Wednesday, July 11, 2012

baked kueh keria (sweet potato doughnuts)




Hi All! I hope you haven't forgotten that my book launch is coming up next Saturday, 21 July from 2pm - 3 pm at Kinokuniya, Level 3 Takashimaya Shopping Centre. My official e-vite finally came last week and it's so adorable, I just have to show you what it looks like : 



I'm really looking forward to it and hope to meet as many of you there, as possible. The event is open to all and if you'd like to take a friend or two or three along, go right ahead! Now let's get on with today's post.....

There comes a time in most mortal food bloggers' lives (like when a shoe horn becomes necessary to get into a pair of jeans) when the painful realisation that some serious calorific intervention is required, hits home, hard. 

I got my wake up call when I was looking for a favourite blouse and realised that I'd bundled  and banished it out of my closet, with, oh, tooooo many other things , that I could now only dream of getting into.  


The constant recipe developing, testing and tasting that has become so much a part of my life since 2008, when I started writing cookbooks and consequently, blogging about food and the careless eating I blamed on both, have finally taken a toll on my once willowy figure. Willowy; such a pretty word. I can barely say it without my throat constricting as tightly as my jeans around my thighs, when I sit down.



You know, with all the time I spend sitting on my caboose, writing, writing, writing, you'd think it would be flat as an ironing board. Huh. If only. Anyway, here I was rummaging through my clothes racks, looking for my blouse when it dawned on me that oh.my.god. I had replaced almost a third of wardrobe because of my hefty weight gain!



Enough's enough. No more mindless eating, no more snarfing down leftovers because I don't want them  going to waste - that's what the fridge is for! No more baking brownies after midnight because I can't sleep, and most of all, no more blaming my food blog or cookbooks for making me chubby! Still, sometimes you just want a little something besides, even after a full meal, and boy, suddenly I just could not get my mind off kueh keria, those sugar crusted sweet potato doughnuts that turn my knees to water...



Does cooking, eating, thinking or writing about food, CON-STANT-LY necessarily mean that I can't sidestep the unhealthy and unflattering extra kilos? Given how much I love food, and everything about it, I'm hesitant to answer that, either way. But in any case, it's far too easy to gobble down far too many calories in my line of far too enjoyable work, so, why fry, when I can bake? I want my doughnut and damn, if I don't want to eat it too! This way I can at least sidestep the fat and my heart and hips will thank me for it.




I don't intend turning into a health nut and don't worry, you won't be seeing lentil cakes, rice milk panna cotta or green smoothie posts anytime soon; this blog is not a  secret portal to the 60s, though I swear sometimes, I smell incense burning *ommmmmm* ;) I love my food in all it's sinful, hip inflating glory, but I'm feeling a wee bit remorseful for the way I've been mindlessly straining my poor, overtaxed digestion and beleaguered figure. You should have seen the way I made the sugee cakes from last week's post disappear *sigh* These moist, tender, fudgy and FAT FREE (yippee!) doughnuts amount to an apology. Never thought saying sorry could be so enjoyable though.



Much as I wanted to, I did not deep fry these babies, as I usually would've. I patted them and pricked them and baked them instead. So they're crusted with sugar, but, I need my crackly sugar glaze! I mean come on, the only reason you eat kueh keria is to crunch into that big bad, crackly, sugar crust! Everybody knows that!!


And oh my, would you just look at that crust! This is almost like candy. No way would you ever believe this is fat free, if you didn't make it yourself. These babies knocked the wind right out of my sugar cravings and completely satisfied. Think I'll just have salad for dinner.....





Baked Fat Free Kueh Keria prep20mins  cook40mins  makes12doughnuts

Preheat oven at 210 C (410 F). Line a baking tray with non stick baking paper or parchment.

Combine hot potatoes and salt in a large mixing bowl. Mash as finely as you can using your hand.


Sprinkle over the flour and baking powder and mix everything to a soft dough. Divide into 12 portions and form each into a ball. 



Flatten balls slightly and make a hole in the middle of each. Neaten doughnuts. Set aside. 



Place doughnuts onto lined tray and bake for 20 minutes or until light gold and puffed. Set aside on a cooling rack until cold.


To make sugar coating, combine the sugar and water in a heavy based pot and heat over moderate heat until sugar dissolves. Do not stir. 

Heat until syrup boils vigorously and thickens. When syrup is opaque and foamy, dip in both sides of each doughnut then gently shake off excess syrup. 

Cool doughnuts on a rack with a tray beneath to catch any sticky drips. When syrup cools and sets to a crisp and crackly glaze, 
serve doughnuts.


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The doughnuts were dreamy with coffee but I'm not done here yet. There's something else close to my heart I want to share with all of you. 

Family Food Legacy Cooking Competition 2012

I started this blog as a means of sharing and preserving our local dishes and recipes as I am very proud of our ethnic diversity and food culture. As Singapore has always and continues to actively welcome foreign influences (including culinary influences) into our tiny island nation, the danger of the younger generation forgetting our unique culinary traditions is an ever present and real concern. 

