09 June 2015

Crunchy Coconut Balls (Kanom Pia)

My journey into the world of Thai snacks continued when I found this recipe.  Again from Appon's Thai Food, these crunchy coconut balls looked perfectly simple and delicious for our Thai themed VBS.

I have made these little beauties twice, and the second batch turned out much better than the first.  The big difference was my method of getting them on the baking sheet.  Instead of the pinch and roll method, I used a piping bag, and it resulted in a much crunchier uniform bite; and it was quicker, too.

The reason I chose to pipe these out is because this recipe technique reminds me a lot of making pâte à choux.  Though not exactly the same, the dough has a certain sticky quality that reminded me of making cream puffs.  The final baked product is much different, though.

The crunchy coconut balls are indeed crunchy, so I would suggest not making them any bigger than the recipe suggests.  In fact, you could even go smaller.  They are crunchy, coconut-ty, and a little sweet.  It is hard to eat just one.  These are not enough for a full snack on their own, but I will pair them with fruit or just have some around for the kids and volunteers to munch on.

Crunchy Coconut Balls (Kanom Pia)

3/4 cup Cassava Starch or Tapioca Flour (100 grams)
1 cup Coconut Milk (230 ml)
3/4 cup Sugar (150 grams)
2 Egg Yolks
1 Teaspoon Butter

1.  In a medium saucepan, heat the coconut milk and sugar on a medium heat until the sugar is dissolved.
2.  Turn the heat off and temper the eggs yolks into the mixture.
3.  Put the cassava starch into a dry frying pan and dry-fry for 20-30 seconds over a high heat. This will give the starch a slightly toasted flavor.
4.  Add the starch to the coconut mulk mixture and constantly stir over low heat until it forms a thick sticky dough, about 5 minutes.
5.  Grease a baking tray with parchment paper and a little butter.
6.  Use a piping bag or take off pieces of the dough and press them into 2cm diameter balls and place them on the tray.
7.  Bake at 170 degrees celsius (338 degrees faranheight) for 1 hour or until brown.

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