Friday, June 09, 2017

Baking with the Expert; Joyce's Mother in Law @ Cavin's Kitchen

Before the start of the new lunar year, two homemade items would definitely appear at my parents' place; a big tub of pineapple tarts and one full kueh lapis from my sister's mother-in-law (MIL)! 

Knowing i have an interest in baking (she tried my banana cake before), the guru decided to pop by my house, with her barang barang, to teach me her secret recipe! She complained that age has resulted in deteriorating eyesight and it's about time to "transfer her powers" to the younger generation. 

A professional is a professional - we started the baking process almost immediately after she stepped in and maybe just to let you know that i am not sharing the recipes; not until i have tried a few rounds and perfected them myself. However, this chronological post is essential for me as a source of reference. 

Pineapple tart pastry was done and according to the MIL, we would need to put the covered pastry in the fridge for a minimal of 30 minutes! An ingredient, to make the pastry crispier, was missing as it's something that cost quite a bit and we would only be using a teeny weeny bit. 

Time wasn't wasted and the MIL continued her workflow with 17 eggs! Yes, for those who are unaware, the recipe for kueh lapis uses a ton of eggs; our recipe calls for 5 whole eggs and 12 yolks! 

A few ingredients were necessary; a bit of vanilla essence, some sponge gel (not sure what that is but it does look like orange kaya) and the rempah kueh powder which gives the kueh lapis its flavour.

Mixing with my Sensonic Stand Mixer; the MIL was super impressed with the stand mixer, especially when she heard that it only cost me S$99! If anyone chances upon the same deal, can let me know?! 

Jumping to pineapple tart again - pouring pineapple juice into the store bought pineapple paste! Now i know why my sister's MIL pineapple tarts had such moist paste!  

The Sensonic Stand Mixer was done with her job and the MIL poured the batter into a wide-bottom stainless steel pan. Almost bought it at Phoon Huat this evening but i figured it would be too inconvenient for me in the crowded train.

Blending the cold butter just very lightly with the sugar and condensed milk as we would still require the texture to be harder.

I am following the recipe blindly, as instructed, although being an efficient person who is always looking at cutting steps in processes, i wonder if i could bring the butter to room temperature and blend it longer for a lighter texture for easy mix in. 

Nevertheless, i could experience in the future, so long i have sufficient guinea pigs. Time to start the laborious layering of the kueh lapis! 

Melted chocolate sauce - according to the MIL, it's to add colours to the layers and it's something you couldn't really taste when you eat the kueh lapis as the rempah kueh powder would overpower it.

Open the oven, take out the pan, lightly press the lapis, gently brush the baked layer with chocolate, add another layer, put it in the over and the process repeats itself until you are done with all the batter! 

It's tiring and i totally lost track of the number of layers for the kueh lapis! Furthermore, i am not exactly a gentle person and it's hard to control my strength in pressing each layer and brushing with chocolate sauce. Practice shall make perfect, i hope. 

Flattening and rolling the pineapple tart pastry! 

Usually, i am quite lazy to use the pattern mould as i assumed it's easier to roll the pastry into a ball. The advantage to using the mould is that the tarts would be more stable and would not roll all over the baking pan.

Another obvious advantage is that they look nicer too! 

Given the higher moisture content in the pineapple paste, we can also pipe it! That's actually easier than having to roll and weigh the ball of pineapple paste for each tart. 


See how pretty they look! 


Kueh lapis was ready and i am shocked to see the MIL taking out the knife to separate the edges from the sides of the baking pan! So hot!!! 

The nicely square-grill pattern on the kueh lapis was due to the metal mesh and you have to do it when the cake was still fresh out of the oven! Given my butter fingers, i can guarantee you that my first few tries would result in burns on my fingers and hands. 

Not too bad except for the bottom which was overcooked as the MIL was using my oven for the first time and as we all know, the control of temperature is key for baking! 

Same goes for the pineapple tarts - the pineapple paste was slightly overcooked and they didn't feel as moist as they should. Whatever the case, it's a matter of practice!

Big thanks to my sister's mother in law for her time and patience to impart her skills to me! Hope i don't disappoint her! :) 

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