This is a huat kuih that is not common in Singapore and Malaysia but it is a very famous traditional huat kuih in Taiwan..
One my be surprised that why dry longan (桂圆） is paired with black sugar (黑糖）。。In fact, this combination together with red dates (红枣） is a very famous combination in tea believed to be very beneficial in promotion blood circulation and replenish blood supply for the body.
There are beliefs that ladies who have menstrual pain should drink tea with this combo together with a piece of ginger and it will warm up the body. Therefore, this huat kuih is especially beneficial to ladies who have inadequate blood supply, pale face and cold body temperature.. As contrast to the other huat kuih, this is consider is a healthier traditional huat kuih recipe that have properties of soothing our body conditions.
I have known the existence of this huat kuih for a long time except I did not make an effort to prepare it.. Well, today, I have decided to buy a small pack of black sugar in the provision shop and used it to prepare this huat kuih since I have quite a lot of dried longan in the house. I am happy that my recipe works very well and they did smile as intended.. When you saw the huat kuih smile happily, I am sure you will smile too… Honestly, I do like this special huat kuih, the only regret I have is not putting enough dried longan.. I should have added more or in my next attempt, I may boil the dry longan overnight to extract the concentrated longan solution for the cake.
As per a Chinese website, the benefits of dried longan are:
“According to the record in The Chinese Materia Medica, it is sweet in taste and warm in properties and it goes to meridians of heart, kidney, liver and spleen. Its fundamental functions include tonifying heart and spleen, replenishing qi and blood, and achieve a peaceful calm state of mind. Essential longan fruit uses and indications are heart-spleen deficiency, fright caused by insufficiency of vital energy and blood, palpitation, insomnia, forgetfulness, a sallow facial complexion due to deficiency of blood, irregular menstruation, and uterine bleeding.” (Source: http://www.chineseherbshealing.com/longan-fruit/)
As for black sugar, this website have a very good account of the benefits of black sugar. It was written:
“Black Sugar (Kurozato) is a common ingredient in Asian cooking and baking. This type of unrefined sugar comes from the island of Okinawa and has many health benefits not found in white and brown/red sugar. It is believed to help lower cholesterol levels and neutral blood fat contains molasses, potassium, iron, calcium and other minerals necessary to our diet. While chocolate might be the comfort food of choice in the west for many women during painful periods; in Japan (and Taiwan as well), black sugar is the soothing medicinal of choice as iron and calcium help ease the discomfort, bringing ease and relief during the menses while the mellow sweet taste and calories muster up energy to help endure it. In Chinese medicine terminology we would say that it treats painful menstruation by moving and nourishing the blood. Black sugar looks a lot like brown sugar, only darker in color and more complex in taste, smoky-malt like with a bit of saltiness. Some common serving styles include dunking it in a cup of ginger tea (excellent for cold days or people suffering from cold syndromes), melting it into a caramelized sauce, processing it into crystalized lollipops with a sour plum surprise waiting in the middle or having it straight up in cubes as a mildly sweet snack. (Source: Health Benefits of Black Sugar – Chinese Medicine Traveller)
“黑糖桂圓紅棗茶: 功效：補血益氣、養顏美容、溫暖腸胃、子宮。桂圓肉】別名龍眼，又稱「益智」，性溫、味甘，有補心脾，益氣血的功效，是傳統上常運用的補血藥之一，對於氣血不足引起的倦怠乏力、面色萎黃、體虛冒汗等症，桂圓是很好的補充食品【黑糖】味甘性溫，中醫認為黑糖有健脾暖胃、活血化瘀的功效，適量的黑糖水能舒緩經痛，幫助經血排清，但拼命地喝也不好，火氣大的人要注意用量。據專家分析，黑糖中的鈣含量都比白糖要高，還含有白糖中所沒有的胡蘿素、維生素B2等，更不像白糖那樣甜膩。黑糖的葡萄糖含量很高，很容易被人體直接吸收消耗掉。” （source: 黑糖桂圓紅棗茶養身與養顏秘方)
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: About 7-8 Huat Kuihs
250 grams of self raising flour （自发面粉）
150 grams of Chinese black sugar（黑糖）
1 teaspoon of double acting baking powder or baking powder (双重发粉或发粉）
250 grams of ml of plain water （白水）
30 grams of cooking oil（食用油）
50 grams of dried longan (桂圆干）
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Get ready a steamer with water capable of steaming the Kuih for at least 20 minutes.
Put the black sugar, water and chopped dried longan (reserved some for decoration) in a pot. Heat up over the stove until the sugar melted. Set aside for cooling .
In another bowl, sift the self raising flour and double acting baking powder. Add the sugar solution, cooking oil and stir until well mixed. Add the black sugar solution in 3 stages, stir until well mixed. Transfer it to some cupcake cups and fill the cups with the batter until at least 95% full.
Prior to steaming, lightly grease a scissor or a knife and cut a criss-cross on top of the batter. Steam in the steamer for 15-20 minutes or until a skewer inserted in the centre come out clean. It is best that the cupcakes cups be pre-steamed before filling of the batter. You shall use high heat in the entire process of steaming. Best served hot as a snack.
Unlike the huat kuih or fatt koh recipes here, we will use all sort of ingredients to flavour the huat kuih. However, for this recipe, it is unique as the ingredients do have medicinal benefits according to the Traditional Chinese medicines. It is especially beneficial to ladies who have irregular menstrual symptom, low blood counts and etc. Of course, it can also be eaten by guys, ha-ha. Lastly, this huat kuih is also being sold in Taiwan as a road side snack.
Hope you like the post today. Cheers and have a nice day.
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