Main Classic Asian Cakes and Desserts: Quick and Delicious Favorites (Learn to Cook Series)

Classic Asian Cakes and Desserts: Quick and Delicious Favorites (Learn to Cook Series)

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Published by Periplus Editions, with editorial offices at 61 Tai Seng Avenue, #02-12 Singapore 534167.
Tel: (65) 6280 1330; Fax: (65) 6280 6290; Email: inquiries@periplus.com.sg
Copyright © 2004 Periplus Editions (PIK) Ltd. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored
in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or
otherwise without the prior written permission of the publisher.
ISBN 0-7946-0213-4; ISBN 978-1-4629-1800-3 (ebook)
10 09 08 07 06 8 7 6 5 4 3 2
Distributed by Tuttle Publishing,
364 Innovation Drive, North Clarendon,
VT 05759-9436, USA.
Tel: (802) 777 8930; Fax: (802) 773 6993
Email: info@tuttlepublishing.com
Website: www.tuttlepublishing.com
Recipes by Rohani Jelani, Norma Olizon-Chikiamco, Chef Tummanoon Punchun, Daniel Reid, Devagi Sanmugam,
Cecilia Au-Yang.
Photography by Jim McFarlane, Edmond Flo, Suan I. Lim, Chester Ong, Jӧrg Sundermann, Luca Invernizzi Tettoni,
Andy Wong.
Food styling by Susie Donald, Rohani Jelani, Suan I. Lim, Gina Navarro, Chester Ong, Christina Ong, Myrna Sim,
Christopher Tan.
Printed in Malaysia

classic asian
cakes and
desserts

A delightful selection of desserts—including favorites
like Banana Custard Surprise, Mini Custard Flans,
Mango Pudding and Caramel Custard.

Contents
Introduction
Basic Asian Ingredients
Basic Recipes and Methods
Cakes and Pastries
Custards, Fritters and Rolls
Rice and Puddings
Chilled Desserts and Sweet Broths
Complete Recipe Listing

MAIL ORDER SOURCES
Finding the ingredients for Asian home cooking has become very simple. Most supermarkets carry staples such as soy
sauce, fresh ginger, and fresh lemongrass. Almost every large metropolitan area has Asian markets serving the local
population—just check your local business directory. With the Internet, exotic Asian ingredients and cooking utensils
can be easily found online. The following list is a good starting point of online merchants offering a wide variety of
goods and services.
http:/; /www.asiafoods.com
http://www.geocities.com/MadisonAvenue/8074/VarorE.html
http://dmoz.org/Shopping/Food/Ethnic_and_Regional/Asian/
http://templeofthai.com/
http://www.orientalpantry.com/
http://www.zestyfoods.com/
http://www.thaigrocer.com/Merchant/index.htm
http://asianwok.com/
http://pilipinomart.com/
http://www.indiangrocerynet.com/
http://www.orientalfoodexpress.com/

o one can resist a delicious cake or pudding or sweet dish, especially in Asia! As in
other parts of the world, this usually generates the greatest enthusiasm at family
gatherings and on festive occasions. Asian desserts have yet to be popularized
outside of Asia simply because they are rarely served in restaurants. Many non-Asians
therefore assume that “Asian’s don’t often eat dessert”. Nothing could be further from the
truth!

N

Asian desserts are often served as snacks in between meals rather than after a heavy
meal (when no one has room for dessert anyway). How sensible! Ask anyone with a sweet
tooth and they’ll tell you there’s an Asian dessert for every occasion. Luscious desserts
such as Indonesian Banana Custard Surprise on page 49 are great for parties, while chilled
desserts such as Malaysia’s Sago and Honeydew Melon in Coconut Milk on page 84 are
perfect after meals. Filipino Sweet Egg and Milk Bonbons on page 31 or Calamansi Lime
Pie on page 8 are ideal afternoon snacks. Some rice-based desserts—Fluffy Sweet Rice
Cakes on page 66 springs to mind—can even become substantial meals in their own right
(although perhaps to the detriment of your waistline).
It is not surprising that rice flour features prominently in many Asian dessert recipes
—rice is after all, the basic staple in most of Asia and can be found in almost every Asian
pantry. And if you haven’t tried rice flour desserts before you are in for a real treat! The
flavor and texture is very different from that of normal boiled rice. It is prepared in many
ways—steamed, baked, boiled and fried—and tastes different each time. Exotic rice
varieties such as glutinous rice as well as other grains and starches like barley, tapioca,
yam and sago provide added variety. Many other delightful dessert ingredients such as
coconut cream, palm sugar, bananas, mangoes, water chesnuts, cashew nuts, honeydew
melon and pandanus leaves each add their own dimension to the mix.
Many people think that Asian desserts are difficult to prepare but actually most
recipes are quite simple. The trick is to find the right ingredients, understand how they are
used, and then master a few simple techniques. Banana leaves, for example, are often used
to wrap puddings and sweets before steaming or boiling. You can buy them fresh or frozen
in most parts of the world now in speciality shops, but just remember to lightly “toast”
them over a flame or steam them for a few seconds before using or you won’t be able to
bend them. And if you can’t find them, aluminum foil makes a good substitute (though it
lacks the delicate fragrance of banana leaves!).
So don’t be put off just because you see a few things in the recipes you are not
familiar with. Most everything is available and each new item opens up a whole new
world of possibilities.

Basic Asian Ingredients
Azuki beans are small red beans that are boiled until soft and eaten whole in desserts.
They are also boiled and mashed to make sweet red bean paste, a filling used in many
Japanese cakes and desserts. They may be substituted with red kidney beans.
Banana leaves are often used in Asian cuisine to wrap food or to line trays before
cooking, much as waxed paper or aluminum foil are. This imparts a subtle fragrance to the
food. Banana leaves should be passed over an open flame for a few seconds before use to
soften them, so they do not crack when folded. Alternatively, dip the leaves in boiling
water until they just start to soften. They are sold in rectangular sheets in Asian grocery
stores. If banana leaves are not available, substitute aluminum foil.
Calamansi limes are smaller than regular limes. They add an aromatic citrus flavor to
desserts and are available fresh in supermarkets and Asian grocery stores. If calamansi
limes are not available, substitute with regular limes.
Cardamom pods are used to flavor many Indian sweets. The tiny black cardamom seeds
inside the pods are available both whole and ground. They are available in Asian food
markets and well-stocked supermarkets.
Coconut cream and coconut milk are used in many Asian desserts much the same way
that cow’s milk and cream are used in the West. To obtain fresh coconut cream, grate the
flesh of 1 coconut into a bowl (this yields about 3 cups of grated coconut flesh), add ½ cup
water and knead thoroughly a few times, then squeeze the mixture firmly in your fist or
strain with a muslin cloth or cheese cloth. Thick coconut milk is obtained by the same
method but by adding more water to the grated flesh (about 1 cup instead of ½ cup). Thin
coconut milk is obtained by pressing the coconut a second time—adding 1 cup of water
to the same grated coconut flesh and squeezing it again. Although freshly pressed milk has
more flavor, coconut cream and milk are now widely sold canned or in packets that are
quick, convenient and quite tasty. Canned or packet coconut cream or milk comes in
varying consistencies depending on the brand, and you will need to try them out and
adjust the thickness by adding water as needed. In general, you should add 1 cup of water
to 1 cup of canned or packet coconut cream to obtain thick coconut milk, and 2 cups of
water to 1 cup of coconut cream to obtain thin coconut milk. These mixing ratios are only
general guides however. For best results, follow the package instructions.
Dried mung beans are small green beans that must be soaked and boiled in water before
use. They are sold in large supermarkets and Asian grocery stores.
Gelatin is a thickening agent sold in powdered form in small bottles and packets in
supermarkets. As gelatin is obtained from animal tissue, it cannot be used in vegetarian
dishes; substitute with kanten or agar-agar.
Ghee is the rich clarified butter oil used in Indian cooking. It is made by removing the

milk solids from the oil. It keeps well at room temperature. Substitute with vegetable oil or
butter.
Ginkgo nuts have a large, yellow kernel protected by a hard, smooth shell that must be
discarded first. A bitter germ inside the nut must also be removed.
Glutinous rice comes in two varieties: white grain and black grain. Glutinous rice is
commonly available now in Asian grocery stores.
Lentils are protein- and fiber-rich legumes that feature prominently in Indian cuisine.
Black lentils or urad dal are sold either with their black skin on or husked. Husked black
lentils are creamy white in color and are also known as white gram.
Mung bean flour, or green pea flour is a fine, white starch obtained from mung beans. It
is used to make chendol jellies (see the recipe for Pandanus Jellies in Coconut Milk on
page 48) and cellophane noodles and may be substituted with cornflour or arrowroot
starch.
Nutmeg is the seed of the nutmeg fruit. It is covered by a lacy red web known as mace,
which is also widely used as a spice. Dried nutmegs should be grated or crushed just
before using.
Palm sugar is made from the juice of the aren or coconut palm fruit, and has a rich flavor.
Substitute with dark brown sugar, maple syrup or regular sugar with a touch of molasses.
Pandanus leaves or screwpine leaves add fragrance and green coloring to sweet dishes.
They may be substituted with vanilla essence though the flavor will be different.
Pearl barley is obtained by removing the outer husks from barley grains. They are boiled
until tender for use in Asian desserts, and are sold fresh in Asian grocery stores.
Rice flour is sold in packets in supermarkets and grocery stores. It can be made in small
quantities at home by grinding uncooked rice grains in a blender or food processor. To
make 1 cup of rice flour, soak ¾ cup (150 g) uncooked rice in water for 5 hours, then drain
and grind.
Sago pearls are tiny dried beads of sago obtained by grinding the pith of the sago palm to
a paste and pressing it through a sieve. It is glutinous, with little taste, and is frequently
used in Southeast Asian desserts. Sago pearls should not be confused with fresh sago,
which is starchy and sticky.
Tapioca starch is obtained from the strained pulp of cassava roots that have been dried to
a paste and then ground. The paste is heated to form small beads known as tapioca
pearls. Both tapioca starch and tapioca pearls are used as thickeners, and tapioca pearls
are also eaten whole in desserts.
Water chestnuts have thin brown skins and crispy, sweet flesh that retains its crunchy
texture when cooked. They are available fresh from Asian grocery stores or canned from
supermarkets. Water chestnut flour is made from dried, ground water chestnuts. It is

used as a thickener and to give fried foods a crunchy texture. It is sold in Asian grocery
stores and supermarkets.

