Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Ramadhan Desserts

I am quite the hopeless cook.

I ace at desserts that purely requires baking in an oven. Unfortunately, most of Hubby's favourite desserts for Iftar during Ramadhan usually need some sort of cooking on a stove. For instance, bubur jagung, buah melaka, cucur udang and kek sarang semut. And truth be told, I suck at anything that needs a stove.

However, last Ramadhan, I managed to attempt all four of his favorites. Unexpectedly, each and every one of them tasted quite good, erm except for the bubur jagung, which failed miserably. (Next time remember to include the water within the corn can and dilute the mixture to taste. Poor Hubby, he had to endure a bubur jagung that was so creamy, it must have clogged his artery on the first bite.)

Anyway, I'm sharing recipes for kek sarang semut (also know as kek gula hangus) and cucur udang in this post. Hopefully come next Ramadhan, I can look back at this and give myself a pat on the back for giving it a try!

Kek Sarang Semut (Caramel Honeycomb Cake)

This is not just Hubby's favourite cake, but mine too! My mum used to buy this for me for my after school snacks. I love the chewy texture, the caramalized sugar taste and the unique honeycomb look. Apparently, the chemical reaction from the baking soda produces carbon dioxide, which enlarges bubbles created during mixing of the batter. Hence, to get that honeycomb look, it is prudent to whisk the eggs one by one, and then mix the caramel well into the batter until bubbles are visible. Also, bake the cake in a cold oven to allow the cake batter to warm up, forcing the baking soda to produce gases vigorously, enlarging the bubbles and creating a good rise to the cake before the high heat starts crusting the top of the cake and holding it down.

Sounds complicated? It is really not, because in just one try, the cake turned out beautifully golden and tasty. *drool*

Note: use the same cup for all the ingredients below, for consistency:
1 cup sugar (I used normal coarse kitchen sugar)
1 cup hot water
2 tablespoons butter (such a baking sin, but I actually used Planta!)
4 eggs
1 cup condensed milk
1 cup flour, sifted
2 teaspoons baking soda, sifted
1 teaspoon vanilla essence

Method of Preparation:
  1. Caramalize the sugar over low heat in a saucepan until golden brown. Add the hot water to the caramel. Add the butter and stir until all the butter has melted. Leave to cool.
  2. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs one by one. Add condensed milk and mix well. Add the sifted flour, baking soda and vanilla essence and mix well. 
  3. Add cooled caramelized syrup into the batter. Mix well! Pour into a well greased bake pan (I used 8x8). The batter will be runny.
  4. Leave the batter in the pan for 3-4 hours. (I am not kidding! The longer you leave it, more bubbles are enlarged, hence more honeycombs for your cake.) 
  5. Bake the cake for one hour (mine only needed 45mins) at 160degC in an oven with only the lower heating element on.
  6. Let cake sit for 5-10 minutes before turning it out. You will be smacking the back of the pan quite a bit to get it out. *giggles*

Look at those holes!

I didn't manage to get any 'tunnels' in the cake. Oh well, holes will do just fine.

Cucur Udang (Prawn Fritters)

Next, cucur udang or rather prawn fritters. Frankly, I got quite frustrated with the cucur udang sold at Pasar Ramadhan. Not enough prawns, soggy and quite frankly, expensive too! So when I came across this recipe on Facebook, courtesy of Nieza Nor Hamnira, I decided to give it a try! Can be eaten with either sweet chili sauce or peanut sauce, I decided to make the former.

3 1/2 cups plain flour, sifted
1 tablespoon baking powder, sifted
1 1/4 teaspooons salt
2 tablespoons granulated chicken stock/Pasti Sedap Knorr
3 cups water
Chives (daun kuchai), cut to 1 inch strips
1 handful of bean sprouts
1 carrot, grated thinly
1/2 teaspoon tumeric powder
1 handful of prawns, unpeeled (I cut one large prawn into three pieces)
1 egg
Oil, for deep frying

Method of Preparation: 
  1. In a large mixing bowl, add all the dry ingredients. Gradually add the water and lightly whisked egg. Mix well.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Using a ladle that has been dipped in hot oil, carefully drop the batter into the oil. It should float to the surface pretty quickly. Do not overcrowd the pan, you may have to fry the batter in a few batches.
  3. Turn the fritters occasionally using tongs, to get an even golden brown colour on both sides. They should take about 3-4 minutes to cook through. Remove and drain excess oil on kitchen roll. Dish immediately with the sauce.
  4. Sweet chili sauce: Mix some chili sauce, red chili, one garlic, a bit of vinegar and salt to taste. 

You can also opt not to cut the prawns. Hence one huge chunky prawn per cucur! You can also cut the cucur into pieces.

This was definitely a hit at our house!

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