Wednesday, February 25, 2009

9-layer Nonya Kueh & Steamed Rice Cake

I have a day off today and did 9-layer nonya kueh & steamed rice cake this afternoon. I have always been a fan of nonya kueh as they look as good as the taste. Or maybe it's because of my hometown, Penang where it's famous for great food & kueh too ... (^.^)

This is my 3rd attempt at 9-layer nonya kueh and it turn out as I expected - not too sweet but yet has a rich coconut milk flavor. I'm always amazed at how the combination of such simple ingredients (rice flour, sugar, pandan leaves, cocnout milk etc) could result in something so yummy & colorful. I wanted to do a kueh with more subtle, pastel colors but it turn out pretty bright - guess i added too much coloring ... (^_^!)

6" square 9-layer kueh sliced & wrapped for my hubby to treat his colleagues

9-layer Nonya Kueh
Ingredients (For a 9" square tin)

480g tapioca flour
150g sago flour
35g mungo bean flour (aka tepung hoon hwee)
50g rice flour
720ml thick coconut milk
650g sugar
1 litre water
3-4 pandan leaves
A dash of red, green, blue & yellow food coloring
A pinch of salt (I use 1/4 teaspoon)

  1. Boil sugar with pndan leaves in 1 litre of water until sugar melts. Strain the syrup & dilute with water to make 1.5 litres.
  2. Mix all the flour & salt together in a bowl. Pour in the coconut milk a little at a time & mix till smooth. Set aside.
  3. Pour the syrup from step (1) gradually into the flour mixture. Stir constantly till well blended.
  4. Divide the mixture into 4 (if using 3 food colorings) or 5 (if using 4 food colorings) portions. Leave 1 portion uncoloured. Mix each of the other 3 or 4 portions with 1 food coloring.
  5. Grease a 9" square tin with oil. Place tin in aa steamer & steam until tin is hot. Pour in the uncoloured mixture & steam for 6-8 mins Repeat another layer with the uncoloured mixture & steam again.
  6. Repeat step (5) with batter of different colours alternatively till the mixture is used up. The top layer should be red.
  7. Leave kueh to cool completely before cutting.
Recipe from: Delicious Nonya Kueh & Deserts by Patricia Lee

For mine, I only make half the portion & steam it in a 6" square tin. My total mixture yields about 1250ml & I divide into 5 portions - white, red, blue, green & yellow of 250 ml each. So technically speaking, mine is a 10-layer kueh with 125ml of mixture for each layer. But the measurements has to be adjusted accordingly depending on the total yield of the mixture.

One point to note is to stir the mixture well before steaming to avoid the flour settling at the bottom. If this happens, the kueh will end up soft at the bottom & harder on top (where the flour mixture concentrates).

Besides the conventional rectangle slices, I also try my luck to steam the layered nonya kueh using a mini cupcake tray. It's a little tedious scooping tiny teaspoons of the mixture into each cup but the result is really cute. The 1st layer of red was too thin and ended up turning 'purple' combined with blue as the 2nd layer underneath.

Also steamed 9-layer nonya kueh & rice cake using my fav mini-cupcake mould

Next, I try steaming rice cakes - you know, the kind that we get at pasar malam which comes together with a pack of orange colored sugar? Mine was slightly different in taste as compared to those I usually buy at pasar malam - it has a hint of coconut milk & I suppose it's bcos the recipe calls for addition of coconut milk. However, mine did not rise & 'open up' as high and as wide as those I bought ... wonder what went wrong? (-.-!)

Steamed rice cakes
Ingredients (Yields 12-30 depending on size of mould used)

200g rice flour
200ml coconut milk
160ml boiling water
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder (A)
120g sugar
1 teaspoon double-acting baking powder (B)
1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence

  1. Sift rice flour & baking powder (A) together. Combine flour mixture with coconut milk & mix well.
  2. Add boiling water, mix well & set aside to cool. When cool, stir in baking powder (B) & set aside for 1 hour.
  3. Combine sugar & vanilla essence into mixture from step (2) & mix well.
  4. Grease mould with oil or line mould with paper cups & arrange on steamer tray. Pour batter into greased mould/paper cups until 90% full & leave to rise for 30 mins.
  5. Steam over rapidly boiling water (high heat) for about 15 mins or until skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  6. Remove from mould & leave to cool on wire rack.
Recipe from: Make Your Own Pastry

Overall, I'm happy as my hubby said the response from his colleagues was quite good that he ended up not having enough to go around his dept. We also had the steamed rice cakes for breakfast the next morning.

Yum Yum !!!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Jelly Cookies

My family love this. I used to make this for sale during Christmas & CNY. The cookie is fragant & crispy; the filling gets a little chewy after baking ... it can get really additive!

Jelly Cookie

I use blackcurrant jam here but any jam will do. I've tried using apricot & kiwi jam also. End result? Colorful pinwheel jelly cookies in red, green & yellow ... (^.^)

Baked with Blackcurrant Jam

Wednesday, February 04, 2009


Today is my off-day. Want to bake something for my colleagues & decide on Madeleines. Didn't have the shell-shaped mould so I use other moulds instead ... (^.^)

Lemon Madeleines with Raisins

Baked some using mini-tartlet mould

Cross-section of the Madeleines

Also baked some using mini-cupcake mould

2 flavors. Lemon with raisins & Chocolate with chocolate chip

Lemon Madeleine
Ingredients (Yields 24 mini-cupcake or 12 seashells)

2 whole eggs
60g castor sugar
60g unsalted butter
60g cake flour
2/3 teaspoon baking soda (aka bicarbonate of soda)
1 g salt (I use approx. 1/4 teaspoon)
Zest from 1/2 a lemon (I use a whole lemon instead of 1/2)
1 teaspoon lemon juice

  1. Preheat oven to 180 degC. Grease the pan/mould with melted butter or line pan with paper cups.
  2. Melt butter using either microwave oven or over water bath.
  3. Sift flour & baking soda together.
  4. Add eggs, sugar & salt in mixer or bowl and mix well till sugar dissolves.
  5. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and flour using spatula. Then add melted butter & mix well.
  6. Spoon batter evenly into prepared cupcake pan/mould. Bake for 10-13 mins or until a skewer inserted in the centre comes out clean.
  7. Transfer to wire rack to cool completely and store in container to prevent drying.
Recipe from: 送礼西点DIY by 加藤千惠(日本)

This is the basic Madeleine recipe. I thought it was a little plain and decide to add some raisins. I soak the raisins in hot water first to plump them up follow by a little rum to enhance the flavor. One important tip I got from a baking teacher is that the rum would prevent the dried fruits from drawing moisture out of the batter while baking, thus not affecting the texture of the cake.

As for the chocolate Madeleine with chocolate chip, simply replace 10g cake flour with 10g cocoa powder. Sift the flour, baking soda & cocoa powder together. Next, substitute the lemon zest & juice with 10g semi-sweet mini chocolate chip. You may add more chocolate chips as desired.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

CNY 2009

Gong Xi Fa Cai ! Did some baking for family & friends during CNY this year ...

Mini-Tangerine pineapple tarts

Pistachio cookies with cherry

Packed nicely to be given away

Also baked kueh lapis with prune and savory pumpkin cake (known as jin gua gao or nan gua gao in chinese). But they were gobbled up before i could take any pic ... (^.^)