Updated as of 17 Feb 2015~~
The first impression that kueh lapis give people is… ALOT of work involved and gets intimidated by it. Yes, it does involve slightly more effort than our usual cakes, but considering the exorbitant price that this is being sold outside, I think it’s still worth that every bit to home made one. Especially when you can control the sweetness, taste and all.
If only we had cool weather in Singapore everyday, it would be such a pleasure for baking. When it comes to kueh lapis in particular, where you gotta be facing the oven all the way till it is fully baked, gosh, this is really no joke ! A chilly weather would certainly be helpful, making one less agitated and more patient in completing each layer nicely.
I did a google search of some of the kueh lapis recipes previously and realized that most of them come more or less similar. The only variation lies probably in the sweetness, either from sugar or condensed milk and the type of butter used.
So here are some personal opinions to share :
1) Use only Golden Churn tinned butter as it is very rich, creamy and contains no liquid. This can be found in most supermarkets and baking stores, available in 300 and 454 grams tins size alongside the baking/jams and spread section.
2) Use only fresh big eggs, preferably 60 grams and above in weight for each egg. The key essence in kueh lapis lies in the rich flavor from the eggs and butter, therefore the quality of 2 items are of utmost importance.
3) Ensure that each layer is grilled to a dark brown state (not only golden brown) with the exception of the top most layer, if you prefer clear distinct layers. But be careful to watch out for the darkening of each layer as they browned much faster when more layers are added. The speed that turns the surface from dark brown to charred is a mere 10 seconds. So please remember to take it out once the layer is dark brown in color.
4) Brush each layer with melted butter after each layer to ensure that the cake is kept moist longer.
5) Use only baking paper to line the bottom of the tin and NOT the sides. The high heat from the grilling will charred the paper on the sides way before all the layers are completed.
6) Lapis spice and brandy/rum are optional. Unless you would be making this kueh lapis very often, otherwise, it does not justify to buy a bottle of lapis spice and use only once. Furthermore, lapis spice is a mixture of cinnamon, cardamon, anise and some other spices and they emit a strong pungent taste which some people might not like. Therefore, I omitted these 2 from my kueh lapis but they turn out equally fine.
7) Some prefer to measure each the batter by weight before layering. But I simply use a soup ladle as a gauge. For every layer, I used around 2 scoops.
8) Do not get a shock when you don’t see the layers after un-moulding it from the tin. You need to cut off the four sides of the kueh lapis before the layers will be revealed. Usually the layers are more distinct towards the middle of the cake.
9) The practice of poking each layer with a fork or stick is to ensure that each layer will stick to each other and not fall apart after it is unmould.
10) Using a baking rack to press firmly onto the surface of the kueh lapis for the imprints, aids in cutting the kueh lapis into equal slices thereafter.
11) The cake tastes better after it is left overnight to allow the flavour to be infused into the lapis. So do not be anxious to cut it on the day of baking.
12) For those whose ovens do not have a grill function (upper heat only), there are two ways in which you could still get a grilled top. First, you could adjust your oven rack onto the most upper shelf and place your baking tin to be baked from there. OR second, you could add a plate of water at the bottom of the oven whilst baking so that the the bottom layer of the lapis will not be browned.
13) Always place when baking tin at least 7-8 inches away from the grilling element to prevent the top of the lapis cake getting charred while it is still uncooked.
Hope the above helps in ensuring a good kueh lapis success !
The recipe is embedded below for sharing as well !!
By April 29, 2014Published:
- Yield: 1 8 inch cake (10-12 servings Servings)
- Prep: 60 mins
Updated as of 17 Feb 2015~~ The first impression that kueh lapis give people is... ALOT of work involved and gets intimidated by it. …
- 454 g tinned butter
- 1.5 tbsp condensed milk
- 270 g icing sugar, sifted
- 15 pcs egg yolks
- 0.75 tsp vanilla essence/extract
- 1 tbsp brandy (OPTIONAL)
- 135 g plain flour
- 2.25 tsp lapis spices (OPTIONAL)
- 5 pcs egg whites
- 60 g melted butter
- Combine tinned butter, condensed milk and sifted icing sugar and beat till fluffy. Set aside.
- Beat egg yolks, vanilla and brandy(optional) till thick and creamy. Set aside.
- Combine plain flour and lapis spices and sift well. Set aside.
- Beat egg whites till stiff. Set aside.
- Add the egg yolk batter from Step 2 to the butter batter in Step 1 and mix well. Slowly add in flour mixture from Step 3 and mix well. Last of all, fold in the egg whites mixture and ensure that all the batters are well combined.
- Spread 1 thin layer of the batter into a 8 inch greased and lined (lined only the bottom) baking tin. Bake with 200 degrees C (upper and bottom heat) till dark brown in colour. (This first layer takes approximately longer around, 6-8 minutes for my oven. )
- Remove from oven, prick, press (with a lapis/fondant press) and brush with a little melted butter. Spread another thin layer of batter on top and grill with 220 degrees c, this time using upper heat only, till dark brown. (The grilling time become shorter as more layers are added from 4 to 3 to 2.5 minutes for my oven.)
- Repeat the same way till the last layer. Use 180 degrees (upper and bottom heat) and bake till golden brown.
- Remove and leave to cool.
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