On a trip to Kuching, Sarawak, I lugged back some gula apong. This delicious sugar is made from the sap of palm trees and to me, it has a somewhat similar fragrance to gula melaka but with a smokier taste. I like it.
Vanilla swiss roll with gula pong custard
Swiss roll (from Miki’s Food Archives)
- 5 egg yolks
- 41 grams coconut oil
- 50 ml milk
- 3/4 tsp vanilla extract
- 84 grams cake flour
- 5 egg whites
- 85 grams caster sugar
- Line a 15′ x 13′ x 1′ pan, with 1′ overhang on the sides of the pan for easy lifting of the cake out of the pan. Preheat oven to 180 C.
- Mix egg yolks, coconut oil, milk and vanilla extract in a large bowl until combined. Sift in cake flour and mix until smooth. Set aside.
- Beat egg whites until frothy. Gradually add in sugar as you continue to beat, until meringue reaches firm peaks.
- Fold meringue into egg yolk batter in 3 batches. Scrape batter into prepared pan and level it as evenly as you can. It helps to use a plastic dough scrapper.
- Tap pan lightly on work surface 2-3 times. This gets rid of large air bubbles.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes.
- Remove from oven and tap lightly on work surface 2-3 times. This disperses the heat and supposedly reduces shrinkage.
- Remove cake from pan and flip over onto a clean parchment paper. Peel off the bottom parchment paper.
- Roll up cake. Let cool completely before filling.
Gula apong custard
- 300 ml milk
- 4 egg yolks
- 80 grams gula apong
- 15 grams all-purpose flour
- 12 grams corn flour
- Whisk egg yolks with gula apong until smooth.
- Add both types of flour and whisk until combined.
- Boil milk in a saucepan. Turn off heat and rest for 30 seconds.
- Gradually drizzle hot milk into the egg yolks mixture, whisking constantly.
- Pour custard mixture back into the saucepan and cook over a low fire, stirring constantly, until mixture thickens.
- Scrape into a bowl and cover with cling film, making sure the cling firm touches the surface of the custard. This will prevent a skin from forming on the custard.
- Chill in fridge for at least an hour before using.
- Unroll the swiss roll carefully.
- Spread custard evenly over the cake. If you want, you can also add whipped cream on top of the custard.
- Roll up carefully. Wrap with parchment paper, then with a layer of cling film. Chill in the fridge for a day, if you can.
- The amount of custard in the recipe above is double of what I made. I have never made a 15′ by 13′ swiss roll before so I did not know how much filling I needed. There was too little filling in my roll and I had to add whipped cream over the custard.
- The 5 egg recipe is a bit too little for a 15′ by 13′ pan. 6 egg recipe would be better.
I bought the cutest wooden mold for making steamed glutinous rice cake (png kueh) from Taobao. It sat in my cupboard for a few years. I finally decided to stop procrastinating and make png kueh.
Steamed glutinous rice cake (png kueh) (adapted from Paula cooking fingers)
- 100 grams rice flour
- 25 grams tapioca flour
- 25 grams glutinous rice flour
- dash of pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 180-190 ml boiling water
- 2 drops of red food coloring
- 1 1/2 tbsp shallot oil
- In a bowl, whisk all three types of flour, pepper and salt.
- Add red food coloring into boiling water.
- Pour boiling water into flour mixture. Stir gradually with chopsticks until a shaggy dough is formed. Cover with damp cloth and set aside 5 minutes.
- Add in oil and knead until dough forms. It can be sticky, depending on the amount of water you used. I used 190 ml and it was a bit sticky.
- Cover with damp cloth and set aside for 60 minutes.
Yam glutinous rice
- 200 grams glutinous rice, rinsed and drained
- 50 grams yam, cubed
- 100 grams pork, “see no sky” (不见天) cut
- 4 dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in enough hot water to cover
- 15 grams dried shrimps, soaked in enough hot water to just cover
- 50 grams braised peanuts
- 250 ml konbu shrimp mushroom stock
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 shallots, minced
- 1 tbsp fish sauce
- 1 tbsp light soya sauce
- 1/2 tbsp Shaoxing Hua Tiao wine
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 1 tsp salt
- Prepare steamer with enough water to boil for 25 minutes.
- Boil 220 ml of water with 2 strips of dried konbu. Set aside.
- Drain shrimps and dried mushrooms. Add the soaking water into konbu stock. Top up with water to 250 ml if needed.
- Cut pork, mushrooms and dried shrimps into small pieces.
- In a wok, heat olive oil until hot.
- Add in garlic and shallots and fry until fragrant.
- Add in yam cubes and fry for 2 minutes.
- Add in pork, dried shrimps and mushrooms and fry for 2-3 minutes.
- Add in glutinous rice and seasoning. Fry until well mixed.
- Turn off fire and add in braised peanuts. Mix to combine.
