Our dessert of the day is a kind of flan, flavored with coconut cream and palm sugar. This preparation is typical of the Thai pastries of the 18th century. This period is major in the history of the gastronomy of the country, which still influences our time. Let’s go back to the beginning: the country was at that time a kingdom called Siam. At its peak, it extended further than the current borders in Laos and Malaysia. Its capital was Ayutthaya, north of present-day Bangkok. Strongly influenced by Burmese and Chinese cuisines, the desserts are mainly made of rice flour, palm sugar and coconut.
An upheaval took place in 1511 during the first commercial exchanges with Portugal. The port of Bangkok opened to the world, new products and new preparations entered the country. However, the greatest changes were made by a woman, Maria Guyomar de Pinha. Of Japanese, Indian and Portuguese origin, she grew up in Siam. Her parents, Catholics, fled there to escape the religious repressions that took place in Asia in the 17th century. She grew up in a multi-cultural environment, between Portuguese, French and Thai.
She contributed, much later, to the diplomatic rapprochement between France and the kingdom of Siam. A coup d’état changed everything: her husband was executed and the French abandoned her to the new government in exchange for some hostages. A fine cook, she managed to escape death thanks to her pastries. She was appointed head of the royal kitchens until her death in 1701 when she introduced egg-based preparations, mainly yolks and whites, in the Portuguese style, while preserving the local flavors. An important number of Thai pastries are attributed to her such as the Foi thong, inspired by the Fios de ovos, vermicelli made of egg yolks only.
Kha-nom Mo Gaeng – flan thaï
- 50 cl de crème de coco
- 6 œufs de canards ou 5 œufs de poule et 3 jaunes d’œuf
- 1 càs de farine de blé
- Une pincée de sel
- 250 g de sucre de palme
- Oignons frits ou noix de cajou pour garnir
- Dans une casserole, verser le lait de coco, le sucre de palme, le sel, la farine de blé et bien mélanger.
- Incorporer les œufs battus en fouettant la préparation énergiquement.
- Chauffer à feu moyen pendant cinq minutes, en mélangeant constamment.
- Verser la préparation dans un plat allant au four de 20 X 30 cm, enfourner et cuire pendant 35 minutes à 180°C.
- A la sortie du four, garnir avec les oignons frits et des noix de cajou.
- Laisser refroidir avant de couper en douze rectangles.
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