To those who were expecting another cookie recipe for Ramadhan Baking, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but rest assured that while this isn’t exactly your typical Eid / Hari Raya cuisine, it’s perfect for your next Ramadhan iftar (breaking fast) session with your family. To those who were expecting better photographs with perfect lighting and composition, I’m sorry to disappoint you, but truth be told, this is the second time (and year) I’ve made these and attempted photographing them, and I’ve decided that sharing the recipe is much more important than fretting over exposure and white balance. Most importantly, however, having made this traditional Malay delicacy for two Ramadhans now, I hope you’ll believe when I say that this is definitely far from a disappointment.
While kuih bakar literally means ‘baked cake’ in Malay, bakar also means ‘burnt’, which I believe is also appropriate in describing the signature brown ‘burnt’ crust of this sweet treat. It is typically baked in a large scallop-edged pan, or small flower moulds (akin to the size of a madeleine), with a light brown crust sprinkled generously with sesame seeds, enveloping a soft, chewy and dense sweet interior with a rich pandan (screwpine leaves) flavour and colour. With an immense souffle-like rise of the batter in the oven (look ma, no leavening agent!), and its gradual fall upon cooling, the kuih bakar has a rich texture, somewhat like a cross between a pudding and a cake, only that it’s much richer in taste.
(adapted from here)
1 1⁄4 cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup pandan juice (6 pandan leaves + 1 cup of water – blended)
2 1⁄4 cups coconut milk
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tsp pandan paste
green food coloring (optional)
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 160°C (325°F) and grease a deep 8-inch square pan, or 9-inch round pan.
- Mix all the above ingredients except sesame seeds until well combined.
- Pour mixture into baking pan and sprinkle with some sesame seeds and bake for about 1 hour, or until golden brown and a skewer inserted comes out clean. The batter will rise really high, so don’t be alarmed.
- Leave aside to cool completely (the surface will fall back down) before cutting.
If you can’t get a hold of pandan leaves, just use 1 1⁄2 tsp pandan paste to substitute for the pandan juice.
Previously on Ramadhan Baking:
Brown Butter Buttons