Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Daring Bakers April Challenge

The April 2010 Daring Bakers’ challenge was hosted by Esther of The Lilac Kitchen. She challenged everyone to make a traditional British pudding using, if possible, a very traditional British ingredient: suet.

If you are not British - you may not know what suet is, as it is no longer a commonly used ingredient.  Nowadays it's conveniently located in your supermarket ailse as powdered packet mix called suet mix.  It is in fact, fat from a cow or sheep. 
Once upon a time, before politically correctness and before the whole "saturated fat is bad for you" days, animal fat was a common ingredient in many restaurants throughout the world.  For those of you who say that MacDonalds french fries are not as good as they were when you were a kid.....you are probably right.  I'm talking about if you were a kid pre-1990......  Around 1988 - 1990 McDs stop using animal fat to fry their chips - if you remember it, they really were the BEST chips!   Now, if you want potatoes in animal fat, you have to dine with Matt Moran or Jamie Oliver who are returning to traditional ingredients with menu items such as duck fat roasted potatoes and Heston Blumenthal with his deconstructed traditional Bristish puddings.

 Due to the trouble involved in getting fresh suet in Perth, truth be told, I didn't try very hard....  I thought a good compromise was to make some sort of a steamed puddingish with animal fats.

So, I made a childhood favourite, Malai Ko.  You can eat this steamed pudding/sponge when you go for you weekend fix of dim sums in Chinatown.  It has a lovely caramelish taste and has an unbelievably soft texture and amazing moorish quality due to the inclusion of lard.  I'm sure it would have been just as delicious sitting in a puddle of vanilla infused custard, but it's charming all by itself.   Check out how the other daring bakers faired, or better yet, join us!

Malai Ko (Hong Kong Style)
This recipe is the one we used back in the restaurant, adapted for home cooking.

210g plain flour
1 Tbsp custard powder
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda

240g castor sugar (you can use brown or raw sugar for a more intense caramel flavour)
60g butter (melted)
60g lard (melted)
3 eggs (lightly beaten)
1 tsp vanilla essense
180ml milk (slightly warmed)
1/2 tsp parisian browning essense (optional)

Line a 20cm tin with baking paper (lining the base is sufficient) and set aside.
Sift flour, baking soda, baking powder and custard powder together.  Add sugar, melted butter & lard. eggs, vanilla essense and milk in and stir until well combined.  Add Parisian essense to give the cake a lovely caramel colour.
Pour into prepared tin and steam on high heat for 30 minutes until cooked.  Test with a toothpick.   Remove from steamer and cut and eat as soon as it is cool enough to handle!

I actually did quite a lot of time in the kitchen this weekend.  The pudding challenge, a cheesecake for the lovely Sarina's birthday - complete with a flutter of edible rice paper butterflies.  

 And even managed to do the whole Dulce de Leche..... boil a tin for 3 hours thing!  Will put those adventures up as soon as I wade through all the delicious ideas for the sinfully delicious gooey goodness! 

No comments:

Post a Comment