As you may or may not know, this year sis and I are extremely ‘rajin’ (hardworking). We bake our own Chinese New Year cookies!!! We’ve made 4 in total. Not bad eh?
Well there’s pineapple tarts, oatmeal crispies, margarine cookies and the 4th one which I’m going to share with you is Kuih Kapit aka Love Letter.
It was 3 years ago in 2006 that we last make them. At that time grandma helped us with everything. When I read back my kuih kapit post I was quite lost. At that time things were too messy and I didn’t have time to write a proper recipe.
This time I purposely asked grandma not to come to our house. One is because I know she will definitely help out and we don’t want that. Second is because we want to learn making kuih kapit by ourselves from scratch.
I started making my batter at 8.15am. Phoned grandma a couple of times asking her some crazy questions although I already had the recipe on hand and had discussed with her the previous day. I would say that my recipe note has incomplete methods (rather than an incomplete list of ingredients).
I’m sharing with you guys my grandma’s kuih kapit recipe and method IN DETAILS so that I will not forget them and you guys can try making them next CNY.
NB. Not many photos to offer here as our volunteer (Mr Dad) decided to stay in the house. Not even a decent photo of the finished kuih kapit!!!! HOW? HOW? I’ll show them on CNY la. Quite a lengthy post. Just look at the photo unless you’re interested to follow this recipe.
So here goes…
1 kati flour
1 kati sugar
1/2 cup rice flour
3 grated old coconut
room temperature water
Note: 1 kati = 600g
Directions for Love Letter Batter:
1. Prepare 2 empty containers. Place the grated old coconut (bought mine from an Indian sundry shop) into one of the containers. Begin by adding 1 cup of water. Press the old coconut for say 2-3 minutes with your hand. If it’s too dry add another 1/2 cup of water or more. When you notice there’s coconut milk coming out from your hand during pressing, then it’s time to prepare the first batch of coconut milk/juice. In Malaysia we called them santan. Reason for pressing the coconut is to draw out the juices.
2. Place some grated coconut into the cloth strainer. Squeeze ’em clean to collect the juices in the 2nd container. Repeat until you’ve squeeze all the remaining grated coconut. Now you have your first batch of coconut milk. Place them aside.
3. Now add 2 cups of water into the freshly squeeze grated coconut. Repeat step 1. You need to press the coconut and so on. Then repeat step 2. Bring out another new container and gather this 2nd batch of juices. Place your 2nd batch of coconut milk aside.
4. Repeat the above with 4 cups of water. Remember to add extra water if it’s too dry. Press, squeeze and now you have your 3rd batch of juices. Put them aside as well. Remember which juice is from the 1st batch and so on ya.
5. Next, in a bowl sieve the flour, rice flour & sugar. Put them aside as well.
6. Whisk 8 eggs + 4 eggs yolk (you can keep the egg white for other cooking) in a bowl until well blended. Sieve the whisked eggs as we don’t want any particle in the batter.
7. Now it’s time to MIX ‘EM ALL UP.
8. We will need the dry ingredient (flour, rice flour, sugar) bowl as the base. Now take the 1st batch of coconut milk and pour all into the dry ingredient. Slowly using your hand (old-fashioned way ma) stir the batter for awhile. Then add the whisked egg little by little. You don’t want to pour all as it can be difficult to stir the dry and liquid nicely. I guess you can use an electronic beater. I have never try it so I don’t know how the end result will look like.
9. Finally after you’ve poured all the whisked egg into the batter and the batter is well blended, it’s time to bring out your 2nd batch of coconut milk.
10. Now this is the difficult part. You have to judge yourself whether this batter is thick. If yes, pour some of the 2nd batch coconut milk and stir again. If you judge the batter is okay, then put the batter through the sieve.
Let’s go light up the charcoal after that!!! My grandma said the batter should look like the waffle batter that I made the other day. Hehe so agak-agak lo. You’ll find out later whether your batter is thick when you’re doing the baking process. No harm just add coconut milk. That’s why we need 3 batch of coconut milk (for emergency case).
By the time I finished all the above it was like 11am already. Fret not. I dilly dally around… that explained the huge preparing time.
