Gula Melaka Huat Kueh (椰糖發糕)

When I was little, I remember Huat Kueh (literally translates to 發糕 from Hokkien) as a compulsory item during the Chinese religious prayers that symbolizes prosperity and wealth. It’s typically sold at nonya kueh stalls together with many other vibrantly colored kuehs and is easily recognizable by its rich deep brown hue and its signature quarter splits that resembles a flower blossom (發!). Homemade versions have a lighter brown color derived naturally from Gula Melaka (coconut palm sugar) and is much softer, spongier and richer in flavor. The challenge, however, is always trying to achieve the perfect “blossom” of the kueh, which requires a strong heat (and powerful steam) to blast the flower “petals” open. Aside from its nice spongy texture and fine taste, this recipe also works relatively well in creating create those blossoms. Apart from a couple that split into halves, most of the batch split into 3 or 4 pretty petals. Awesomeness!

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The ones that didn’t blossom well turned into a cartoon.

Ingredients
450g Plain flour (sifted)
300g Gula Melaka
1 1/2tbsp Double-acting baking powder
150g granulated sugar
680g coconut milk
3 eggs

Directions
1. Combine coconut milk, gula melaka and sugar and cook over medium heat. Bring to a boil and leave to cool.
2. Add in flour into the cooled mixture and whisk to combine. Add in egg one by one and further whisk till well mixed.
3. Pour mixture into lined metal cup moulds and steam over hard boiling water for 15-20mins.

Tips
1. Do not open lid of steamer while steaming to retain as much steam as possible.
2. To create the flower blossom, dip a small spatula into vegetable oil and cut an X-shape through the batter.

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