Desserts

I have a friend that can skip a meal but she cannot live without her desserts. This page is dedicated to my sweet tooth friend. Here are some of the delicious Malaysian desserts I have experimented in my kitchen: Long Life Cake (Ang Ku Kueh 紅龜粿), Deep Fried Bananas (Goreng Pisang), Peanut Pancake (Min Jiang Kuih or Ban Chian Kuih), Pandan Chiffon Cake, 9 Layer Cake (Kuih Lapis). I also attempted other desserts like Black Forest Cake. Here is an easy dessert to make, a great compliment to a cup of coffee, almond crisps.

I have also learned to make Pineapple Cake (鳳梨酥) and Almond Nougats (牛軋糖), Taiwanese specialties.

My husband loves any dessert with red bean. A couple years ago, we were in Richmond Vancouver Canada’s night market with some friends and we tasted warm Dorayaki for the first time.

This next dessert is not necessarily a Malaysian dessert but it has become our family’s favorite dessert. The reason is the cake’s fluffy texture and the flavorful creme filling. A nicely baked Coffee SwissRoll will awe your guests for sure.

Ma Lai Gou (馬拉糕) is my brother in law’s favourite dish. And now, it has become one of our family’s favourite. The original recipe calls for evaporated milk but since I don’t stock that at home, I have substitute that with regular milk and it tastes good. Once, I ran out of fresh milk and I use a water and a little milk powder and that worked well too. The original recipe also calls for baking soda but I completely omit that ingredient as I don’t like the taste of baking soda in my cakes.

There is a local sushi restaurant that serves complimentary Mousse as part of their lunch bento. I am glad to have found this easy Chocolate Mousse recipe, so when I have cravings, I can make it myself.







Ma Lai Gou (馬拉糕)

5 eggs
11/2 cups brown sugar
3/4 cup evaporated milk or fresh milk or water and milk powder
5 drops of vanilla extract
1/2 cup butter (melted)
2 cups flour
1 Tablespoon baking powder
baking pan (10 5/8″ x 12″ x 2 3/8″)

a note on the baking pan: the recipe lists the size as above. Since I only have a square one, that was what I used. I separated the batter into two parts because the cake will rise too high and stick to my bamboo steamer.

1) beat eggs and brown sugar for 5 minutes until thick and cream colored. Add milk, vanilla and melted butter and beat for 1 minute.

2) Sift flour and baking powder and fold into the above mixture.

3) Lined the baking pan with parchment paper. Pour the batter into the lined paper and place it in a high heat steamer. Continue in high heat for 30 minutes. Remove and allow to cool. Cut and serve.







Ang Ku Kuih 紅龜粿

Who wouldn’t want to eat a long life cake? I would like to introduce you to an Asian dessert that is shaped like a tortoise. Tortoise symbolize long life in the chinese culture. The fillings of this desert can be either red bean (Taiwanese Style) or mung bean (Malaysian Style). The skin is made out of glutinous rice. The mold that I use has the word longevity in the center. Quite appropriate, don’t you think? Tortoise and longevity?

I attempted making this dessert using sweet potato paste and glutinous rice for the skin and it was a success. It was my beige-colored tortoise cake.

Traditionally, this long life cake is in red. Hence, the Hokkein name, “Ang Ku“, Ang stands for red and Ku stands for tortoise. Nowadays, health conscience people are starting to omit the red or orange food coloring. The first time I made these tortoise cakes, I used Lily‘s recipe, and substituted banana leaf with parchment paper. It turned out pretty well, right?


Thanks Mom and 4th sister for sending the mold. The following is my latest attempt in making this dessert. Instead of using banana leaf, I used bamboo leaf. For the filling, I used home made red bean.

After mastering the sweet version, I searched on the internet for a salty version. Here’s a link to the Ang Ku with ground pork and chai po filling. If I can eat two of the sweet green bean filling, I think I can eat at least four of the savory version.







Deep Fried Banana

(Goreng Pisang in Malay) is one of my favourite Malaysian hawker food. The batter is a combination of an egg white, water, equal parts of rice flour and all-purpose flour with a touch of salt. This batter sticks very well to the banana. I used the left over batter to deep fry some Sweet Potato slices. In Malaysia, we eat the goreng pisang as is. Over here, I westernized it by serving it in a nice bowl with a scoop of ice cream and decorate it with a cherry.










