June 16, 2013

Bakpia: Something to Remember

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Bakpia is one of many Indonesian cakes that is so traditional you can find them in almost any food shops or bakeries in Indonesia nationwide. It is said that it originates from a food factory in Pathuk/Pathok, Central Java in Java Island, Indonesia. It is the first-sought food to bring back home when someone happens to visit Central Java.

When we first traveled to Jogjakarta in my teen years, these little gems were the most lovely thing I enjoyed. I remember to eat a packet of them while reading a book. Bad habit. But, who cares? I still loved them when I last visited Yogyakarta back in 2000. So I guess, I may be in love with it. Something to remember, something I can still enjoy.

Since there are many varieties sold out there, I have identified which of them I like best. It is the one which is enveloped with thin flaky pastry. So thin, it just melts in my mouth without too much effort biting into it.



The pastry does not taste buttery like your common butter puff pastry. In fact, it is so humble you almost think it does not taste of anything, but it does actually. In fact, it is the most interesting part I find in bakpia.

Living more than 4,000 miles away from Central Java, I search the recipe for it. I found some promising ones, but I would like to stick with the ones which have been proved right. So, I come across Hesti's blog, where she was posting about the very thing I crave for.

Now, here I'm judging by the look, because I still remember vividly the appearance of bakpia I once ate that I liked best. Hers is the closest thing I have found. Other recipes were looking a bit too good to be true with too many flakes like those of puff pastry can produce, or otherwise layers are way too thick with rather dense-looking pastry like quiche pastry which holds too much butter.

I give it a go. Read and re-read the instructions, check and re-check the ingredients. Well, I am not the luckiest person ever alive since I have failed many times to find either whole or split mung beans available in our local Asian groceries shops, so I decided to use aduki beans instead. We can always improvise, can't we?


 I cooked the aduki beans paste a night before I make the pastry the next day, so they are completely cooled when is needed.

Now, the interesting part begins: the pastry.

There is not only one kind of pastry here, but two. One is the outer pastry, the other one is the layered pastry. The layered pastry is not quite like the 'real' pastry, but more like crumble pastry. This crumble pastry is going to go inside the outer pastry. Confused? Don't be. 

It is rather simple to make. It does not require any butter block or six times rolling-and-chilling like common puff pastry does. In fact, it is made out of flour, a little salt, water, and oil. 

OK. Here, I am just going to pinpoint the uniqueness of the pastry. You can cook the filling as to your liking, either savoury or sweet. Be my guess. 

Time to make the pastry.

Here is the recipe I got from Hesti's blog. I translate it for you, in case you are interested in making it and can't read in Bahasa Indonesia.

This is not gluten-free, so if you want to make it gluten-free, perhaps you can experiment with rice flour, potato starch, or any gluten-free flour you can think of, and use xanthan gum with it as to help as the 'gluten'. But I can't guarantee, as I haven't tried it with gluten-free flour just yet. Let me know if you have. I'd love to link yours here on my post.

Bakpia

The pastry (outer/skin)
125 gram standard plain flour
65 gram high grade flour
2 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
100 milliliter water
200 milliliter vegetable oil (50 mil for the dough and 150 for soaking the dough)

Heat the water until lukewarm (do not boil), add in sugar. Stir well until sugar is diluted, and remove from the stove. Mix flours and salt. Pour in the sugar syrup. Mix well until all combined. Pour in the oil, knead well.

Take 10 gram of dough. Roll and thin out. Spoon on the crumble pastry layer (the recipe will follow below) on the thinned dough and spread well on. Gather all the sides of the pastry, like when you fold an envelope. This step is important as to produce the flakes later on. Roll it like a ball, and soak in the oil for 15 minutes. Repeat the process until all the dough is used.

Crumble pastry layer
65 gram standard plain flour
25 milliliter vegetable oil
1/2 tablespoon margarine

Mix everything well. Set aside.

Preheat the oven to 200 Celcius. 

When all the pastry dough are done, roll out the dough ball. Your crumble pastry layer will be trapped in between the outer pastry. This crumble pastry layer will act like the 'butter block' somehow that retains moisture in the pastry and gives more tone in it. It also will produce the texture of the pastry.

Once the pastry ball is flatten, put the filling in the centre of the pastry. Close the filling by joining all the sides. Roll into balls again.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown.

