Monday, April 12, 2010
Actually, I never liked this bak tong gou because it tasted sour, but the honeycomby texture is nice to chew on. My friend Leighanne, loved this cake. And she always like to buy this from a kuih maker that lived 400m away from my house in Kampar. His version looked like this. But then, I think he didn't use the express method to make. His is the days and days of fermentation method, cos the texture indeed is different.
There are many many versions on the internet, and I googled using Chinese (I've got limited Chinese knowledge) to find more versions of it. And I found this, a version using wheat starch. All the english blogs that I came across with all the googling with any romanization of the cantonese name (Pak Thong Koh, Pak Tong Go, Bak Thong Koh, or whatever) never made this cake using this recipe. So, let me try this.
The result, not sour at all. It has a very nice sweet yeasty smell. When the cake has cooled, I overturned it to cut. I saw the revealed backside of the cake to be like in the pic on your right. Wow, honeycomb :) But when I cut through the cake, no, not honeycomb like, it's like a termite mound's interior. Not my fault, the site that I got this from also looked like this. Plus other Chinese sites that made using this recipe also looked like this and this. I thought it's due to them not stirring the final transfer of batter to steam tray that caused the termite mound effect. But no..the recipe really yields results like this even when I stirred it when I transfered the batter. But no matter how it looked, the texture is nice to eat. Soft and not hard, even after many hours after being steamed. And the amount of sugar used is very little, it's sweet enough not to be bland.
I halved the original recipe since it was an experiment. I was scared that I won't like to eat it, so dared not do a bigger portion. Experiments need to be eaten too, unless it's really awful or uncooked. But I regretted, I could finish up the whole thing myself. The amount below is what I did, and it gave me a 7 inch diameter, 1.5cm tall square cake. Feel free to do the full amount.
25gm wheat starch
75gm rice flour
1/2 tsp yeast mix with 1 tsp water
*Well, I'm rather impatient. I do medium heat for 20 seconds (if full batch I'd go 30 sec) to heat it up, turn to low for 20 seconds, back to medium for another 3, then back to low for 20 and medium 3 up until u can feel the base start to thicken. Then I went low all the way until I could feel about half of it is thickened. Then I removed it from the heat and continued to stir, and let it continue to thicken with the residual heat)
I'm going to do 3 more versions...1 is another express version, the other 2 will be long winded versions. Just for comparison. I'm curious, very curious. How can I get the ultimate honeycomb structure like the hawker near my house in Kampar???? Or should I just climb and peek into his kitchen???
Update 29/4/10: I've found the solution for the termite's mound look. Don't cook the flour mixture.
Here is my revised Step 1, 2 and 3.
1. Boil 120ml water with sugar. Mix 80ml water with both flours and mix well.
2.When sugar syrup has boiled, pour into flour mixture and stir well.
3. Sieve batter and leave it to cool.
Continue with step 4 above.