How to make a pandanus brush
Pandanus leaves are one of the most versatile ingredients in Asia, being used as an air
freshener or to add fragrance and color to numerous Asian desserts. In some Asian
households they are even used to repel cockroaches! Here, they are used to make a brush
for oiling a frying pan in the recipe for Coconut Pancakes on page 41.

Align two pandanus leaves together, one on top of the other.

Fold the leaves over each other, about 12 cm (5 in) long.

Tie one end tightly with a rubber band or length of string to make a handle.

Using scissors, cut open the looped end of the leaves.

Use the scissors to snip the loose ends to make a brush.

Use the pandanus brush for greasing pans or cake molds.

Palm Sugar Syrup
Palm Sugar Syrup is used as a sweetener in numerous Asian desserts. This recipe is for
Pandanus Jellies in Coconut Milk (see page 94).
⅔ cup (150 ml) water
1¼ cups (250 g) coarsely chopped palm sugar
Makes ¾ cup (190 ml)
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

1 To make the Palm Sugar Syrup, place the water and chopped palm sugar into a
saucepan. Bring to the boil and simmer over medium heat until the sugar dissolves and the
mixture becomes syrupy. Set aside to cool then strain into a jug or bowl.

Coconut Pancake Filling
This savory filling is used in the recipe for Coconut Pancakes on page 41.
⅔ cup (135 g) coarsely chopped palm sugar
¼ cup (75 ml) water
1 pandanus leaf, knotted
1 cup (100 g) freshly grated coconut meat
Makes 1 cup
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

1 Place palm sugar and water in a pan and cook until sugar dissolves. Simmer for 10
minutes until liquid starts to thicken and become syrupy.
2 Add the pandanus leaf and grated coconut and continue cooking over low heat for 10-15
minutes until the coconut filling is thick and glossy. Most of the liquid should have
evaporated. Cool and use as desired. Keeps well if stored in a covered container in the
fridge.

Pandanus Juice
This pandanus extract adds a unique fragrance to Coconut Pancakes on page 41. Choose
mature, dark green pandanus leaves for maximum flavor and color.
6-8 large pandanus leaves
⅔ cup (150 ml) water
Makes ½ cup
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

Rinse pandanus leaves and, using kitchen scissors or a sharp knife, cut leaves into ¾-in
(2-cm) lengths.
1

Place leaves and water in the jug of an electric blender or chopper and process until
pulverized. Pour through a fine strainer and discard solids. Measure out the required
amount of juice as specified in the recipe.
2

Calamansi Lime Pie
The humble calamansi lime adds a tang to this rich, creamy pie, while the crust made from
finger biscuits is wonderfully innovative.
Pie Crust
¾ cup (75 g) graham cracker or finger biscuit crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) melted butter
Filling
¼ cup (60 ml) water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin powder
2 cups (500 ml) whipping cream, well chilled
1¼ cups (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
¼ cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed calamansi lime juice
Whipped cream for topping (optional)
Serves 8
Preparation time: 40 mins + 6 hours for chilling
Cooking time: 10 mins

1 Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
2 To make the Pie Crust, mix the graham cracker or finger biscuit crumbs, sugar and
melted butter. Press mixture into a 9-in (23-cm) pie plate and chill for about 15 minutes.
Bake crust for about 5 minutes in the preheated oven. Set aside to cool.
3 To make the Filling, pour water into a small saucepan and sprinkle unflavored gelatin
powder on top. Set aside for 5 minutes to allow gelatin granules to swell. Heat over low
heat, stirring until liquid clears and gelatin is completely dissolved, about 3 minutes. Set
aside.
4 Beat the whipping cream with a mixer at medium speed for 5 minutes. Slowly add
condensed milk and lime juice and beat to blend, about 2 minutes. Add the food coloring
and the gelatin mixture and beat until mixture is smooth and an even light green color.
Chill for 5-10 minutes, or until partially set.
5 Spoon Filling into the cooled Pie Crust. Chill for 6 hours before serving, topped with
whipped cream, if desired.
Calamansi limes are smaller than regular limes, and their juice is used in marinades and dips. They add an aromatic
citrus flavor to desserts and are available fresh in supermarkets and Asian grocery stores. If calamansi limes are not
available, substitute with regular limes.

Finger biscuits are often used to add a crunchy texture to desserts. They are sold in packets in supermarkets. If finger
biscuits are not available, substitute with pound cake or savioardi biscuits.

Cashew Tarts
Crust
2 cups (250 g) flour
2½ tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cup (125 ml) butter
1 egg yolk, lightly beaten
1 tablespoon lemon juice
6 tablespoons iced water
Cashew Filling
3 eggs
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 cup (250 g) maple syrup, corn syrup or pancake syrup
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus extra for greasing molds
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
1 cup (150 g) finely chopped cashew nuts
Makes about 20 tarts
Preparation time: 30 mins + 30 mins chilling
Baking time: 20-25 mins

1 To make the Crust, sift together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt in a bowl. Cut in
butter with a pastry blender or knife until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs. Add
egg yolk and lemon juice. Blend in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until the dough can be
formed into a ball. Wrap in waxed paper sprinkled with flour and chill for 30 minutes.
2 To make the Cashew Filling, combine all the filling ingredients and set aside.
3 Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Sprinkle flour onto a smooth work surface. When Crust
has been chilled for 30 minutes, roll it out onto floured work surface using a rolling pin,
until it is ⅛ in (3 mm) thick. Use an inverted tart mold or knife to cut out the dough.
Combine and roll any remaining dough and cut out. Brush tart molds with melted butter
and place the cut out pieces of dough into each mold.
4 Pour about 1 tablespoon of the Cashew Filling into each mold. Arrange tarts on a baking
sheet and bake in preheated oven for 20-25 minutes or until pastry is light brown and
filling is just firm (it will continue to firm up for a few minutes after it has been removed
from oven). Remove from molds and wrap in cellophane if desired, or store in an airtight

container if not eating immediately.

Banana Cream Pie
2 ripe bananas
2 tablespoons lemon juice
Pie Crust
1¼ cups (160 g) flour, plus extra for dusting
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup (60 g) chilled butter
2 tablespoons (50 g) chilled solid vegetable shortening
3-4 tablespoons iced water
Filling
2 cups (500 ml) cream or evaporated milk
6 tablespoons flour
¼ cup (50 g) sugar
4 eggs
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Whipped cream, to garnish (optional)
Serves 6-8
Preparation time: 20 mins + 45 mins for chilling Pie Crust
Cooking time: 35-45 mins

1 To make the Pie Crust, sift together flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender
or knives, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse
breadcrumbs.
2 Sprinkle water gradually over the mixture, gathering the crumbs together until they form
a ball. Sprinkle flour on waxed paper and wrap the gathered crumbs in the paper. Chill in a
refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3 Sprinkle flour onto a smooth work surface. Roll out the chilled dough, starting from the
center and lifting the rolling pin just before it reaches the edge. Roll the dough until it is ⅛
in (3 mm) thick and forms a circle, 2-3 in (5-8 cm) larger than a 9-in (23-cm) pie plate.
4 Lift the dough and ease it onto the plate. Press the dough firmly onto the bottom and
sides of the plate. Make sure no air is trapped between the dough and the plate. Do not
stretch the dough, or it will shrink.
5 Using kitchen scissors, trim excess dough from the edge of the pie plate, leaving a 1½-in
(4-cm) overhang. Fold dough under the edge of the plate and flute or decorate edge as

desired. Put the dough in the freezer for 15 minutes.
6 Preheat an oven to 390°F (200°C).
7 Use a fork to pierce small holes in surface and sides of the Pie Crust to allow steam to
escape during baking. Line the crust with baking paper and fill with pie weights or dry
beans.
8 Bake the Pie Crust in the preheated oven for l0-12 minutes. Transfer to a rack and
remove baking paper and pie weights or dry beans. Bake for 5 more minutes, or until
golden brown.
9 Slice the bananas into ½-in (l-cm) rounds. Sprinkle with lemon juice to prevent
discoloration. Set aside.
10 To make the Filling, scald the cream or evaporated milk in a saucepan. Mix the flour,
sugar and eggs in a bowl until smooth. Whisk in the cream or evaporated milk. Return to
the saucepan and simmer, stirring to form a smooth mixture, about 20 minutes.
11 Blend in butter and vanilla essence. Spoon half of the Filling into the baked pie crust.
Add bananas. Top with remaining Filling and whipped cream, if desired.

Mango Icebox Cake
6 large ripe mangoes (about 6 lbs/3 kg)
75 graham cracker or finger biscuits
2 cups (500 ml) canned mango juice
3 x 8-oz (225-g) packs cream cheese
2 cups (500 ml) double cream
3 cups (375 g) powdered sugar
Serves 8-10
Preparation time: 40 mins
Chilling time: 4-5 hours

1 Peel the mangoes and slice into wedges then set aside. Dip 25 of the graham crackers or
finger biscuits one at a time, into the mango juice. Arrange in a 30 x 20 x 5 cm (12 x 8 x 2
in) cake tin, with the tops of the biscuits facing down.
2 Beat together the cream cheese and double cream in an electric mixer. Gradually add
sugar and beat until mixture is smooth. Divide the cream cheese mixture into three equal
portions.
3 Spread a layer of the cream cheese mixture over the graham crackers or finger biscuits.
Arrange one-third of the mango wedges over the cream cheese mixture. Dip 25 more
finger biscuits, one at a time, in mango juice and layer over the mangoes. Spread another
layer of the cream cheese mixture on the biscuits and arrange another layer of mangoes on
top.
4 Dip remaining biscuits in mango juice and arrange on top of mangoes. Spread remaining
cream cheese mixture on the finger biscuits. Arrange remaining mango wedges on top.
Chill for 4-5 hours, or until firm, before serving.
Finger biscuits are often used to add a crunchy texture to desserts. They are sold in packets in supermarkets. Substitute
with graham crackers, pound cake or savioardi biscuits.