Peanut Pancake

(Min Jiang Kuih or Ban Chian Kuih)
This is also known as Ban Chian Koay (in Hokkein language). I remember eating this snack, growing up in Malaysia. Sis said that Mom used to buy at the Night Market (Pasar Malam).

Later, when I went to Taiwan to visit my in-laws, I had it again. The fillings were sweetened red bean, instead of peanuts. Eating food at hawker stands is almost never sanitary. I remember one of the hawkers (of course, not the one that was serving my food), had one hand picking his nose, and the other hand scratching his butt. It is strange that you are not aware of this when you are little kids. I highly recommend that you try out this recipe because it is not too complicated and it does not take up a whole day to make it. It will be a great snack or breakfast. My kids love them.


I do not have a cast iron pan, so I used a non stick pan to make this. If you like bigger kueh, use a bigger pan and put more ladle of batter into your pan. After making the first one, you will get an idea, on how much batter to put in your next one. I have used the following recipes numerous times. It is well tested. Please pay attention to my notes in parenthesis. It will ensure that you are successful as well.

(reference: Hawker’s Galore – A guide to Penang Hawker Food)

Batter Ingredients
230 gm plain flour
2 tsp castor sugar
1 egg beaten
2 cups water/milk
3 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 tsp oil

Batter Preparation

Sift flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and add in egg, liquid and oil. Mix into a smooth batter and allow to stand for at least 2 hours. (Since the batter has egg, make sure you refrigerate your batter.)

Flling Ingredients

4 tsp castor sugar
2 tsp roasted sesame seeds
6 tsp peanuts roasted and ground
4 tsp butter

Preparation

Traditional pan used for making this pancake is a heavy, cast iron pan used over a coal fire. To obtain best results, it is recommended that a heavy base 16 cm frying pan be used if the original pan is not available. Heat the pan over fairly high heat. Spoon a ladle of the batter in the pan and spread it evenly. When mixture turns translucent, sprinkle sugar, ground peanut and sesame seeds evenly over the surface. Dab with butter. (Turn the heat to low. Cover pan to ensure even heating.) Cook for another 3 minutes; remove pancake and fold in two. Serve hot.






Pandan Chiffon Cake

After many failures, I finally found a Pandan Chiffon Cake recipe that works. Thanks to Little Corner of Mine. Lee Ping’s notes: I usually do step 3 and then step 2. Make sure your bowl and egg beater tool is free from oil. Oil will prevent the egg from rising. If the coconut milk is to thick, it is OK to add a little more water. Also, you can reduce a little sugar. If you reduce too much sugar, make sure you reduce the salt as well. Otherwise your pandan chiffon cake will taste too salty.

Ingredients:

(A)
1 3/4 cup all-purpose flour,
sifted1 Tbp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt
1/2 cup sugar

(B)
1/2 cup vegetable or canola oil or olive oil
6 egg yolks
3/4 cup coconut milk
1 tsp. pandan paste

(C)
6 egg whites
1/2 tsp. cream of tartar
3/4 cup sugar

Steps:

1. Preheat oven to 350’F (175’C).

2. Combine (A) in a bowl. Stir well to blend. Make a hole in the center of the mixture. Put (B) in the center. Beat with an electric mixer until smooth, from inside first. Note: it is important that you beat well. I took at least 4 to 5 minutes.

3. Put (C) in a clean big bowl, egg white in the center, sugar and cream of tartar on the side. Note: it is important that the bowl and beater is clean. Beat (C) until moist peaks formed. Beat egg white first and gradually incorporate the sugar and cream of tartar into the mixture, until stiff and shiny peaks are formed. Fold 1/3 of the egg whites into the egg yolks mixture, fold to mix and then add the rest of the egg whites. Fold gently but thoroughly. Note: it is important to mix thoroughly, but gently. Turn batter into ungreased 10″ tube pan.

4. Bake for 60 mins or til a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Invert cake and cool completely in pan. When cool, loosen the edges and shake pan to remove cake.






Kuih Lapis

This recipe is from Lily.

I modified it slightly by playing with the colors. I alternated the layers with white and green and end it with red.






Black Forest Cake

Black Forest Cake is a well known dessert all around the world. Typically, this cake consists of several layers of chocolate cake, with whipped cream and sour cherries between each layer. The top layer is covered with additional whipped cream, maraschino cherries, and chocolate shavings. What I like most about this dessert is the addition of Kirschwasser, a cherry liquor.

