When I was over in PJ few days ago, we ate a lot of good food. We went for our routine breakfast dim sum at 锦选。The dim sum were okay, but the dish that caught my attention the most was their malay cake, or ma lai kou 马来糕 which was light yellow in color. Before trying it out, I was curious as to why it was in that yellow shade, I thought it should be darker brown in color? The few times we had them in Hong Kong, they are always in darker shade. Anyways, I came back and did some surfing about it. All this while, my understanding is that it's not a dish that originates from Malaysia, it's called so because its color resembles the Malaysian skin color? Hahahaaa.. sound a little racism (or skin colorism) thinking about it, but no fret, this is just my personal thought. My hubby didn't actually agree with my thoughts. I tried it and it definitely tastes much better than my expectation. It was very very cottony soft and not too sweet. I told myself I'm gonna go home and try making something similar.
The ones I tried at 锦选 definitely didn't have muscovado sugar 黑糖 in it. Dark muscovado sugar would impart a very distinct taste and color to the cake. But I used it in mine. I tasted a little custard flavor in the ones I tried there. Initially, I wanted to add in custard powder, but when I was at the shop and browsing through the aisle, picked up a packet of custard powder, looked at the ingredient list, it says, 'corn flour, permitted flavoring and fragrance'... I was like, What!? Finally, I decided I wasn't gonna use it. I'll try other means of making my ma lai kou tastes good, instead of loading it with permitted flavoring and fragrance.
Here's my recipe, adapted from Sally's kitchen
This recipe makes 8 malay cupcakes
*If you're using this exact recipe of mine, do not need to cut down the amount of sugar, cos the sugar and cheese counter-balance each other, they are not that sweet. Unless you want to omit the cheese, then you may cut it down.
75g dark muscovado sugar/ molasses powder
60g rice bran oil
65g fresh milk
140g superfine flour, sifted
1.5tsp baking powder *original recipe called for baking powder and baking soda, I omitted the baking soda
3tbsp grated Cheddar
- In a mixing bowl, beat eggs with sugar until sugar is dissolved. Combine ingredients B with the beaten egg mixture.
- Add into ingredients C and combine evenly. Let the batter rest for 20min at room temperature (to allow time for baking powder to activate).
- Divide the batter among the cupcake liner. In a wok with boiling water, steam for 12min.