Pancakes with Coconut Sauce
2½ cups (300 g) flour, sifted
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 teaspoons dried yeast granules
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ cups (300 ml) warm thick coconut milk
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Coconut Sauce
1½ cups (375 ml) thin coconut milk
1 cup (200 g) shaved palm sugar or maple syrup
1½ tablespoons sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
1 pandanus leaf, raked and tied into a knot
Serves 4-6
Preparation time: 15 mins + 1 hour fermentation
Cooking time: 30 mins

1 Put the flour into a bowl and add eggs, yeast and salt. Gradually stir in the thick coconut
milk and vanilla essence to make a thick batter. Cover with a cloth and leave in a warm
place until the mixture turns spongy, about 1 hour.
2 To prepare the Coconut Sauce, put the thin coconut milk, both lots of sugar, salt and
pandanus leaf in a pan. Bring to the boil over low heat, stirring until the sugar dissolves.
Simmer for 2 minutes then set aside.
3 Grease the bottom of a small wok with oil or butter and heat. Spread a ladleful of batter
in the wok. Cook until the cake is set on top, 2-3 minutes. Turn over and cook the other
side. When all the batter is used, remove the pandanus leaf from the Coconut Sauce and
pour some over each pancake. Serve immediately.
These cakes are traditionally made using a small terracotta wok, but a metal wok is an adequate substitute. They could
also be cooked in a heavy frying pan, but try to keep the cakes no more than about 3 in (8 cm) in diameter.

The mixture turns spongy after about one hour.

Cook until the cake is set on top, then turn and cook the other side.

Banana Cake
Softened butter, for brushing
5 oz (150 g) very ripe bananas, peeled
2 teaspoons lime juice
5 oz (150 g) butter
⅔ cup (135 g) sugar
3 eggs, beaten
1¼ cups (150 g) self-raising flour
¼ teaspoon baking soda
Makes one 7-in (18-cm) cake
Preparation time: 40 mins
Baking time: 40-45 mins

1 Line the base of a 7-in (18-cm) round or square cake tin with waxed paper and brush the
sides lightly with softened butter. Preheat an oven to 340°F (l70°C).
2 In a small bowl, mash the bananas with a fork and stir in the lime juice. Set aside.
3 Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric mixer or wooden spoon until light and
fluffy. Pour the beaten eggs in a little at a time, beating well between additions.
4 Using a large metal spoon, fold in half the flour and baking soda without over-stirring or
beating the mixture. Fold in the mashed bananas until well incorporated and then add the
remaining flour and baking soda.
5 Turn the mixture out into the prepared tin. Hollow out the middle slightly to prevent it
rising to a dome in the middle. Bake in the preheated oven for about 40 minutes or until
cake is well risen and golden brown. To test if the cake is cooked, insert a skewer in the
center—it should come out clean.
6 Allow the cake to cool in the tin for 10 minutes before running a knife around the edges
and turning it out to cool on a wire tray.

Layered Cinnamon and Nutmeg Cake
½ cup (100 g) sugar
5 egg yolks
3½ oz (100 g) flour, sifted
1½ cups (375 ml) thick coconut milk
3 tablespoons butter, melted
½ cup freshly grated nutmeg
½ cup cinnamon powder
Vanilla ice-cream (optional)
Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: About 1 hour (5 mins per layer)

1 Beat the sugar and egg yolks together until the sugar dissolves completely, then stir in
the flour. Gradually stir in the thick coconut milk, mixing to combine thoroughly.
2 Dip a brush in the melted butter and paint the sides of a small, deep cake tin about 6 in
(15 cm) in diameter, or a loaf tin about 7 x3 in (18 x8 cm). Pour in 2-3 ladles of batter to
make a thin layer about ¼ in (6 mm) thick.
3 Sprinkle the top with 2 teaspoons grated nutmeg and 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder. Set
the cake tin inside a baking dish of hot water and bake in a moderate oven 350°F (l80°C)
until just set, about 5 minutes. Remove the cake tin from the oven and brush the top of the
cooked layer with melted butter. Pour in more batter to make another thin layer and
sprinkle with nutmeg and cinnamon. Return to the oven and cook until set.
4 Repeat until the batter is used (you should have about 12 thin layers), brushing the top
of each newly cooked layer with butter before adding the batter and spices.
5 When the last layer has cooked, remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the tin.
When cool, loosen the edges with a knife and turn the cake upside down onto a serving
plate. Serve chilled with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream, if desired.

Pineapple Tarts
1½ cups (190 g) flour
¼ teaspoon salt
3 oz (90 g) chilled butter, cubed
1 whole egg
1 teaspoon lemon juice
2 egg whites
Whole cloves to garnish (optional)
Filling
1 small ripe pineapple, about 2 lbs (900 g), peeled, cored and coarsely chopped
1 cup (150 g) soft brown sugar, or more to taste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
3 cloves
2 star anise petals
½ teaspoon grated nutmeg
Serves 2
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins

1 To make the Filling, process the chopped pineapple in a food processor or blender until
coarsely crushed, about 10 seconds. Transfer to a saucepan with a heavy base, or a nonstick saucepan. Add sugar, lemon juice, cloves, star anise and grated nutmeg. Simmer
uncovered over medium-high heat, stirring frequently with a wooden spoon, until thick,
about 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a shallow bowl and set aside to cool. Remove the whole
spices.
2 Put the flour, salt and butter into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles
breadcrumbs. Add the egg and lemon juice and process until it forms a ball. Put in a
plastic bag and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Preheat an oven to 350°F (l80°C).
3 Roll out the dough very thinly on a floured board. Use a cutter to cut out 30 circles, each
about 2½ in (6 cm) in diameter. Press into well-greased tartlet trays, fluting up the edges
with a pastry cutter or fork. Fill each pastry with 1 teaspoon pineapple jam. Brush with
egg white and top each tart with a clove, if desired.
4 Bake in the preheated oven until golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove from the
oven, loosen tarts with a knife and transfer to racks to cool. Store in an airtight container
when cool.
This recipe results in light, firm and crispy tarts. Another alternative to fluting the edges of the pastry is to cut the dough

with a cookie cutter that has scalloped or serrated edges. Then, push each piece of dough into a cupcake tray to shape it.

Egg Tarts
4 large eggs
1 cup (250 g) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
2½ cups (625 ml) milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Pie Crust
1¼ cups (160 g) flour, plus extra for dusting
¼ teaspoon salt
1¼ cup (60 g) chilled butter
2 tablespoons (50 g) chilled solid vegetable shortening
3-4 tablespoons iced water
Serves 8
Preparation time: 15 mins + 30 mins for chilling pie crust
Cooking time: 30 mins

1 To make the Pie Crust, sift together flour and salt in a large bowl. Using a pastry blender
or knives, cut the butter and shortening into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse
breadcrumbs.
2 Sprinkle water gradually over the mixture, gathering the crumbs together until they form
a ball. Sprinkle flour on waxed paper and wrap the gathered crumbs in the paper. Chill in a
refrigerator for 30 minutes.
3 Divide the pie dough into 8 equal portions. Sprinkle flour onto a smooth work surface.
Roll out each portion of dough until it is ⅛ in (3 mm) thick and forms a circle.
4 Press each portion of the dough onto the sides and bottoms of the custard cups. Make
sure no air is trapped between the dough and each cup.
5 Preheat oven to 425°F (220°C). Beat together the eggs, sugar, salt, milk and vanilla
essence in a large mixing bowl. Strain and pour into each Pie Crust.
6 Bake in the preheated oven for 30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center of
each tart comes out clean.

Steamed Caramel Cake
2¼ oz (70 g) butter, melted
⅓ cup (75 ml) cream or evaporated milk
1 egg, beaten
1¼ cups (150 g) flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ cup (50 g) sugar
Caramel Syrup
⅔ cup (135 g) sugar
Scant ½ cup (100 ml) hot water
Serves 6-8
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 30-40 mins

1 To make the Caramel Syrup, place the sugar in a small heavy-based saucepan and heat
over very low heat until the sugar caramelizes and turns golden brown. When the sugar
turns golden brown, remove the pan from the heat.
2 Pour the hot water onto the caramel (be careful not to get burned as the caramelized
sugar will start to sputter). Boil the caramel for a few minutes until completely melted and
a syrup is formed. Allow the Caramel Syrup to cool and pour into a measuring cup—you
will need about ⅔ cup (160 ml). Add a little water if needed, to make up the specified
quantity.
3 Add the melted butter, cream or evaporated milk and beaten egg to the Caramel Syrup
and stir well to combine.
4 Sift the flour, baking soda and salt into a mixing bowl. Stir in the sugar. Make a well in
the center and pour in the liquid. Gradually incorporate the dry ingredients into the liquid,
stirring gently with a wooden spoon or balloon whisk to make a smooth batter.
5 Fill small, lightly-buttered tartlet trays or rice wine cups three-quarters full of batter and
steam for 15-20 minutes. This will yield 8-12 small cakes, depending on the size of the
tartlet trays or rice wine cups used.
Alternatively, line the base of a 6-in (15-cm) round or square cake tin lined with waxed paper and brush the base and
sides lightly with softened butter. Pour the batter into the prepared tin and place in a preheated steamer for 30 minutes
or until the cake rises and a skewer inserted in the middle comes out clean. Do not open the steamer before the 30
minutes is up, or the cake may collapse.
An alternative way to cook this cake is to bake it in an oven preheated to 340°F (170°C) for 25-35 minutes.

The result is a slightly darker cake with a delicious crust.