 

This is my first attempt at making Lily’s Black Forest Cake. Thank you Auntie Lily for this recipe. I was tempted to cut a small piece of cake to eat when it first came out of the oven because of the cocoa aroma.

The following will continue to be my challenges in my next attempt in making this cake:
1) equal 3 cake layers.
2) perfect spreadable whip cream (whip cream that is under whipped will be runny, whip cream that is over whipped is not spreadable and will taste and look like butter.

Today is a special day because Little Tiger turned 9 years old.

 







Almond Crisps

A sister at church shared this recipe with me a couple of years ago. Whenever I serve this biscuit, people always asks me for recipe. My mother in law was so impressed with the taste and the ingredients that she brought this recipe back to Taiwan to share with the relatives. It is low in cholesterol because I use only egg white and olive oil.

The ingredients are 3 egg whites, 1/4 cup flour, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 tbsp oil and 1 1/2 cup thin sliced roasted almonds.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Celcius. Spread the above mixture thinly across a silpat. If you don’t have a silpat, cover the baking sheet with foil and spray baking sheet with pam (butter).

Bake on mid shelf for 16 minutes. The sides usually turn brown first. I cover the sides with aluminium foil, close the oven door and turn off the heat. Just leave the almond cookie crisps in the oven. Alternatively, you can break the brown sides and put the rest back into the oven, turn off the oven heat and leave the almond cookie crisps in the oven.

When you try to break the cookie crisps, it should be easy to break. If not, it is not dry enough. The oven still has some left-over heat, put it back into the oven.

I like my cookies broken into random pieces. However, it is possible to cut the cookies into equal pieces. The cutting should be done on a cutting board using a pizza cutter while it is still soft before it turn brown and dry.

 







Dorayaki Japanese Red Bean Cake
日本紅豆糕

Since this was my first attempt, the pancake did not turn out as pretty. Since I did not let the batter rest long enough, the pancake was a little dense. I learned that I have to turn the stove to “low” for making this pancake, otherwise, it will burn. I scoop out about 2 tbsp of batter to make two small pancakes, 1 tbsp each on my non-stick pan. Without much wait, I place a few Red Beans in the center of one of the pancake. When I see the sides begin to set, I gently lift up the pancake and place it on top of the other pancake that has Red Bean.

I am definitely making Dorayaki again because my family loves this.

Thanks Cocoa for this recipe! If you have any questions on this dessert, please feel free to leave a comment at Cocoa’s blog.






Pineapple Cake (鳳梨酥)

15 years ago, my student gave me a box of petite square cakes that were wrapped in gold. It was pineapple cake and absolutely delicious. Since then, I have been trying to replicate the recipe. I used square stainless steel molds from Taiwan to create these cakes.

I saved a commercial box from Taiwan and reuse it for presentation. The wrapper and ties were purchased from Taiwan by relatives. Thank you very much!!

Recipe (makes 25)
Butter 3/4 cup (168g) (1stick+4Tbsp)
Shortening 1/4 cup (4 Tbsp)
powder sugar 3/4 cup (105 g)
egg 1 1/2 (90g)
vanilla 1 tsp (5g)
low gluten flour or all purpose flour 3 1/2 cup (385 g)
milk powder 1/2 cup (50 g)

pineapple filling 1 1/4 lb (568 g) I blend a fresh pineapple and cook just the pulp with sugar in a nonstick pot.

Mix all the ingredients except the pineapple filling. Make into 25 balls.
For the pineapple filling, make 25 balls.
Now comes the only challenging part. Put the filling into the pastry ball and then fit them into the square mold.
Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.
Flip over and bake for another 9 minutes.

note:
I use a silpat for all my mixing and baking. I also use silpat to make almond crisps.







Chocolate Mousse

Makes approximately 6 espresso sized cups

70g good quality dark chocolate
1 tsp granulated gelatine
2 tbsp hot water
1 egg at room temperature
1 egg yolk at room temperature
150 ml thickened cream

Melt the chocolate and set aside. Place the gelatine in a bowl and dissolve with hot water, stirring continuously. Strain the gelatine to make sure you get rid of any lumps. In a separate bowl, beat the egg and the egg yolk until light and fluffy, then stir in the melted chocolate. Very quickly, mix in the gelatine.

In another bowl, whip the cream until just thickened and then fold into the chocolate mixture. Fill your cups or moulds with the mousse, then refrigerate for at least 3 hours before serving.

