Plus, I needed a break too. Cooking/baking has always been therapeutic for me. So I tried this recipe I had been eyeing since last week. I wanted to decrease the ingredients but the list makes it hard to do that. So I followed the recipe. I had a lot of dough to start with, but since I had no idea what binangkal was, except that it was pretty much like doughnut in that it was fried dough, I thought it would be just fine as the first batches could be a learning phase for me.
True enough, pingpong-sized round dough dropped into the medium hot oil gave me darkly browned binangkal with uncooked middle dough. How could I come up with cooked middle without burning the outside? I came up with this solution: smaller dough, flattened somehow into discs. Rationale: Flatter dough means the heat will be close enough to the middle to cook that part well. The smaller dough ensures cooking the middle part without burning the outer.
I had the extra advantage of having the puffing up of the middle part as a visual cue that the middle is getting done. That was quite unexpected but very effective means of assessing the doneness (aside from brown color at the outside).
Kids approved it, and especially enjoyed these treats with maple syrup. Hubby tried it and said it was different, then got a can of Pepsi and had some more binangkal. So I guess he kinda liked it, although it was "different." It is wonderfully crunchy on the outside (Hey, Claire, you will not break your teeth with this one, I promise!)
5 Cups All Purpose Flour
5 1/2 Teaspoon Baking Powder (preferably Calumet)
1 Box Dark Brown Sugar GH (2 1/2 cups)
3 While Eggs
1 Small Can Evaporated Milk (2/3 cup) + 2 tbsp milk (whole milk or if you have extra evap milk)
1 tsp Vanilla
Mix remaining ingredients: eggs, vanilla, milk.
Combine all dry and liquid ingredients by hand.
Add more milk if it is too dry until you obtain the correct consistency. The dough should
be stiff enough to mold into a ball. Don't make it too wet (read on and you will see why).
(Adjust to your preferred Binangkal size).
Lay the pinched dough on aluminum foil.
Get a cup of tap or filtered water as preferred (this is why you should not make the dough too wet in the first place).
Dip two fingers of your hand and wet the palm of the other hand for molding the dough.
Pick up each dough and roll between both palms of your hand to shape into balls.
Roll dough in a bowl of sesame seeds then press between fingers to make them flat (depressed more at the middle than at the sides). When done, you are ready to fry.
Heat your frying pan in high heat then lower to Medium-LOW when you begin frying because the pan must be very hot to start. You can try one first to gauge your own stove and adjust in the next batches. Start with few, try to open some and see if you already like what you have before going full blast with more per batch.
Place only about 6-8 pieces per batch. Once all have floated, wait until the top parts puff up and crack, then tip over to cook the other side. Count about 30 seconds once you have tipped over all pieces. Take note of which ones are the first, as they are the ones to get out first. Check to see doneness of the underside (should be uniformly browned, not whitish in the cracks. (My video below is quite different at I tipped too soon just by counting. It will be more reliable to wait for puffing up of the middle before tipping over.)
Prepare a cooling wire rack over a cookie sheet to hold cooked Binangkal for cooling purposes and to let excess oil drip.
Line your storage container with paper towel. Store in airtight container when completely cool.
The Binangkal will keep for a week (according to recipe source).
To Mercie, I hope you will like this!