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Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mah Lai Koh - Dark Coloured Version

This is a lovely Mah Lai Koh recipe which I have kept for umpteen years [about 15-20 years].  If I remembered correctly this is one of Amy Beh's recipe in the newspaper.  I purposely bought my first bamboo basket because of this cake.  Have been using it so often until finally it 'died' of old age.  Then, I bought a replacement but of different quality [cheaper type] which I did not like so I stopped making this cake. 
Since making the Ma Lai Koh [light coloured version] which I don't really fancy.  I have this urge to make this dark version cake to share eventhough I know there are many who may have this similar recipe.  I make use of a smaller bamboo steaming tray and steamed the balance batter using jelly moulds. 
Ingredients - A
150 gm plain flour - sifted
2 tbsp sugar
1 tsp instant yeast
75 ml lukewarm water
  • Mix all ingredients well until smooth.  Keep in a container with tight lid for at least 12 hours or overnight [My opinion, this step is very important, the texture of the steamed cake depends on how well this yeast dough rises].
Ingredients - B
180 - 200 gm castor sugar
35 gm custard powder - sifted to with
35 gm high protein flour/strong flour
2 tbsp milk powder
Ingredients - C
5 eggs beaten lightly with a fork
150 ml corn oil
2 tsp alkaline water
Ingredients - C
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 - 3/4 tsp bicarbonate of soda

a 20 cm bamboo basket or 20 jelly moulds
  1. Line bamboo basket with parchment paper or line jelly moulds with paper casings.
  2. Place risen dough in the mixing bowl of a food processor.  Using a dough blade, blend well with sugar then add in sifted dry ingredients [custard powder, flour and milk powder].  Continue to mix until well combined.
  3. Change dough blade to a balloon whisk.  Add in beaten eggs gradually while beating.  Whisk till batter is creamy and light [about 10 minutes on high speed].    Batter must not be lumpy at this stage.  Drizzle in oil, then alkaline water.  Continue to mix well.  Lastly sift in baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.  Mix well.
  4. Cover and leave batter to rise for at least 2 hours.
  5. Pour batter into prepared basket or moulds.  Steam over rapid boiling water on high heat for 40 minutes  [bamboo basket] and 20-25 minutes [for small moulds].

  • I used a 18 cm bamboo basket and 10 jelly moulds.  I think it is best to steam in a 20 cm bamboo basket for 40-45 minutes.
  • Steamed food/kuihs do not keep long in humid temperatures/warm weather.  Best to finish within 1-2 days otherwise keep in airtight container and refrigerate.  Thaw to room temperature before serving.


WendyinKK @ Table for 2..... or more said...

It's very frustrating when the favourite kitchen tool dies on you and there's no replacement.

lilyng said...

omg, i was looking for this recipe which i have lost and thank you for sharing. I made it when i had the newspaper clipping but left it in my friend's house. I really liked it alot. Is there is typo error - 2 tsp alkaline water

Kimmy said...

Hi Lily, you're welcome. The quantity is correct.

Anonymous said...

Hi,i tried this recipe. However the mixture on the starter dough (water vs flour) a bit dry. Water added :-(. Is there typo?
How is the dough texture?
Also, how the darker color comes about? My end product is yellow. JJ

Kimmy said...

Hi JJ, mix the starter dough well, is just moist, after resting it's frothy [see photo on yeast dough]. The darker colour is from the alkaline water and steaming. Make sure the steaming is over high heat and timing varies with the size of the molds used.

Lin said...

Hi can I use hongkong flour? To make the cake lighter?

Kimmy said...

Hi Lin, you can try but with high protein flour, it's also light if the cake turns out well.

vien said... it normal for the pre ferment to have a very strong yeasty smell? I ferment it for 12 hours. The final batter still has a yeasty smell despite of the 2 teaspoon of lye water.
It's 1/2 hour since being cling wrapped . Is it okay if I add in vanilla essence or rum to rid the yeasty smell? Thanks.

Kimmy said...

Hi Vien, I have not tried adding vanilla or rum. The steamed cake doesn't taste yeasty at all.

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