Young Coconut Cake
6 egg yolks
¾ cup (150 g) sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Scant ½ cup (50 g) flour
Scant ½ cup (100 ml) sweetened condensed milk
½ cup (125 ml) warm water
4 young coconuts
Meringue Topping
6 egg whites
1 tablespoon sugar
¼ teaspoon salt
⅔ cup (75 g) raisins
Serves 4-6
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins

1 Beat the egg yolks, sugar and vanilla essence together until the sugar dissolves and
mixture is light colored and foamy. Combine, stirring to mix well.
2 Put the flour in a saucepan and gradually stir in the condensed milk and water.
3 Scrape out the pulp from the coconuts and add to the milk mixture. Stir in the beaten egg
yolks. Cook over low-medium heat, stirring for 5 minutes until the mixture thickens.
Transfer the mixture to a heatproof dish.
4 Make the Meringue Topping by beating the egg whites, sugar and salt together until the
mixture is stiff. Spread over the cake and scatter the raisins on top. Bake in an oven
preheated to 390°F (200°C) until the Meringue Topping turns golden brown, about 15
minutes. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Young coconuts have green skins and tender flesh. The sweet water within the young coconut is a popular drink in
Southeast Asia, and the flesh is often scooped out and eaten. Young coconuts are sold fresh in Asian grocery stores.

Egg and Milk Bonbons
8 egg yolks
1¼ cups (300 ml) sweetened condensed milk
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1¼ cups (250 g) sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
Makes about 30 bonbons
Preparation time: 5 mins + 1¾ hours for chilling, shaping and wrapping bonbons
Cooking time: 35 mins

1 Combine the egg yolks and cream milk in a double boiler. Add lemon zest. Cook over
medium heat, stirring constantly, until very thick and the mixture coats the back of a spoon
when lifted, about 20 minutes. Chill for 1 hour for easier handling.
2 Grease hands and shape egg mixture into small balls, placing each ball into a greased
pan.
3 In a saucepan, melt sugar and cream of tartar over low heat. Do not stir, otherwise sugar
will crystallize. When the sugar becomes caramelized, stir then dip each ball into the
syrup with a pair of tongs, swirling to coat evenly. Keep the syrup over low heat so it does
not harden. Alternatively, if you do not wish to coat the bonbons in syrup, dust them
lightly with sugar.
4 Put each coated ball into a greased pan and set aside to cool. Wrap individually in
cellophane, if desired, before serving.

Light Butter Cookies
½ cup (125 g) butter
½ cup (1 00 g) sugar
3 egg whites
¼ teaspoon vanilla essence
½ cup (125 g) flour
Makes 45 cookies
Preparation time: 30 mins
Baking time: 7 mins per batch

1 Preheat oven to 180°C (350°F). Using a mixer set to medium speed, cream the butter
and gradually add sugar. Continue mixing until light and fluffy. Add egg whites one at a
time, beating thoroughly after each egg white is added. Add vanilla essence.
2 Sift flour and fold in, blending thoroughly to form a smooth mixture. Spoon mixture into
a pastry bag with a small frosting tip. Pipe 10-cm (4-in) strips of the batter onto greased
and floured baking trays, about 5 cm (2 in) apart. Bake each batch in the preheated oven
for about 7 minutes or until the cookies have lightly browned edges.
3 Remove cookies immediately from the baking tray to prevent sticking. Transfer to a
clean plate and set aside to cool. If not eating immediately, pack in airtight containers.

Sweet Potato Cakes
8 oz (250 g) peeled and diced sweet potato (about 1¼ Cups)
¾ cup (180 ml) water
3 tablespoons sugar
2 teaspoons powdered gelatin or kanten (agar-agar) powder
Makes 12 small cakes
Preparation time: 15 mins + 3 hours chilling
Cooking time: 15 mins

1 Boil the diced sweet potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted water for 10 minutes or
until tender. Drain and mash until smooth, pushing mashed sweet potatoes through a sieve
to remove tough fibers. Set aside.
2 Heat the water and sugar in a medium saucepan over high heat and bring to the boil.
Remove from the heat, sprinkle the gelatin over the water and stir until dissolved. If using
agar-agar, stir the powder into boiling syrup and simmer until agar-agar granules dissolve.
3 Place the mashed sweet potatoes in a medium bowl and gradually stir in the gelatin or
agar-agar mixture, combining until smooth. Drop spoonfuls of the mixture into a greased
shallow 8 in (20 cm) square baking tin and smooth the top. Refrigerate for 3 hours or until
firm. Serve with green tea, if desired.
Kanten or agar-agar is made from seaweed. It is similar to gelatin and is used to make jellies and molds. It melts at a
higher temperature than gelatin which makes it useful in hot climates, and produces a firmer texture than gelatin. Store
in a cool, dry place.

Caramel Custard
This silken sweet dessert with its French roots provides a welcome refresher after a spicy
meal. Take extra care not to touch the sugar as it caramelizes—it is so hot that it can burn
you easily.
Caramel Syrup
½ cup (100 g) sugar
¼ cup (60 ml) hot water
Custard
1½ cups (360 ml) milk
½ cup (100 g) sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
Serves 6
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour

1 To make the Caramel Syrup, heat the sugar in a small, heavy saucepan over very low
heat until the sugar melts and turns golden brown.
2 Slowly stir the hot water into the caramel; the mixture will bubble vigorously. Cook the
mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the sugar dissolves and a thick syrup
forms. Remove from the heat.
3 Spoon 1 tablespoon of Caramel Syrup into each of six 4-oz (125-g) heatproof baking
dishes. Gently swirl each baking dish so the Caramel Syrup coats the bottom of the dish.
4 To make the Custard, combine the milk, sugar and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl and
beat until the sugar dissolves. Add the eggs one at a time, beating gently until well mixed.
Carefully pour the egg mixture into the baking dishes.
5 Set the baking dishes on a rack in a large steamer and cook over simmering water for 45
minutes. Alternatively, set the baking dishes in a larger baking dish or pot partially filled
with water. Bake in an oven preheated to 350°F (180°C) for about 50 minutes. The custard
is done when a toothpick inserted into it comes out clean. Remove from the heat and chill
until firm.
6 To serve, run a knife around the inside edge of the custard and turn out onto a dessert
plate.

Sweet Potato Doughnuts
12 oz (350 g) sweet potatoes
½ cup (75 g) flour
½ teaspoon baking powder
Oil for frying
Superfine sugar for rolling
Makes about 12 doughnuts
Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins

1 Scrub the sweet potatoes clean under running water. Place in a pan and cover with water.
Boil until tender—test by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the potato: it should
go in easily. Remove the sweet potatoes from the water and set aside to cool.
2 When cool enough to handle, peel the skins. Mash sweet potatoes until free from lumps.
Discard any tough fibers.
3 Sift flour and baking powder together and add to mashed sweet potatoes, kneading
lightly until smooth.
4 Break off small pieces of dough (about 1 oz/30 g each) and roll into smooth balls,
flouring your hands lightly to prevent dough from sticking. Flatten the balls slightly and
make a hole through the center of each with the floured handle of a wooden spoon.
Smoothen the edges around the hole with your fingers. Repeat until dough is used up. Lay
the doughnuts on a lightly-floured tray or cloth as you shape them.
5 Heat the oil in a pan or wok over medium heat. The oil should be at least 1 in (2½ cm)
deep. Reduce heat to low and fry the doughnuts until golden brown, 3-4 minutes on each
side. Drain on paper towels.
6 Roll the doughnuts in the sugar and serve warm.
It is important to keep the temperature of the oil low (the doughnuts should sizzle slightly when placed in the oil). Frying
at too high a temperature will result in unattractive, blistered doughnuts.

Peel and mash the sweet potatoes until free from lumps.

Pierce the center of each flattened ball with the floured handle of a wooden spoon.

Spoon the coconut filling into the center of each pancake.

Fold the edges in the roll up each pancake to form parcels.

Coconut Pancakes
1¼ cups (150 g) flour
¼ teaspoon salt
2 small eggs, beaten
⅔ cup (150 ml) thin coconut milk or plain milk
½ cup (125 ml) pandanus juice (see page 7)
¼ cup (60 ml) water
1 tablespoon oil
2 pandanus leaves for making pandanus brush (see page 6)
Oil for greasing pan
1½ portions coconut filling (see page 7)
Makes 25 pancakes
Preparation time: 1 hour
Cooking time: 15 mins

1 Sift the flour and salt into a medium mixing bowl. Make a well in the center and pour in
the eggs, thin coconut milk or plain milk and pandanus juice. Using a wooden spoon or
balloon whisk, incorporate the flour into the liquid, making a smooth batter free from
lumps. (Strain any lumps in the batter through a sieve.)
2 Thin the batter with the water and stir in the oil. Mix well. Cover the bowl and allow
batter to stand for 20-30 minutes.
3 To fry pancakes, heat a small frying pan (preferably one with a non-stick surface) over
medium heat. Dip the pandanus brush in a little oil and lightly brush the pan with it.
Ensure that the pan is sufficiently hot (a drop of water should sizzle instantly).
4 Stir the batter and pour a tablespoonful of it into the pan. Immediately swirl the pan so
the batter covers the base in a thin layer. Allow batter to set and cook until lightly
browned. Flip the pancake and cook the other side for a few seconds.
5 Turn the pancake out onto a plate or tray. Repeat with the remaining batter, stacking the
finished pancakes on a plate. If the batter starts to thicken, thin it by stirring in 1-2
tablespoons of water
6 Place a spoonful of the coconut filling in the center of each pancake, fold both sides
towards the middle and roll the pancake, neatly enclosing the filling and creating a little
parcel.
Use the same scoop to ladle the batter onto the pan to obtain equal-sized pancakes. If it becomes more difficult for the
batter to spread, this means that it has thickened. Add 1-2 tablespoons of water to the batter to thin it, if desired.

