Sunday, January 08, 2006

chicken biscuit no chicken

Ever wondered what's in a Kampar Chicken Biscuit? I'm too lazy to do a search on it, but if I remember correctly it definitely contained some animal fat, thus the chewy texture. And it's non-halal too, kan?

Well, a few years ago I visited an aunt for Chinese New Year (well, not really my aunt, more like my mum's cousin). She offered me some Kampar Chicken Biscuit, homemade. They tasted really good, and very much like the real thing, except there's no animal fat in it. I asked her for the recipe, and she presented me with "At Home with Amy Beh" cookbook.

I must say that it's a really nifty cookbook with a lot of local favourites ranging from kuih bahulu to nonya chang, kuih koci to mee rebus. It covers breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner, festive dishes and snacks and deserts, making it a pretty comprehensive first for a local cookbook, if you're looking for one, that is.

Anyway, I've made these imitation Kampar Chicken Biscuits for a few years now, and since Chinese New Year is closing in, I made a batch for the nibbles tray.


300g plain flour, sifted
175g icing sugar
100g crystalised melon (tung kwa), finely chopped
20g garlic, pounded
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ammonia powder (chow fun)
1 large egg, lightly beaten
60g sesame seeds
30g maltose or malt sugar (mak nga tong)
2 pieces red fermented beancurd (nam yee, see picture), mashed
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp Chinese five spice powder
100ml cooking oil

  1. Preheat oven to 160 degrees C. Line baking trays with non-stick parchment paper.
  2. Combine all ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Blend well into a crumbly dough.
  3. Roll into small balls, te size of small limes (see picture below). Place a ball between 2 sheets of plastic wrap and roll it flat.
  4. Transer the thin dough to prepared trays and bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown and crispy. Lift up carefully onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in air-tight containers.

Makes about 100.

Some notes:
  • Combine the maltose / malt sugar as the very last ingredient, because it's really, really sticky. Knead the dough like you would knead bread dough, it should be a very nice and firm consistency.
  • If you're lazy like me, you can use non-stick baking trays instead of non-stick parchment paper. Remember to lightly oil it (I use a wee bit of butter) so that it'll be easier to come off later. It does tend to stick a bit to the tray after baking.

Lovely, aren't they? *grins*

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