My name is Joyce, author of Eat What Tonight. Spending time in the kitchen has been one of my greatest therapeutic passion thus far even though I couldn't do it on a more often basis than I wish I could. I do not prized myself as a great cook or baker, after all I am a one-woman show in the kitchen and blogging scene. Nevertheless, I hope this little space of mine can aspire anyone like myself to appreciate and enjoy the best of oneself's efforts in every single home made dish.
Is there a trend to revive our childhood delicacies recently ?? Kueh Tutu ~ something that is missed and much of our childhood. Something that is small and delicate and poses yet a challenging feat.
Took me a whole day for more than 3 attempts to determine half the secret behind it ~ well, just notice the word I say, just “HALF”. I still haven’t gotten the glitch of it totally. Everytime I feel that I am almost there but yet not there. Confusing, isn’t it ? Yeah, how to get that melt-in-the-mouth skin texture and yet able to unmould it nicely without imperfections.
There are many recipes for kueh tutu on google. But taking a closer look, you would realize they are more or less similar. 2 cups of flour for 170-180ml of moisture for the skin !
So here comes my first attempt with the most common recipe found !
And the method most generally adopted is using a fork to combine the crumbs till they are fine and with that correct level of moisture.
Sorry for the poor lightning as by the time I managed to capture these shots, I was completely worn out !!! I was liked on my toes from 6 to 11pm, working non-stop on these little bites.And this is what happened. Instead of using Rice Flour as stipulated, I had used Glutinuous Rice Flour and I did not realise the mistake till the kuehs are steamed. I was literally getting a shock of my life when I saw my Kuehs turning into Mochis !!! Not willing to stop halfway, and thanks goodness for a newly implemented 24 hours supermarket in my area, I went to get rice flour at 10pm.
And despite my several attempts at unmoulding, I could only savage 3 of these more decent look ones. I was figuring that could be due to uneven water distribution when I added the water and the “crumbs” were not evenly moist. So some of it I could get a proper shape while some of it just spilled on me when I unmould.
Taste wise, it wasn’t good too. Instead of getting a melt in the mouth texture, I was feeling the grains.
The next day, I continued the experiments with the help of Mr Chunky. There and then, we experiment with steaming the flour to retain the moisture, but again it spilled when unmoulding.
We cracked our heads on how to introduce the moisture into the flour so that it can be evenly distributed to every grain of it. As we roast the flour in pandan leaves, and using a spray bottle, we added the water in several sprays and stirring it continuously over a very low flame and towards the end of it, we simply off the heat and just continue the stirs only.
Now I understood why the famous Kueh Tutu Uncle needs to wake up in the wee hours of the morning to cook his own rice flour. Yes, you definitely needs that kind of patience.
And this is what we got.
Finally we gotten something real close, with just a weeny bit for improvement. Probably a tad more moisture needed to get that silky looking texture. With the extremely sweet coconut filling that I have completed it with, it’s good enough for home consumption, though not exactly perfect still.
As we proceeded, which we reckon due to evaporation of moisture, the remaining flour was no longer as easy to work on as previously.
The flour becomes drier and the crumbs were becoming oblivious. Well, we reckon that covering the balance flour with a wet cloth or putting it under a steamer should do the trick. But well, we were running short of time to continue further.
Also, steaming should not take more than 5 minutes. Anything more than 5 will render you a kueh texture that is similar to the Malay-style kueh tutu (I forgotten the name for it) and not the chinese kind. The colour will turn a slight yellowish as you will notice that from the picture too.
We understand from some old folks that the kueh tutus sold outside include the addition of some other kinds of flour, other than rice flour, to get that smooth and silky skin that we enjoy. Well, we were still debating whether it should be tapioca flour or not. Anyone aware of this ?With that, our mission ends for the day !