We bake our kuih kapit with charcoal. Have you seen an electric kuih kapit maker? I’ve not but I heard they EXIST!!! Hahaha… Of course it’s simpler to use an electric maker but hey where’s the fun ya?
Things to Prepare for Baking Kuih Kapit Using Charcoal, Che-Cheh’s way
1. Kuih Kapit Molds
– Oil the molds & handles (sort of like cleaning ’em) before starting.
– We use 4 molds. All depends how a person/how many person can control ’em.
– Buy nice designed molds so that your kuih kapit will turned out beautiful. Hehe
2. 3 dinner knives/small knives
– 2 of ’em for folding the kuih kapit
– 1 of ’em for scraping the ‘extra skin’ from the kuih kapit mold + peeling
3. Some oil in a cup + a chopstick wrapped with cloth at one end
– In case the kuih kapit is sticking to the mold during baking, you need to oil them after that.
4. A heavy duty plate/bowl whatever
– To weight down the kuih kapit after folding
5. An empty tin box with some brown/tracing/baking paper to line the side
– To store your kuih kapit!!!
– Normally we prefer to keep kuih kapit in tin as oppose to plastic because tin is more air-tight.
6. 1 bag of charcoal
– Make it 2 bags for backup haha
7. Plenty of newspaper (so that you won’t have to scrub the floor after a tiring day)
– There will be oily floor I assured you
– With newspaper, we just clean ’em with water.
8. BBQ stove
– Choose a soft stool ya or your butt will…. OUCH OUCH OUCH
10. A small table
– For folding action!
11. Plenty of helper
– We only have 2 people working on this. One in charge of baking while the other in charge of folding and storing.
– Of course the one in charge of baking has more fun! 😛
12. Drinking water
– You’ll get dehydrated very quickly
– Oh it’s hot man!
14. Fire starter
– The most important ingredient!!!!
On Baking Kuih Kapit Using Charcoal
1. The first thing we do before pouring the kuih kapit batter into the mold is to heat the empty kuih kapit molds on the charcoal. When it’s hot enough we oil the 2 sides (mold) and reheat again.
2. After awhile we will pour the kuih kapit into the mold (1 side only), allow the extra batter to drain off and place the mold on the BBQ stove. Remember to ‘lock’ the mold handle.
3. There will be hardened batter surrounding the mold. Now take the knife and scrap them off. Return the mold to the fire.
4. After awhile turn the mold to the other side. From time to time have a peek at the kuih kapit. Remember to keep an eye on it. When it’s golden brown then it’s time to peel off the kuih kapit. Hand it over to your helper.
5. The kuih kapit folder must quickly fold the kuih kapit from round shape into 1/4 circle shape. If you don’t act quickly the biscuit will be hardened.
6. We usually throw away the first kuih kapit. The first one is something like cleaning the mold. Remember the heavy plate? Put it on top of the folded kuih kapit. Leave it for awhile.
7. Now make your second kuih kapit and try to taste it. Is it too hard? If it is then add a little bit of the remaining coconut milk that you pressed earlier into the batter and stir well. I can’t tell you how much to add as this is all estimation and depends on individual liking. If it is too hard of course you must add the coconut milk. If it’s just the right ‘hard’ that you like then okay lo. Some people (like me) like thicker texture. I don’t like those thin texture where you bought outside. The moment I hold it the biscuit will break into pieces.
8. In the later stage, remember to check the batter. After sometime it can become thick. So remember to stir them from time to time and if it’s too hard, add coconut milk.
So there… it’s finished!
In our case, we started lighting the charcoal at around 11.40am. We finished the 1 kati batter at 5.30pm. 6 hours plus of hard and enjoyable work. This recipe yield around 250 pieces (inclusive ~20 pieces in Chester’s stomach, my sis’ stomach, my stomach)
p/s: This is my grandma’s recipe. So the directions of making them is kinda old-fashioned such as using hand to stir, estimation of batter liquidity and so on. Therefore proceed with your own risk. But don’t worry la. My kuih kapit turned out fine without grandma’s help (although they’re a bit thick). 🙂 But hey I like ’em thick as oppose to those you buy from outside.