I truly believe that the heart and history of a nation is best understood by looking into its cooking pot. So, when I came to know about a cooking contest to showcase local traditional family recipes, organised by the People's Association I had to share about it here. 




The aim of the contest is to encourage family bonding and the preservation of our culinary legacy through the sharing of favourite family recipes that may be unfamiliar to the younger generation of Singaporeans. It sounds like great fun and the prizes are pretty impressive. It's a team contest so you won't have to do it alone. If you're interested, click here for contest details and here to download the entry form. The closing date for  registration is 31 July 2012, so don't drag your heels!

And now, I'm done. Hope you enjoy the doughnuts, I'll be back soon with a new post, so keep checking back here!


32 comments:

  1. Wow these looks amazing at the same time interesting, I never tried those yet but I guess that would be so good as we have a similar recipe but sweet potatoes used on a bread

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    1. Thank you Raymund :) These do indeed taste good, but it could just be because I am a sweet potato lover.

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  2. Been looking for new things to make with Sweet Potatoes (super foods) so thank you so much ! Will be trying this recipe today !

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    1. You're welcome :) Hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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  3. You've got some interesting bakes here, my dear! I enjoy eating Sweet potatoes especially during winter where I can get steamy hot ones. I've never tried these doughnuts before but they're really cute & great for entertaining :)

    BTW, have u collected your prize for my Giveaway? Pls remember to share the pix :)

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    1. Thanks Shirley :) Don't worry, I will definitely share the pic on Facebook when I collect the prize - unfortunately, just too busy at the moment. Guess timing is bad as I truly am occupied preparing for my book launch. Wish I had someone to run errands for me but sadly I have to do everything myself.

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  4. I am so much in the same boat in terms of weight (with this weight I think I can sink any boat ;-) ). I am sitting on this inflatable ball chair when I work, and as much as I love this chair, I fell that I am starting to look like one... So sad. But you just inspired me, so I am going to take a short workout break!
    And your doughnuts are wonderful. I am not a big doughnut fan in general, but even to me they look yummy!

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    1. LOLOLOL Oh my! I know exactly what you mean!! I feel like I'm developing more than a passing resemblance to an exercise ball :P I really should get off my chair and away from my laptop more often..... and eat more mindfully.... here's to a healthier life for us all ;)

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  5. I know what you mean about cooking, testing, and tasting all the food we cook. Sadly, it does add on after a while and sitting down to blog after the food does not help either...sigh! I am all for turning deep fried goodies into baked ones if I can get away with it. These do look good and I do have 3 sweet potatoes in the pantry ;)

    Your book launch e-vite looks really cool! Hope there'll be lots and lots of people there. Can't wait to hear about it.

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    1. Ugh!!! As I was just telling Elana above, I need to get away from my laptop and stove LOLOL What to do? They are our stock and trade :( So, I'll be using my oven and steamer more often and hopefully, at least stop adding any more to my girth, if I can't actually lose any of it for time being... I feel like running away to a fat farm :D

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  6. how much sugar goes into the doughnut batter?

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    1. Hi, there is no sugar added to the dough itself. As for the sugar glaze, surprisingly, hardly any is absorbed into the doughnut as the syrup sets very quickly so there is no time for the doughnut to absorb it into the crumb. Hope that answers your question :)

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  7. HI could you give me the ingredients in non-metric amounts? Thanks, I LOVE sweet potatoes but don't need any more fat or sugar either!

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    1. Hi, aren't sweet potatoes wonderful? Nature's candy I call them :) I'm afraid I'm not familiar with the Imperial system but I used an online metric converter and got these numbers:


      Doughnuts

      500 g sweet potatoes - 1.1023 lbs sweet potatoes
      100 g flour - 0.2205 lbs flour


      Sugar Coating

      100 g sugar - 0.2205 lbs sugar
      50 ml water - 1.6907 fl ozs

      Sorry I can't be more helpful as I have used the metric system my entire life. Hope the recipe turns out well for you :)

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  8. Ooooh I love kuih keria, these looks absolutely yummy, love the colour too, such a happy colour. Gorgeous photos!

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  9. Hi Jackie, me too me tooooo! Isn't that crazy orange awesome?! Just looking at it makes me feel chirpy :D

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  10. This looks delicious and your pictures are amazing. Would love for you to share your photos with us at foodepix.com.

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  11. These look so amazing, love everything about them, glad you added the sugar on top it looks like the best part naturally :) Thanks for sharing I will have to give these a try.

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  12. I want to try these, can you use yams from the can instead of the real sweet potatoe?

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    1. Hi :) I have never come across canned yams (I assume you're referring to taro root) so I would not know what kind of texture they have though I suspect they might be too mushy and slimy(?) to work well for this recipe, as they will probably produce too slack a dough which would make the doughnuts overly moist and heavy. I could be wrong though. If you do decide to try it with canned yams, I really would like to know how they turn out...

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  13. Hi I tried the donut recipe today! Thanks for sharing! Unfortunately after baking, there's still a heavy flour smell within. Feels like it isn't cooked. I increased the temp and duration for the second batch but the insides still seem lumpy with flour. Could I have done anything wrong?

