The great thing about the world we live in today is the Internet. Everything we want and need are just literally at our finger tips.
So when I needed to find a foolproof recipe for Kuih Bangkit that is good and melts in your mouth, I turned to the internet; well, Google to be more precise. But the thing about the internet is that you can have many hits in your search. So how would I know which one is good and which one is not?
This is when you thank bloggers like Zoe from Bake for Happy Kids, who does an in-depth review on which recipe is the best in her opinion (and others who tasted it) out of the recipes she tested. Without a doubt, I went with her suggestion and used the recipe from Kimmy at Cooking Pleasure. Man oh man, were they melt in the mouth fantastic!
Every Chinese New Year, I fondly remember having Kuih Bangkit that my Ah Ma makes. If I am not mistaken, she does this over charcoal from my earliest memory of her and the biscuit. The result is always wonderfully crispy on the outside and then it melts in your mouth. I am not a big fan of the biscuit, in fact, I get a little thirsty after a few, but I can’t resist eating this once a year. Since this is our first Chinese New Year away from home, I decided to make them to remember us of the celebrations back home. I am also going to pack a few of this for our Australian friends and the kid’s educators at daycare. This would make a wonderful thank you gift because I find that this is a uniquely Malaysian Hokkien delicacy. I am always quite proud of my roots. :)
This is a simple recipe and really quite easy to make. The only time consuming part is shaping the dough but once you’ve got a hang of it, you can move quite fast. Unfortunately, I was constantly interrupted by a pair of small arms wrapped around my legs crying, “Carry. Carry!” Her poor Papa will have to save me from her clutches and distract her with Disney movies and Mickey Mouse Clubhouse reruns.
You start first by frying your tapioca flour to reduce the H2O properties because you need really light and fluffy flour to make that melt-in-your-mouth moments that is usually what makes Kuih Bangkit so great. You just need a wok or a deep frying pan, measure out your flour, throw in your pandan leaves (screwpine leaves) and dry fry it till the leaves are crispy and flour is light. You can tell when the flour is light comparing it to when you first started frying it. Kitchen Tigress explained this really well in her blog. I used her calculations when I weighed my flour again after frying to make sure my flour is just right. Kitchen Tigress also explained why we should use coconut cream instead of coconut milk so make sure you buy the right one.
I mixed and pre-kneaded my dough in my TM5. Such a handy little thing! But really, you don’t need gadgets for this. You can use your hands and knead them to make sure everything is well incorporated. If your dough feels too dry, add in a little more coconut cream but not too much! If it’s too wet, shaping your kuih bangkit will prove to be really difficult.
Make sure to dust your moulds enough so remember to fry a little extra flour for dusting. It’s no fun to see your dough sticking to the tiny parts of your mould! I did not have the traditional wooden animal moulds so I used these ones that are actually meant for another biscuit but it totally works! I am searching for the wooden ones for Kuih Bangkit and Angku kuih in Australia so hit me up if you know where to get them!
Once you’ve shaped your biscuits and sliced off the excess, gently tap your moulds on the counter or on your hand so that they pop out easily. If it’s dusted well enough, they should come out alright. If your dough sticks then make sure to dust your moulds properly and if that doesn’t work, you might need to add in a little more flour into the dough. Remember to mix it well. Line up all your biscuits on a lined baking tray. The biscuits will not expand so don’t be afraid to put them a little closer.
Here are my baked Kuih Bangkit! The oven heating here in my rented unit is a little uneven, which explains the slight browning on one side. I had to pay close attention and rotate the tray whenever I bake in my oven.
This recipe comes pretty close to my Ah Ma’s one so I am happy with the results. The aroma is just amazing. If you follow the recipe closely, you should have a perfect balance of pandan and coconut flavour. We gave some to a friend of ours and he loved the taste and smell of the pandan. In fact, he says he wants to try to find a plant and grow it in his house! I would want one too!
I had no problems finding all the ingredients here. All you need to do is walk into an Asian grocer and you should be able to find most of your ingredients if not all of it there. I bought frozen pandan leaves which are better than the fresh ones I get from Fresh Corps in Hornsby. So don’t worry if frozen pandan leaves are all you have. Happy baking!
- 500 gm tapioca flour [or 250 gm Sago flour and 250 gm tapioca flour]
- 5-6 screwpine [pandan] leaves - washed and wipe dry, cut into half
- 100 gm icing sugar
- 1 whole egg
- 2 egg yolks
- 150-200 ml thick coconut milk
- 3/4 tbsp butter - room temperature
- 1.Place flour and pandan leaves in a wok. In low heat, fry the until the flour is light and the pandan leaves turned crispy [stir lightly as the flour will be very light]. Cool, discard the leaves and scoop the flour into a big sieve. Lightly sift the flour into a big deep bowl. Transfer sifted flour in a plastic bag until required. The flour must be cooled thoroughly. This step can be done days ahead.
- 2. Cream butter, eggs and icing sugar until light and creamy. Make sure the sugar is totally dissolved.
- 3. Slowly add in the flour and creamed the mixture. Gradually add in the coconut milk to mix [you may not need all the coconut milk, kept balance for use when the dough is too dry].
- 4. Knead until the dough does not stick to the hand. Cover the dough with a damp cloth, rest for at least 30 minutes. You can use this time to line your baking tray with parchment paper, extra fried flour for dusting and a little pink colouring for decoration.
- 5. Dust the wooden moulds with some tapioca flour [fry more for dusting], pinch off some dough and press it into the moulds one by one, then cut off any excess using a thin sharp knife.
- 6. Knock out and arrange the cookies onto the baking tray. This cookie does not expand but will be very fragile after baking.
- 7. Bake in a preheated oven @ 180 degrees C for about 12-15 minutes or until it's slight brown at the base.
- 8. Cool completely on a wire rack before storing them in a cookie jar.