Monday 1 August 2016

Ondeh-ondeh Cupcakes

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Goodness gracious! It's been a year since I last posted on this blog. Over 12,000 visitors. THANK YOU for dropping in :)

I've been busying myself with learning new skills (baking, parenting and stuff, yeah stuff) and hitting the books. I'm pursuing two new courses that aren't related to each other - one for self improvement and the other to prepare myself for my impending return to the workforce, which I still have no definite date for. More on that later.

Today, it's going to be about cakes. Cupcakes, to be exact. Unless you're a native of Singapore or Malaysia, chances are you would not have heard about this spectacular cupcake - ONDEH-ONDEH CUPCAKE.

I would like to claim it as Malay in origin because it is a re-adaptation of a traditional Malay kuih or cake/cake-like dessert called Ondeh-ondeh, which is a green glutinous rice ball infused with the aromatic pandan (screwpine leaves) juice and filled with organic palm sugar affectionately known as Gula Melaka in Singapore and Malaysia. The ball is then coated with steamed desiccated coconut. The finished texture is chewy like Lamington except that it's a mini ball. When you finally pop it into your mouth, the caramel-like palm sugar will burst like the magical fireworks on the sky above Disneyland. In short, it is insanely delicious.

Ondeh-ondeh, a traditional Malay dessert of
pandan-infused glutinous rice ball with palm sugar filling
(Photo credit: rasamalaysia)

It is worth noting that when I say "Malay" it does not necessarily mean Malaysian in nature because there are many Malays who are not Malaysians, for example Singaporean Malays, Bruneian Malays, South African Malays, Australian Malays, etc. Malay is a race and culture (like Caucasian, Indian, Chinese) whereas, Malaysian is the nationality of one who is a citizen of Malaysia, the country. Confused already? No worries. I'll elaborate more on it in the future. Heheh.

So, back to Ondeh-ondeh :)

Somewhere out there and sometime along the way, someone remodeled this Ondeh-ondeh recipe into a cupcake of great ingenuity. Ondeh-ondeh Cupcake has been particularly popular in Singapore in the last year or so. I have been marveling at all the photos of it on social media before I finally took the courage to bake it for Eid last month. From then on, there's no turning back!

It has to be one of the most amazing cupcakes you will ever make in the history of your baking adventure, especially if you're a fan of coconut. Remember that palm sugar filling and desiccated coconut coating? They're combined to form the filling of this delectable cake.

The first time I made these babies, I decorated the frosting
with a drop of chocolate sauce

You can find the Ondeh-ondeh Cupcake recipe here. I made some modifications to give the cakes my personalised punch and preference (you should be honoured that I'm sharing with you my kitchen secrets. Haha!):

  • I use 3 eggs instead of 2 and I only bake with fresh eggs from our backyard chooks (store bought free range eggs are the next best thing)
  • I beat the eggs first for about 1 minute+, like I always do for all cakes, until they fluff up and increase in volume before adding the rest of the ingredients 
  • I sieve the flour to remove any lumps
  • I melt the butter in the microwave oven ("room temperature" doesn't work in winter!)
  • Save for the beaten eggs at the initial stage, I do not over mix the rest of the ingredients. This is to prevent a disastrous outcome when the cakes are cooked  
  • I reduce the oven temperature to about 165*C and baking duration to about 18 minutes (but your oven may differ in performance)   
  • For the frosting, I use thickened cream (Costco, Woolworths ones are my favourite) with about 4-5 tablespoons of castor sugar and coconut essence. You can do coconut buttercream frosting if you're up for it but I prefer the simple cream version as the cake is already very rich. You don't want the frosting to steal the show. The star of the cake is the filling. 
That filling is wicked. A cupcake like no other. Take my word for it!

I hope you will have a lovely time baking this cake. Let me know how yours turn out :)

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