Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nyonya Kuih Genggang

I'm off tomorrow to HK for a week of holiday! it means lots of good food, dim sum and flea market shopping! But before that, here's the traditional and popular Nyonya 'kuih genggang' which I made for M, a good friend of mine.
Other than in my hometown, Melaka, kuih genggang is more widely known by its commercial name - kuih lapis or layered cake - throughout Malaysia. There isn't any direct English translation for kuih and the closest is cake. However, unlike cakes as we understand them in the Western world, kuih refers to the traditional local cakes in Malaysia & Singapore and they are often made of plain flour or rice flour or glutinous rice flour or tapioca starch flour or wheat starch flour etc. Given that Malaysia is a multi-ethnic country, one can enjoy a wide variety of kuih- Nyonya kuih, Chinese kuih, Malay kuih etc. Kuih are normally either steamed, grilled or baked, and for Nyonya & Malay kuih, coconut milk is often a main ingredient.

Kuih genggang is easy and cheap to do, and also delicious to eat. Its texture is sticky and gooey. It is a favorite tea time treat for many. Kids enjoy eating it by peeling off a layer by a layer. It is made by steaming it a layer by a layer also but it doesn't take very long to complete. It is best eaten on the same day that it's made as it can't keep for very long.

(Other variety of Nyonya food from Malaysia can be found at


- 180 g rice flour
- 200 ml water
Mix the above together and leave aside for 1 hour.

- 180 g sugar
- 350 ml water
- 2 srewpine (pandan) leaves, knotted
Boil the above together and leave the sugar syrup to cool.

- 250 ml thick coconut milk
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1-2 drops red/pink coloring

- Add the coconut milk, salt and sugar syrup into the rice flour mixture after 1 hour. Stir well and divide the portion equally into 2. Color one of it with 1-2 drops red/pink coloring.
- Heat up an 8 inch round pan in a steamer setting. Grease it lightly with cooking oil first. Pour half cup of the white batter, cover the steamer with lid and steam for 5 mins or until the layer is cooked. Do the same with the next batch of 1/2 cup red/pink batter. For the final top layer, you can add more red/pink coloring to distinguish it or for presentation sake. (Note: make sure to give the batter a really good stir each time before taking 1/2 cup to pour for steaming). Leave to cool completely before cutting into diamond shape.

Cheers, have a great week ahead & see you next weekend!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Brandy-Pecan Choc Fudge & Banana Cakes


Made these for M, a good friend of mine who is back visiting from the US. The original recipe from Nancy Baggett's "All-American Dessert Book" calls for Bourbon but I used Brandy instead. I made slight adjustments and simplified the baking steps as below.

The intro in the book took the words right out of my mouth when I was savoring a piece of this cake. "This is an immensely rewarding cake - moist, tender and very chocolatey on the inside, with a glossy, gooey fudge layer on the outside."


For the cake:
- 6 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 8 tbsp butter
- 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
- 2 tbsp brandy, combined with 2 tbsp hot water
- 1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 3 oz semisweet chocolate, roughly chopped
- 7 large eggs, at room temperature

1. In a bowl over a double boiler, melt the chocolate, butter and vanilla. Remove from the heat, stir in the brandy-water mixture, then the cocoa powder until the mixture is well-blended.
2. In a food processor, combine sugar and pecans till the nuts are ground to a powder.
3. In a food processor, process the flour and 3 oz chocolate till the chocolate is fine and well-blended with the flour.
4. In a large bowl, beat all the eggs and sugar/pecan mixture (no. 2) on medium to high speed till the mixture becomes frothy, lightened and nearly doubled in volume. Remove 1 cup and stir into the melted chocolate mixture (no. 1) till well-blended.
5. Combine everything into the egg mixture, using a whisk, stir and mix until well-combined. Bake in a 21-22cm springform pan for 25-30 mins at around 150 deg C.


For the choc fudge glaze:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 tbsp light corn syrup
- 2 tbsp butter
- 4 1/2 oz unsweetened chocolate, roughly chopped
- 1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Over a double boiler, combine everything to melt over low heat. Gently stir until the glaze is completely smooth and thickens to your liking. Let it cool for a while and pour over the completely cooled cake. Use a spatula to gently spread the glaze over the sides.


This is a recipe given by my 4th sister to me a few years ago. It's really moist and delicious!


