I met a couple of Malaysian girls at a birthday party last weekend. They were not only those super nice and warm people, with whom no one would complain to have met enough; and they were amazing cook as well! I was in awe by the flavorsome food that they made for the party: satay chicken skewers marinated in lemongrass, lime and chili, Malaysian style beef curry that was so rich in flavor with lot of mixed spices I nearly fell of my chair when I tasted the first forkful! I regret so much that I didn’t acquired the recipes, but I will definitely ask them when I next see them!
After the satisfactory meal which completely overwhelmed my taste buds, I had yet to try one of the tastiest cakes. It is called kuih bingka (a popular Malaysian cake) and is made of coconut milk, grated cassava, sugar and eggs. It was moist, soft and sweet and reminded me of a dessert that I always ate when I was a kid living in Macau. So I have been thinking about that cake since the party and I wanted to make one myself.
Since I didn’t have time to visit the Asian grocery store for the cassava, I decided to use semolina flour (Grieß) instead as it is widely available in Germany. After searching for some tips on making semolina cake, I created something different: a moist cake with a subtle coconut flavor and not too sweet.
One thing I like about this cake is it goes well with many things (although eating the cake alone is already a pleasure!) – fruit, ice cream etc. I topped this cake with toasted sesame seeds to give it a little bit nutty flavor and served it with sweet mango sauce with a hint of lime. I am thinking of making a Japanese sweet red bean paste next time to compliment this cake. I will let you know how it goes and will definitely write down the recipe here.
(makes 1 cake)
For the cake:
- 250g Spelt semolina flour (or plain semolina flour)
- 120g Butter plus extra for greasing
- 400ml Coconut milk
- 400ml Water
- 150g Muscovado sugar
- 4 Free-range eggs, beaten
- 1 tsp. Vanilla extract
- 2 large handfuls of sultanas (optional)
- 1-2 tsp. sesame seeds (optional)
For the Mango sauce:
- 1 ripe Mango (a sweet one if you can find)
- Zest of 1 small lime
Preheat oven at 200 degree C. Grease a cake form (21cmx25cm) with butter, set aside. Put the semolina flour into a heavy base saucepan on high heat, stir constantly until golden. Add coconut milk, water and sugar. Turn the heat to medium and stir until the mixture is well combined. ATTENTION: don’t let the mixture boil as it will splash and is extremely hot. I burnt one of my fingers with some splatters from the mixture! So please be careful!
Then remove the pan from the heat and add butter, eggs and vanilla extract (after each addition, mix well before adding the next one). Pour the mixture into the cake tin and sprinkle the sesame seeds on top. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes. Once cooked, remove from the oven and leave the cake to cool down in the tin.
Peel and cut mango in small pieces, leave half of the mango in a bowl and mash the other half with a potato masher.
To serve: cut the cake (with a palette knife so you won’t scratch the tin) in small squares and serve with the mango sauce and mango pieces. Just before serving grate zest of the lime over the mango.