Thursday, October 20, 2011

I made it to another round of challenge with Bingka Ubi (Baked Tapioca Kueh)

It is a stretch of 4 off day for my kids as it is blocked off as PSLE marking days. I am pretty happy with the "off" because I am planning to do more by staying up since I need not wake up early to send boy to school. Furthermore, hubby will be outstation so no one to bug me to sleep. *sigh* but my body cannot take it. Cannot deny I am not young anymore.

I have wasted last night and so tonight I am going to update this post while it is still hot! Bingka Ubi was made today! Bingka Ubi's mandarin translation is "烤木薯糕" (baked tapioca kueh - if translated into English from Mandarin).

I love any form of tapioca - in form of chips (spicy or bitter), in its original form steamed and eaten with grated coconut or baked. Me and my mother were having trouble getting tapioca. The NTUC is not selling it, so we have to depend on the wet market. After a few tries, she finally saw it yesterday and she has bought some for me. The amount is enough to make a quarter of the recipe in the book. Luckily a quarter, I am already having trouble finishing them as me and my mother (maybe my girl) will be the only one eating the kueh.

I took probably 45 minutes to grate 450g of tapioca using the mini grater that is sold in NTUC. Quite alright as I have set aside time for this bake today. After that, the steps are easy. Just mix all ingredient and heat the mixture till thick then off it went into the oven. As I did not want to burn the mixture, I use a really small heat so it took quite a while of constant stirring before the mixture seemed to dry up abit. While the mixture is in oven, the whole house smelled of coconut milk (windows are all closed as it was raining heavily). I love it.

However, I think I overbaked my kueh. So disappointed that after all these years of baking, I can still overlook the relationship of baking time and amount of bake. I knew I overbaked, but did not realise I should have adjust the time based on amount of bake. I simply followed the required time to bake which was 95 minutes for a 10" round tray while mine was only an oval pie dish! Furthermore, I only realised the mistake when I was blog hopping just now and chanced upon other bloggers' Bingka Ubi baked under 1 hour for a smaller amount. I can only console myself that I did not think much as I tried to follow as close to the instructions as possible since this is a new bake. Luckily I know how to tent my kueh but I tented it too late. It started browning after 10 - 15 minutes. However I am afraid it will not bake well if I tent it too early (with respect to the 95 minutes baking time). So I had a very brown skin Bingka Ubi, rather tough skin but the inside is still soft and chewy. It also has a natural yellow colour even though the tapioca is whitish. It got its colour from the gula melaka. Good thing I did not use yellow coloring. I also reduce the sugar and the sweetness is just perfect for me.

Here's my pie dish of Bingka Ubi (ya, that corner went into my mouth).

See the dry top. But the inside is a nice yellow. (ok, now you see how dark the base is.)

I ate 1/3 of it and my mother took another third. The last third is in my fridge now. Anyone can advise me how long can I keep them both in room temperature and the fridge?

Ok, here is the recipe from Tempting Kuih(chinese title : 茶粿香), complied by Wong Kee Sun, published by ONE PUBLISHER, library call number : 641.86 AZI - [COO]


1800 gm tapioca (grated)
500 ml thick coconut milk
400 ml water
300 gm gula Melaka
150 gm  castor sugar
50 gm milk powder
80 gm butter
1 1/2 tsp fine salt
Little yellow colouring

1. Combine all ingredients stir till even.
2. Stir over heat till mixture is almost thick.
3. Pour into a 10" round mould and bake at 180dC for 95 minutes.

Note :
1. Brush mould with butter at sides and bottom.
2. If prefer a yellow kuih, use 450 gm castor sugar and little yellow colouring.

Note by self to self :
Only made a quarter of the recipe as follows :-

450 gm tapioca (grated)
125 ml thick coconut milk
100 ml water
75 gm gula Melaka
37.5 gm  castor sugar (I use only 30 gm for convenience)
12.5 gm milk powder
20 gm butter
1/8 + 1/4 tsp fine salt

The pot of mixture ready to go on stove
The ring of rainbow after I washed the pot

It is a pity my dh only comes back on Friday night. Not sure if I shall keep a piece for him to taste test, but surely no point since it will not be as tasty as when it is fresh from oven.
*sigh* I still do not understand why are my kids rejecting gula Melaka.

