)

380 g tapioca starch
1/2 tbsp plain flour
50 g young pandan leaves
rinse and cut finger length; dry thoroughly with paper towels

170 g coconut cream
refrigerate 350 g undiluted fresh coconut milk undisturbed till cream separates, at least 3 hours; skim 170 g cream and place in a small pot; refrigerate till ready to proceed
120 g sugar 
1/8 tsp salt
1 egg, about 50 g
1 yolk, about 15 g
5 g butter

Sift tapioca starch and plain flour into mixing bowl. Weigh and take note of weight. Tuck pandan leaves in mixture. Bake at 160°C  for 1 hour. Discard pandan leaves. Re-weigh bowl and contents. If not lighter by 45 g or more, continue baking. When target weight is reached, turn off oven. Leave bowl in oven till almost cool. Re-sift starch and flour, inside a plastic bag unless you enjoy dusting your kitchen. You should have about 335 g starch mixture. Leave till completely cool.

Whisk coconut cream, sugar, salt, egg and yolk till smooth. Cook over low heat, whisking, till sugar just melts. Turn off heat. Add butter. Whisk till incorporated. Leave till cool. You should have about 360 g coconut syrup.

Set aside 20 g baked starch for dusting. To remaining 315 g, add 315 g coconut syrup. Mix till well combined. Knead thoroughly till smooth and even, drizzling with remaining syrup as necessary, about 2 tbsp, so that dough just comes together. Cover and set aside 10 minutes.

Preheat oven to 160°C. Line baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly dust parchment paper with baked starch.

Lightly dust worktop and rolling pin with baked starch. Working with golf ball-sized  amount each time, roll dough 3 mm thick, dusting as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut dough with dusted cookie cutter measuring about 3 x 2 cm. Place cookies on baking tray spaced 1 cm apart.

Bake cookies till bottom is slightly brown and top has hint of colour around edges, about 15 minutes. Remove cookies to wire rack or plate to cool down. Serve immediately or store airtight.

48 comments:

Kerry Chung said...

may i know can i use canned/pack coconut milk?

Joyce said...

Thanks so much for sharing. I have made a few dishes from your blog and they turned out so well!

Susan said...

Geylang Serai has a stall that sells fresh coconut cream. It is machine pressed grated coconut and they do not add water to it in the process. Super fragrant, however, shelf life is very short, turns "sour" fast as no preservative has been added.

Jasmine said...

Happy New Year! I've enjoyed your blog very much.

Mrs O said...

In KL Cheras, the coconut store owner (I think he add coconut juice ler), My nasi lemak, tak cukup lemak. The best, still freshly grated and squeeze out milk.

Mrs O said...

KT, Happy New Year 2013 to you. This recipe, not so fat la, thank you very much, KT.

Mrs O said...

KT, I read from you kuih bangkit post that you blog is closed until CNY, just wonder can you post 烧肉 after new year?

KT said...

Happy 2013 to you too. Many thanks for your support.

KT said...

Mrs O, I don't use the lunar calendar, so "new year" means 2013, not year of the snake. IOW, it's business as usual.

I've actually made a video for 烧肉 but it's been "warehoused". I roasted a small piece, which looked kinda miserly after it was cooked. Hope to do a big slab sometime . . . this year.

KT said...

Happy 2013, Jasmine, and many thanks for your grammatical comments.

Mrs O said...

KT, again, thank you so much for the recipe. Those people in this trade, it seems it is a well-guided recipe. My late mum used to 'tumpang" my not-so-close cousin (as far as i am concerned) for this CNY specialty. She specially made from 北海, Penang. Thank you, again, KT for sharing this recipe with us.

Glenice said...

WOW 150 is a lot, is there a way to make only 50 plus cookies? i tried dividing the recipe, but it seems complicated, like diving the egg and stuff...:0.
actually hold long can these cookies stay fresh for?

KT said...

Maths isn't my forte either. Maybe primary school kids can help you? The seven-year-olds learn division (and also grammar and spelling) in Primary One.

Mrs O said...

hehehe, look at the size, 150, very fast habis la, no need to divide, anything more, share with your friends lor.

creamdeluxec said...

First up, thanks for the great tip on drying the tapioca flour in the oven. I dry fried it last year and this is way easier.

Anyway, I can't seem to get the right texture for this kueh. Mine always seem to not be light and melt in your mouth. It's crisp and got that"gluey" texture once you bite into it but not that "melt in your mouth" effect! Argh. Any idea where I might have gone wrong? I've followed your recipe for my last batch, still the same. I'm starting to think I will never crack this!

KT said...

Did you weigh the tapioca flour after baking it?

creamdeluxec said...

Hi KT,

Yes, I did. Boo hoo. I think I overhandle my cookies. Sigh. They always turn out harder than I think they should. Oh well, I shall keep preserving. Your site is an inspiration! Thanks

KT said...

What type of coconut cream did you use? Fresh, chilled, canned or boxed?

creamdeluxec said...

Last batch - box. Previously, chilled. It may have been a bit better. Think I shouldn't be so lazy and just go tekka and buy fresh! ha!~

creamdeluxec said...

