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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Pumpkin Ang Ku ... Traditional Chinese Glutinous Cake

PUmpkin Ang Ku Kueh

PUmpkin Ang Ku Kueh
When I first learnt about the LiveStrong With A Taste Of Yellow event at Tartelettes' website, I knew I had to be part of it - for a couple of reasons. I had always wanted to participate in an on-line baking/cooking event, to spike up the fun of potting around in my kitchen and to connect to a greater community of like minded people. The Taste Of Yellow event organised by Barbara of Winosandfoodies appealed to me for a different reason because I have started to enjoy biking around Singapore about one year ago after I had bought my first Cannondale bike.


And yes, my bike comes with exactly the same powdery pink frame as shown in the picture. It wasn't the colour of my choice but it was the only bike available at that point that was within my budget. Since then, I had taken it out to the first Bicycle Race Event in Singapore, peddling it with friends during our own overnight cycling event... and yes, the bike has been quite a head turner. Hence, when I read about Barbara's event in support of the Lance Armstrong Foundation, I immediately felt an affinity to it.

This is my first experience to participate in a mass food blogging event, having started blogging just about a month ago. I am still trying to figure out how things work in the blogosphere but in the mean time am deriving alot of joy taking pictures of my food and posting them on-line. I have chosen to work with Pumpkin for this event and have deliberately selected to work with something a little more exotic than what I usually bake.

This bite size snack, known as Ang Ku, is a traditional Chinese cake made with glutinous flour. Filled with either a peanut or mung bean paste, it is cast out of a traditional Ang Ku mold. Ang Ku literally translates from Chinese to mean 'Red Tortoise'. It gets its name from the shape of the mold which looks like the shell of the tortoise. Traditionally, the cake is coloured an intense red to signify prosperity. The common chinese character engraved in the mold means Longevity. Hence, this is a cake that is often served at auspicious events celebrating the arrival of a new born, significant birthday milestones e.g. 60 years old celebration of senior folks - celebrating life.

Pumpkin Ang Ku Kueh 5

Pumpkin Ang Ku Kueh 1

To qualify this for the Taste Of Yellow event, I had tried to modify the traditional recipe by incorporating pumpkin paste with the glutinous flour for the skin of the Ang Ku. In addition,I had also tried to blend pumpkin paste with ground peanut for the filling. The natural sweetness of the pumpkin allows me to reduce the amount of sugar that would usually be used to prepare the peanut paste.

In celebration and appreciation of Life, I present the Pumpkin Ang Ku. May all LiveStrong and eat well.
Pumpkin Ang Ku Kueh2

Glutinous Rice Flour 150g
Mashed pumpkin 75g
Sugar 3/4 tbsp
Cream 1 tbsp
Corn Oil 1 tbsp
Hot Water 125g
Orange colouring 3 drops

Ground Peanut 100g
Mashed pumpkin 50g
Sugar 30g
Warm water A little - enough to bind the above ingredient into a dry paste.

Method :

1. To prepare mash pumpkin, steam coarsely diced pumpkin over boiling water for 10mins until softened. Alternatively, microwave coarsely diced pumpkin at 600W for 10 mins. Mash the cooked pumpkin with a fork.

2. To prepare the skin, sift glutinous rice flour into a mixing bowl. Form a well with the glutinous rice flour. Into the center of the well, place, mashed pumpkin, sugar,coconut cream and oil. Add the water slowly while kneading the flour mixture by hand. Knead until the dough is pliable and forms a ball without sticking to the wall. You may need less or more water to get the right pliable consistency.

3. To prepare the filling, mix all dry ingredients together and add a little water, just enough to bind the dry ingredients into a dry paste. The drier the paste, the easier it will be to do the wrapping later.

4. Divide the skin dough into 30g portions. Roll each portion between the palms of your hand to form a small round ball. Flatten the ball and wrap a ball (about 10g) of filling with the dough. Seal the edges of the dough over the filling and roll it between palms again to form a nice smooth ball.

Place the ball in a lightly floured Ang Ku mold. Flatten the ball over the cavity with a flat cake scraper. Turn the mold over and knock it firmly against the table to release the cake. Place the cake on a small piece of banana leaf(brushing the leaf with a little oil will prevent the cake from sticking to it, making it easier to eat later).

5. Steam the cake over boiling water for 5 mins. Cool the cake down and brush a little corn oil over cake to prevent them from sticking to each other during serving/packing. The recipe makes about 8 cakes.


Anonymous said...

Shirley those cakes look fabulous. I'd love to try them. Thanks for joining A Taste Of Yellow. Good luck with the biking. I'm looking forward to getting back on my bike soon after the chemo side effects have faded.

Irene's Footprints said...

wow...veri tempted to eat your ang ku...looks delicious..

Easy to make?


Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi.This is the first time I made Ang Ku Kueh. With the right recipe, it is not so difficult. Wrapping the filling without breaking the skin dough takes a little practice, though. I want to try to stuff more filling into the kueh. Maybe I will try to use a rolling pin to flatten the dough next time.

Irene's Footprints said...

hmmmm..seems easy..i love the eat ang ku especially from the shop at Everton Park. Not sure if you have tested...veri nice.

How long is the whole process?

You got the wooden mould from Phoon Huat? Is it easy to knock out the pastry from the mould?

Do you have mooncakes mould?

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

No,I have not tried the one at Everton but will try to look out for it. I like the types bulging with filling. It is of course,easier to manage with less filling when you are making it. Whole process, if you full focused, probably an hour. Yes, I got the mould from Phoon Huat and it is easy to demould. No, I don't have mooncakes mould.

Irene's Footprints said...

wow one time i do see if it is one hour..

: )

Anonymous said...

Is your name suggestive? I am sorry if I am mistaken it is just that I was told just was very similar and I don't know. No offense, was just curious. :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Hi Anonymous, thanks for this little piece of trivial pursuit. No, it is not my intention to be suggestive ...I am too prudish for that. Køkken, actually means kitchen in Danish and I believe in Dutch too... :) Kukken, I googled and actually found that it means chick. I don't know if it is unfortunate but I think it is too late now for me to change the name of my blog.


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