Banana Fritters
10-12 cooking bananas
Oil for deep frying
Batter
¾ cup (100 g) rice flour
⅓ cup (50 g) flour
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon sugar
⅔ cup (150 ml) water
Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

1 To make the Batter, combine rice flour and flour in a small mixing bowl; stir in the salt
and sugar. Add the lime paste, if using and all but 2 tablespoons of the water. Stir until free
from lumps; the Batter should coat the back of a spoon thinly (add more water if needed).
2 Peel the bananas and slice each in half lengthwise.
3 Pour the oil into a pan or wok to a depth of 1 in (3 cm) and heat over medium heat.
4 Working with a few pieces at a time, dip banana slices into the batter to coat thoroughly
and then gently lower into the hot oil.
5 Fry bananas until golden brown on both sides. Remove from the hot oil with a slotted
spoon. Drain on paper towels and serve warm.
Potato or yam fritters can be made from this recipe also. Peel 2 small sweet potatoes or 1 medium yam and cut into ¼-in
(½-cm) slices. Dip in the Batter used in the recipe above and fry in hot oil until golden brown.

Quick Jelly Rolls
4 eggs
1 cup (200 g) sugar
1 cup (125 g) flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons melted butter
Icing sugar for dusting
½ cup (125 ml) strawberry or raspberry jam
Serves 8-10
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

1 Preheat an oven to 350°F (180°C).
2 Beat eggs until bright yellow and thick. Gradually stir in the sugar. Sift flour, baking
powder and salt then fold into the egg mixture.
3 Scoop out one cup of the egg-flour mixture and fold into the butter. Fold back into the
egg-flour mixture.
4 Pour into a baking tray lined with waxed paper. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes.
5 Sprinkle the icing sugar onto a piece of waxed paper. Invert the sponge cake onto the
paper, then peel off the top sheet of waxed paper. Invert again into the waxed paper. Set
aside to cool.
6 When cooled, spread jam on the top of the sponge cake then roll tightly. Dust the roll
with powdered sugar. Cut into thin slices to serve.

Sift the flour, baking powder and salt into the egg mixture.

Invert sponge cake onto a piece of waxed paper sprinkled with icing sugar.

Peel off the top layer of waxed paper.

When cooked, spread jam on the top of the sponge cake then roll.

Mini Custard Flans
¾ cup (150 g) sugar
¼ teaspoon cream of tartar
1 teaspoon lemon zest to serve (optional)
Whipped cream to serve (optional)
Custard Mixture
1 cup (200 g) sugar
5 egg yolks
1 egg
1 teaspoon lemon zest
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

1 Combine ¾ cup of sugar and cream of tartar in a saucepan. Simmer over low heat,
without stirring, until sugar melts completely and forms a thin brown syrup, 15-20
minutes. When sugar has completely melted, divide equally between small muffin cups or
flan molds. Spoon just enough of the sugar mixture to cover the bottoms of each container.
Let stand until sugar hardens, about 1 minute.
2 To make the Custard Mixture, whisk the sugar, egg yolks and egg. Strain into a bowl.
Add the lemon zest and vanilla essence and blend well. Set aside.
3 Divide the Custard Mixture equally between the muffin cups or flan molds, pouring the
Custard Mixture over the hardened sugar mixture.
4 Place the muffin cups or flan molds in a steamer above a pan of boiling water. Cover
with a tight fitting lid and steam over low heat for 10 minutes, or until firm, making sure
the water does not enter the molds.
5 Remove from the heat and set aside to cool slightly. Run a knife gently around the edges
of the molds to loosen the flans. Invert onto a serving platter. Serve with lemon zest and
whipped cream if desired.

Banana Custard Surprise
1¼ cups (150 g) rice flour
2 tablespoons tapioca flour
2½ cups (500 ml) thin coconut milk
½ cup (100 g) sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
2 pandanus leaves, torn lengthwise and tied into a knot
2-3 ripe bananas, sliced on the diagonal into ¾-in (1-cm) pieces
Banana leaves (or aluminum foil), softened and cut into 16 x 7-in (18-cm) squares
Makes 16 cakes
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 30 mins

1 Place rice and tapioca flours into a bowl and mix with ¾ cup (200 ml) of the thin
coconut milk, stirring well to remove any lumps. Set aside.
2 Pour the remaining coconut milk into a saucepan with the sugar, salt and pandanus
leaves. When the milk comes to the boil, pour in the flour mixture, stirring continuously
with a wooden spoon to make a thick, smooth custard.
3 Spoon 2 tablespoons of the custard mixture onto the square of banana leaf or aluminum
foil. Place a slice of banana on top of the custard, then spoon another 2 tablespoons onto
the banana to enclose it.
4 Shape the custard into an oblong roll and fold the banana leaf around it. Tuck both ends
in neatly to make a 2 x 3 in (6 x 8 cm) packet. Arrange the packets in a steamer and steam
for 20 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
Banana leaves should be passed over an open flame for a few seconds before use to soften them, so that they do not
crack when folded. Alternatively, dip the leaves in boiling water until they just start to soften. They are sold in
rectangular sheets in Asian grocery stores and supermarkets. If banana leaves are not available, substitute with
aluminum foil.

Enclose the banana slice in the rice custard.

Shape the filling into an oblong, then fold the leaf lengthwise.

Glazed Bananas
Banana “cues” are often sold by street vendors in the streets of Manila. Perhaps their name
derives from “barbecue”, since the bananas are threaded on skewers, as are other fruits,
vegetables and meats cooked on the barbecue. The brown sugar glaze adds sweetness, as
well as a nice sheen, to the cooked bananas.
½ cup (125 ml) oil
4 ripe cooking bananas, peeled
¼ cup (50 g) dark brown sugar or palm sugar
4 bamboo skewers
Serves 4
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

1 Heat the oil in a wok or large frying pan. Add the bananas to the wok, 1-2 at a time.
Immediately sprinkle 1 tablespoon brown sugar or palm sugar evenly onto each banana.
2 Cook over low-medium heat until bananas are tender, about 10 minutes, stirring
constantly. The sugar will melt and form a glaze on the bananas as they cook.
3 Thread bananas onto skewers and transfer to a greased tray. Set aside to cool before
serving.
Palm sugar is obtained from the sap of palm trees. It ranges in color from golden brown to dark brown and has a
distinctive, maple-syrup flavor. It is sold in blocks sealed in plastic bags or jars and is available in supermarkets.

Raisin Rolls
2 cups (240 g) flour, sifted with 1 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons instant yeast
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
3 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons yogurt
½ cup (125 ml) warm milk
2 tablespoons raisins
¼ teaspoon saffron strands soaked in 2 tablespoons hot milk
Makes 5 pieces
Preparation time: 30 mins + 12 hours fermentation
Cooking time: 10 mins

1 Combine the flour, yeast, sugar, butter, yogurt and milk in a mixing bowl and knead to
form a soft pliable dough. The dough should be fairly sticky.
2 Keep the dough in a deep bowl covered with a plate. Set the dough aside for 12 hours to
ferment at room temperature (82°F/28°C). If the dough is fermented on a relatively warm
day, you may have to reduce standing time.
3 When dough is fermented, divide into 5 portions. Roll each portion out on a floured
surface into ¾-in (1½-cm) thick round pieces with the center thinner than the edges and
place on a greased baking tray.
4 Preheat an oven to 480°F (250°C).
5 Sprinkle raisins and saffron milk over the sheermal and bake in the preheated oven for
10 minutes or until golden brown.

span class=“textStyle6”>Steamed Coconut Custard in a Pumpkin
1 small pumpkin (about 2 lbs/1 kg)
1 cup (185 g) shaved palm sugar or dark brown sugar
1 teaspoon pandanus essence
1 cup (250 ml) thick coconut milk
3 tablespoons cornstarch
¼ teaspoon salt
6 eggs, beaten
Serves 4 to 6
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins

1 Carefully cut out a 4-in (10-cm) section around the stem of the pumpkin to form the
“lid”, then scoop out the seeds.
2 Heat the palm sugar, pandanus essence and coconut milk in a saucepan over medium
heat, stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Add the cornstarch and salt and mix
until well blended; do not allow to boil. Reduce heat to low, add the egg and whisk
continuously until a smooth thick batter is obtained, taking care not to scorch the bottom.
Remove from the heat and pour into the pumpkin.
3 Replace the “lid” and steam in a steamer for 30 minutes until the custard is set. Remove
and set aside to cool.
4 Slice the pumpkin into wedges and serve warm or chilled with ice cream if desired.

Diced Water Chestnut in Sweet Coconut Milk
8 fresh water chestnuts, peeled and diced
2 drops red food coloring
½ cup (50 g) tapioca flour
½ cup (90 g) young coconut meat, sliced
Crushed ice
Sweet Coconut Milk
½ cup (100 g) sugar
¾ cup (180 ml) water
¾ cup (180 ml) thick coconut milk
Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

1 To make the Sweet Coconut Milk, boil the sugar and water in a saucepan over high heat,
stirring constantly until the sugar is dissolved. Remove and set aside to cool, then add the
coconut milk and mix well.
2 Place the water chestnut dice in a bowl and sprinkle with the red food coloring, creating
light and dark red spots that resemble “rubies”. Soak the red dice in 2 cups (500 ml) of
water for 1 hour. Remove and drain. Roll the red dice in the tapioca flour to coat
thoroughly, then shake off the excess flour in a sieve.
3 Bring a pot of water to a boil. Drop the coated dice into the pot, stirring gently to
separate, and simmer 2 to 3 minutes until they float to the surface. Remove and steep in
cold water for 1 to 2 minutes, then drain.
4 To serve, place 2 tablespoons water chestnut dice in a small dessert cup. Pour over 4
tablespoons Sweet Coconut Milk and sprinkle some young coconut meat and crushed ice
on top.

Steamed Banana Cakes
Banana leaves or aluminum foil, softened and cut into 18-20 5 x 4-in (12 x 10-cm) pieces
2 very ripe bananas (about 14 oz/400 g)
½ cup (60 g) flour
¼ cup (30 g) cornflour
½ cup (100 g) finely chopped palm sugar
4 tablespoons thick coconut milk
¼ teaspoon salt
Serves 4
Preparation time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

1 Soften banana leaves by dipping into boiling water, about 30 seconds. Drain and wipe
dry with paper towels.
2 Mash the bananas. Stir in the flour, cornflour, sugar, coconut milk and salt, adding more
coconut milk if required to give a soft, pudding-like consistency. If too moist, add a little
more flour.
3 Work with one banana leaf or aluminum foil piece at a time. Position it, long side facing
you. Place one heaped tablespoon of banana mixture in the center and fold, overlapping
both sides, to enclose the mixture. Tuck both ends under. Continue wrapping until banana
mixture is used up.
4 Lay the packets in a single layer in a steamer. Put over rapidly boiling water and steam
for 20 minutes, adding more boiling water after 10 minutes. Allow to cool before serving.
Banana leaves should be passed over an open flame for a few seconds before use to soften them, so that they do not
crack when folded. Alternatively, dip the leaves in boiling water until they just start to soften. They are sold in
rectangular sheets in Asian grocery stores and supermarkets. If banana leaves are not available, substitute with
aluminum foil.