Yup! As you advised! But I think I may be manhandling the dough. I am terrible at pastries. :(

Mrs O said...

KT, just watching you doing the kuih bangkit is fun, just wonder, would you be baking love letter, kuih kapit as well? You are what my late mum described, a capable person, "chap kar chap chew",

KT said...

Boxed coconut cream has about 25% fat; fresh coconut cream has 50-60% depending on how you skim it. Less fat means more water. As explained above, water is bad news for kueh bangkit. And there's worse news: guar gum. This is a very strong gum used to thicken coconut milk in Tetra Paks, to make it look creamy. What happens when you bake a strong gum in the oven? It either turns hard, or more gummy and gluey.

KT said...

You can manhandle the dough to your heart's content. It does no harm.

If the amount of handling should be minimized, the recipe would reflect that. The dough for cashew nut cookies, for instance, isn't kneaded but mixed with a spatula.

KT said...

Besides Tekka, you can go to Geylang Serai, Bedok Central, Pipit Road and Whampoa Market. Or any older, bigger, well-patronized market would be a good bet.

KT said...

Definitely not this year. Maybe in the future after I grow a few arms to handle 3-4 love letter moulds at the same time, pouring, flipping and rolling.

creamdeluxec said...

Ohhh...that is so informative. Thanks for sharing this great tibit! Sounds like I definitely need to make a trip down to the good old wet market! Thanks again. You're a star!

Mrs O said...

hahaha, KT you are humorous!

creamdeluxex said...

I did it! Got fresh grated coconut and squeezed milk out of it to use and it's the right texture. Crisp, crumbly and melt in your mouth. I made another batch with chilled, supermaket bought, milk and it doesn't seem to have as good a texture. So, I'm gonna stick to the real deal from now on. Thanks again, and thanks for letting me know I can manhandle this dough!

Jane O said...

KT, Thank you for a very helpful demo. Can I used the baked flour immediately after drying or do I ve to wait for a few days?

creamdeluxec said...

I did it! Got fresh grated coconut and squeezed milk out of it to use
and it's the right texture. Crisp, crumbly and melt in your mouth. I
made another batch with chilled, supermaket bought, milk and it doesn't
seem to have as good a texture. So, I'm gonna stick to the real deal
from now on. Thanks again, and thanks for letting me know I can
manhandle this dough!

kt said...

You should use the flour immediately. If you wait, the flour may absorb moisture from the air, depending on how you store it. Moist flour doesn't make good kueh bangkit.

Koon said...

Thanks for the informative tips. Made the kuih bangkit and it was excellent. I did use Ayam brand premium coconut milk which has about 85% coconut kernel extract and water. No xantham gum. Worked well. A can of 250ml seems to get 170g of coconut cream with a bit extra.

kt said...

You are welcome. Thanks for the tip that Ayam premium coconut milk works.

Juliana said...

Dear KT, greetings from Malaysia :-)

Thank you for your very informative recipe. i have tried 7 attempts from various recipes at making it because my darling son who has very selective taste buds once ate this particular Kuih Bangkit and he pronounced it good. So, even though it was rather tedious, i persevered in finding the right recipe.

Pardon my asking, but why do we have to cover and set aside the dough for 10 minutes towards the latter part?

Thanks again.

Juliana

kt said...

So that the starch has time to fully absorb the syrup. So that the mixing of wet and dry is as even as possible.

Baker said...

Hi KT, I was just wondering how big your cookie cutters are, the smallest that I own is 2 inches wide is that too big? Btw tried your butter cake recipe and it turned out perfect can't wait to try this one!
Thanks :)

kt said...

My cutter is about 3 x 2 cm. 2 inches (5 cm) would be a bit too big. You could still use your cutter, then slice the cookies in the middle?

Baker said...

thanks thats a good idea, i will try that :)

CCL said...

Hi KT, I've tried your recipe twice. Our cookies crack on the top. Why? The dough is also crumbly when we pick it up to roll flat. We weigh the flour and liquid and mix them well. Where did we go wrong? It still feels hard. And we used freshly squeezed coconut and let it sit till we get the cream.

kt said...

Did you change the amount of sugar or eggs?

April said...

If I am using canned coconut milk how should I go about?

Annie said...

Hi kt which tapioca starch flour brand u used?

kt said...

It's made by United Foodstuff. Doesn't have a brand name.

ling ling said...

can these be made with a cookie press?

Evon YY said...

Hi, KT. I would like to ask that you need to roll the dough to 3mm thick before u cut it. Then there would be some remainders. So, shall we take back the remaining dough n flatten it again to cut again or shall we just throw it away?? Cause I heard my friend said that we cannot keep pressurizing the dough, is it true?

KT said...

Hi Evon, what your friend said applies to dough made with wheat flour, that forms gluten when kneaded. Doesn't apply to kueh bangkit which uses mainly tapioca starch.

Joyce said...

Hello, KT I'm wondering why my freshly grated coconut milk doesn't have the cream like you do, it is watery and dilute :(

yy said...

hi,

i'd love to try this out, just a quick question - what is coconut syrup

and where can I get this?
Thanks!

Post a Comment

 
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...