Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Kuih Bakar Pandan

Apologies for the lack-of-visual-appeal photo. It was 8pm when I finally had time to take a photo as I baked this while preparing dinner.

Last week, I made some pandan juice, quite impromptu actually. I searched on the web and read many tips on how to extract pandan juice. Some bloggers used a blender without water, and there are some who used a food processor and added some water. I do not own a blender so the method that I used was with my chopper. Thank you to all the ladies who shared their tips generously :)

There are many useful tips that are shared by the bloggers. I've gathered some of the tips here if you would like to try the chopper/food processor method:
- trim off the tip of the pandan leaf, as it is the one which will cause itch on your hand
- trim off the white parts at the end of the leaf, as it can be bitter
- cut the leaves into as small parts as you can in order to extract the most out of the leaf
- drain the juice with a strainer and discard the leaves

Instead of a strainer, I put the leaves inside a soup pouch and squeezed the juice out with my hand. While I was doing that, the fragrance of the pandan leaves filled the kitchen, making the task quite enjoyable :D Same time, my hubby walked pass the kitchen and asked what I was doing (training arm power? hehe)

With the fresh pandan juice, I made pandan agar agar the same day. It is a very easy and yummy dessert using pandan juice, water, agar agar powder, and sugar. It's a very popular dessert when I was young, all the mothers would make this every now and then.

After making the agar agar, I still have about 1 cup of pandan juice left in the fridge. I read that it has to be used best within 5 days, and had been searching for recipes that use pandan juice. This morning, I made some pandan sponge cupcakes. I did a blunder as I added too much pandan juice, and tried to make amends by adding less oil. Surprisingly, the cupcakes turned out ok, just not as soft as the usual sponge cake, and there are big air pockets inside some :p As I was almost losing hope, despaired with my lack of baking skill, another idea popped up soon after. What to make next for the remaining pandan juice?

With about half a cup of pandan juice left, I wondered what I could make. There is always Google :D Found this really easy recipe on M2rNi3. Thanks to M2rNi3 for sharing the recipe! I was glad that all the ingredients listed were found in my kitchen :) But what is Kuih Bakar Pandan? I have no idea actually.. :p I tried to recall if I have seen this kuih at Bangawan Solo, but I doubt I had. So prior to this, I had no idea what is Kuih Bakar Pandan, or how it should taste like :D that can be fun! Seems like it is a popular Malay kuih as there are many recipes available on the web.

I made half the portion and made very minor adjustments. Please refer to the original recipe here.

This time I used a measuring cup to measure the ingredients, no weighing scale needed!

Ingredients
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 0.5 cup pandan juice (about 10 pandan leaves, blend using chopper with about 1 cup of water)
- slightly less than 0.5 cup dry demerara sugar (adjust to your taste)
- 2 eggs
- canola oil to grease the pan
- lightly toasted sesame seeds
- 200ml coconut milk

I think you may want to mix eggs and sugar first, then add flour, followed by pandan juice and coconut milk. Or, perhaps put all the ingredients together, then mix. For some reason (blur sotong in action? haha), I whisk eggs, then I added flour - the batter became lumpy and dry! Silly me! But I think the key is to sieve the batter to ensure that the is no lump at the end, before pouring into the baking pan.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 175 degC for 45mins.

The kuih smells very good because of the pandan juice. After this, I will not want to use bottled pandan essence anymore :p

Surprisingly, my girl ate some and said it's nice. She doesn't fancy kuih so much.

This is the first successful kuih I made! And I have always thought that kuih must be steamed :p

Happy baking! :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Ma La Gou (马拉糕) Steamed Cake



It's Ma La Gou, or Ma Lai Gao, or Malay cake? I am not sure what is the actual name of this cake. This is a common Chinese cake being sold at hawker centers or bakeries in Singapore. I usually see the dark colored ones, although I saw many recipes on the Web for light colored Ma La Gou. Apparently, it seems to be popular in HK dim sum restaurants/shops.

My girl loves this cake and my mom would buy her sometimes.

The recipe I followed is from singapore shiok! Thank you singapore shiok! for sharing this recipe :) I chose this recipe as it is the easiest I can find, and the photos of the dusky cake look so tempting :)

I made some slight adjustments due to the ingredients I have on-hand. Please refer to the original recipe here.

Ingredients:
150g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1.5 tsp double-acting baking powder
75g milk (UHT milk)
75g oil (canola oil)
4 eggs (as I ran out of fresh eggs, 3 tbsp egg whites thawed from freezer and 1 egg)
3 tsp vanilla essence (2 tsp vanilla bean paste)
1 tbsp dark soy sauce (1 tsp)
150g soft brown sugar (120g dry demerara sugar)

I followed method from singapore shiok!, except that instead of greasing the pan, I layered it with aluminum foil and baking paper. The cake did not stick to the baking paper and could be removed easily.

The cake turns out very soft that I had problem cutting it nicely.
 
Ma La Gou fresh after steaming.
I find that the cake is not as fragrant as the Ma La Gou I bought from Tiong Bahru Market once. Probably it will smell nicer if palm sugar is used? I really like to try that but first, I need to find the recipe :)

Happy steaming! :)