For a mousse variation, try Strawberry White Chocolate Mousse.

If you are hesitant to use raw eggs, the following recipe just calls for two ingredients, heavy cream and chocolate. Super simple!

recipe by Diana’ Dessert (adapted from Jacques Torres)

Ingredients:

1 quart heavy cream
14 ounces bittersweet chocolate, melted

Instructions:
Whip the cream to soft peaks and add about 1/3 of the melted chocolate. Fold gently with a rubber spatula. Mix the remaining chocolate into the whipped cream. Mix only until combined, as you will deflate the cream if you overmix. Place the mousse in a large pastry bag and pipe into decorative serving cups.













26 responses to “Desserts

  1. Hi, i was browsing lily blog and came across your blog. I have a question regarding sugar.
    what is the different between castor sugar and regular sugar? can i use regular sugar i bought in the groceries in state here? If not, where can i get the castor sugar? I am interested in making Ban Chian Kuih. they looks delicious!

    Thanks

  2. Dear Cocoa,

    Castor sugar is finer than regular sugar, but it is NOT icing sugar. It is finer so it melts easily. Yes, you can use regular sugar that you buy in the grocery stores here in the states.

    A night or two before, Food Network Alton Brown had a show on making cocktails. He was grinding regular sugar to make it finer to make his drink. For Ban Chian Koay, it is not necessary to have superfine sugar. Just mix the batter well and it will taste good.

    Recently, I found Costco Warehouse carrying big bags of organic sugar. So, I have been using that instead of regular sugar. It looks finer than regular sugar. I use organic sugar because it is not bleached, unlike regular sugar.

    p/s I stopped by your blog. Your tofu fa, my all time comfort food, looks yummy.

  3. Thanks explaining that. I disconnected my FoodTV since i had my son 9 month ago. No more Tv show for me 😦

    I guess when you are away from home, learning to cook some comfort food is you can do to satisfy your craving 🙂

  4. You are very welcome, Cocoa. Since I started to blog, I have spend less time watching TV. Both TV and blogging have contributed to my recent weight gain around my lower body. I should start exercising, now that the weather is getting better here.

    p/s Happy Mother’s Day and no cooking this weekend.

  5. Hi Lee Ping,

    Thankfully I found your URL again. Was reading about your loving grandfather story something back, and lost track somehow. Anyhow, I was looking for Apom Balik recipe, found lilly’s site. I too don’t use baking soda in my cooking. I’m so glad you left the comment over at her blog, otherwise I’d have not found your recipe here. Thank you 🙂

  6. Dear MeltingWok,

    I really need to thank Auntie Lily for the amount of traffic that she is generating for my blog. Auntie Lily, if we ever meet up, makan (in restaurant) is on me.

    My ApamBalik recipe is not as thick as Lily’s (or Judy’s). I am tempted to try Judy’s recipe without the soda. Perhaps the yeast and baking powder will be good enough to achieve the height that is more desirable. I will post it when I try out that recipe, or if you try it out first, drop me a message. ApamBalik is my all time favorite and my family likes it as well.

  7. By looking at the picture, I think you scope the red bean to the pan cake before the cake was fully cook.
    I had the same problem when I make this for the first time. Yes, you need to turn the heat to low and while cooking pancake and wait until the surface looks shining and bubbly then you flip it to the other side and let it cook for maybe 30 sec or less.
    I assembly the cake together with the red bean paste after i finish cooking all the pancake.
    加油! 加油!

  8. Dear Cocoa,

    You are right! I did scoop the red bean to the pancake before the cake is fully cook because I wanted to replicate the ones that we ate at the Richmond Night Market.

  9. Trix

    Hi there, i like your blog and would like to link it to my blog. :). I have a question on the peanut pancake, what is the plain flour? i m living in USA, most heard about all purpose flour. is plain flour mean all purpose flour? or? please advice! thanks

  10. Dear Trix,
    Welcome to my blog and thanks for the link. I will link to yours as well.

    You are right. Plain flour that is used in my peanut pancake recipe is all-purpose flour.

  11. The red bean cake looks simply wonderful, Mrs HBT. How are you? Haven’t heard from you in a while. Hope you and your loved ones are happy and healthy.

  12. Dear Argus,
    What a pleasant surprise! You are a good blogger friend to come by and say hi. And thanks for your compliments on the red bean cake (Ang Ku Keh). Mom said that Grandpa used to sell the red bean cake before he started his Bah Kut Teh’s business.

