After living in the UK for 30 years and had never made any Malaysian cakes before,at the age of 60, I will attempt to make my favourite cakes with a guide book from Malaysian Cakes and Desserts booklet by Rohani Jelani. I have added another book Malay Kuih by Norzailina Nordin as a guide to my cake making.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Lemony Semolina Pudding

Inspired by my success in making cakes recently, I have decided to make my own version of Semolina Pudding. I didn't have to look far for the ingredients because they were at hands and the only thing I have to get was a Jelly Mould. This I did.

What do I need to make this pudding
600 mls of thin coconut milk
75 gm of semolina
50 gm sugar
Grated rind of a lemon

Creating the Pudding
First I combined the coconut milk, sugar and the grated lemon rind in a pan and placed it over a low heat and stir the mixture until the sugar dissolved. Then I added the semolina and continue stirring until the mixture begin to thicken. To be on the safer side, the mixture was allowed to cook for another 10 minutes.

The thick mixture was taken off the heat and poured into the jelly mould which has been rinsed with water and left to cool at room temperature. The pudding was placed in a fridge over night since it was made late in the evening..

The next day the pudding was eased out of the mould and served with a splash of evaporated milk. I gave myself full marks because it smells good ( I love lemon aroma) and tasted good. There was not a single morsel left after my tasting team ( girls at Faceworks Clinic) went through it. A great success!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Sweetcorn Pudding

I made a Sweetcorn Pudding of sort using cornflour and something else a long time ago and it was a disastrous. For my second attempt I am making slight changes and yet still traditional.

What I Need To Make Sweetcorn Pudding:
600mls (21/2 cups) thin coconut milk
60gm (1/2 cup) mung bean flour
180 g(3/4 cup) sugar
1 pandanus leaf, tied into a knot
One 300 g (10-oz)can of creamed corn

I decided to visit the Hero supermarket to get all my ingredients. Hero fascinates me. It contains stuffs that I couldn't find in a clean foreign owned supermarket. The only thing I could not get was sugar - they run out of stock! I don't mind that so much since I don't normally use so much sugar in my cooking.

First I thinned the coconut milk and put it in a pan together with a little sugar and the mung bean flour (left over from the Tepung Gomak). After mixing it well I then dropped the knotted pandanus leaf and creamed corn in the pan. The mixture is cooked over low heat, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon until the mixture boils and is thick and smooth. Leaving it to simmer for about 3 to 4 minutes and then took the pan off the heat.
After removing the pandanus leaf the mixture was spooned into 4 ceramic ramekin dishes which have been rinsed with water. The four little puddings were allowed to cool at room temperature before chilling in the refrigerator.

The next day the pudding was served out of its mould on a dessert plate with a splash of evaporated milk.The pudding tasted delicious and you can see the sweet corn presented themselves well in every scoop.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tepung Gomak

Tepung Gomak (Green bean flour-coated patties) has been my favourite since childhood. I managed to find the recipe in my newly acquired book Malay Kuih by Norzailina Nordin.I decided to make Tepung Gomak for Faceworks Clinic function on 10th May 2010.

I must admit it wasn't an easy task especially looking for Green (mung) bean flour. However Alina's mother managed to get me some which I was grateful for it.

2 Shredded Pandan leaves
200gm Green (mung) bean flour
100gm Green (mung) beans
60gm Dark (soft) brown sugar
30gm Granulated sugar
80gm Grated skinned coconut

240gm Glutinous rice flour
A pinch of Slaked lime mixed with 1tsp water
1/4 tsp Salt
95-100ml Water

On the whole I found it was quite a lengthy process to make this cake.
First I have to make the filling by boiling the green beans until tender and broken up. It wasn't a quick job to soften the green beans and it took me two days. On the second day I added sugar and grated coconut and stirred the pot over medium heat until the filling was quite dry but moist.Then I left it to cool while making the dough.

To make the dough I combined glutinous rice flour, slaked lime and a pinch of salt in a large bowl. I started adding a little water at a time to the flour until it was throughly mixed into a soft dough and left it to rest for a few hours.
To prepare the cake, I took a small piece of dough and rolled it into a ball. After flattening it I placed a teaspoon of the filling in the middle of the dough, enclosed it with my fingers and rolled it again into a small ball then flatten it slightly. I arranged the filled dough balls in a flat container, sprinkled a bit of olive oil to prevent them from sticking, and left them covered overnight in the fridge.

The next morning I placed a large pot of water with pandan leaves on the heat and let it boil. A few minutes later I placed the filled balls into the water in batches. When they float to the top I removed them with a slotted spoon and placed them on a dry tea towel to cool. Then I rolled the balls in Green bean flour and placed them in individual paper containers and took them to work.
The Intraceutical Oxygen Therapy Demo at the Clinic went well and my Tepung Gomak was appreciated by the Australian trainer and American guests.
I didn't forget to reserve a few pieces for Alina's mum!

