Kek Sarang Semut

October 13th, 2013

kek sarang semut

I made this ‘ants nest cake’ about a couple of month ago and Little Bee loved it. As tomorrow will mark the Day of Arafat, marking the final day of Haj, I decided to make kek sarang semut, so I could have something sweet at the end of sahur (morning meal before the start of fasting) and for iftar, when I break my fast… plus Little Bee would love it for pudding.


200g caster sugar
250ml water
20g butter
4 eggs
2tbsp condensed milk
150g flour
1tsp bicarbonate soda

  1. Heat the sugar in a pan. Once melted with a slightly burnt smell, carefully add the water and dissolve the sugar. Add butter and set it aside to cool down.
  2. Whisk the eggs and add the condensed milk, flour and bicarbonate soda. Once whisked through, add the melted sugar.
  3. Pour the mixture into a greased baking tray and leave it to stand for a couple of hours.
  4. Prepare the steamer and steam the mixture for about 1 hour 15 minutes.

That’s it really. Once it’s cooled down, it’s ready for you to demolish it.

sarang semut mixture

sarang semut mixture


steaming in the steamer

sarang semut

didn’t turn out smooth today

kek sarang semut

but still turned out yummy

I think most recipes will use about 1/2 cup of condensed milk but I find it that too sweet! But you can add more if you have a sweet tooth :)

Trial – Kek Sarang Semut

August 17th, 2013

kek sarang semut

It is named sarang semut cake as… when you cut it… it looks like an ants nest.

kek sarang semut

It has been years and years since I made this cake. And I did promise my friend Jue that I would make it for the makan meet up yesterday but… laziness struck. Well, actually lack of time and tiredness rather than laziness but if I did have more energy, I would have made it. It just takes a long time… the waiting that is and the steaming.

But when I woke up this morning I decided to give it a go.

Since I haven’t made it since I was a teenager… the recipe is, at the moment, guess work and boy is it sweet! I’ve just put on 5kg just eating a couple of slices!!! Need to tweak the measurements a bit before I could offer it as consumption… but it is still nice to have with a nice cup of hot tea.

kek sarang semut

Little Bee says it’s spongy… like Spongebob ;)

Tepung Pelita Test

August 10th, 2013

I bought a bag of banana leaves as I wanted to make otak otak… which is actually wrapped in coconut leaf but I didn’t know where to get coconut leaves from, whereas I know I can banana leaf quite easily.

I didn’t realise how much was in the bag and obviously I had lots left and I started thinking of Malaysian puddings that is wrapped in banana leaf and tepung pelita came to my mind. I think it originated from the state of Kelantan but of course if it’s yummy (like most food in Malaysia) you will be able to find it somewhere in Malaysia.

The only problem is, I don’t think I have the patience of cutting, cleaning, heating and folding the banana leaves into small cups. I did try but because I didn’t heat the leaves long enough, they were still stiff and kept ripping or breaking.

Hmmmmm… so for this experiment, it will just have to be in cups.

tepung pelita

Maybe one day I will find the patience to do the cups and also stand at the stove and stir the mixtures… but after a few busy days of cooking, I guess I rushed everything and used the short cut of using pandan essence rather than proper pandan leaves… let’s just say, it’s not something that I would serve to guests… but Little Bee says she likes it… or she’s just being kind.

Preparing for Eid – Biskut Sarang Semut and Kuih Makmur

July 28th, 2013

This weekend, I made these. I’m determined to make the biscuits that I remember my mom making, and me helping her make, when I was a child.

So this week I made biskut sarang semut (ants nest biscuits). I loved doing this when I was a child and sprinkling the chocolate rice which represents the ants ;) Little Bee had fun sprinkling the ‘ants’ and coloured sugar which she said represents the ants’ food.

Biskut Sarang Semut

Biskut Sarang Semut

I also made kuih makmur. I don’t remember my mom making this but I decided to make them as it is one of my favourite biscuits and the one that I would choose to eat when we go and visiting family and friends during Eid… and I think Little Bee likes it too ;)

kuih makmur

Kuih Makmur

Kuih Dadar

April 28th, 2013

kuih dadar

Unlike home… as in Malaysia… if I need to use pandan, I would just go to my mom’s back garden and cut one out.

Here, in the UK, you could use pandan essence or pandan paste or buy a big bag of pandan leaves and keep them in the freezer. I had a bag in the fridge as I didn’t have space in the freezer and for the last two weeks has been figuring out dishes to make with pandan. The more pandan leaves I need to use the better. Not that I am complaining as I love the smell and taste of pandan.

Anyway… I saw a picture of a banana and coconut cake and don’t ask me why as they do not resemble or even taste the same, I suddenly thought of kuih dadar. I haven’t had it for ages and the last time I was in Malaysia it wasn’t even on my food I have to eat list. But I do remember my mom made this for me a long time ago and I remember buying it from the school canteen when I wanted a sugar fix and I remember loving the sweet taste of gula melaka mixed with the smell of pandan… and with all these memories, I had to make it as I wanted a little taste of home.

kuih dadar


5 pandan leaves
50ml water (to blend the leaves with)
120g plain flour
250ml santan (coconut milk)
50ml water
1 egg
100g palm sugar
1 pandan leaf
75ml water
100g desiccated coconut
1tsp corn flour

  1. Put the 5 pandan leaves into a blender with 50ml water and blend into a pulp. Strain it through a fine sieve and put it aside.
  2. Add flour, santan, water, egg and 4 tbsp of the pandan juice into a bowl and mix well.
  3. In a saucepan, add the palm sugar, knotted pandan leaf, water and heat over medium heat until the sugar dissolved. Add the desiccated coconut and corn flour and stir for another minute. Set it aside.
  4. Heat up a frying pan and lightly grease it with oil. Pour in about 3 tablespoon of the pancake mixture and swirl the pan to form a thin layer of pancake… almost crepe like.
  5. When it is cooked, transfer it over to a plate or chopping board and spoon on about 2 teaspoon of the filling mixture on to the pancake and roll it up like a spring roll.

Just another Malaysian flavour that I am happy to share.


Kuih Bakar

April 22nd, 2013

kuih bakar

When it comes to food, I am easily influenced. My friend Jue put up a photo of kuih bakar (burn cake… literal translation) and I went all excited and started to think ‘I HAVE TO MAKE THIS’!

So I did. Big muffin tin for me and little cupcake tin for Little Bee.

kuih bakar

And I am lucky that I have Little Bee by my side who is always willing to give a helping hand.

Little Bee whisking


250ml water
6 pandan (screwpine) leaves
160g caster sugar
250g plain flour
250ml santan (coconut milk)
3 eggs

  1. Heat the oven at 180C or gas mark 4.
  2. Put the water and pandan leaves in a blender and whiz. Pour it into a bowl through a fine sieve to get the pandan water. You can also use 1/2 tsp pandan paste if you have it and add about 50ml water.
  3. Add sugar, flour, coconut milk and eggs into the bowl and whisk. You can also just whizz them in a blender but my Little Bee insisted on whisking ;)
  4. Oil the cake pan, muffin pan or cupcake pan (whatever you choose to use) and put it in the oven until the oil is nice and hot. Take the pan out and pour the mixture in. Sprinkle some sesame seeds and put it in the middle of the oven for about 40 minutes. Let it cool and it’s ready to eat :)