Monday, February 16, 2009

Charcoal and A Black Dessert, Kanom Peeak Poon

I am so excited to fine the recipe of this delicious Thai dessert. A lot of Thai desserts trace back to the Portuguese, the first Westerner who arrived at then known as Siam. The Portuguese brought along their culture including cuisine and shared it with the Siamese. The authentic Thai desserts are more and more hard to find now a day because of the changing ways of living in Thai culture. Recently our friend, Grim, went to Portugal, she wanted to trace back what we believe, original of Kanom Tong-Yip Tong-Yod, (Kanom means dessert), and found it. She said their version is richer than ours. Portugal is in my Must Go list now.

Now, back to this interesting Thai dessert called Kanom Peeak Poon. The dessert got its name from the way they are cut, which is the Squashed Square. That's how we call this kind of shape. I don't think this dessert is one of the Portuguese influences since there are no eggs in the recipe-just flour and palm sugar mixed together

What makes this dessert more interesting is the color black. Most Thai desserts are colored with natural plants and herbs, like this one, the black color is made out of coconut husk charcoal. The dry husks are burned into charcoal then soaked in water until the water turn completely black then the charcoal is filtered out. There you have it the black water for the black dessert. In case you are not familiar with charcoal as an edibles, charcoal is one of the ancient remedy and medicine. So, yes it is safe to eat.

I always wanted to make this dessert, but my burden of living in New York is how can I get a coconut husk charcoal. Finding a coconut in Manhattan is hard, and to make it into charcoal? *O*

Until I got what so called Activated Charcoal I thought this would work since it is very find black charcoal powder-just mix it with water, I'll have my delicious dessert without having firefighters knocking on my door.

This dessert is a perfect result of a well balance of taste and texture between two individual things. I've never understood it until I've made it myself. The black dessert tastes one thing, the coconut topping tastes another thing. It feels lost of taste when you eat them separately, but when you eat them together, it turns into somethings that is very delicious in your mouth.

The smooth texture of the dessert body balancing the crunchiness of the coconut topping. The sweet smell and taste of palm sugar complement the nutty taste and smell of coconut. Beautiful really.

Besides making a trip to Thai grocery stores, finding the coconut husk charcoal, which is no longer a burden, this desert is so easy to make. I had an urge for them one night, I got off the couch, and thirty minutes later, I scooped it into my mouth.

Want to try?
- 1 cup, rice flour
- 1/4 cup, Tao Yai Mom flour (Tapioca Flour)
- 1/2 cup palm sugar

- 2 1/2 cup Lime water (you can make it by mixing Red Lime Paste (available in Thai grocery stores) with water, let it sit until the water is clear then spoon only the clear water out to use it.)
- 1 cup water with a drop of Jasmin fragrance OR even better if you have fresh Jasmin in your garden, or dry Jasmin. Let them sit in 1 cup of water and use the water.
- 1/4 cup charcoal water (mixing of a teaspoon of activated charcoal powder with 1/4 of water)
- grated coconut meat (available in most Asian groceries either dry or frozen)
- tiny pinch of salt

Let get your arms toned one more time.
1. Prepare the 7x11" Brownie pan, line with freezing paper.
2. Mix two flours together in a pot using to make a batch.
3. In a bowl, mix palm sugar with 1 cup of Jasmin water, use your hand, mixing them together, make sure there is no lump of sugar left in the water.
4. In another bowl, mix lime water and charcoal water together.
5. Pour 1/3 of palm sugar mixing pass through strainer into flours mixing , mix them thoroughly, pour the rest to cooperate.
6. Pour in later, lime-charcoal water, stir well.
7. Put the pot on high heat, keep stir until boil, reduce heat to medium, continuing stir until it reach a thick paste-like, turn of the heat.
8. pure into a preparing pan, let it cool down.

Coconut Topping
1. If you have fresh grated coconut meat, just sprinkle them with tiny pinch of salt.
2. If you use dried-coconut; sprinkle them with water, put them into microwave for 1 min. to revive them then sprinkle with salt and toss them thoroughly.

1. cut the cooled dessert into square, serve with coconut topping. I Loveee a lot of coconut...yummy.
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