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Steamed Caramel Cake

I am pleased to say that I made such a good Steamed Caramel Cake that it was demolished so fast that I decided to do another one a few days later.

What I need to make this cake. 
150 gm fine granulated sugar
100 ml hot water
70 gm butter, melted
75 ml evaporated milk
1 egg, beaten
150 gm flour
1 level teaspoon baking soda
Pinch of salt
70 gm fine granulated sugar

Serves 6 to 8
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 30-40 mins

First I melted the sugar in a small saucepan until it turn dark brown and then the hot water was added. I didn't know that this action is quite dangerous until I felt some burning on my hands. Be careful if you try this in the future!
Next the melted butter, milk and the beaten egg was added to the the caramel when it was sufficiently cooled. Then it was poured in the middle of a bowl containing sifted flour, baking soda and salt and I mixed it well until it became a smooth batter. The batter was then poured into a cake tin and steamed for 30minutes.When cooked it was left to cool on the cake rack overnight.

On Monday the cake was very much appreciated especially by two stranded medical tourists from Surinam. They loved the cake so much that I decided to do another one for them to enjoy.

At least I know that my version of Malaysian cake is also appreciated by foreigners!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

Tapioca and Coconut Layered Cake - Talam Ubi

Kuih Talam Ubi is not my first choice of project this week. I had a tough time searching for the ingredients for my first choice "Kuih Talam". Not wanting to disappoint my group of tasters at the clinic, I decided to go with this one.
The word "Ubi Kayu" brought back memory of life in Muar.When I was a little girl I used to polish up a plate of  boiled ubi (tapioca) dipped with sambal tumis. It was delicious and finger licking good!.
This dish is not spicy but sweet and I intend to serve it with a special honey, a gift from Kak Nita and Abang Mahathir.

What I need to make this kuih.
For the bottom layer:
800gm tapioca roots
200gm roughly chopped, palm sugar
200mls water

For the top layer:
400mls thick coconut milk
3/4 teaspoon salt
80gm plain flour
1 tablespoon rice flour

Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins

To make the bottom layer I have to follow the precise  instruction on page 18 of the book. It outlines on how to prepare, skin, grate and squeeze the bitter juice form the tapioca roots.

First rinse the tapioca under running water to remove any sand and grit and cut them roughly into 6 cm lengths. Skin the tapioca by making a shallow cut from the top to the bottom of each piece then running your finger under the cut to lift the peel. It should come off in one piece easily and then grate the tapioca.

I found it was not easy to peel and cut my tapioca roots. I had to apply brute force to cut my tapioca because it was so hard like wood (kayu). I am sure the neighbour must be thinking I was remodelling my kitchen when I was doing my chopping.

Grating was easy and since my ubi did not produce any juices I did not have to worry about looking for a muslin cloth to squeeze the bitter juice.

As per instruction the grated tapioca was then combined with cooled palm sugar syrup which I have made earlier. The mixture was poured into a square cake tin, placed on rack in my wok with water at the bottom to steam.

While the ubi mixture was steaming, I started making the top layer. I combined and mixed 500mls of cream milk from a carton ( fresh coconut milk was not available) with salt, plain flour and rice flour in a bowl. The creamy mixture was then put through a fine sieve to remove any lumps.

When the bottom layer was cooked, which took longer than the prescribed time of 20 minutes, I took it out of the wok and blotted it with a paper towel to remove excess water. Then I proceeded to pour the creamy mixture on top of the ubi layer and continue to steam for another 20 minutes as per instruction.
Then I heard Alina's voice saying "Runny top is always nicer!". I quickly shorten the steaming and took out the cake tin and placed it on a cake rack to cool. I did not place the cake in the fridge to cool down this time. I learned that if you do so it will harden and I will need to warm it up again before serving.
My Sunday evening was full of anticipation as I watched the cake cools down. I could not contain my excitement when I cut a piece and ate it with a dollop of vanilla ice cream.It was delicious!

Now what will they think when I serve them with the honey tomorrow...

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Gula Melaka (Sago Pudding with Palm Sugar Syrup)

I am committed to do something with Sago Pearls. Why? A few weeks ago, when I started this craze of wanting to challenge myself, I complained to Alina at Faceworks Clinic that the Sago Pearls are too tiny and it shouldn't be called Pearl because of its size. Little did I know that her mother found 2 bags of these lovely pearls a few days later!

What Do I Need To Make This Sago Pudding
3 litres (12 cups) water
200 gm (1 cup) sago pearls
1 cup Palm Sugar Syrup
250 ml (1 cup) thick coconut milk
Preparation time: 30mins
Chilling time : 30 mins

Bring the water to boil in a pot. Sprinkle the sago into the water and stir to keep the grains moving and prevent them from settling to the bottom of the pan.Cook for 10 minutes. Turn off the heat, cover the pan and set aside for 10 minutes. By then, the sago should be completely translucent, indicating that it is cooked.

