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baking soda and powder

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
I'm trying to revamp a Filipino dessert, karioke, by making it lighter. The traditional recipe is:

Rice flour
Shredded coconut

Mix rice flour, coconut and milk until sticky enough to hold a ball shape. Form balls and fry. Meanwhile, boil sugar, water, and a little lemon to tame sweetness until thick. Once all the coconut balls are fried, drizzle with syrup.

As it is, the balls are very dense, and so I'm thinking about trying to add baking soda or syrup to make it a little lighter. But from what I understand (which is very little, i think) the milk is acidic, so it'll neutralize some of the baking soda. So I figured I could use baking powder instead, but it needs a certain proportion of acid to powder to react correctly. So how would I
go about figuring how much soda or powder to add?

Any other suggestions as to how to lighten the karioka would be greatly appreciated.
post #2 of 9
Sorry, can offer no help - just wanted to say how good these little goodies sound!!! :D
post #3 of 9
Try with yeast instead of baking powder.
post #4 of 9
Interesting. Try using choux paste technique. Boil the milk, add the rice flour and coconut, cook to paste. Allow to cool, add whole eggs one at a time. Fry, or bake?!?

You might not get a nice round shape but it will probably be lighter.

post #5 of 9
Thread Starter 
Hmm. . .the choux paste and yeast ideas might work. I'll try it next time. Thanks for the advice.
post #6 of 9
I think yeast would take you in a flavor direction not in tune with the product you are trying to make. This would also require fermentation and proofing time. And whether you use yeast or a chemical leavening the recipe you have described will not readily form air cells which either leavening system needs to allow expansion and therefore "lightness." A syrup will only make the system heavier. Fresh milk is not that acidic and would not do much to affect the soda. The lemon would have far more of an effect. Baking powder is a complete leavening system which already has the acid in it. Baking powder consists of acid(s), baking soda and starch which acts as a filler. Although for commercial baking purposes many types of baking powders are available most people are stuck with what's available in the supermarket which is acceptable for most purposes. If you try baking powder do not add more soda (sodium bicarbonate) as it will not be neutralized and remain in your product affecting the taste. Good luck, the powder just might help a little.
post #7 of 9
Sorry mate....

Powder, yeast and soda will do nothing for you..... you are missing the vital ingredient which is gluten... as in rice flour has none. without gluten strands to push on you will be out of luck..... however, there is the addition of whipped egg whites (stablized with sugar) that will add a lightness that could suit your needs...

post #8 of 9
Thread Starter 
Perhaps the egg whites might work, although i've never considered putting eggs in it before. About what you said smiley, couldn't the soda still push on the starch to create the air bubbles? I mean, does gluten have to be present for product to lighten?

And just to clarify, cookieguy, the lemon juice doesn't go into the coconut balls; it goes into the syrup and thus would never react with the soda or powder. And the syrup has never seemed to weigh down the coconut balls noticeably.

Thanks for the advice.
post #9 of 9
The point about gluten is important: it's stretchy protein.

Leavening agents like yeast and baking powder/soda work by producing carbon dioxide gas. Beaten eggs/egg whites incorporate air. These gases gets trapped by the stretchy material, expand in the heat of cooking, and voilĂ , lightness in the finished product. If you don't have gluten, the dough can't trap gas and expand as you'd like it to.

Can you replace some of the rice flour with wheat flour? Then leavening could help. I'd go the egg or egg white route first, but I would also stay away from yeast -- it would indeed change the flavor too much.
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
"Notorious stickler" -- The New York Times, January 4, 2004
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