Ours was low key, which is just what we needed after spending 6 days with my family. Just kidding, Mom! It was fun, but with nieces and babies and all around general chaos, it was nice to spend an evening just chillaxing. But I do want to post yet another highlight from our visit.
Another of Mom's friends, Auntie P, who wouldn't stand to be outdone by the tapioca pork dumplings, offered to make another one of my favorite sweets, kanom koke. It's hard to believe that I haven't had these since my last visit to Thailand, 9 years ago! (Where does the time go? It still seems like yesterday!)
How do I describe these?
Imagine a custard crossed with a pancake. They are made with rice flour and coconut milk and fried up in a special pan with several wells. The bottoms become crispy while the centers are still soft but firm. Hard to explain. You'll just have to taste.
These tasties can be embellished by adding slightly cooked, diced pumpkin or taro to the batter, but here's the basic version:
Rice flour is mixed with coconut milk. Pandan leaves or essence are added, much like vanilla would be to a dessert. A pinch of salt and sugar may also be added, but it's not necessary as another sweetened mixture will be added on top. The batter is heated until it thickens slightly and the flavor from the pandan leaves is released.
Auntie said the sweets are named after the pan used to cook them (koke = hole). Luckily I already have a pan like this I use to make Danish aebleskiver, a kind of round pancake. The batter is poured into the greased wells and allowed to set slightly.
After the batter sets a little, a second mixture of coconut cream mixed with a little coconut milk, chives (we used green onions), sugar and salt are put on top.Don't they look great? The texture is custard-y yet firm-ish. The bottom is slightly crispy and caramelized. They taste best eaten warm. My cousin said she ate these for breakfast every morning before school. I think I could do that too!
Compared to the tapioca dumplings, these were a breeze to make! I'll try to get a recipe posted once I replicate them myself.