It sounds simple enough but wait and see.
Do you know that 200gm of my sago pearls is only a bag and it seem hardly enough to feed the four of us at the clinic. So I decided to sprinkle 2 bags of these large pearls into the boiling water and kept stirring and watching for an early sign of translucency which should be around ten minutes according to instruction.

However after 30 minutes of continuous boiling the pearls were still white and the water was becoming thick with starch. This can't be good I thought and so I decided to change the water and continue boiling for another 30 minutes and set it aside for 10 minutes hoping that it will change colour then. Guess what? these pearls were stubborn. What to do, what to do. I read somewhere in the student section of the NST that you should steam sago pearls if you have this problem.

After an hour of doing the basic I decided to do my own thing!. I found a bag of dried apricots in the fridge - a remnant from my husband's cooking session and blended it with a little brown sugar to add as sweetener. I sandwiched the apricot puree between two layers of the sago pearls in my newly acquired 8 inch cake tin with removable bottom and continue to steam until the pearls were translucent.

Translucent I had but the sago pearls were staring at me imploring me to do something wonderful. Luckily there was a bar of dark chocolate at the back of the fridge. I grated the chocolate and covered the pearls lovingly with the grated chocolate and add another 5 minutes of steaming. The pudding was glistening when I took it out of the steamer to cool down. After taking over an hour to do this pudding, I decided to wait and taste it with a few people at the work place.

Since it was difficult to get fresh coconut milk I served the pudding with evaporated milk instead. Dr Maryati loved my pudding so much that there was only a slice left for Alina the next day.

I managed to take a picture of my effort this time and please help me to name this creation.
Should I try something with rice flour for my next attempt? Kuih Talam sounds interesting!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

Serimuka (Rice and Coconut Custard Slices)

Serimuka the glutinous rice cake with green custardy top is my favourite. When I was a young girl mum used to make it regularly and she made the top quite runny - it was lipsmacking delicious!

What I need to make this cake for the Rice Layer:
300 gm uncooked glutinous rice
200 ml thin coconut milk
1 teaspoon salt
1 pandanus leaf

What I need for the Custard Layer:
3 medium eggs
200 ml coconut milk
180 gm sugar
100 ml Pandanus Juice
4 teaspoon cornflour
2 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon plain flour.

I choose to make my first cake on my day off  so that I have all the time in the world to correct it should disaster occurred.

Wednesday Night
 I started soaking the uncooked glutinous rice after giving it a rinse. The packet says rinse once but I found that once is not enough. It was not clear whether I should leave the soaking rice in the fridge or at room temperature. In London I am used to leave things at room temperature and so following my instinct that's what I did.

Thursday Morning
I discovered leaving the rice soaking overnight at room temperature was not a good idea because the grains have become so swollen and water tend to be a bit bubbly. After copious rinse the rice was drained and placed in a shallow round tin (the loyang which I took from my sister's home in Muar the previous week).

I am suppose to mix the coconut milk and salt together and add this to the rice however I substitute the coconut milk with dry milk powder mixed with warm water instead (I am a little concern about excessive cholesterol floating in my blood and always trying to safeguard my heart). I poured the milk mixture with the salt and a few drops of pandan essence into the rice and placed the tray  on a boiling wok and covered it with a lid so that the steam does not escape.
After 25 minutes (the advise is 20 - 30 minutes) I found my rice was cooked and can only managed to fluff it slightly. There was one thing that I didn't do was to press the rice down to form an even, compact layer. This is because I was not keen to have solid glutenous rice like sushi however I did steam it for a further 15 minutes as per instruction in the book.

While the rice continues it steaming process I started preparing for the custard layer. For this I actually prepared the pandan juice from scratch by using my blender which made such a noise that my husband was worried the neighbours might complain (as it turn out to be, the worrying was unjustified).
I combined 3 eggs, plus another one for extra luck, with sugar and milk in a bowl and whisked it until the sugar dissolved. Then I added the pandan juice, cornflour and a little plain flour stirring all the time until smooth. Then the mixture  was strained to remove any lumps before it was placed into a heatproof bowl and set over a pan of gently simmering water. (This I knew what to do because I am used to making custard dessert for the kids) When the custard was about to set I poured it over the Rice Layer and continue to steam over a gentle heat - so I thought. You see my gas cooker will not cooperate because it kept blowing off, if it is set too low. So I made a decision to leave the steam do the steaming at whatever degree of heat but cut down the time from 25 minutes to 15 minutes.
When the time was up I opened the steamer lid and was very pleased with my 1st attempt. The custard layer did not look green like the picture but it tasted very nice and quite soft.

Friday Morning
Great success. Dr Maryati, Alina, Myla and Azizah loved my Serimuka. The feed back I got was not to leave the cake in the fridge overnight as it tend to harden the Rice Layer and it was requested that the Custard Layer should be thicker if I want to try it again next time ( I knew I should have bought a small 8 inch cake tin).

What's next?
I may try something with Large Sago pearls which was a gift from Alina's mum.Wait and see...