We have been making these little delights lovingly known as Huat Kueh locally for as long as I can remember. In the beginning, we could not get the right proportions and I recall having many of the cakes for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I can proudly say that we have nailed the right recipe and I am sharing it with those who love this little cake.
Huat Kuehs are basically coconut palm sugar steam cakes. The local name means Prosperity cakes and can commonly be seen during praying rituals as offerings to the gods or ancestors. These are also used in some Chinese New Year gatherings to symbolise good luck.
This is a fairly simple recipe. You will need 1 KG of self raising flour, 400 ml of coconut cream ( seen in packet form here ) and 1 litre of coconut palm sugar liquified ( Gula Melaka ). I used pre-packed coconut cream here as I had no stock of the fresh ones although you can use the fresh ones as well (the cakes will be more fragrant). The coconut palm sugar can be found in any provision shop but I usually get my stocks from Malacca as they sell the ones which taste the best; sweet with strong coconut fragrant.
You will need to sift the flour for a smooth consistency.
Next, mix in the coconut sugar slowly. Do not mix in the liquid all at once as this will cause the mixture to be all lumpy and difficult to handle.
When you have mixed in half of the sugar, mix in all of the coconut cream.
Mix until the entire mixture is completely smooth and free of lumps. The consistency of the mixture is thick but still in the liquid form almost looking like a more liquid version of peanut butter.
I use these little tin containers to hold the paper cups for the mixtures. You can choose other containers like muffin containers.
I use these pretty paper cups for the mixture for easy removal of the steam cakes and a better presentation to give away the cakes. Do bear in mind to only use paper cups which are not waxed. There are some muffin paper cups which are waxed inside and this will prevent the cakes from rising properly.
We steam the cakes in these traditional Chinese steamers.
One small tip to help the cakes rise better, only put on the cakes when the water has boiled. If the cakes are put on when the water has not yet boiled, the cakes will not rise.
The cakes takes about 25mins to cook. You should see that the top of the cakes has risen into nice peaks like small flowers. To test if they are fully cooked, you can poke the middle of the cake with a chopstick or baking tester. Once the tester is clean with no wet mix stuck to it, the cakes are done.
These little delights are great for breakfast or as a snack with coffee or tea. Not too sweet but strong with coconut fragrance and creaminess, these can be quite addictive. It is not heavy on the stomach as there is no butter or oil added. However, as the sugar is high in this dessert, do limit your intake as well.
Side note: The bursting of the skin of the cake causes these beautiful peaks looking flowers is the exact reason why it is named the Huat Kueh. The better the spilt, the better the prosperity! Happy baking.
This recipe makes 18 cakes based on paper cups base sized 5.5cm
- 1Kg self raising flour
- 400 ml of coconut cream ( fresh or packet )
- 1litre of coconut palm sugar ( approximately 800 grams of coconut sugar melted down)