Place 1 heaped tablespoon of the banana mixture in the center of each banana leaf.

Fold the leaf, overlapping both sides, then fold the ends underneath.

Mango Pudding
3 large ripe mangoes (about 3 lbs/1½ kg)
2½ tablespoons gelatin powder
½ cup (125 ml) cold water
½ cup (125 ml) boiling water
¾ Cup (150 g) sugar
¾ cup (180 ml) cream or unsweetened evaporated milk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Whipped cream, for topping (optional)
1 small mango, sliced into wedges, for topping (optional)
Serves 6
Preparation time: 15 mins
Setting time: 6 hours

1 Scoop out the mango flesh and puree in a blender. Soften gelatin powder in cold water,
then stir in the boiling water and mix until gelatin is dissolved. Set aside to cool. Combine
the gelatin and mango purée and mix thoroughly.
2 Stir sugar and cream or evaporated milk in a bowl until the sugar dissolves. Add to the
mango-gelatin mixture. Stir in the vanilla essence.
3 Pour into dessert bowls and chill for 6 hours, or until firm.
4 Top with whipped cream and mango wedges, if desired, before serving.

Stuffed Sweet Idli
Batter
2 cups (400 g) uncooked plain rice
¾ cup (135 g) black lentils (urad dal) or white gram
1 cup (125 ml) water
¼ teaspoon salt
Filling
1 tablespoon ghee or butter
2 cups (240 g) grated coconut
6 tablespoons superfine sugar
2 tablespoons cashew nuts, roasted and chopped
1 tablespoon sesame seeds, roasted and pounded coarsely
1 tablespoon groundnuts, roasted and pounded
8 cardamoms, pods discarded and seeds finely ground
Makes 12 pieces
Soaking time: 6 hours
Preparation time: 1 hour + 10 hours fermentation
Cooking time: 30 mins

1 To make the Batter, soak both lots of rice and black lentils or white gram together for 6
hours. Blend the rice and lentils or white gram with the water to form a smooth paste. Add
salt and stir well.
2 Cover and set aside for 10 hours to ferment at room temperature (82°F/28°C). If the
batter is fermented on a relatively warm day, you may have to reduce standing time.
3 To make the Filling, heat ghee or butter over medium heat and fry the grated coconut for
4-5 minutes, until golden brown. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
4 Lightly grease shallow porcelain cups or muffin molds with ghee or butter. Pour in a
little batter. Put about 3 teaspoons of the filling over it and cover with batter again. Steam
for 15-20 minutes or microwave covered for 5 minutes.

Coconut Cheesecake
2 cups (400 g) uncooked white rice
2 cups (500 ml) water
3 eggs
½ cup (100 g) sugar
2 tablespoons melted butter, plus additional for brushing
1 cup (250 ml) thick coconut milk
1 tablespoon baking powder
Banana leaves or aluminum foil to line cake pan
8 oz (250 g) cottage cheese or grated cheddar cheese
Makes 2 cakes
Preparation time: 20 mins + 8 hours soaking and 12 hours standing time
Baking time: 20 mins

1 Soak rice in water overnight. Drain rice, reserving the liquid. In a blender or food
processor, grind the rice until fine, adding just enough of the reserved liquid so the
mixture is not dry. Set aside for about 12 hours at room temperature.
2 Beat the eggs in a bowl. Add sugar and butter and beat until fluffy. Pour the thick
coconut milk into the ground rice and mix well. Blend rice mixture into the egg mixture,
beating until smooth. Add baking powder. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
3 Wilt banana leaves by passing over an open flame for several seconds. Line two small
baking dishes or heatproof bowls, about 8 in (20 cm) in diameter, with banana leaves or
aluminum foil. Brush the banana leaves or aluminum foil with butter. Pour mixture into
the baking dishes, distributing evenly. Top with grated cheddar cheese and brush with
butter again.
4 Bake in the preheated oven for about 20 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes
out clean.
Banana leaves should be passed over an open flame for a few seconds before use to soften them, so that they do not
crack when folded. Alternatively dip the leaves in boiling water until they just start to soften. They are sold in
rectangular sheets in provision shops and supermarkets. If banana leaves are not available, substitute with aluminum
foil.
Thick coconut milk is obtained by grating the flesh of 1 coconut into a bowl (this yields about 3 cups of grated coconut
flesh). Add 1 cup water, knead thoroughly a few times, then squeeze the mixture firmly in your fist or strain in a muslin
cloth or cheese cloth. If using canned or packaged coconut cream,you normally dilute it, adding 1 cup of water to 1 cup
of canned or packet coconut cream to obtain thick coconut milk. This mixing ratio is only a general guide however, For
best results, follow the package instructions.

Coconut Patties
1 tablespoon cooked rice 1 cup (250 ml) warm water 1½ cups (180 g) rice flour
1 teaspoon instant yeast
2 teaspoons sugar ¼ teaspoon salt
1½ cups (375 ml) thick coconut milk
Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 mins + 4 hours fermentation and 2 hours standing time
Cooking time: 15 mins

1 Blend the cooked rice and warm water until smooth. Transfer to a mixing bowl and add
the rice flour, yeast, sugar and salt. Mix until it forms a thick, smooth batter.
2 Cover and set aside for 4 hours to ferment at room temperature (82°F/28°C). If the batter
is fermented on a relatively warm day, you may have to reduce standing time.
3 Add the coconut milk and mix to form a slightly watery batter. Set aside for 2 hours.
4 Heat a small wok or omelet pan and grease it lightly with oil.
5 Pour 3-4 tablespoons of the batter into the wok. Swirl the wok gently so that about 1¼ in
(3 cm) of the side of the wok is thinly coated and the remaining batter collects at the
center. Care should be taken that it is rotated only twice. Cover with a tight fitting lid.
6 Reduce heat to low and cook for about 3 minutes or until set and the edges resemble
crisp lace, the center is soft and well-risen and the underneath is golden brown.
7 Serve with brown sugar or Palm Sugar Syrup (see page 7).

Fluffy Sweet Rice Cakes
2 cups (400 g) uncooked white rice
1½ cups (375 ml) water
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 cup (200 g) sugar
½ teaspoon salt
Banana leaves or aluminum foil for wrapping
2 tablespoons melted butter for brushing
¾ cup (100 g) grated cheddar cheese
Serves 6
Preparation time: 30 mins + 8 hours soaking time
Baking time: 20-25 mins

1 Soak rice in water for 8 hours or overnight. Drain rice, reserving the liquid. In a blender
or food processor, grind the rice until fine, adding just enough of the reserved liquid so the
mixture turns. It should have the consistency of a dough.
2 Add baking powder, sugar and salt to rice dough and mix well.
3 Wilt banana leaves by passing over an open flame for a few seconds. Cut banana leaves
or aluminum foil into 6 x 4 in (10 cm) circles. Brush with butter and use to line individual
cupcake or muffin molds.
4 Pour dough into molds. Steam in a steamer until cakes are fully cooked, about 20-25
minutes. When the cakes are fully cooked, a knife inserted in the center will come out
clean. If desired, top each cake with grated cheddar cheese before serving.

Sweet Yam Squares
1 lb (450 g) purple or red yams
2 cups (500 ml) water
1 tablespoon melted butter
1 cup (120 g) rice flour
2 cups (400 g) sugar
1¼ cups (300 ml) cream or evaporated milk
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon baking powder
Serves 8
Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins

1 Peel the yams then boil in water until tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool then
grate or mash the yams. Brush small (6 x 6 in/15 x 15 cm) cake pan with butter.
2 Combine the yam, rice flour, sugar, cream or evaporated milk, vanilla extract and baking
powder and stir to mix thoroughly. Pour mixture into greased cake pan and steam in a
large pot or wok covered for 40 minutes, or until firm. Remove from the heat and set aside
to cool for several minutes before serving. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.
Rice flour is a cream-colored flour sold in packets. It is available in supermarkets and grocery stores. It can also be
made in small quantities by grinding uncooked rice grains in a blender or food processor. To make 1 cup of rice flour,
soak ¾ cup (150 g) uncooked rice in water for 5 hours, then drain and grind in a blender or food processor.

Coconut Bread Pudding
1 teaspoon softened butter
2 eggs
⅓ cup (65 g) sugar
¾ cup (200 ml) thick coconut milk
⅔ cup (150 ml) milk
A few drops vanilla essence
6 slices bread, cut into squares
⅓ cup (50 g) sultanas or raisins
Extra sugar for sprinkling
Serves 4
Preparation time: 15 mins
Soaking time: 30 mins
Cooking time: 40 mins

1 Lightly brush the base and sides of an 8-in (20-cm) baking dish with softened butter; set
aside. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).
2 Beat the eggs and sugar together in a medium bowl and pour in the coconut and milk.
Flavor with a few drops of vanilla extract. Add the bread and sultanas to this mixture and
set aside for 20-30 minutes, stirring the bread occasionally to ensure even soaking.
3 Place mixture into the buttered container and spread out evenly. Sprinkle a tablespoon of
sugar on the top and bake for 30-40 minutes or until golden brown. Cool before cutting

into squares for serving.

