Ravneet’s tang yuan are as tasty as they are cute, with a toasted sesame filling wrapped in a sweet glutinous rice dumpling, poached in a sticky sweet syrup. Getting the balance of colour is important, as too much and it’ll dye the poaching liquid.
For the filling, in a small frying pan toast the sesame seeds, taking care not to burn them.
Once golden and fragrant, tip into a small food processor with the sugar and blitz to form a paste, around 5 minutes.
Add the softened butter and blitz again until combined.
Remove from the food processor and divide into 6 equal, oval-shaped balls.
Transfer to a parchment paper lined baking sheet and freeze while you make the tang yuan dough.
For the tang yuan dough, add the rice flour to a large bowl with the boiling and tepid water. Mix to form a dry but smooth dough. Add a little more flour if the dough is sticky, and a little more water if the dough is too dry.
Tip the dough out onto a work surface and knead until very smooth and pliable.
Divide and colour your dough:
a. Take a grape-sized piece and colour it black.
b. Take another grape-sized piece and leave it white.
c. Take a Brussels sprout-sized piece and colour it yellow.
d. Colour the remaining dough green. Break off a small piece the size of a cherry tomato and set aside.
e. Divide the remaining green dough into 6 equal balls.
Keep all the dough covered with a damp cloth to stop it drying out.
To make the tang yuan frogs, remove the filling from the freezer. Working quickly, wrap one of the 6 green dough balls around one of the frozen filling balls and press to seal. Roll the ball gently in the palm of your hands to smooth over any cracks or joins.
Repeat with the remaining 5 green dough balls and sesame butter balls, keeping under a damp cloth while not using them. These are your frog bodies.
Divide the yellow dough into 6 small balls. Flatten each ball out to create a disc, then attach to each of the filled green balls with a little water to make your frog bellies.
Use the cherry tomato-sized green dough ball to make frog legs and attach to the bodies with a little water.
Roll the undyed white dough to make frog eyes, then the black dough to make pupils and a mouth. Attach two eyes and a mouth to each frog with water.
Cover the tang yuan frogs with a damp cloth while you make the sugar syrup.
To make the sugar syrup, add all the ingredients to a saucepan and boil until the sugar dissolves.
Reduce the heat so the syrup is only just simmering, then gently lower the tang yuan frogs into the syrup. Cook in the syrup until the frogs float to the surface, around 3 minutes, then cook for a further minute.
Remove the frogs with a slotted spoon and divide between two serving bowls, 3 frogs in each bowl. Ladle the syrup into both serving bowls so that the frogs float, then serve immediately.