Bean cakes made from kidney or black beans, and even sometimes black-eyed peas, are a local variation on Chinese moon cakes made from adzuki beans. Popular in Trinidad, and even more so in Guyana, I’ve never seen a home cook prepare these, as a number of good local bakeries usually have them on hand. Here is the recipe I’ve developed for these cakes which you will find varies slightly in taste and appearance from the authentic Chinese versions.
If using dried beans, drain soaking water. Place in a pot with
Drain the beans, remove the anise pod and discard. Place beans in a food processor and puree until smooth. Push the pureed bean mixture through a fine mesh sieve to remove any remnants of skin. Discard skins.
Combine the bean puree and sugar in a saucepan and place over low heat. Simmer, stirring often, until sugar is dissolved and mixture resembles a thick paste, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat, stir in the mixed essence, and set aside.
Combine the flour and salt in a mixing bowl or the bowl of a food processor. Using a pastry cutter, your fingers, or the pulse setting on the food processor, cut in the butter until pea-sized balls form. Add ice water in a thin stream, mixing until a shaggy, dry dough just forms (add just enough water so no flour remains but the dough is far from sticky). Wrap and chill in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
Remove the dough from refrigerator and cut into 8 pieces. Form each piece into a small ball and roll out to a ¼-inch-thick disk.
Once cool, dip the paintbrush in the red food coloring and paint a ½-inch-wide circle or design of your choice onto the center of each cake. Serve.
© 2018 All rights reserved. Published by Hippocrene Books.