Malaysians from all walks of life love Ondeh-Ondeh. There’s just something about these chewy, fluffy balls of goodness that makes us squirm with delight.
But what if you wanted to switch things up just a little? Add a little surprise to an absolutely classic treat? Well, get ready, because chocolate Ondeh-Ondeh will blow your mind.
You can just imagine it, can’t you? Biting into a chewy exterior, followed by warm and oozing melted chocolate.
Chocolate Ondeh-Ondeh is an amazing treat, and incredibly simple to put together.
We paired our chocolate Ondeh-Ondeh with semi-sweet chocolate chips, but they will also go great with milk chocolate or dark chocolate chips if you prefer a stronger, more decadent flavour.
• 60g glutinous rice flour + extra if needed
• 30g rice flour
• 1/8 tsp pandan extract
• 75ml (5 tbsp) water + extra if needed
• 50g freshly grated coconut
• 2g (1/4) tsp fine sea salt
• 55g semi-sweet chocolate chips
• 1 pandan leaf, knotted
• Water for boiling
• In a bowl or plate, mix freshly grated coconut with salt. As salt intensities can vary, taste your mixture. You want the salt to bring out the rich flavour of the grated coconut without ending up with a salty mix. Add more grated coconut if you find the mixture too salty.
• In a mixing bowl, combine glutinous rice flour and rice flour and whisk to mix.
• Add pandan extract to water. Stir to mix evenly and watch that stunning green colour appear.
• Add pandan extract mixture to the flour, then combine it until it forms a pastel green dough. This is easier done by hand. You want a dough with a texture that feels elastic, almost like playdough.
However, it should not feel sticky on the fingers. If the dough feels too dry, add some water 1 teaspoon at a time. If it’s too moist, add glutinous rice flour 1 teaspoon at a time. The dough should not stick to your fingers.
• Divide and roll the dough into roughly 18 balls, of about 9g-10g each. Place these on a surface dusted with glutinous rice flour as these balls can get quite sticky.
• Dust your hands with a little glutinous rice flour. Take one ball and flatten it on the palm of your hand. You don’t want to flatten it too thinly or leave it too thick. Too thin and the dough will easily tear while cooking. Too thick and it’ll just be too chewy. About 3mm thick is a good size, but if you’re a first-timer, err on the (slightly) thicker side until you get the hang of it.
• Add about 1/2 teaspoon of chocolate chips in the middle, then shape the dough back into a ball to cover the filling. Repeat until you’ve used up all the balls of dough.
• Bring about 7cm to 10cm of water to a boil in a small or medium-sized pot with the knotted pandan placed leaf inside.
• Place the uncooked balls of chocolate Ondeh-Ondeh into the pot. Work in small batches. Let the balls boil until they float, plus a few minutes extra to completely melt the chocolate chips, roughly 10 to 15 minutes of total boiling time depending on how large your Ondeh-Ondeh are.
• Once the balls have cooked, remove them with a strainer, shaking it lightly to get rid of excess water.
• Immediately transfer the balls to the grated coconut and roll them around until they are evenly coated.
• Once coated, place the balls on a platter and let it cool to room temperature before serving. We don’t recommend cooling them down in a refrigerator as they will tend to harden.
Did you know you can freeze Ondeh-Ondeh? If you’ve got time to spare and since you’re already getting your hands sticky, make a giant batch of these balls and freeze it.
We recommend freezing the balls in separate containers for portion control. When you’re ready to cook them, mix the grated coconut accordingly and get started.
It will take a little longer to cook from frozen (about 10 minutes extra boiling time from when it starts to float), and you do not need to defrost it first.
However, do not freeze already cooked Ondeh-Ondeh.
• For authentic results, use actual Gula Melaka and not the western variety of coconut sugar. However, if you live somewhere where proper gula Melaka is not available, coconut sugar will do as they have similar flavour profiles.
Do adjust cooking time though as the melting point may differ slightly. Plus, you’re not going to get that “crunch” compared to when using chunks of Gula Melaka.
• You can also use 100% glutinous rice flour and omit the rice flour completely. However, this results in a very soft and squishy Ondeh-Ondeh. The rice flour helps to give the little balls their structure and spherical shape.
Feel free to reduce the amount of rice flour while topping up the same amount in glutinous rice flour until you find a combination of softness and firmness that you like.
However, if you’re a first-timer, the ratio we’ve used above is great for a fuss-free Ondeh-Ondeh recipe.
• Freshly-grated coconut is best, however, in a pinch, you can use frozen or refrigerated grated coconut, depending on what’s available at your local or Asian supermarket.
If you’re using frozen or refrigerated, steam the grated coconut mixed with salt for 15-20 minutes, then spread it on a plate or bowl to cool. Desperate? Use desiccated coconut steamed with salt, but it won’t have that fluffy texture of grated coconut.
• If you’re using natural pandan extract, the colour of your Ondeh-Ondeh will not be as striking. That is completely fine.
This article first appeared in butterkicap.com
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