- 250 g banana
- 250 g all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp bicarbonate soda
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 4 tbsp milk
- 3 eggs
- 180 g butter
- 150 g sugar

1. Cream butter and sugar together till it is light and creamy.
2. Add in an egg at a time, mixing till well-blended after each egg addition.
3. Add in the mashed banana and mix well.
4. Add in the flour, alternate with the milk. Mix the batter until everything is well-combined. Bake at 150 deg C for 45 mins or until skewer comes out clean.


Sunday, August 23, 2009

Tangerine Babe!

Babe, I got you babe!

I'd like to say "THANKS" to my blogger friends who provided their comments and reviews to my previous post "Mixed About Mixers". I made my final decision SO MANY times, going back and forth between Kenwood Chef and KA Artisan or Pro. Unfortunately, I can't find Cuisinart and Bosch mixers here. In hindsight, better that way or else I'd still be thinking which one to get. In the last 2 weeks, my decision hadn't seem to change, and I believe it means THIS IS THE ONE. And what a great luck on my side last night. I wanted to purchase it last weekend but my plan got cancelled. Finally went to Robinson's last night (which was unplanned!) and guess what!...there was a further price reduction for OCBC Bank/Robinson's card member! Adding to the bonus was, the color that I had mentally shortlisted, Tangerine, was one of the 3 colors that qualify for the card members' privilege. Woohooo!! So, I got my Tangerine baby at SGD599 instead of SGD$779. For my readers in Singapore who have been thinking of getting a KA Artisan, your last chance for this great bargain is today (Sunday, 23 Aug). If you don't have a OCBC/Robinson's credit card, just make a few calls to family and friends and buy them a meal for this favor! You'll save SGD180, which can get you a flight tix on budget airline to Bangkok!! So, hurry on! :D


Thursday, August 20, 2009

Steamed Chicken Curry Noodles

I've been thinking of chicken curry noodles for a week now but because the weather was so hot lately, I tried to hold back from having too much spicy food. Then, it rained a little in the morning yesterday and today and that cooled down the weather slightly. And there goes my temporary abstinence from spicy food.

Anyway, there is this stall near where I live that sells really good chicken curry noodles. The steamed chicken is succulently good and the curry gravy, thick and spicy enough. The only slight downfall is that it's a tad bit too oily, but nevertheless, DE-LI-CIOUS! Each time I visit the stall to feed my craving, I tell myself that I must try and make it one day at home. And that was exactly what I did for dinner just hours earlier. The stall has its secret recipe well-guarded and so, I created my own. I reckon the several main ingredients for a good curry gravy are pretty much easy to guess, so here's my recipe to share. Based on feedback from my food critic by the name of Dear Hub, looks like this recipe is quite a winner although there's still room for slight ingredient adjustments here and there.

Chicken Curry Noodle

This recipe serves 2 persons.

What you'll need:
- Quarter of a chicken with its skin intact
- White fish cake
- Yellow noodles enough for two persons
- A handful of bean sprouts (taugeh)
- Curry gravy, see my recipe below

Steam the chicken for 15-20 mins and then chop it. Don't waste by discarding the chicken stock, instead add it into the curry gravy later. Steam the fish cake for 3-5 mins and then slice it. Blanch the yellow noodles and bean sprouts in hot boiling water for 1-2 minutes. Discard the water.

Place noodles in bowls. Top with some bean sprouts, slices of fish cake and steamed chicken. Generously pour hot boiling curry gravy over it and serve hot with a small lime squeezed into it.

For cooking the curry gravy:
- 60g shallots
- 40g garlic
- 1/2 inch galangal
- 1 stalk lemongrass
- 2 fresh chillies
- 1 tbsp dried prawns (soaked in hot water for 5 mins)
- 3-4 tbsp curry powder
- 1 tbsp chilli powder
- 1 tsp turmeric powder
- 3 stalks curry leaves
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 potato, quartered
- 1/2 cup cooking oil
- 1/2 cup thick coconut milk
- 1.3 litre chicken bone stock
- 2 pieces fried beancurd skin with fish paste filling inside (tau pok)

Blend the shallots, garlic, galangal, lemongrass, fresh chillies and dried prawns to form a paste. Mix in the curry powder, chilli powder, turmeric powder and curry leaves into the paste. Heat oil and saute the paste till it becomes drier and fragrant. Then, add in the stock and potatoes and let it simmer. When the potatoes are soft, add in the coconut milk and the fish paste fried beancurd skin or tau pok, sugar and salt. Let it simmer for a minute or two and turn off the heat. Ta da! Your boiling hot curry gravy is now ready to be poured into your bowls of noodles. Bon Appetit!