Sweet Coconut Porridge with Corn
1 cup (200 g) uncooked glutinous rice
5 cups (1¼liters) thin coconut milk
¾ cup (150 g) sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 x 15-oz (425-g) can whole kernel corn, drained, or kernels from 2 fresh cobs of corn, steamed or boiled for 7 minutes
2 cups (500 ml) thick coconut milk, to serve

1 Combine the glutinous rice and thin coconut milk in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, then
add sugar, salt and corn.
2 Simmer over very low heat until rice is tender and mixture has a porridge-like texture,
about 15 minutes.
3 Pour into individual bowls and serve each bowl with ¼ cup (60 ml) thick coconut milk.
Serves 6-8
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

Rice and Custard Slices
Bottom Rice Layer
1 lb (450 g) uncooked white glutinous rice, soaked overnight
1 teaspoon salt
½ cup (125 ml) thick coconut milk
1 pandanus leaf. torn lengthwise and tied into a knot
Custard Topping
5 eggs
1¼ cups (250 g) finely chopped palm sugar
¾ cup (200 ml) thick coconut milk
1 tablespoon rice flour
¼ teaspoon salt
Makes 15-20 pieces
Preparation time: 30 mins + Overnight soaking
Cooking time: 1 hour

1 To make the Bottom Rice Layer, drain the glutinous rice and place in an 8 x 8 in (20 x
20 cm) cake pan. Add the salt, coconut milk and pandanus leaf. Place in steamer and
steam for 30 minutes or until rice is cooked. Flake the rice with a fork and press down to
compress it, using a folded sheet of banana leaf or aluminum foil. Return to the steamer
and steam for 5 minutes before adding the Custard Topping.
2 To prepare the Custard Topping, beat the eggs and sugar in a mixing bowl until the sugar
dissolves. Add the coconut milk and stir in rice flour and salt. Place the mixing bowl over
a saucepan of boiling water and heat, stirring all the time until the mixture starts to thicken
and coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat immediately and pour over the
glutinous rice layer. Steam over gentle heat for 25 minutes or until topping sets.
3 Cool the cake thoroughly before cutting into desired shapes (slices or diamond shapes).

Frozen Fruit Salad
A favorite at parties and during the holiday season, this frozen treat combines fresh fruits
with a sweet, creamy sauce. Make sure you thaw it in the refrigerator for 1-2 hours before
serving.
1 cup (250 ml) whipping cream
½ cup (110 g) cream cheese, softened
¾ cup (200 ml) sweetened condensed milk (see note)
4 cups (500 g) mixed fresh fruits (apples, pears, honeydew and grapes), cut into bitesized pieces
8 whole maraschino cherries, to garnish (optional)
Serves 6-8
Preparation time: 15 mins + 30 mins thawing
Freezing time: 8 hours

1 Whip the cream until fluffy. Add the cream cheese and condensed milk then whisk until
smooth. Fold in the fresh fruits and maraschino cherries, if desired. Transfer to a large
bowl and cover.
2 Freeze for about 8 hours or until firm. Thaw about 30 minutes in the refrigerator before
serving.
If sweetened condensed milk is not available, you can make your own using 2 cups (500 ml) of whole milk and 1¼ cups
(250 g) of sugar. Combine the milk and sugar in a large saucepan. Simmer over low heat, stirring frequently to prevent
scorching, until the mixture thickens, about 45 minutes. Remove from the heat immediately and set aside to cool. The
mixture will thicken further as it cools. Store in a covered container in the refrigerator. This makes about 300 ml (1¼)
cups of sweetened condensed milk.

Sweet Stewed Bananas
2 lbs (1 kg) ripe cooking bananas
2 cups (300 g) dark brown sugar or palm sugar
4 cups (1 liter) water
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 cups (500 ml) fresh cream, evaporated milk or coconut cream
Crushed ice
Serves 8-10
Preparation time: 5 mins
Cooking time: 50 mins

1 Slice each banana diagonally into bite-sized pieces.
2 Combine dark brown sugar or palm sugar and water in a casserole dish or pot and bring
to the boil, stirring occasionally until sugar dissolves.
3 Add the bananas and return to the boil. Lower heat and simmer until bananas are tender
and the liquid becomes thick and syrupy, about 40 minutes. Skim off any impurities that
rise to the top and discard.
4 Stir in vanilla essence and set aside to cool.
5 Spoon bananas and syrup into serving bowls. Add ¼ cup (60 ml) fresh cream or
evaporated milk or coconut cream to each serving. Top with crushed ice.
Fresh coconut cream may be obtained by grating the flesh of 1 coconut into a bowl (this yields about 3 cups of grated
coconut flesh). Add ½ cup water and knead thoroughly a few times, then squeeze the mixture firmly in your fist or strain
with a muslin cloth or cheese cloth.
Palm sugar ranges in color from golden brown to dark brown. It has a distinctive, maple-syrup flavor.

Bananas in Coconut Milk
This super-fast dessert is delicious served hot or cold.
¼ cup (30 g) sesame seeds
6 ripe bananas, peeled
2 cups (500 ml) thick coconut milk
1 cup (250 ml) water
1 pandanus leaf, washed and tied in a knot (optional)
½ cup (100 g) sugar
¼ teaspoon salt (optional)
3 tablespoons dried tapioca pearls or sago pearls, rinsed in cold water and drained
Serves 6
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 15 mins

1 Heat a frying pan over medium heat. Add sesame seeds and stir constantly for 2-3
minutes, or until golden brown. Set aside.
2 Slice each banana in half lengthwise. Slice each half into 3 pieces, to obtain a total of 36
pieces.
3 Combine coconut milk, water, sugar, salt and pandanus leaf in a saucepan and cook over
medium heat, stirring often, until the sugar dissolves. Add the bananas and tapioca or sago
pearls. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring often, for 5-7 minutes, or until the tapioca
pearls turn translucent.
4 Remove the pan from the heat. Spoon the mixture into individual dessert bowls and
sprinkle ½ teaspoon sesame seeds over top before serving.

Bananas with Iced Coconut Custard
4-6 ripe bananas, steamed until soft, about 6 minutes
3-5 cups crushed ice
Coconut Custard
¾ cup (100 g) rice flour
4 cups (1 liter) thick coconut milk
2 pandanus leaves, raked with a fork, knotted
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (150 g) sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla essence
Syrup
½ cup (125 ml) water
½ cup (100 g) sugar
Serves 4-6
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 25 mins

1 To make the Coconut Custard, mix the rice flour with ½ cup (125 ml) of the thick
coconut milk and set aside.
2 Put remaining coconut milk, pandanus leaves and salt in a saucepan and bring to the
boil, stirring constantly. Simmer 2 minutes, then remove pandanus leaves. Stir in the
reserved rice flour mixture, stirring until the mixture thickens and is cooked, about 2
minutes. Add the sugar and vanilla essence, and stir until sugar dissolves. Set aside to
cool.
3 Make Syrup by bringing the water and sugar to the boil in a small saucepan, stirring
constantly. Simmer uncovered for 3 minutes and set aside to cool.
4 Peel bananas and slice. Divide between 4-6 large serving bowls. Add some of the
Coconut Custard and add about ½ cup crushed ice to each bowl. Top each portion with
some of the Syrup and serve immediately.
Although the Coconut Custard is of a firm rather than pouring consistency, it becomes more like a cream when mixed
with the crushed ice before eating.

Sweet Tapioca and Cantaloupe Soup
To make this simple dessert, you’ll need to shop at your local Asian market. For the
tapioca, you will need the pearl tapioca sold at Asian markets; the Western tapioca pearls
are not a substitute. Coconut juice is not the same product as coconut milk—it is available
canned or fresh from a coconut that is cracked open—but if you cannot get it use water
instead. Young coconut meat is sold frozen or in cans.
1½ cups (375 ml) water
½ cup (60 g) tapioca pearls or sago pearls
1 cup (250 ml) coconut juice
¼ cup young coconut meat
⅓ cup (65 g) sugar
½ cup (125 ml) coconut cream
¼ teaspoon salt
½ cantaloupe, flesh scooped out with melon bailer (about 3 cups/500 g)
Serves 4-6
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 10 mins

1 Bring the water to the boil over medium-high heat in a large saucepan. Stir in the tapioca
pearls or sago pearls and coconut juice. When the tapioca becomes almost translucent,
after about 5 minutes, stir in the coconut meat and the sugar, stirring constantly. Cook 5
minutes more, taste for sweetness adjusting if necessary; then remove from heat.
2 Warm the coconut cream over low heat. Add the salt and stir until it dissolves. Remove
from the heat.
3 To serve, spoon ½ cup cooked tapioca into each individual serving dish and top with 2
tablespoons coconut cream and several pieces cantaloupe. Stir and serve.

Sago and Melon in Coconut Milk
4 cups (1 liter) water
3 tablespoons sago pearls
2 cups (500 ml) thin coconut milk
⅓ cup (65 g) sugar
1 pandanus leaf, tied into a knot
1 ripe honeydew melon (about 13 oz/400 g)
Ice cubes
Serves 5-6
Preparation time: 30 mins
Assembling time: 20 mins

1 Bring the water to the boil in a large pan. Add the sago pearls to the water and simmer
for 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Turn off the heat, cover pan and set aside for 10 minutes.
The sago should be translucent, indicating that it is cooked.
2 Pour the cooked sago into a colander and rinse under running water to wash off excess
starch, until sago grains are loose and separate. Leave the sago in the colander to drain
thoroughly.
3 Place the thin coconut milk, sugar and pandanus leaf into a pan and bring to the boil.
Take the pan off the heat and place it in a sink of cold water to cool. When the coconut
milk mixture reaches room temperature, pour into a jug and refrigerate until ready to
serve.
4 Remove the skin from the honeydew melon and cut the flesh into ¼-in ½-cm) dice.
5 To serve, place a spoonful of sago pearls and diced honeydew melon in a bowl. Pour
over the coconut milk mixture. Add ice cubes and serve immediately.

