5 Ingredients, an Urban Family series where we sit down with a Shanghai-based chef and ask for a family-friendly meal using 5 Ingredients easily found in Shanghai; let us help you start the week with a simple five-step recipe!
This week we met with Guadeloupe native Harauld 'Ox' Sextus: a Shanghai-based baker, artist, food stylist, food photographer and self-confessed big kid at heart. After working for decades in advertising, he founded Shanghai Bakery which he declared an amazing experience. “A lot of experimental bread, recipes and fun.” Chef Harauld started baking six years ago out of a longing for flavors from home. What began as a personal endeavour, moved on to cooking for friends and eventually, Shanghai Bakery was launched.
Can you tell me about the dish you are helping us prepare this week?
Baking runs in my family. Back home, my family owns four bakeries and when I was young, I spent a lot of time cooking with my mother and grandmother, experimenting with different ingredients and recipes. This dish, Rocher Coco (coconut rock), is a simple dessert or snack from my childhood. Coming from the French Caribbean we are privileged to have fresh coconut, and I believe fresh coconut milk and home-made vanilla extract make everything taste better.
What five ingredients do we need?
1 teaspoon butter
1 egg white
20 grams sugar (coconut sugar preferred)
75 grams coconut flour
1 teaspoon natural vanilla extract
What is the five-step recipe?
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius.
1. Melt the butter at a low temperature (don’t make it too hot).
2. Place the butter in a bowl, add the egg white and mix well, then slowly add the sugar until you create a creamy consistency.
3. Add the vanilla extract followed by the coconut flour and continue to mix. You should have a moist batter that can hold itself together. If too wet, add more coconut flour 1 tablespoon at a time.
4. Create balls of 3 centimeters in diameter and lay them on baking paper or a baking mat.
5. Bake on the middle rack of the oven for approximately 17-20 minutes at 180 degrees Celsius. They are ready when the outside is golden brown. Do not try to rush the cooking time, or they will burn instead of gently cooking. Wait 5 minutes before using a spatula to transfer them to a cooling rack, and let them completely cool down before you eat them.
What’s your advice on your dish of the week?
This is an easy recipe but be sure to follow it closely for a perfect result. I am vegan, so I have also made a vegan version which requires two alterations: replace the egg white with a mixture of 10 grams corn flour and 50 grams coconut milk; and replace the butter with coconut oil. In my hometown, we never miss an excuse to use rum to flavour our baked goods, so, if you happen to have some fragrant delicious rum, don’t be shy and add some to taste. Last but not least, if you want to make a genuine ‘off the hook’ recipe, buy a real coconut and make this from scratch.
Tell us something that’s happening at the moment, that our Urban Family community can enjoy.
I recently left Shanghai Bakery to merge my two passions: cooking and creating images. I started food styling, food installation and food photography for advertising, events and restaurants, and you can view my portfolio via harauldsextus.com and arainoflight.com.
[Profile image via raphaelolivier.com]
For more 5 Ingredients recipes, click here.