Monday 7 March 2016

Steamed Layered Coconut Cake 九层糕 (Kueh Lapis)

I was not a fan of steamed kueh lapis (coconut layered cake) when young. I think one of the reasons could be the cake my mom bought was not authentically made with rich coconut milk. However, I was always fascinated by the beautiful colour of the cake. 

My opinion of steamed kueh lapis took a turn after I've tasted the good cake sold by Bengawan Solo. I love this simple soft but a little chewy cake that has a rich coconut milk taste. Peeling off the cake layer by layer has always been the fun of eating this cake, provided you really have the time (^_^)v
For a healthier option, the recipe I followed, used coconut milk instead of coconut cream, and added less sugar, which made this recipe "leaner" in taste. As age catches up, health matters more than taste  (*^^*)

Yield: one 13 cm round cake
Mould size: 13.5 cm round mould

Ingredient A
200g water
200g* coconut milk
40g^ fine sugar
Pinch of salt
2 blades pandan leaves

Ingredient B
90g rice flour 
60g tapioca starch

Ingredient C
Red food coloring 

* 200 ml of coconut milk is closed to 200g = 1 small cartoon

^ increase the sugar to 50 or 60g for a sweeter cake.

1. Coat a cake pan with mild flavour cooking oil, and line the base with parchment paper. Set aside.

2. Mix ingredient B together and set aside.

3. Heat ingredient A till sugar melts and little bubbles can be seen. Set aside to cool down to almost room temperature.

4. Remove the pandan leaves and pour ingredient B to A, mix well. Strain the mixture to get a smooth batter.

While straining the batter, take note of the weight of the batter collected. This helps in calculating and dividing the red and white batters later.

5. Divide the mixture into 4:5 ratio. Leave the smaller portion as white batter, and the bigger portion as red batter. Add red food colouring to the bigger portions.

Total batter weight: 566g

White batter: 4/9 x 566 = 252 g
Each layer weight: 63 g

Red batter: 5/9 x 566 = 314g
Each layer weight: 63 g

6. Steam the greased cake pan at medium high heat for about 3 minutes.
For Roman steamer, just turn the timer  knob to "on" and wait for it to give several "beeps" indicating the water has been heated up.

7. Pour about 1/5 or 63g of the red batter to the hot cake pan and steam for about 4 minutes, or till the layered is firm.
For Roman steamer, just turn the timer to 40 minutes, for continuous steaming.

8. Pour in 1/4 or 63g of the white batter and steam for 4 minutes.
Alternate between the two batters, till finish both batters.

9. Steam the final layer for 12 minutes. 
For Roman steamer, top up the steamer with more hot water, and restart the steamer. Turn the timer to 12 minutes. 
Optional, you can add a bit more colour to the batter of the last layer.

10. Let the cake cool down completely before removing it out of the mould (about 4 hours later).

Press the edge of the cake to dislodge it from the wall of the mould.

Cut the cake by pressing the knife down the cake without the sawing motion.

I wrap the individual cake with cling wrap for easy handling and keeping :)

Recipe adapted from
with appreciation :)

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