Pearl Barley and Ginkgo Nuts in Sweet Broth
¼ cup (50 g) pearl barley
6 cups (1½ liters) water
1½ cups (200 g) ginkgo nuts (with shells)
1 pandanus leaf, tied into a knot
2 sheets dried beancurd skin
½ cup (100 g) sugar, or to taste
Serves 4-6
Preparation time: 20 mins + 20 mins soaking time
Cooking time: 1 hour 15 mins

1 Rinse barley in several changes of water until water runs clear. Place in a large pan with
the water and set aside to soak for 20 minutes.
2 Meanwhile, carefully crack the ginkgo nut shells and remove the nuts. Place in a small
pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Remove pan from heat, drain water and run
cold water over the nuts—this makes it easier to peel off the papery skins covering the
nuts. There is also a germ within the ginkgo nuts which needs to be removed as it is bitter.
You can do this by either splitting the nut into half and removing it, or by gently pushing it
out using a toothpick.
3 Place the prepared ginkgo nuts into the pan of soaked barley and bring to the boil.
Simmer until tender, about 45 minutes, adding the pandanus leaf half-way through the
cooking.
4 When barley and ginkgo nuts are tender, crumble the beancurd skin into the broth and
cook for 10-15 minutes. Sweeten to taste. Serve either warm or cold.
If using canned ginkgo nuts, add to the broth when the barley has softened.
Dried beancurd skin is the light brown skin that forms on the top of boiling soy milk as it cools. It is sold in thin sheets
for use as wrappers or in thick twists for use in meat and vegetable dishes. It is sold dried or frozen in Asian grocery
stores and supermarkets, and may be substituted with dried beancurd sticks.

Sweet Potato in Ginger Syrup
12 oz (350 g) orange or yellow sweet potatoes
4 cups (1 liter) water
1 in (2½ cm) ginger, thinly sliced
1 pandanus leaf, tied into a knot
⅓-½ cup (65-100 g) superfine sugar (depending on sweetness desired)
Serves 4-6
Preparation time: 15 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

1 Peel sweet potatoes and cut into bite-sized chunks.
2 Rinse the sweet potato chunks, then place in a medium pan with the water, ginger and
pandanus leaf. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat to medium and cook until sweet potato
chunks are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Remove the ginger slices and pandanus leaf.
3 Sweeten to taste and serve warm or cold.

Black Rice Pudding
⅔ cup (1 50 g) black grain glutinous rice
4 cups (1 liter) water
1 pandanus leaf, tied into a knot
½ cup (1 00 g) sugar, adding extra to taste if desired
1 cup (250 ml) thick coconut milk
¼ teaspoon salt
Serves 4-6
Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour

1 Pour the glutinous rice in a large pan and pick out husks and any foreign particles. Wash
in several changes of water and then cover with fresh water. Set aside to soak for 30
minutes.
2 Drain rice and add 4 cups (l liter) fresh water. Bring to the boil together with the
pandanus leaf; then reduce heat to low and simmer until grains are soft and most of the
liquid has evaporated, about 1 hour. (The final consistency should be creamy and
porridge-like; if it looks dry, stir in 1 cup of water.)
3 Add sugar and cook for another 10 minutes before removing the pan from the heat.
4 Combine the thick coconut milk and salt in a small pan. Heat gently, stirring constantly,
until it reaches boiling point. Remove the pan from the heat. Serve the porridge in small
bowls with a spoonful of coconut milk swirled over the top.

Sweet Red Bean Soup
¾ cup (150 g) azuki beans (red beans), picked clean, rinsed and drained
½-in (1-cm) piece dried tangerine peel, washed and soaked in ¼ cup (60 ml) hot water
7 cups (1¾ liters) water
½ cup (100 g) sugar
1 tablespoon cornflour dissolved in 2 tablespoons water (optional)
Serves 4
Preparation time: 20 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour

1 Put the red beans, dried tangerine peel and water in a 3-quart (3-liter) saucepan. Bring to
the boil.
2 Reduce heat, cover and simmer over low heat for 1 hour until softened.
3 Add the sugar and stir. Trickle the cornflour mixture into the soup to thicken the
consistency, if desired.
Azuki beans are small red beans that are boiled until soft and eaten whole in desserts. They are also boiled and mashed
to make sweet red bean paste, a filling used in many Japanese cakes and desserts. They may be substituted with red
kidney beans.

Coconut Mung Bean Dessert
1 cup (200 g) dried mung beans
6 cups (1½ liters) water
2 pandanus leaves, raked with a fork and tied into a knot or 2 drops pandan or vanilla essence
1½ tablespoons sago pearls (optional)
4 tablespoons coconut cream
¼ teaspoon salt
¾ cup (150 g) coarsely chopped palm sugar
1-3 tablespoons sugar
Serves 4
Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 1 hour

1 Pick the beans over for grit then rinse in several changes of water. Place beans in a large
pan and add water. Set aside to soak for 30 minutes.
2 Add the pandanus leaves or pandan or vanilla essence to the pan. Bring to the boil,
reduce heat, cover and simmer until beans are tender, about 45 minutes.
3 Place the sago in a colander and rinse, if using. When the mung beans are tender, add
sago. Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the sago is clear and swollen, about
15 minutes. If not using sago, simmer the mung beans uncovered for 15 mins.
4 Remove pandanus leaves, then add coconut cream, salt, palm sugar and sugar to taste.
Stir gently, until sugar dissolves, 1-2 minutes. Serve warm or cold.
The mung beans may be cooked in a pressure cooker for 20 minutes, using 3 cups (750 ml) water.

Sweet Pumpkin in Coconut Milk
1¼ lbs (600 g) pumpkin
1 cup (200 g) coarsely chopped palm sugar
2 cups (500 ml) thick coconut milk
2 pandanus leaves, raked with a fork and tied into a knot or few drops pandan or vanilla essence
¼ teaspoon salt
Serves 4
Preparation time: 10 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

1 Peel the pumpkin and cut into bite-sized chunks. Set aside.
2 Put palm sugar, thick coconut milk, pandanus leaves and salt into a medium saucepan.
Heat gently over low heat, uncovered, stirring constantly to stop the coconut milk
curdling.
4 When the palm sugar dissolves, add the pumpkin and cook uncovered over low heat,
stirring several times, until the pumpkin chunks are tender but not mushy, about 15
minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Pandanus Jellies in Coconut Milk
Shaved ice or ice cubes to serve
1½ cups (375 ml) thick coconut milk
¾ cup (190 ml) Palm Sugar Syrup (see page 7)
Pandanus Extract
10 pandanus leaves
¾ cup (200 ml) water
Chendol Jellies
6 tablespoons mung bean flour (green pea flour)
2 tablespoons rice flour
Serves 4
Preparation time: 40 mins
Cooking time: 20 mins

1 Wash the pandanus leaves and cut into ¾-in (2cm) lengths. Place in a blender with ¾
cup (200 ml) water and grind until the leaves become liquidized. Strain through a sieve
and squeeze the pulp to obtain the pandanus extract. Discard solids.
2 To make the Chendol Jellies, pour pandanus extract into a measuring jug and top up
with water to make up a total of 2 cups (500 ml) liquid. Add the mung bean flour and rice
flour. Stir well until free from lumps then strain this mixture into a pan. Cook over
medium heat, stirring continuously, until mixture boils and thickens, about 5 minutes.
3 Remove pan from heat and form the Chendol Jellies into little strands (see note). If
using a perforated ladle, hold above a bowl containing iced water and, working with a
spoonful of dough at a time, pass it through the holes in the ladle by pressing on the
mixture with a spoon or rubber spatula. The dough should pass through in little strands.
Remember to work fairly quickly, as you must shape the Chendol Jellies while the mixture
is still very warm. Once it cools, the mixture will set and it will become difficult to press it
through the perforations.
4 To serve this dessert, place 2-3 tablespoons of the Chendol Jellies in a deep bowl and top
with a generous mound of shaved ice (or 5-6 ice cubes). Pour in about ½ cup (125 ml)
thick coconut milk and drizzle on 1-2 spoonfuls of Palm Sugar Syrup (page 7) to sweeten.
Serve immediately.
Traditionally, the cooked cendol mixture is passed through a frame with round holes, but if you don’t own a cendolmaking frame, you can improvise by using a perforated ladle. The above recipe will produce cendol of a natural, muted
shade of green. If you prefer a brighter-colored cendol, add 2 drops of green coloring to the mixture before you cook it.

Complete Recipe Listing
Basic Recipes
Coconut Pancake Filling 7
Palm Sugar Syrup 7
Pandanus Juice 7
Cakes and Pastries
Banana Cake 19
Banana Cream Pie 13
Calamansi Lime Pie 8
Cashew Tarts 11
Egg and Milk Bonbons 31
Egg Tarts 24
Layered Cinnamon and Nutmeg Cake 21
Light Butter Cookies 33
Mango Icebox Cake 14
Pancakes with Coconut Sauce 16
Pineapple Tarts 22
Steamed Caramel Cake 26
Sweet Potato Cakes 34
Young Coconut Cake 29
Custards, Fritters and Rolls
Banana Custard Surprise 49
Banana Fritters 43
Caramel Custard 36
Coconut Custard with Pumpkin 54
Coconut Pancakes 41
Crunchy Water Chestnut with Sweet Coconut Milk 55
Glazed Bananas 50
Mini Custard Flans 46

Quick Jelly Rolls 44
Raisin Rolls 53
Steamed Banana Cakes 56
Sweet Potato Doughnuts 39
Rice and Puddings
Coconut Bread Pudding 70
Coconut Cheesecake 63
Coconut Patties 64
Fluffy Sweet Rice Cakes 66
Mango Pudding 59
Rice and Custard Slices 72
Stuffed Sweet Idli 60
Sweet Coconut Porridge with Corn 71
Sweet Yam Squares 69
Chilled Desserts and Sweet Broths
Bananas in Coconut Milk 79
Bananas with Iced Coconut Custard 80
Black Rice Pudding 90
Coconut Mung Bean Dessert 92
Frozen Fruit Salad 74
Pandanus Jellies in Coconut Milk 94
Pearl Barley and Ginkgo Nuts in Sweet Broth 87
Sago and Melon in Coconut Milk 84
Sweet Potato in Ginger Syrup 89
Sweet Pumpkin in Coconut Milk 93
Sweet Red Bean Soup 91
Sweet Stewed Bananas 77
Sweet Tapioca and Cantaloupe Soup 82