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Kueh Belanda or Peranakan Love Letters

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Legend has it that these sweet confections were used to hide messages exchanged by secret lovers. There is no secret to making them, though, but you will need an electrical mould or Love Letter Plates from your local bakery supplier.

INGREDIENTS

  • 125gm rice flour
  • 25gm tapioca flour
  • 160gm fine sugar
  • 200ml fresh coconut milk, first squeeze only
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 5 large eggs (approx. 60g each)
  • Vegetable oil (for greasing moulds the first time)

METHOD

1. Using the whisk on medium speed, combine the eggs, salt and sugar in a bowl until well mixed.
2. Once the sugar has been fully dissolved, add the coconut milk and whisk for another 25 seconds.
3. Gently add in the flour from the sides while the beater is still whisking. Midway, stop the mixer and with a gentle motion scrape down the sides of the bowl after about 15 seconds.
4. Gently pour small portions of the batter over a wired sieve and into a bowl to remove any lumps or improperly mixed flour or egg. Strain the mixture over a fine-wired sieve into another mixing bowl to remove any flour lumps, unbeaten egg.
5. Place a damp towel over the bowl of batter and set aside to allow the batter to stabilise and for air bubbles to settle approximately 15 minutes.
6. In the meantime, lightly grease the moulds, heat them up and if using the traditional plates place them over the charcoal fire to geat.
7. Once moulds are heated, put 2 tablespoonsful of the batter over the moulds, cover and cook for 45 seconds to 1 minute, till they display a golden colour.
8. Taking a chopstick quickly and with haste place the chopstick on the edge of a Love Letter and quickly roll. The chopstick acts like a mini rolling pin and since the batter hardens really fast, you need to double time your momentum.
9. Set each roll aside to cool but not for too long as they might quickly turn soft with our humid weather. Once cool to touch, place in an air-tight container. Repeat with the remaining batter, making sure that before each scoop of batter, you gently stir the bowl of batter, preventing the flour from sinking to the bottom.

Tips:
– Moulds should only be greased at the start of the session and only once.
– If you place batter on the mould and it spills out too fast, this will mean the moulds are not fully heated up yet. The batter should readily stick to the moulds as an indication that the optimum heat has been reached for baking.
– Airtight containers are a must to store the love Letters or they’ll go soft quickly.

Storage
– Airtight containers
– 3 weeks approx.

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