Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Kuih Kapit - Love Letters

My dad's a fairly traditional Asian man when it comes to food. He kinda goes nuts without his rice on a regular basis and although he does appreciate Western food, when he's home, he's king of noodles.

However, within Malaysian/Chinese food, he's fairly adventurous, one such adventure being deep fried salted egg prawns…which were pretty delicious and stuff. Maybe I'll ask him for the recipe for that sometime….

But I'm blogging about something else. In 13 years of living in Australia, I had never seen Dad make these before. But that's basically because he forgot we had the moulds and randomly dug them up a bit before Christmas last year and with fervour announced that we were doing to try making Kuih Kapit!

Kuih Kapit. You won't find it stores in Australia much. If ever. I think dad saw a small tin for $13 in Boxhill. Yipe! They are a traditional Chinese New Year biscuit and a favourite of my aunts back in Malaysia. And the whole family too of course.

They're also commonly known as 'love letters', as the light, softly sweet and flakey biscuits require a bit of time and are a 'labour of love' (as my mum likes to tell me) to make. They are also exceptionally addictive and it's really such a shame they take so much time to make, as they can get demolished pretty quickly as well!

They're not too hard to make, once you have the moulds. Just make sure you have two sets of hands, a glass of wine or three, and an evening free (or that's how my parents did it anyway…)

First you mix and whisk all this stuff up together in a bowl:

250g/2 cups rice flour

2 tbsp of tapioca/corn flour

10 eggs (Yes you read that right….)

400mL coconut cream

300g/1 cup sugar

Until smooth!

Now, I think traditionally you're supposed to be sticking the moulds into an oven of some sort, but we just rested the moulds on our barbecue. Worked well enough.

Ladle your batter onto the mould. It just needs to be a really thin layer. You then close the mould tightly and pop it over the heat. Keep doing this with the other moulds you may have. My dad could manage about 5 or 6 cooking at once.

They don't take long at all, and you will need to flip them quite quickly, to make sure they are cooked on both sides and check on them. Maybe half a minute for each side?

The second they are golden in colour, grab a butter knife and trim off the edges before flipping it off to someone else to fold into half, and then half again. My brother and mum just used jar lids to make sure the kuih were nice and level.

You pretty much always need two people to make these. One to watch the moulds as they heat and cook the biscuits, and someone to immediately fold the biscuits once it comes off the mould, otherwise it hardens up and you don't get to have the lovely flakiness in one bite!

But y'know, as a 'labour of love' you may as well rope in the one you love to do it with you right?

Or you could just be like me and take pictures instead ;)