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Try a trendy coconut treat
No.1 The Strand Chef
New trends in recent times have sometimes focused on ancient well-known
foods, ancient grains like quinoa and sorghum.
The latest new rediscovery and rise in popularity of the coconut is another one.
Coconut has nearly everything in its favour and now there are even market stalls exclusively selling coconut products.
A long time ago coconut oil was one of those things that just put on and soaked up the sun. Now it’s used for cooking.
Of course it’s not all about Pacific Rim cuisine, as Thai or even Vietnamese influences have used coconut for centuries so it’s not entirely a new trend.
On border patrol we often see Asians bringing in countless types of food. I often wonder why bother when a lot is available at your local Asian food supermarket.
Recently, I rediscovered a flavour missing from the kaleidoscope of tastes my palette enjoys – pandan leaves in the frozen food department.
Paired with rice and or coconut, and with the addition of palm sugar, you can make an awesome flavoured dessert-style cake or slice.
Back in the day we used to devour coconut ice like it was going out of fashion. Now we can eat a little steamed coconut-flavoured Asian-style cakes with our coffee.
Steamed coconut sweet treats
Makes 12-15 small portions
1 pkt pandan leaves
3 discs (120g) palm sugar
40g dark coconut sugar
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup coconut milk
1.5 cup coconut water
180g desiccated coconut
2 heaped Tbsp tapioca starch
2 heaped Tbsp maize
Make syrup by heating coconut water with knotted pandan leaves. Crush and bruise them to extract flavour while heating gently, then reduce until you have 250ml of syrup and all sugar dissolved.
Meanwhile, in a bamboo steamer heat, a small tray or ovenproof vessel which has been greased, mix the dry ingredients together then stir in the syrup once discarding the pandan leaves. Put some of this batter into the bottom of the tray and cover for about eight-10 minutes stir in one-third of the coconut milk into the batter. Repeat the process, adding a few more minutes to the time.
Lastly, add in all of the coconut milk into the batter and do the last layer steam for about 40-50 minutes in total.
When ready it will be firm to the touch. Chill well and slice into portions once cold, for a less sweet, soft melty textured trendy coconut treat.
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