June 12, 2013

Gluten-Free Blueberry and Sour Cream Bundt Cake

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Gluten-Free Blueberry and Sour Cream Bundt Cake
Something I baked to enjoy on Jan's birthday last weekend dinner. Not too sweet, not too rich. Blueberries make it sweet and moist at the same time. Orange zest give the flavour citrusy and scented. The cream cheese frosting is a teaser, to top up the sweetness of blueberries and the orange zest fragrance. Just right to end the meal.

Gluten-Free Blueberry and Sour Cream Bundt Cake

I am loving my new bundt cake tin, ordered from Cookware Essentials owned by Pam who happens loving to cook and bake herself, as much as I do. Take a look at her recipes on her website. She also has a recipe to fit in this bundt tin. 

However, I am using this recipe and altered some ingredients to suit our needs. I use gluten-free flour and almond meal and substitute lemon with orange. I thought blueberries go really well with oranges. I also use margarine and cream cheese frosting.

Gluten-Free Blueberry and Sour Cream Bundt Cake

The cream cheese frosting is scented with orange zest as well as its juice to thin its consistency a little bit. To make it interesting for my kids, I sprinkle some chocolate hails which came directly from Indonesia.

June 03, 2013

Gluten-Free Raspberry and White Chocolate Friands

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I know I have told Andrew personally in our friendly emails-exchanged that I have given up blogging. I also had made my husband raised his eyebrows when I answered his curiosity why I haven't been blogging anymore the same thing I told Andrew. "Why would you stop blogging since it gives you pleasures?", he reasoned. I just shrugged. I had made some fellow Kiwi and Australian bloggers sympathized with my decision, but one American fellow blogger thought I would come back.

And she was right.

Well, I might still write if I am given some time to sit and write, as it is difficult to do it these days. Mind you, I am still homeschooling my two children (age 8 and 10 now) and babysit my two year old who is as busy as a bee. Time is not entirely mine, but I thought I will be able to squeeze 30 minutes at a time in between schooling, house chores, the fun in the kitchen, and gardening. It depends on my strong will now. I will keep it up for my faithful readers, thank you for being so patience with me. If this is a promise, then I will keep it bravely.

The iPad is rather helpful as to let me keep writing in my spare time, just to jot down a thought or two. I still photograph my kitchen produce with it, an easy approach I would say. I can't be bothered to mount different lenses on my SLR camera, though. At this moment, photographing from my iPad is just enough. Time is tight.

So, here is what I baked last time: Gluten-Free Raspberry and White Chocolate Friand with the rest of egg whites I used for Bika Ambon, KBB's latest challenge.

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Gluten-Free Raspberry and White Chocolate Friand

I adapted the recipe from Taste Mag here, but have to substitute the plain flour with gluten-free flour, and made a change for some measurements and method. Here is what I do.

8 egg whites, whisked loosely
125 gram frozen raspberries
195 gram margarine, melted
1/2 cup + 2 tablespoon gluten-free flour, sifted
1 cup icing sugar + 2 teaspoon cornflour, sifted
115 gram almond meal
125 gram Whittaker's raspberry white chocolate, chopped

Preheat the oven to 180 C. Grease friand tins with margarine. Now, with this tin, I bought it online from Milly's Kitchen, here. It is much cheaper from other cookware shops I have been in in Auckland (that I know of). The tin itself is perfectly non-stick. So, grab one. It is one of bakewares your kitchen must have.

Divide raspberries into two equal portion. Crush coarsely.

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What I do I just throw the wet ingredients in a rather medium bowl and sifted the dry ingredients, except almond meal and chocolate. Then, add in almond meal and white chocolate. Mix well. Add in crushed raspberries. Mix well.

The batter should be able to be spooned into the tin and rather thick but not firm, smooth and smell wonderfully raspberry! Spoon the batter into each friand tin. Top with the rest of raspberries (I crushed these raspberries too and add another quarter cup to top the batter).

Bake for 20-25 minutes or until spring back when touched. The friand will have that lovely golden colour smeared with ruby red raspberries. Oh, so heavenly. My kitchen smells awesome!

Remove from the oven and let it rest for 5 minutes before transfer them on the cooling rack to cool completely.

We enjoy our little French tea cakes with raspberry sauce, using the rest of frozen raspberries we have. Just add a little honey and vanilla paste, let it boil and simmer to your liking consistency. We just like them a bit runnier so the juice will be soaked up nicely by the cakes.

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Let me tell you, it's delicious, moist, and oh so lovely, you cannot resist to have another one!



I'm sending these little tea cakes to Sweet New Zealand event, hosted this month by Sue of Couscous and Consciousness. This event was originated by our one and only food writer Alessandra Zecchini.