Kuih Bakar

Most of those I know who moved away claimed it’s because they couldn’t take the winters here anymore. I feel the same way, although it’s not the snow or cold I mind so much, it’s the constant cloudiness that gets to me. Today is the fourth day since I last saw the sun and I probably will not see it for another two or three days and it’s not even October yet. We could go weeks on end without seeing the sun in the winter due to lake effect. Now, I can tell you being from Malaysia where it’s sunny all the time, this does not bode well with my mental health. On cue, I started my “why we should move” speech with hubby, who is finally convinced that it may not be such a bad idea after all. So maybe one of these days, we will actually do it!

Went to the park yesterday – not much fall colors yet. This is how the days here have been looking – DREARY!
In the meantime, I discovered a quick pick-me-up technique that you could do in the comfort of your own home – SKIPPING!!! I don’t mean using a skipping rope but that instead of walking, skip as you go about your daily activities. It is silly, I know but that’s the FUN part about it! It will get your heart pumping and make you feel lighthearted and carefree (at least it did with me). :-) Not only that, the silliness of it will bring smiles to everyone around you. Don’t believe it? Do it tonight when your family’s around – skip as you go around the house. Your kids will be baffled at first and then they will be wailing with laughter (of course, it doesn’t hurt to give them a few tickles as you pass them). *grin* Check out this fascinating blog called iSkip for photos of people having fun skipping (I stumbled upon this website when I was googling for images of people skipping).

Another pick-me-up idea – make a colorful dessert to “brighten” your day. We need to refuel after all that exertion of skipping, ya know. ;-) This time, I decided to make kuih, a Malaysian dessert with its distinctive soft yet firm, pudding-like texture which tends to fill one up really quickly. I’m not a fan of kuih in general and hadn’t eaten one in almost ten years. Occasionally, I do crave it, having eaten a variety of them throughout my childhood (my mom would often get many different kinds of kuih for our breakfast). However, most kuih recipes I’ve come across always seem so time-consuming and complicated to make until this one. All you have to do is mix the ingredients, sprinkle the sesame seeds (optional) and bake – easy peasy! :-) Hubby really likes it (is there anything hubby doesn’t like?) *grin* and ate more than I did last night. Finally, after almost a decade of not having kuih, I had it for breakfast this morning and reminisced about days gone by.

Got this recipe from Almost Bourdain, who in turn got it from My Kitchen Snippets. You got to love food blogs!!

1¼ cups sugar
2 cups flour
1 cup pandan juice (6 pandan leaves + 1 cup water – blended and sieved)
2¼ cups coconut milk
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tbsps melted butter
1 tsp pandan paste
1 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)

  1. Preheat oven to 325°F and grease a 8″ x 8″ square baking pan.
  2. In a large bowl, mix all the ingredients together except sesame seeds until well-combined.
  3. Pour mixture into baking pan and sprinkle the top evenly with sesame seeds.
  4. Bake until golden brown or skewer comes out clean when tested. It should take an hour.
Personal Note: I decided to use a Pyrex (glass) baking dish instead of a metal pan as I planned to cut the kuih right in the dish. I’m not sure if ultimately, this was the reason it took the kuih longer to finish baking but it was not done (the skewer did not come out clean) until 1 hour and 20 minutes later as compared to the approximated 1 hour time. Also, since I do not have pandan leaves to make pandan juice, I just used water and increased the pandan paste to 2 teaspoons. In addition, I turned this recipe dairy-free by substituting the butter with Earth Balance Natural Buttery Sticks (which I also used to grease the baking dish). Lastly, I don’t have any non-toasted sesame seeds and was worried that the toasted sesame seeds would burn during the baking. It turned out perfectly fine, so go ahead and use them.
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