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  14. Hi, sorry to hear it didn't turn out well for you. Did the inside of your doughnuts look anything like the last picture in my post? I did not have a lumpy, floury interior when I made this or any flour smell. They smelt of sweet potatoes. The amount of flour is small, compared to the amount of sweet potatoes so I'm surprised that yours would smell of flour instead of sweet potatoes. Is it possible that your kitchen scale is faulty, or that you packed the flour down too firmly in the cup when measuring, thus actually increasing the amount of flour beyond 100g? The insides of the doughnuts I made were moist and dense, but not lumpy with flour. Did you add the baking powder? Did you use normal baking powder or double acting baking powder as specified in the recipe? Did your doughnuts rise at all after baking? They are supposed to rise after baking but when they cool down, they will slightly deflate but still be soft and a little springy. It could be that your sweet potatoes were too wet and not properly drained before mashing, or it could be that the flour was not well mixed with the sweet potatoes. These are some of the things that commonly go wrong when measuring ingredients and baking. Hope the questions help improve your next batch.

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    1. Thanks! I will try again!

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  15. Please let's not talk about food blogger weight gain...let's just focus on these incredible doughnuts :) These are fantastic and I really want one with my coffee right now :)

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  16. Oh. My. Goodness. I will definitely be trying this recipe and trying to do it gluten free! They look beautiful and delicious!

    ~ April

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  17. tried these tonight. and turned out great. I baked not boiled the potato first...to keep nutrients i also left the skin on then ran it through the food processor, then added the other ingredients and mixed in the food processor. One change i want to try is to add cinnamon to the doughnut mixture next time, just to add a bit more flavor.

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    1. Glad they turned out well - I think cinnamon would be a nice addition, especially with milder flavoured varieties of sweet potato. Nutmeg might be nice too, in combination with cinnamon or even alone. Very autumny.....

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  18. I tried making these and they did not turn out well. I tried to find out how many cups a gram was and it said four so i mixed four cups of sweet potato with one cup of flour and the baking powder. The batter was very mushy. I tried baking them any way even though there was no way to make them into a ball. I just plopped it onto the baking sheet and baked . They didn't cook, rise...nothing. So ok, what went wrong. I'm guessing too much sweet potato. I feel pretty dumb here.

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  19. Hi Barbara, sorry you're having difficulties with these doughnuts. I'm a bit confused by your statement about a *gram* being four cups. Maybe you could explain this so I can advice you further, not just for this recipe, but for future measurement conversions as well.. Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

    In any case - from what I gather from your description of your process I think you used probably about 600 - 700 g sweet potatoes (4 packed down cups worth) and about 100 g flour. if that's the case, you definitely put in too much sweet potatoes. The amount of sweet potatoes needed is 500 g or about 17.5 ozs or 3 1/3 level teacups (not packed down). If you look at the bottom of my sidebar on the right of the screen, you will see a note on measurements for my recipes, where I specify a (standard English) teacup rather than a measuring cup.

    The recipe will not work if you use a measuring cup as it has a bigger capacity than a teacup. The reason I use a teacup is because measuring cups differ in capacity from 225 ml to 250 ml depending on whether they are manufactured in the US, UK or Australia.

    Standard English teacups on the other hand, all have a capacity (filled to the brim) of 200 ml, regardless of where they are manufactured. Also, I wanted to make things easier for my readers as not every one has a measuring cup but it's a safe assumption that most people will have a teacup in their kitchen.

    When measuring by cup, don't pack ingredients down into the cup - just fill it lightly to the brim than level off by swiping the blunt edge of a knife across the rim of the cup so that excess ingredients will fall off (make sure you have a bowl beneath to catch the fall out out ).

    One last thing - be sure your sweet potatoes are not still damp from the boiling water - they should be very well drained with no more water dripping off them, and don't forget your baking powder. If you have no double acting bp, use 3 (level) tsp ordinary baking powder. Please, don't feel dumb. I've been cooking and baking for well over 2 decades and I still screw up in the kitchen. Just pick yourself up and try again. That's all I can think of to help you get better results at your next attempt. If you do have further difficulty, please let me know. I'm here to help.

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  20. Hi Denise! I tried out this recipe today and it was great, thank you for sharing! The doughnuts were delicious but unfortunately the sugar coating failed due to my lack of confidence heating up the sugar... it's such an easy and tasty recipe though, so I'll be trying again someday!

    Just to let you know, I posted my version (I used Japanese sweet potato and added cinnamon to the sugar) on my blog and linked your website/recipe. http://tanakamura.blogspot.jp/2013/03/japanese-sweet-potato-baked-doughnuts.html

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    1. Hi Daniela, happy to know that the recipe turned out well :) The sugar glaze is a bit tricky, and it took me a few attempts before I got it right. I hope you will try it again. The thing is you have to cook the syrup longer than you would imagine, and it's a small window between under and over cooked. Still, all it takes is practice and I'm sure you'll get there very soon.

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  21. Oh my!!! These. Look. Incredible. Definitely trying!

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