Dodol is a type of sweet candy that is produced in Southeast Asia. The base of the candy is rice flour and palm sugar that is formed into dense, slightly sticky squares or diamonds. The dodol can be flavored in many ways, but by far the most popular in Southeast Asia is candy flavored with durian fruit. Other flavorings include mango, apple, pineapple, coconut and vanilla bean. The candy is frequently made before certain holidays and celebrations.
The process of making dodol begins by adding rice flour, palm sugar and coconut milk to a pan. The mixture is heated and stirred constantly. After the elements begin to come together and the sugar has been incorporated, flavorings and spices can be added to the liquid and simmered.
The dodol mixture must be stirred constantly while it is simmering. This is because, if the sugary mixture rests for too long over the heat without moving, it will scorch and the texture and flavors will be destroyed. Stirring is an easy task at first but, as the water boils out of the dodol, the liquid starts to become thicker and it eventually reaches a thick, gum-like texture. In the latter stages of the boiling process, the dodol can become so thick that it will carry the pan along with it during attempts to stir, meaning it will take some effort and two hands to keep stirring. The cooking time can last an hour or more, making this a difficult feat for a single person to perform.
Some recipes for dodol call for the mixture to be strained partway through the cooking to remove any chunks of fruits, leaves and other flavoring elements. This can be an important step and also will help to aerate the mixture, making it more flexible after it has cooled. Certain ingredients, such as nuts, do not need to be strained out of the candy and are intentionally added to provide some texture.
Once the dodol has cooked long enough that it is separating from the walls of the pan, it is time to pour it out into a vessel to cool. This can be any heat-safe dish but traditionally is banana leaves. The candy is poured out, leveled and allowed to cool completely. Once it has cooled, it is cut into strips, squares or diamond shapes. Although the candy will not be too sticky to the touch, it is chewy and dense when actually eaten.