I am so happy that I am able to submit this to Aspiring Bakers #12: Traditional Kueh (October 2011), hosted by Small Small Baker.

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Birthday cake for my mother

I seldom succeed in getting a homemade birthday cake ready on time for that special day of anyone... however this time, I delivered the cake to her on the day of my mother's birthday! I am so proud of myself. Haha.

This is a very simple all in recipe, so I gamely try it out as a birthday cake. The recipe asked that all the ingredients be thrown into a food processor and then just bake and decorate. Sounds so easy right? But I do not have food processor and I think the KA can do the job. The recipe is for a 4 layers cake and I half the recipe since I wanted to make a 2 layer one (* struggling to keep awake *).

Even though the butter is relatively soft, after some mixing, there are still cubes of butter not blended into the batter. I chose to leave it because I am worried about the gluten forming when flour is over beaten. But this recipe uses self raising flour .... does this applies to self raising flour too? I am also too lazy to lay the baking paper properly, so I just simply fold and tug to cover the 8 inch tray. I thought the batter would turn more "watery" and then will press out the folds but I was wrong.

The "naked" cake ended up looking like this.

Then I happily (dozed off for a while while writing!) prepare frosting. I did not use the recommended buttercream since I wanted to finish my whip cream in the freezer. I beat the whipping cream with my hands, so tired but I push myself and when finally done, I pour cooled melted chocolate into the cold whipped cream. I am sure all of you know what happens after that. This mistake is the 2nd time. The first time, I pour cool melted chocolate into the whipped cream when I served them ice cream like that of chocolate syrup... but the melted chocolate hardens upon touching the cold whipped cream. I can not imagine I can forget the mistake and made same one again. So in the end, the frosting was a whipped cream with bits of chocolate. Well, 另類 frosting then.

The cake was very sweet. I dare not reduce any sugar as I am afraid the cake will taste bitter if there was not enough sugar to compensate. The inside looked presentable but the cake is on the dry side and crumbly. However, it taste very good with the whipped cream. This is how my decorated cake looked like.

The recipe is taken from BBC Australian Good Food April 2011

Layered Easter Chocolate Cake 
Serves 12 Prep 20 mins plus cooling
Cook 35 mins 
Super Easy, Family favourite

1 1/2 cups (225g) self raising flour
1 1/4 cups (275g) firmly packed brown sugar
250g unsalted butter, softened
75g dark chocolate, melted
1/2 cup (50g) cocoa 
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
16 mini Easter eggs, to decorate

Ganache icing
1/2 cup (80ml) cream
160g dark chocolate, chopped

buttercream filling
375g unsalted butter, softened
500g pure icing sugar
1/2 cup (80ml) milk

1. Preheat oven to 180C or 160C. Grease and line two 20cm round pans.

2. Place flour, sugar, butter, chocolate, cocoa, baking powder, vanilla, eggs and 2 tbsp water in a food processor and process until smooth. Spoon into pans, level surfaces and bake for 35 mins, until a skewer inserted into centre comes out clean. Stand for 5 mins, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely.

3. Meanwhile, to make icing, heat cream in a small pan on medium. Bring to boil. Remove from heat and add chocolate. Stand for 2-3 mins, until chocolate is melted. Whisk until smooth. Stand for 20 mins. until cooled slightly and thickened. 

4. To make buttercream filling, use an electric mixer to beat butter until as white as possible. Alternately beat in sugar and milk, starting and finishing with a little sugar.

5. Using a bread knife, split each cake into two layers. Sandwich together all four layers with buttercream. Top with ganache and decorate with Easter eggs. Serve.

For those interested in the texture inside, I hope the picture can help a little.

Phew, I have finally managed an easy birthday cake on time for someone's birthday!

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