Thanis Lim

All Rounder Chef and Food Journalist

Purple Sweet Potato Cookies with Goji Berries and Chocolate Chips

I am always fascinated by the vibrant purple colours of the purple sweet potatoes. I wondered if it was possible to bake purple sweet potato cookies. To buff up the nutrition of the cookie, I decided to add dried goji berries and cranberries - and for sweetness - dark chocolate chips! Let’s bake some COOKIES!

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Ingredients
1 Cup Rice Flour (make sure it's NOT glutinous rice flour)
125g butter (softened in microwave)
1 tbsp Yogurt
1/2 Cup Brown Sugar (you can sub gula-melaka or palm sugar if you like)
1 Egg
1 Cup steamed Purple Sweet Potato
1 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 Cup Dark Chocolate Chips
1/2 Cup Goji Berries (or mixed dried berries - cranberries and blueberries if you like)

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Both Goji berries and Cranberries are loaded with tons of antioxidants

Directions:
1) Steam the purple sweet potatoes (cut into quarters) until soft and then mash. It will be easier to peel the skins off after steaming them. Alternatively - you can bake them but it's simply up to you.
2) Cream the butter and brown sugar first with a mixer, then add the eggs and yogurt.
3) Combine flour, salt and baking powder in a separate bowl.
4) Slowly mix in the flour mixture into the wet ingredients.
5) Mix in the dried berries and chocolate chips.
6) Pre-heat oven to 190 degrees celcius.
7) Scoop the cookie batter onto a cookiesheet or oiled baking tray (to avoid sticking)

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Look at the cookie dough! Absolutely gorgeous!

8) Bake for about 20-25 minutes depending on your oven. You can shape them smaller if you prefer crunchier, and slightly bigger if more chewy.

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My friend Clarisse helped me snap this beautiful picture of the cookies. Notice they are browned outside but retained some of their purpleness inside! Gorgeous and delicious!

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Durian Crème Brulee

Have you ever wondered what a durian crème brulee would taste like? Imagine – the rich flavours of the durian but with the texture of a soft creamy custard. Hmmm… that’s heaven on a spoon I tell ya! During the durian season, I had an abundance of durian, so I decided to make some durian crème brulee. Since durian is already rich on its own, one does not need to use cream for this recipe. I used the good old evaporated milk for this recipe.

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4 ramekins or 6 shallow ramekins

500ml evaporated milk
150g durian flesh (the white or yellow varieties)
6 egg yolks
60g (1/4 cup) white sugar
Pinch of salt
4 - 6 tsp of white sugar for the caramelized tops.

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Preheat oven to 150 degrees celcius
Place a kitchen towel or silicone baking mat in the bottom of a large roasting pan and place the ramekins in the pan. Bring a kettle of water to a boil.

Combine the evaporated milk, sugar and durian into a blender and blend till smooth.  Bring the  mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, remove the pan from heat.
Add the warm mixture into your beaten egg yolks mixture VERY slowly to ensure you don’t cook the eggs. Remember to stir while adding the liquid.

After that, pour through a sieve to get rid of any lumps from durians or eggs.

Pull out the oven rack and place the roasting pan on the rack. You can either pour the custard mixture into the ramekins first then pour the boiling water in the roasting pan, or pour the boiling water first, then the custard. I like pouring the boiling water first into the pan followed by the custard into the ramekins to minimize splashing water into the custard. Pour the water until it reaches 2/3 up the side of the ramekins. Carefully slide the rack back into the oven.

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Bake until the center of the custards are barely sit, not sloshy but a little jiggly.
Transfer the ramekins to a wire rack to cool to room temperature, about 2 hours. Then transfer to a rimmed baking sheet, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until cold at least 4 hours or overnight. You can keep this in the fridge up to four days.

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Before bruleeing, place a paper towel on the surface on the custards to soak up any moisture. Sprinkle about 1 teaspoon of sugar on the surface (may need to use more for shallow dishes), tilt and shake the ramekin so the sugar covers the surface completely, and brulee until the sugar forms a caramel colored crust.

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Oh custardy durian goodness!! Muacks!!

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