Tag Archives: sweets

A Cronut™ by any other name…

29 Aug
The Breakfast (top) and Kaya (bottom) KLonuts

The Breakfast (top) and Kaya (bottom) KLonuts

Malaysians love trendy things, and food, so it’s no surprise that cronuts have debuted here, under the non-trademarked name KLonut, which is a play on the city of origin (Kuala Lumpur) and not Asian pronunciation. They’re available at the equally punnily named Dessert Storm. I’d had my eye on them for a while, and then a college friend came for a visit and gave me my excuse to try them out. Their signature flavor is peanut butter and caramel, but I went with the more “localized” flavors of the week, The Breakfast and the Kaya. I mean, why get a normal cronut when you can get something Malaysian? The Breakfast was filled with Milo-flavored custard and topped with condensed milk and bits of Milo cereal — Malaysia’s version of Cocoa Krispies — while the Kaya was filled with a coconut custard.

So, are cronuts/KLonuts/doissants worth queuing up for, as they do in New York and London? (And have I been living in Malaysia too long, now that I’m saying “queue” instead of “line”?) Now that I have a baby in tow, I’m going to say no, as there is no foodstuff I’m willing to wait for with a potentially cranky infant, even dim sum at Tim Ho Wan’s. Luckily, there was no such crowd at Dessert Storm. We tasted The Breakfast first.

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First Official Post: Kuih Talam

18 Aug

I finally arrived in KL on Friday after months of waiting for the final paperwork on our house to come through. Long flight, but mercifully punctuated by an overnight layover in Tokyo that I used to see my grandmother, who of course fed me to within an inch of my life.

Being in KL means two things: 1) I get to actually live in the same side of the date line as my husband, and 2) the blog begins in earnest: I have to find one new thing to consume every day.

My fabulous, thoughtful husband was waiting for me at the airport with a rose and a styrofoam package of snacks for the train, making this my first official New Thing for the blog:

“So what is it?”

“It’s kuih!”

“Which is…?”

“I don’t know, but I’ve been eating it every day for the past week.”

Kuih is the generic name for sweets/snacks in Malaysia; this particular thing is called kuih talam. It’s basically like a coconut pudding layered over a green pudding of some sort (not lime-flavored; green things are rarely lime-flavored in SE Asia), all contained in a pandan leaf. If you’ve ever had haupia, this is similar. Kuih is eaten year-round, but it’s especially popular during holidays, like the current month of Ramadan, where they’re sold at the pasar Ramadan or bazaar Ramadan.

As you probably know, Ramadan is the month where observant Muslims fast from sunrise to sundown, usually defined as 7 am to 7 pm. That’s no eating, drinking, or cooking for 12 hours. (It’s the kind of holiday that makes me really glad I’m not particularly religious, and more specifically not Muslim, because I have a hard time not eating for two hours, let alone the whole day.) As you can imagine, you want to make sure you have a big, tasty meal waiting for you when the clock strikes 7 pm — thus, pasar Ramadan, which are open-air markets where you can get rice and various curries and whatnots to take home. We actually got our dinner for that night from a pasar Ramadan, but I think it deserves its own post later.

I’ll conclude by saying that while very tasty, this particular kind of kuih does not make the best train food, especially with only one spoon between the two of us. We ended up slurping the puddings like oysters, with mixed results. Good thing they give out wipes on the plane.