Whey Pancakes

Whey, the by-product of cheese, is the liquid that remains after the cheese curds are removed. This slightly acidic liquid is actually very suitable for making pancakes. It’s acidic nature reacts with the baking soda to release lots of carbon dioxide bubbles, making the pancakes airy and fluffy. 

I made some paneer cheese recently and was left with some whey. So I decided to make some plain pancakes and…some durian pancakes. Yes, I also had extra durians in the fridge, so why not?

I used the whey pancake recipe from King Arthur Baking Company, with a little bit of modification. 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 tbs sugar
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 2 cups whey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 50g butter (melted)
  • Optional: durian flesh (100-200g)

I could see bubbles forming in the batter as I let it sit for a few minutes after mixing. And indeed, the plain pancakes came out perfectly light. After making 2-3 plain pancakes, I added some durian flesh into the remaining batter. The durian made the batter thicker and creamier. The resulting pancakes were even thicker and fluffier than the plain ones. The image featured above this post is my stack of durian pancakes. They look so pretty!

Tip:

Flip the plain pancake after bubbles emerge all over the surface, but for the durian pancakes, you should start flipping when it begins to bubble because the sugar in durian causes the pancake to burn faster


Durian Kuih in Handcrafted Pandan Cups

Durian. A thorny issue for many. Some love it for it’s rich and complex flavours, described as sweet, creamy, bittersweet, intense or buttery. Others stay far away from the disgusting, pungent, nauseating fruit that wrecks havoc in hotels, airplanes and confined spaces. When Western friends who have never tried the fruit ask me how durian tastes, I describe it like this: smells like onions but tastes like custard, imagine eating onion custard.

I like custard. So when I saw some Hoen Kwe flour in the cupboard, I decided to use the extra durians to make this custardy durian dessert. Hoen Kwe flour is a type of mung bean flour mixture mostly made in Indonesia. It is cooked and left to set into a pudding-like texture and best served cold. It is usually sold in small little packs of 100 grams. And it comes with instructions on the pack itself. I am adding durian into the mix for this durian delight, only for durian lovers. It actually tastes stronger than pure durian itself. 

Learn how to fold pandan cups in this video too

Ingredients:

  • 1 pack Hoen Kwe flour
  • 3 cups coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup durian flesh
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt

This recipe can fill up approximately 30 pandan cups. If you did not make enough pandan wrappers, just pour the remaining mixture into a tray. Let it set, chill in the fridge and then cut into pieces for serving.

Tips:

  • If you are using thick coconut milk or coconut cream from a pack, dilute it with water to make up to 3 cups. You want the mixture to be milky, not too creamy. Then cook the mixture to a thick, goopy consistency.
  • Make sure the dessert is properly chilled before serving. It needs to be cold for that refreshing taste.


Traditional Mung Bean Cake

Recently I found some wooden cake moulds while digging through the kitchen cupboards. These are blocks hand-carved from solid wood that my grandma used to make traditional rice cakes (炒米饼) with. I have not seen my grandma use them before but I do remember watching my mother hammer the wooden mould on the table as she shaped her mooncakes during mid-autumn festival.

As a tribute to my grandma’s kitchen antiques, I decided to make some mung bean cakes (绿豆糕) with these moulds. This is an old-fashioned cake, made traditionally by compressing mashed mung beans into a mould. These snacks are very easy to make and only requires 3 basic ingredients – mung beans, butter, sugar.

Ingredients:

  • 300g mung beans
  • 100g butter
  • 100g sugar
  • pinch of salt (not necessary if you use salted butter)

Just to be clear, the mung beans used here are actually the green mung beans with the shell removed. If you can’t find mung beans in the supermarket, you can get the green beans too. Just soak them overnight and rub them together with your hands to remove the outer shell. You can leave some green shells behind to give it some green colour. Just need to blend them in a food processor to properly mash them up.

Tips:

  • properly compact them into the mould so your shape would stay in place when you knock it out
  • chill them in refrigerator to let the cakes firm up
  • keep in fridge to stay fresh
  • you can use a food processor to blend it into a finer paste but I like the sandy texture of mashing with a fork

Nostalgic mung bean cakes are ready for tea time.