    I have turned off all comments in my recent postings because I do not have time to blog hop or leave comments at other blogs yet.

    P/s Congratulations on your story in the Dark City 2 book. I always knew you could write. It is such a great honor to know you!

  13. Hi there, I just linked you to my blog. I will definitely try the peanut pancake. Too bad, i dont have peanuts roasted and ground. Did you make it yourself? or you buy it from the store? I think i will just use peanut butter and kaya. 🙂

  14. Dear Trix,
    I buy roasted peanuts (already shelled) from the store and grind it coarsely for the peanut pancake.

    Your idea of using peanut butter or kaya sounds good too.

  15. Hi Lee Ping,
    I tried the peanut pancake recipe last night. and figure out that my pancake is a little burned. my stove got heated really fast. and also i find that a little bitter since i didnt spread my butter and kaya evenly just in the middle. It isnt a total failure though, i like the crispy side and i hope i can buy the roasted peanut and make it again. Thanks for your prompt reply. and keep your hard work on GOOD Baking job!

  16. Dear Trix,
    I made peanut pancake using the same recipe yesterday. I almost burnt my first pancake! So, I have updated the text in the peanut pancake recipe.

    The next time you try this recipe, make sure you turn down the heat before you put on the lid.

    One other tip, I preheat my small oven. At the completion of a pancake, I put it in there to keep warm. That way, all three of my girls can enjoy their warm pancake at the same time.

    Cooking is lifetime learning. Let’s continue to learn from each other and share our knowledge.

  17. Thanks for your prompt reply.I guess peanut butter made the pancake burned faster. 🙂 I made some coconut tart last night. it turned out to be pretty good May be you can give a try for your lovely kids.:) I will keep checking on your blog. take care!

  18. Dear Mrs HBT, the pictures of your beautiful peanut pancake and kuih lapis is making me feel nostalgic for the good ol’ days when my mum was alive and cycled to town to buy for us the goodies.

    Here’s wishing you and your loved ones a blessed and joyous Christmas and a wonderful new year.
    🙂

  19. Pingback: Chocolate Mousse and Happy Ever After « Stream in the Hip Desert 新沙漠甘泉; Hip Food

  20. Thanks for sharing your delicious chocolate mousse recipe. I will certainly try it one fine day.

    If you like Pannacotta, do try it from one of my previous posts — it has fewer calories as you can leave out the cream. And lay on a topping of burnt caramel or thawed blueberries or raspberries.

  21. Your friend and me must be two of a kind, LOL ! Have to put deep fried banana as another under ‘must try’ list as well as chocolate mousse and strawberry white chocolate mousse

  22. Hi Mrs. HBT (Lee Ping),
    I’m Jessie Lim from Kuala Lumpur. I’m very surprise to find out that your grandparent works in Fraser’s Hill. My uncle works in Whittington bungalow in the late 1950’ till today. The bungalow (Guthrie) has taken over by Sime Darby last year. Regarding about Mallaig Bungalow (shell b’low) in Fraser’s Hill . The Chuan family is the current caretaker. I hope to get more information from my uncle if he comes for visit. Anyway is nice to know about your family background and hope to receive your email soon.
    Best Regards,
    GOD Bless !!
    Jessie Lim

  23. Hi, Mrs HBT!
    Happy Chinese new year of the Rabbit! How are you and your family?
    I would like to make Ma Lai Kou soon but perhaps in a hot water bath in the oven. Hope it works out.

  24. Hi I was introduced to your blog by my cousin Chooi Peng of Colorado . And my father is also from China and settled in Frasers hill way before I was born and my mom worked in parr bungalow next to the golf course . I am now running a nyonya KUIH factory in puchong kl with my eldest sister Peggy .Nice knowing you. Alex HO

  25. Helle i am really glad to have found your blog! I live in Singapore and have been craving for mian jian kuih Malaysian style (with butter/margarine added to the translucent dough while in the pan). Now I know I can recreate it whenever I have the craving! P/s: every time I pass by a good stall in my hometown Ipoh, I’ll stay put and observe them make this. Haha..

  26. Jenny Z

    LeePing,

    I just tried the almond crisps. It is so simple and the kids loved it.
    Thanks! I will try more of your recipes. And thanks for preparing delicious snacks for our prayer meeting. That is one of reasons to keep the kids going.

    Jenny

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