These fragrant and delicious Kuih Loyang (Rosettes/Honeycomb Cookies) are a real treat. They are ultra thin, super crispy, and easy to prepare.
I recently shared a childhood dessert, Dried Rose Agar-agar I have not eaten in a long, long time. Today’s Kuih Loyang is another one. Although I inherited my mother-in-law’s brass mold, I have never used it until now. I seldom do deep frying and this incredible tasty treat requires one to stand there and deep fry away. That said, I actually found it quite fun once I got started.
Origin of Kuih Loyang
While I have always thought this pretty looking treat is Malaysian because of the name, I realized not so long ago that it is not the case. I encountered Rosette Irons when I was living in Minnesota and the first thing that came to my mind was that they are similar except for the design. A quick check on the internet confirmed it. Rosettes are a thin, cookie-like deep-fried pastries of Scandinavian and Indian origin. The Malaysian Rosette (Kuih Rose) was probably a Dutch influence.
A Treat with Many Names
How then did Kuih Rose become Kuih Loyang? Well, loyang is brass in Malay and the mold is made of brass. So, it is actually Brass Cake if translated literally. I guess people call it that for lack of a better name. Who knows? I believe the Indonesians call it Kuih Goyang because one has to shake the mold to release the batter. Yes, you guessed it! Goyang means shake. Kuih can mean cake or cookie.
Depending on how you look at the shape, it may also resemble a honeycomb or beehive. Hence, the name Honeycomb Cookie and Beehive Cookie. Call it whatever you prefer, the versions in Southeast Asia use basically the same ingredients – eggs, sugar, coconut milk, and rice flour. Sometimes, a few tablespoons of all-purpose flour is added. Perhaps, that is to give it a stiffer batter but I don’t think it is necessary. Rice flour alone gives it a super crispy texture.
Ingredients for Rosette
Rosette, on the other hand uses eggs, sugar, milk, and all-purpose flour. Once fried, they get a dusting of powdered (or icing) sugar. I read that in the old days, people use lard to fry their rosettes. Those must be really tasty. I will give it a try one of these days. Apparently one can freeze rosettes and reheat them at a later time.
Cookies for Chinese New Year
Kuih Loyang is often served during Chinese New Year and the taste is reminiscent of Kuih Kapit which I hope to make one day. I need to get more Kuih Kapit irons first. For now, these Honeycomb Cookies will have to do as they are easy to make and only requires a few ingredients. Anyway, I hope you will give my recipe a try. The recipe below makes about 40 pieces which is not much at all. They are really crispy and will remain crispy in an airtight container for a while. However, I don’t think you need to worry about keeping them because they will not last long. It is easy to eat a bunch at one go.
Note: For those of you living here in the US, please use rosette irons if you don’t have the traditional mold. You can purchase the rosette irons online and the link is below.
Similar Products Used in Making These Kuih Loyang
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- Combine eggs and sugar in a large bowl. Break up the egg yolks with a whisk. Pour in coconut milk and stir to combine.
- Add rice flour and salt. Mix well with the whisk until a smooth batter forms.
- Strain batter into a deep bowl.
- Warm up about 2 inches of vegetable oil in a small saucepan or pot over medium low heat. Stick a pair of chopsticks into the hot oil. If you see tiny bubbles appearing near the chopsticks, the oil is ready.
- Gently lower brass Kuih Loyang mold into hot oil for 30 seconds to heat the mold. Remove from hot oil and shake off excessive oil.
- Dip the hot mold 7/8th of the way into prepared batter. Make sure the batter does not go over the top of the mold. You will hear a sizzle. Shake off excess batter and submerge the mold back into the hot oil but do not touch the base of the pot.
- After about 10 seconds, gently shake the mold to release the half-cooked batter. If it will not release, use a long cooking chopstick to push it down.
- Fry to a light golden brown color. Remove and place on a strainer or a plate lined with paper towels to absorb excessive oil.
- Repeat until all batter is used up.
- Allow them to cool completely before storing in airtight containers.
- You can fry 3 at a time if you can work fast. Takes about 45 seconds to fry each batch.
- If you have a traditional brass mold like mine, it helps to wrap the tip of the handle with string because it can get hot.