Tuesday, August 3, 2010

huat kway (prosperity cake)




i bought this huat kway (prosperity cake) for $1.40. in those kampong days, most chinese hokkiens made their own huat kway at home. these days, they are manufactured in flatted factories, like those at woodlands link block 15 and gourmet east kitchen at bedok north st 5. sales of these cakes is very good, especially on the 1st and 15th days of the lunar calendar and during the chinese festivals.

i used to watch my mother make bigger ones to be offered to the gods - the more important the god, the bigger the kway. she would use the round, bamboo tray, lined with grease paper (or bread paper) to steam the huat kway. she would hand-beat the flour mixed with dissolved brown sugar - which she called 'black sugar'.



the huat kway would be only considered a success when the top cracked open. so, when she was in the process of making and steaming the cake, we could not mention anything related to the splitting of the cake, otherwise we would be blamed if it turned out rounded. she would use a burning joss-stick to estimate the steaming time. however, she would still stick a chopstick into the cake to check if it was properly cooked. if the dough still stuck to the chopstick, then she would prolong the steaming time by a few minutes.



today, i experimented with making my own huat kway. the ingredients were few and simple. i used self-raising flour, brown sugar and water. instead of using firewood to heat the kwali filled with water and topped with a cover, i used the three-tier electric steamer. as i did not have any bamboo trays, i used whatever holders i could find. i lined the side with grease paper.

5 comments:

doris said...

try the steamed koi nen kueh. the commercial ones are too sweet and don't have enough eggs. you just need self-raising flour, eggs and sugar.

yg said...

doris, will do that.

magi said...

Love it! I always enjoy reading about your trips;)


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