Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Onde-Onde: Malaysian Sweet Potato Dumplings

Problem: One-hour window to produce something sweet

Materials: Rice flour, sweet potato, brown sugar and coconut

Method: Combine rice flour, water, mashed sweet potato in food processor.  Shape into spheres with 1/4 teaspoon hemisphere of packed brown sugar inside.  Drop in plain boiling water until all bobbing.  Roll in flaked coconut with a pinch of salt.

Results: These were chewy and slightly sweet in a mochi kind of way.  I think some of the sugar fillings may have melted out of the dumplings while boiling.  With a few layers of contrasting textures and a surprise sugar-lined hollow center, they're very fun to bite into.

Conclusion: I think next time I'll use a touch more salt and maybe some sugar in the dough itself, plus a little salt in the cooking water to intensify the flavors.  I'll also take more care to seal the sugar filling inside the dumplings.  I might even try using chunks of palm sugar as the recipe suggests (I used muscovado).  
With their pastel-orangey hue, festive coconut sprinkles and superior grabbability, these treats could be a stellar finger food for Easter, Halloween, or anything in between.

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