Nyonya Kueh Lapis

November 17, 2010

The Nyonya Kueh Lapis has always been one of my favourite Nyonya Kuehs! I am always amazed by how this nine layer Kueh is made! Everytime I eat it, I will just peel the layers off one by one and eat the whole kueh separately. The kueh lapis in Singapore is also very different from the ones we get in Malaysia. Most of the Singapore ones used Tapioca starch I think so the cake is extremely chewy and I don’t like that! So that’s another reason why I am so eager to make this at home. 

This is the second time I attempted this kueh. The first time was quite a disaster I would say. Even though the kueh tasted ok, but the layers were too thick, so after making it, I didn’t even have the appetite to eat it because it just look ugly and a bit bulky. I also didn’t mix the colours well (I only bought red colouring the last time) so you can imagine how the kueh lapis looked like.

This time I was more careful. And I bought the orange colouring just for the top layer! Well the colouring part is definitely one of the not so good aspect of this kueh. But of course you don’t have to put so much. For the red part I just put one drop basically. But for the top I put 3 drops.

My conclusion is in making this kueh is, all you need is time and patience. Without patience (like the first time I attempted this), this kueh just will not come out nice! Here is the recipe. I adapted this from fad about food. Recipe is the same but the instructions are slightly different.  

Flour Mixture:

160g rice flour
20g green bean flour (hoen kwe flour)
150ml water

For the Syrup:
190g castor sugar
300ml water
2–3 screwpine leaves (pandan leaves), knotted
200ml thick coconut milk
1/4 tsp. salt
A few drops red and orange colouring

Instructions:

1. Prepare the syrup. Boil the sugar with water and pandan leaves and leave it to cool.

2. Mix the rice flour and hoen kwe flour together with the water and leave it for approximately one hour (It is ok to leave this for longer than 1 hour, but not shorter than that). To get rid of the rice flour smell after the kueh is done, I take the pandan leave that was used to boil the syrup and put it in together with this flour mixture. But make sure that the pandan leave knot is totally cooled down.

3. After the hour is up, stir the mixture again until all the flour is dissolved. Add in the salt, coconut milk, then the syrup, stirring the mixture in the process.

4. Separate the mixture into a total of 3 bowls. 1 bowl will be slightly lesser – that will be the one with the orange mixture for the top. Drop one drop of red colouring into one of the bowl. You can add more if you want the kueh to be more red. The second bowl will have no colouring. Then three drops of orange coluring into the smaller bowl. It is ok if the colour of the mixture looks like milky orange, or milky red, because the colour will turn slightly transluscent after it is cooked.

5. Heat up a steamer. Grease a tin (20cm) with vegetable oil or any light oil. But not heavily scented oil like peanut oil. I used a slightly smaller tin for this time as I don’t have such a big tin.

6. Once the steamer is heated up, use a ladle and pour one ladle of mixture onto the tin. How I measure the thickness is the mixture has to cover at least the whole surface. Once it has the surface covered, I don’t put in anymore. But of course if you want to have a thicker layer, you can add in a bit more. Close the steamer cover and let it steam until that layer is set. For mine it takes about 2 minutes. If you are unsure if you can pour in the next layer, just wait a bit longer. Because if the layer is not set, then the two layers will ‘mix’ together.

7. Once the layer is set, remove the steamer cover again. Everytime the cover is removed, make sure that you wipe the steam off the cover so that the condensation water will not drip onto the kueh. THIS IS CRUCIAL!

8. Repeat the same for alternating colours and orange for the top layer. After the top layer, cover and steam for 10 minutes. Remove the cover midway to let the steam out and continue steaming. The rule for this is it is ok to steam it longer but not shorter as the flour may not be totally cooked.

9. Let the kueh cool down totally before cutting. This is another crucial step. If it is cut when it is really hot, the kueh will be a bit sticky.

10. Cut into diamond shapes and enjoy!

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Molten Chocolate Cake

March 15, 2010

I always love molten chocolate cakes, especially the one in Bakerzin, I think they just bake theirs to perfection. One day, about 6 months ago, I decided to make my own, and after looking at the online recipes, it looks too easy to make. But the funny thing is, I have probably tried this recipe at least 5 times to come to the one that I made below. Somehow, the first few tries did not work out. I remember the first one didnt taste too much like cake, second one was rock hard, and I just couldn’t figure out what was wrong.

But finally, after so many tries, I managed to get it! And I feel that the magic is in the way the flour is folded into the chocolate mixture at the end, and the oven temperature of course. Each oven is unique on its own i think, and when the recipe says 10 minutes, it really depends on the individual ovens. 

Here’s the recipe. I have kind of adapted my own way of doing this, but I got my inspiration from hunger hunger’s post

Makes 4 yummylicious molten chocolate cakes.


Ingredients:

  • 2 eggs
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 227g unsalted butter (room temperature)
  • 8 squares of cooking chocolate (for a sweeter taste, I use Van Houten cooking chocolate, if not, use any dark chocolates)
  • 110g caster sugar
  • 6 tablespoons plain flour

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 210 degrees celcius.
  2. Melt the chocolate over a hot water bath. Cool.
  3. Combine sugar with eggs, then beat till the colour turns a bit pale.
  4. Add butter and stir. Then add the egg yolks.
  5. Pour in the cooled chocolate mixture and stir. Make sure the mixture is well combined.
  6. Fold in the flour (in 3 tablespoons intervals). It is important to fold this properly else the cake will not turn out soft and nice.
  7. Pour into ramekins, or you can use non stick (about 3.5 inch diameter) baking ramekin (I am not sure how to call it exactly), you can see the picture below. I would pour up to about 1.5 inches to 2 inches high.
  8. Bake for 8 minutes. (However, please note that this totally depends on your oven. For first time baking, I would suggest looking at how long one takes and then you can leave the rest after you know the timing).
  9. Take the molten cuties out! And turn it over on a plate. You can serve it with vanilla ice cream or with strawberries, for my picture, I served it with a piece of orange.

Li Lian


Oishii Goma Ice-cream

March 14, 2010

I first tasted black sesame ice-cream at Passionflower in Sydney many years ago. I was hooked. Then after, I looked high and low for the ice-cream in Melbourne, where I lived, to no avail. When I returned to Kuala Lumpur, I’ve been venturing to Japanese restaurants with a secret desire to have the ice-cream. This can be rather harmful to the pocket and sinful to the waist. I have a theory that if I make my own, there’s a possibility I may lose my cravings. So here’s the recipe I tried:-

  • 3 tbsp. black sesame seeds, toasted and ground
  • 2 cups/500ml heavy or thickened cream
  • 2 cups/500ml milk
  • ½ cups sugar
  • 4 egg yolks

Method:-

  1. In a medium saucepan, whisk cream, milk, ground sesame and half of the sugar until combined. Turn the heat on high and continue stirring until mixture comes to a boil. Remove from heat.
  2. In a small saucepan, whisk egg yolks and sugar on low heat until thick and pale. Remove from heat.
  3. Add egg mixture to the cream mixture and turn the heat on low. Stir mixture for 5 minutes or until mixture reaches a custard-like consistency.
  4. Pour into a heat proof container and let it stand for about 15 minutes.
  5. Put mixture into the freezer until frozen around the edges. Remove and process the ice cream in a food processor.
  6. Repeat process for another 2-3 times until ice-cream is creamy.
Black sesame ice cream

Black sesame ice cream

Black sesame ice-cream

Black sesame ice-cream

Yee Ling