new year cakes 2015

cny cakesHappy Lunar New Year to one and all! May this new year bring good luck, prosperity, joy and peace to you and your beloved!

The mad baking session is finally over. My oven sighs in relief. It’s been working like heck since a week ago. Haha!

The cakes I made this year are brownie cheesecake kukus, sticky date pudding with salted caramel sauce and sugee almond cake.

My brownie cheese cake kukus, the most popular recipe on my blog, is equally popular with my relatives. This one I made is by request of my sister. All through the steaming, I was praying hard:” Please don’t let the gas run out…Please God, please….” Hehe. He surely watched over me. It did not run out. I remember praying this same prayer last year, when I made this cake. Thank you, Lord!

The second cake is also by request from my sister. It is sticky date pudding, made in loaf pan form. The recipe was spotted from Little Teochew, but her site is no longer active. Hence I had a moment of panic since my blog entry for this cake back when I first made it did not list the ingredients but just provided a link and I had no clue how much sugar to use. So from now on, I will post the ingredients and steps, even if there is no adaptation.

Sticky date pudding (adapted from Exclusively Food)

  • 600 grams dates, depitted
  • 624 ml water
  • 2 tsp baking soda
  • 120 grams unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 366 grams all-purpose flour
  • 10 grams baking powder
  • 160 grams brown sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 180 C. Lightly grease 2 loaf tins.
  2. Add dates and water in a medium saucepan. Bring mixture to a boil.
  3. Once it boils, turn off the heat and add in baking soda. The mixture will fizz up. Just stir slowly.
  4. Add in butter and stir till it melts. Set aside to cool.
  5. Once cool, pour date mixture into a blender or processor and blend until still chunky.
  6. Add in eggs and vanilla extract. Blend until fine, or whatever consistency you desire.
  7. In a large bowl, stir flour, salt, baking powder and brown sugar together. Break up any clumps of brown sugar.
  8. Pour date mixture into flour mixture. Whisk gently until combined.
  9. Pour batter into prepared tins and bake for 50 minutes until a skewer in the middle comes out clean.

Salted caramel sauce can be found here.

cny cakes1The third cake I made is sugee almond cake.

The first sugee cake I made in 2012 was not as fragrant, since I did not fry the semolina or toast the almonds. I also remember I could taste the gritty semolina, even though I did mix the semolina with the butter overnight.

This recipe is an improvement, since I cannot taste any gritty semolina, even though it was soaked for only an hour. This is because the semolina was fried this round. So yeah, frying or baking the semolina is absolutely necessary.

Both sugee cakes turn out rather oily, which is expected looking at the ratio of butter to flour.

I still prefer butter cakes. 😛

Sugee almond cake (adapted from Kitchen Tigress)

  • 165 grams unsalted butter
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 105 grams castor sugar, separated
  • 1 tsp golden syrup (I used agave syrup)
  • 2 tsp brandy (I used dark rum)
  • 60 grams semolina
  • 80 grams yolks (I used 83.5 grams)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 80 grams egg whites (I used 83.5 grams)
  • 60 grams almonds, toasted and ground finely
  • 20 grams cake flour
  • 0.5 grams baking soda
  1. Stir fry semolina over low fire until light brown and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
  2. Line and grease a 18 cm round tin.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add butter, salt and 35 grams sugar and mix for 10 minutes until pale yellow and fluffy.
  4. Add in syrup and brandy. Mix until combined.
  5. Add in semolina. Mix until combined.
  6. Scrape into a bowl, cover with cling wrap and set aside for an hour.
  7. Preheat oven to 175 C (160 C if using dark colored tin).
  8. Whisk egg yolks and 35 grams sugar for 10 minutes until pale yellow and thick.
  9. Add in vanilla extract and almonds and mix until combined.
  10. Add in cake flour and  baking soda and mix until combined.
  11. Fold in egg yolk mixture to the semolina butter mixture.
  12. Whisk egg white with remaining 35 grams of sugar until stiff peaks stage.
  13. Fold in egg white to egg yolk butter mixture in 3 additions.
  14. Scrape into prepared tin and bake at for 35-40 minutes, or until a skewer in the middle of the cake comes out clean.

I used rum instead of brandy and agave syrup instead of golden syrup because I did not have those items and I do not want to buy just to use for this cake. I have a cupboard full of liquor and ingredients that still needs using. Can’t keep on adding more and stress out my Dad: “Wow, so much stuff and still buy some more. No space!”

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