I first attempt Kueh Bangkit 2 years back but didn’t have consistent result so I skipped last year bake. I was looking through last year journal and realise I didn’t bake as much as like this year. There was just one trial bake this year and the real baking begins.
I have heard much about Valerie Kong’s classes, her famous Strawberry Sweethearts that swept the food blogs some time back, everyone was trying out then. She teaches a list of Chinese New Year goodies e.g. Pineapple Tarts, Kueh Lapis and Kueh Makmur during this festive season and when I chance upon her Kueh Bangkit class (Plain and Gula Melaka), I thought it will be good to attend a proper lesson to have a better understanding how it is done. Her class was pretty casual and kept to a small group which is like baking with a friend! It’s a 3 hr class but we waited a fair bit for the cookies to be bake, yes … we got to bring some of the cookies home and hands-on cutting the cookies out. She is clear with her instructions and generous to share tips which s really informative that how detail the preparation work can be.
I so have to agree with youfei that they taste like a piece of chalk but after trying Valerie’s Kueh Bangkit, I was blown away by it, it’s light and fragrant, slightly crisp on the outside, a little puffy when you bite into and the outer layer start to melt once you pop in and as it goes by it doesn’t stick together like a lump but slowly spread out. I was really encourage by it and wanted so much to bake some immediately but this is a cookie that need lot of patience, the flour need to be fried with pandan leaves, leave to rest and the fresh coconut milk to be prepared. It was really messy preparing the flour, it was all over as the flour is suppose to be light and fragrant. I got everything prepared during the weekday and set to bake on Sunday!
I didn’t manage to get fresh coconut milk and make do with the “fresh” one available in the wet market. I got a little worried when I couldn’t get the dough texture after following the proportion of the ingredients, in the end I added a little more coconut milk, thinking could it be the room temperature that I’m working in? I roll out the dough on the silicone mat, I didn’t really like the idea of rolling in between plastic sheet as it tend to run and you don’t get a nice flat sheet but I do use it on the top so it doesn’t stick to the rolling pin and I didn’t have to use any flour at all. I had so much fun cutting them out with newly bought set of small cookie cutter with the pretty ridges and finally pinching with the pincers! Verdict? Except that the first dough which was a little too hard, I added more coconut milk for the subsequent dough and it was closer to what I have tasted in Valerie’s class. I’m not absolutely happy with the result, thought it could be improve further and I already have an idea how it should be. It will be ideal if the intial preparation wasn’t complicating so that I could do more!