Last year, I visited Penang Island on my vacation. This island is part of Malaysia and one of the main things I wanted to bring back home from my trip was a Roti Jala bottle. This is a special bottle with multiple spouts to make the famous Malay pancakes/flatbread. Malaysian cuisine is one of my faves and I had been wanting to try this recipe for a few years. I had made it with a work around, but I still wanted to get the bottle. After checking out the malls and seeing no sign of it, I asked my hotel and they told me to try Chowrasta Market. Chowrasta is the largest community market where you can get everything from clothes to fresh fish. I looked and not a sign of it. Finally, strolling around I came upon completely by accident a culinary superstore called POTS. Any type of culinary gadget you need for either home use or commercial can be found at POTS. I got my Roti Jala mold and when strolling around the store also picked up the molds to make these Malaysian Puteri Ayu – Steamed Pandan Sponge Cake.
When I picked up these molds, I had never even heard of this dessert and had no idea what it was. However, since I knew I wouldn’t have the opportunity again to visit the store again, I wanted to pick up other things that were small and easy to pack and unique to Malaysia. There were so many things I was tempted to get, but I had to be mindful of the space in my suitcase. Trust me, you can ask Pradnya who I next visited in Mumbai and she can tell you how packed my suitcase was. When you are traveling around 4 countries on one trip, you want to pick up unique things from each country. From blue pea flower to Thai curry paste and gifts to bring back home, my suitcase was practically bursting at the seams. When I saw the label that said Kuih Ayu mold, all I knew is that I am sure it would be something interesting and delicious – after all it’s Malay cuisine – one of my faves! After doing a bit of research, I learned that it is more commonly called Puteri Ayu and I adapted this recipe to finally try working with the molds.
Unfortunately, I don’t know where else you can get the mold in the US, so when you make it to Malaysia be sure to find a cooking store so you can get them. In the meantime, you can use silicone muffin molds as a substitute, although they won’t have the traditional shape to it. Indonesia also has a lot of similar dishes to Malaysia with slightly different names, so you might be able to find it if you visit Indonesia, but I can’t guarantee it!
This is a great treat for Valentine’s Day…for those non chocolate lovers. It’s quick and easy and works just as well in silicone muffin molds. As far as sweet treats go, this is a pretty low fat option so your waistline does not have to suffer…just because it’s Valentine’s Day! Truth be told, these light and airy sponge cakes are perfect for any occasion!
Malaysian Puteri Ayu - Steamed Pandan Sponge Cake
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 cup sugar + 1 teaspoon
- 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
- 1 teaspoon cream of tartar
- 1 1/4 cups all purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup coconut milk + 2 tablespoons
- 3 pandan leaves
- 1/2 teaspoon pandan paste or green food coloring
- 3 tablespoons frozen grated coconut defrosted
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon dessicated coconut
- Combine pandan leaves and ½ of the coconut milk in a blender or food processor. Blend for a few minutes. Strain with a fine mesh strainer and reserve the coconut milk.
- In a small bowl, combine coconut, 1 teaspoon sugar and cornstarch.
- Brush the molds with oil. Sprinkle a little of the coconut mixture into each mold. Sprinkle the dessicated coconut.
- Press one mold into each other so that the coconut really sticks to the bottoms.
- In a large bowl, whisk the eggs and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy.
- Add baking powder, cream of tartar, flour, salt and pandan coconut milk. Whisk until thoroughly combined. Add additional coconut milk and whisk until smooth.
- Fill each mold with some of the batter.
- Cook in a bamboo steamer for 10 minutes.