What does “Pongky” mean? I honestly have no idea, but after this story, maybe we’ll have a better idea.
A little while back, I had the pleasure of meeting Mardi of Eat Live Travel Write. The plan was to tackle Chinatown in Toronto for some food blog prop shopping and then later that night, we were going to meet Melissa from Vancouver of Eyes Bigger Than My Stomach for dinner. Sadly, she couldn’t join us for our shopping adventure due to a conference she was attending. Since Melissa couldn’t partake in our shopping escapades, we decided to buy her a little souvenir of Toronto.
We stumbled on this plate of a cartoon girl with blue cotton candy hair, balloons and a big enormous “Ponkgy” written on the plate and decided this awesomely ridiculous prop would be Melissa’s gift/plate. However, instead of buying just one, we purchased one for each of us and decided we should have a Pongky Party in which each of us would create a recipe and post it on the same day. But, we wouldn’t know how each of us would interpret the plate until today!
So welcome to the Pongky Party!
I will admit to having had a tough time debating what to make for this post. At first I was thinking something pink to complement the plate, but other than making marshmallows (which I’d like to try one day), I was stumped.
Then it hit me, a Pongky Party needs Pocky!
With the extreme heat that Toronto has had lately, the cutting of the dough into thin pieces was a challenge. Once it became obvious that the dough would be uncooperative due to the heat, I switched from a knife to a pizza cutter which made things much easier. Even in better conditions, I would use the pizza cutter again, it really did a great job. But needless to say, my pocky were anything but uniform and precise like you would get in a box of Pocky. Mine were more on the rustic side and had lots of character but the taste was not affected. They turned out slightly crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside.
As for the dipping and garnish, I was initially thinking something far-out and outrageous, but I pulled the reins in a little bit and opted for something that I knew would be good with a small Japanese twist since it still is a Japanese dessert. I opted to dip the pocky into melted chocolate than sprinkle with crushed banana chips with a touch of wasabi. I was tame with the wasabi since I was making these for a party and didn’t want to destroy anyone’s tongue, but there was the slightest little hint of wasabi amongst some of the party people. They were a big hit and definitely a point of conversation around the kitchen.
Chocolate Pocky with Wasabi Banana Chips (Adapted from Not Quite Nigella)
Makes approximately 50
- 1/2 cup of cake flour
- 1/3 cup of plain all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon of salt
- 1 tablespoon of icing sugar – sifted
- 1 teaspoon of dried yeast
- 1/4 cup of milk – lukewarm
- 1 tablespoon of tahini
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of honey
- zest of 1/4 orange
- 1 1/2 tablespoon of butter – room temperature
- 60 ml of water
- Combine the yeast and lukewarm milk in a small bowl and stir to combine.
- Combine the dry ingredients and mix together with a hand mixer on a low speed.
- In another bowl, mix the honey and tahini together. Add this mix and the milk and yeast mix to the dry ingredients. Mix together on medium speed to form a dough. Add zest and butter and 60 ml water and continue mixing until the dough is firm and elastic. (At this point, I added a bit more flour because it got too wet with the addition of the water)
- Wrap the dough in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
- Preheat the oven to 350F.
- Divide the dough in two and knead the dough until smooth roll it out into a rectangle.
- Roll it out to 1/4 inch thickness. With a pizza cutter, cut 4″ x 0.25″ strips and lay carefully on a lightly greased baking tray or greaseproof paper lined baking tray.
- Bake in the oven for anywhere between 10-15 minutes (depending on how hot the oven is running, it, it may take a bit longer or shorter). You want it golden brown, not light yellow as it will not have the proper “snap” texture.
Chocolate Wasabi Banana Chips
- 4 ounces (or squares) of semi-sweet chocolate
- 1/2 cup of crushed banana chips
- 1 teaspoon of wasabi powder
- In a double-boiler, melt the chocolate until smooth and set aside.
- Crush the banana chips into smaller pieces and combine with wasabi powder.
- Dip half of the pocky stick into the chocolate mixture and sprinkle with banana chip/wasabi mixture.
- Lay on baking sheet covered with wax paper to solidify.