- Pour into shallow steaming pan and steam for 15 minutes on high heat.
- Let cool completely before using.
- 2 tbsp shallot oil for glazing
- Divide dough into 6 pieces.
- Dust mold with tapioca flour.
- Flatten dough between 2 sheets of plastic. Flour hands to prevent sticking.
- Add 2 tbsp of yam glutinous rice in the middle of the dough. Wrap up to form a triangle.
- Gently squish the rice cake into the mold. Knock mold on the table to turn out the kueh. Place on a greased steaming plate.
- Steam on high heat for 8 minutes and low heat for 5 minutes.
- Glaze with shallot oil.
I made my own braised peanuts for this recipe.
- 200 grams shantung peanuts
- 2 tbsp dark soya sauce
- 1 tbsp light soya sauce
- 1 tbsp dark brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp ground white pepper
- 2 cloves garlic, flattened with a cleaver
- 1 star anise
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 3 cloves
- 1 bay leaf
- 250 ml water
- Rinse and drain peanuts.
- Mix all sauces, sugar and pepper in a bowl. Stir well to dissolve sugar.
- Add everything into a pot. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 2 hours.
The kueh skin is soft, bouncy and has good texture. It does not stick to the teeth. My mum loves it! The yam glutinous rice is flavorful and not too greasy. I only used 1/2 of the yam glutinous rice for wrapping.
A great big thanks to paula cooking fingers for sharing this wonderful recipe.
Yam (taro) is one of my favorite root vegetable. It is, however, difficult to choose a good one. You need to choose one that is light in weight for it’s size, and with no darker spots on the skin. It is easy to miss out on the dark spots, which usually means there is some rotting. In the end, you could end up discarding at least 1/3 of the yam.
Once you’ve got a good one, the yam cake, yam rice or even yam paste made is simply scrumptious.
Yam cake (adapted from Bake For Happy Kids)
- 5 tbsp olive oil
- 6 shallots, sliced thinly
- 340 grams yam, cubed
- 110 grams rice flour
- 660 ml konbu, shrimp and mushroom stock
- 50 grams dried shrimps, soaked in enough hot water to just cover them
- 30 grams dried shiitake mushrooms, soaked in enough hot water to cover
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground white pepper
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp salt
- 2 tbsp toasted white sesame seeds
- Fry shallots in oil until browned. Drain fried shallots and set aside. Keep 2 tbsp of shallot oil for glazing cake and greasing pan.
- Boil 550 ml of water with 2 sticks of dried konbu.
- Grease a 6 or 7 inch round pan with shallot oil. Set aside. Prepare steamer with enough water to steam for 70 minutes.
- Drain dried shrimps and mushrooms. Pour soaking water into konbu stock. Top up to 660 ml with water if needed.
- Chop dried shrimps and mushrooms into small pieces.
- Blend 140 grams of yam with 300 ml of stock and rice flour. Pour in remaining stock, mix well and set aside.
- Heat remaining shallot oil in a large wok. Add in garlic and fry until fragrant.
- Add in 300 grams yam and fry for 2 minutes. Do not let yam cubes brown.
- Add in dried shrimps, mushrooms and fry for 3 minutes.
- Add in seasoning. Fry until mixed well.
- Add in blended yam stock and fry until mixture thickens to coat spatula thinly.
- Scrape batter into prepared pan. Cover top of pan with aluminum foil.
- Steam on high heat for 60 minutes. On the 50th minute, remove aluminum foil.
- Glaze generously with shallot oil. Garnish with fried shallots and toasted sesame seeds. Let cool until yam cake is set.
The above recipe makes a slightly soft yam cake. So do not cut it until it is set. When just out from the steamer, it seems very soft. It is best to let it cool down completely before slicing. I let the yam cake cool, then placed it in the fridge overnight.
While waiting for the yam cake to set, make the dipping sauce.
Bean paste dipping sauce (adapted from Bake For Happy Kids)
- 1/2 tbsp salted soya bean paste (tau cheu)
- 30 grams dark brown sugar
- 1/2 tbsp light soya sauce
- 3/4 tbsp dark soya sauce
- 75 ml water
- 1 tsp corn flour
- Mash soya bean paste well using a pestle.
- Add in sugar, light and dark soya sauce, water and corn flour. Mix well.
- Pour into a saucepan and cook over low fire, until sauce thickens a bit.
The sauce is super delicious! When you buy yam cake from hawker centres, the sauce given is usually sweet bean paste sauce that is a dark reddish color. It is quite sweet without much fragrance.
For those who need chilli, eat with dried shrimp chilli paste.
The bulk of the work in making this cake is the chopping. I made this on the same day with Teochew rice cake (png kueh) and I chopped ingredients until my finger went numb.
The taste, though, makes all the effort worth it. It is not easy to find good yam cake and rice cake in the hawker centres now.