First a dough is made of glutinous rice flour, a pinch of salt and water mixed with pandan paste (for the nice green color and enhancing the rice flavor). Then little balls are made and stuffed with chopped palm sugar. The balls are cooked in simmering water and like gnocchi they are done about 30 seconds after they start floating. The balls are then rolled in dessicated coconut that is steamed first to soften it and release the flavor.
These klepon were served as the dessert of the Asian-themed food & wine evenings I’ve been organizing lately. I’ve been quite busy with those, which is why I had less time left to be cooking other stuff and blogging about it. The Asian dinners also include homemade sushi, thai fish cakes, thai green curry with shrimp, Japanese chicken loaf with ginger and eggplant, babi pangang, and rendang. These were paired with different wines. I will write more about this soon. But first here’s how to make klepon.
There are a few things to remember when making klepon. First, it is better to use a block of palm sugar rather than granulated. When using granulated sugar, there will be less sugar in each klepon and the balance between the sticky rice and the sweetness will be off. Second, the amount of liquid is approximate. The dough should be smooth so it won’t tear, but not too sticky either. Third, and most importantly, klepon have to be cooked soon after they are made. Otherwise, the moisture from the dough will melt the sugar and the sugar will leak out. (I have learned that the hard way.) Fourth, steaming the coconut is optional. Fifth, klepon are best when the outside has cooled a bit but the sugar inside is still warm. If you eat them too soon, the sugar inside will be burning hot.
400 grams (about 3 1/2 cups) glutinous rice flour
360 ml (1 1/2 cups) water
block of palm sugar, chopped
dessicated grated coconut
pinch of salt
Put about 1/2 teaspoon of chopped palm sugar in it.
Carefully close it (so the dough won’t break) and roll it until you have a ball again. If the dough breaks all the time, you may have to add a bit more water to the dough, or use a bit less palm sugar sugar.
We’ve tried these with Sauternes, Vin Santo, Moscato d’Asti and Mosel Riesling Spätlese. The Sauternes and Vin Santo were a bit too strong for the delicate flavor of the klepon. The Moscato d’Asti was a bit too fresh. The Spätlese was nice as it was not as sweet as the others, but still not a match made in heaven. I’ll keep trying other wines and will update this page when I find a better match.
This banana ice cream is very easy to make if you have an ice maker, and so delicious. Unlike most other ice cream recipes, it does not require you to make a custard. Simply puree the bananas with sugar and cream in the food processor, with a bit of lemon juice and vanilla for additional flavor. The banana flavor is out of this world, and much better than anything store-bought.