All my life, I have never been a dessert person but as I grow older, I have an appreciation for them. Perhaps my taste buds have changed. I enjoy them more now than ever. Having said that, as a kid there were a couple of desserts that I liked a lot. Both of them are kind of bold, colorful and loud. Kinda like me!
One of them, different layers of pink and white and I would peel layer by layer as I ate them. It was a lot of fun just having it because it was a party in itself for me!
But, today, I am about to share with you my other favorite dessert and that is….
Steamed Sticky Rice and Sweet Screw Pine Scented Green Custard Cake (better known as Kuih Seri Muka)
12 pieces screw pine (pandan) leaves, washed and cut into 1/2″ pieces
3-4 tablespoons water
1 cup castor sugar
1/2 cup water
4 pieces pandan leaves, washed and tied into knots
1 cup glutinous rice, soaked overnight (or at least 6 hours) and drained
1 1/2 cups coconut milk
a pinch of salt
1/4 cup plain flour, sifted
2 teaspoons corn starch
1 cup coconut milk
a pinch of salt
First, place the 1/2″ cut pieces of leaves and water into either a mortar and pestle or a blender to extract the green coloring and flavor. Strain this through a sieve or cheesecloth to extract the juice. You should ultimately get about 100 ml out of this. If you have time, allow it to sit out for a couple of hours as the residue that sits on the bottom is best to be used.
Then, in a pot, place the sugar, water and knotted leaves and cook on medium heat till the sugar has dissolved. Remove and set aside for it to cool.
Next, prepare the sticky rice layer. Mix the glutinous rice, coconut milk and salt in a bowl and steam for 30 minutes. Once done, remove and transfer into a lightly oiled 8″ square or round baking dish that will also fit into your steamer. Press and level the rice down into a compact layer using a wet spatula. Set it aside.
Finally, the custard layer. In a bowl, mix the screw pine leave extract with coconut milk. Bring the water of a double boiler/bain-marie to a boil. Away from the boiler, in the top bowl, combine the flour, corn starch, eggs, the coconut milk and screw pine extract mixture as well as salt. Whisk them all till smooth. Then, whilst whisking, gradually add the cooled sugar syrup. Now, transfer the bowl into the double boiler/bain-marie and gently cook the custard over medium-low heat. Be sure to stir continuously till the custard thickens slightly about 6-10 minutes. Then, pour the custard through a sieve onto the cooled rice layer. Next, place onto the steamer, cover and steam over low heat for another 20 minutes till the custard is set.
Remove the tin from steamer and be sure to cool it completely (at least 2 hours) before cutting it into diamond-shaped pieces. For neatly cut pieces, lightly oil or heat the knife with hot water. Serve this at tea time with coffee or tea. You can refrigerate this delicious dessert up to a week. However, before serving, be sure to bring it to room temperature! ENJOY!!!!