Saturday was spent mostly in the kitchen, whisk and mixer in hand. The heat suppressed my appetite, yet I was curiously eager to try not one, but two new recipes.
My aunt recently sent me a recipe for kueh bakar, a type of Nyonya kueh - the Southeast Asian version of pastries. I haven't eaten one of these for about 20 years, so of course I decided to jump right in and try it, without being sure what it was supposed to taste like. It turned out to be really easy, but don't go expecting a fluffy, crumbly cake-like texture.
I managed to seek out a bottle of pandan essence from the Asian food shop down the hill (it was the only bottle on the shelf), but I think you can always use vanilla extract if you can't find any, or if you just don't like the flavour. Pandan flavouring seems to be the Southeast Asian equivalent of vanilla, but it's not really essential in this kueh, since it's already got a pretty strong coconut flavour.
Kueh Bakar (adapted from Lily's Wai Sek Hong)
400 ml coconut milk
50 ml water
1/2 tsp pandan essence (or vanilla essence)
125 gm plain flour
125 gm sugar
25 gm grated coconut (for topping)
green food colouring (optional)
- Preheat oven to 175c.
- Beat eggs and sugar till sugar dissolves, and add pandan essence to the mixture.
- Add flour and coconut milk to the egg/sugar mixture, and stir till you get a smooth consistency.
- Pour mixture into a greased baking tray, about 8 inches wide. You'll get a thicker or thinner kueh, depending on the size of your tray. I don't think it really matters.
- Bake for 45 minutes, then add the grated coconut to the top and bake for another 10 - 15 minutes. Remove from oven, wait for it to cool, then cut it into squares and enjoy.