Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Traditional Kueh Lapis

It's just less than two weeks to Chinese New Year and I decided I shouldn't procrastinate anymore and get cracking with my Kueh Lapis. Although I felt lazy at the thought of standing for three long hours grilling the cake layer by layer (about 18 layers in total), the thought the end products which is a delicious and melt in the mouth Kueh Lapis gave me the inspiration to do it.  


Among all the Chinese New Year goodies, this moist, delicious and highly addictive cake remains my favourite and nothing comes close! It's definitely not one of the healthier treats around (and I do try to make healthier bakes if I can) but I'm quite happy to put aside my health consciousness to enjoy a few slices of this Kueh Lapis.  


Thousand Layer Cake (Kueh Lapis) – 9 x 9 inch square
Recipe from a Community Centre baking demo by People Associations’s trainer Ms. Tay Tai Song

Ingredients
  • 500 g butter (Golden Churn tinned butter spread recommended – freeze the butter overnight then cut into pieces before using)
  • 22 pieces of egg yolk
  • 8 pieces of egg white
  • 300 g of sugar
  • 300 g condensed milk
  • 220 g cake flour
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp lapis spices (Recommended: 1/2 tsp nutmeg, 1 tsp cinnamon powder)
  • 3 tbsp rum
    Method
    • Pre-heat the oven to 195 to 200 degree Celsius.
    • Sift flour and spices together.
    • Butter mixture: Beat frozen butter and condensed milk till white, then set aside.
    • Egg mixture: Whisk egg whites and baking powder till stiff at medium speed. Add in sugar, then egg yolks one by one.
    • Stir in flour into the egg mixture (I used hand folding).
    • Mix in butter mixture into egg mixture in 3 rounds using a whisk (I used hand folding).
    • Mix in rum till blended in.
    • Line a square baking tin with paper, grease the paper well.
    • Heat the tin for 2 minutes in the heated oven.
    • Weigh out 130 g of batter and spread onto the baking tin. Bake the first layer till well browned.
    • Turn the oven to grill mode. Place a second layer of 100g and grill this second layer till brown. Repeat the grilling process for all subsequent layers of 100g each, till all the cake batter is used up.
    • Between each layer, press the cake down well using a lapis press.
    I am submitting this post to Chinese New Year Delights 2013 hosted by Sonia aka Nasi Lemak Lover.

    I am submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #27:Through Thick and Thin hosted by Sam of Sweet Sensations. 

    Here is the step by step guide on making Kueh Lapis:

    Carefully separate your eggs and egg whites. You'll need 22 eggs to extract 22 egg yolks and 8 egg whites. Use the extra egg whites to make macarons or fritattas. 



    Sift the cake flour and spices together and set aside. 


    You'll need 500 g of butter. I am using 340 g of Golden Churn tinned butter (which comes in a tin) and 160 g of Golden Churn unsalted butter (in a foil wrap). The night before, you'll need to open up the tinned butter on one end and place it in the freezer. 


    Cut the butter up all the butter into small pieces using a sharp knife and place it in a mixing bowl. 


    Add the condensed milk to the chopped butter and beat it on medium speed till it is stiff, white and creamy. Set aside for later.


    Using another clean mixing bowl, beat the egg whites and baking powder till it is stiff (when you turn the bowl upside down, the egg whites should not drop out). Make sure that your mixing bowl is oil-free or the egg whites may not rise.


    With the mixer running, add in the sugar a little at a time into the egg white mixture till it is all gone. Then add the egg yolks one at a time till it each is well incorporated before adding the next one.  


    The end result is a thick and creamy mixture. 


    Fold the sifted flour and spices into the creamy egg mixture. You can use a whisk. The instructors taught us how to do hand folding (sanitise hands beforehand) as it is the best way not to over-fold but ensure the flour is well mixed in. 


    After the flour has been mixed in, add in the thick, white butter/condensed milk mixture in three rounds using a whisk (or hand folding). Make sure it is well mixed in.


    Add in 3 tbsp of rum and mix well. 


    This is the end result - it looks like a curdled pot of cream.

      
    Butter and line the baking tray and heat it in the pre-heated oven for 2 minutes. Get your weighing scale, laddle (or spoon) and lapis press ready. 


    The first layer should have 130 to 140 g of cake batter. Spread it evenly at the bottom of the tin and bake in the pre-heated oven (195 to 200 degrees C) till it is golden brown. 


    The subsequent layers should be around 100 g each. I usually weigh about 102 to 103 g as some batter will stick to the bowl. 


    After the first layer, turn the oven into a grill mode. Place 100 g of cake batter on top of the cake and spread it out well using a laddle/spoon. 


    The heat from the cake will melt the butter in the batter and you will get a smooth batter. Send it back to the oven to grill. Keep a close watch as the layers brown very easily. Do this until all the cake batter is used up. 


    Between each layer, press down gently using a lapis press.


    55 comments:

    1. OMG! This is too nice. I relly love this Kuih Lapis. I did this one, but yours definitely looked thousand times better than mine.

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    2. Hi Mich, lovely kueh lapis, yours look extremely good. I love this, wish I can have a few slices for my tea break later. :)

      Have a nice day ahead,regards.

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    3. 22 egg yolks?! i better learn some recipes with lotsa egg whites :PP I really admire those who take so much effort to make kueh lapis, the high price totally justify it! Me too lazy to make this, so i will enjoy your cake visually, and go buy myself a piece later heehee :) thanks for the step by step instructions, will bookmark for such a time as when i'm ready to make this :P

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    4. luckily my family don't fancy kuih lapis, so i can escape for this 3 hrs challenge, hehehe..Thanks for your details steps, very useful for those who wish to try out..actually i did it once..

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    5. A masterpiece!
      I always got really scared by the amount of egg yolks this cake requires..but it looks really really beautiful!

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    6. It is a beautiful cake, to make this cake is really time consuming.

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    7. Your kek lapis is evenly layered.... though it is hard work to make this but well worth it because it is really yummy and delicious.

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    8. Mich, impressed with your kek lapis skills the first time you posted... and am still VERY impressed now. Great job! Looks so good.

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    9. How interesting. I certainly have never seen this before. You have excellent baking skills Mich. Everything you make looks very professional.

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    10. Oh, this was the cake that I saw your son was eating on Fb! Labout of love, masterpiece, it's something that I will rather buy to eat as I really don't have the patience to carry on for 3 hours, that's why all my recipes are simple, hahaha! You have done such a brilliant job in this, Mich!

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    11. This looks amazing! I've never tried a kueh lapis before but it looks like an extraordinary dessert creation! Thank you for sharing. A bright way to warm up a my cold Tuesday morning. I hope you have a wonderful week!

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    12. Hi Mich! This is my all-time CNY favourite too! When I was a boy, I would slowly enjoy the slice by peeling and eating the cake layer by layer... Hey, do you take order? :)

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    13. Hi Mich,
      Your kueh lapis looks stunning! I am not a fan of kuih lapis, but I love seeing the many layers and imagine the labour involved in creating the gorgeous layers! My hats off to you, you did a super job!

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    14. Hi Mich,

      I remember you posting this recipe before but without the step-by-step tutorial.

      When I was living in Singapore, CNY is always grueling for me. My grandma will have a long list of requests for cake lapis and other goodies. The lapis itself make me sweat like crazy in front of the hot oven... So, I can imagine baking this cake.

      I must say that your hard work is definitely worthwhile... your cake look delicious and pretty too being so beautifully layered.

      Zoe

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    15. Oh my goodness - I cannot believe how much work goes into this cake. It looks stunning with all those layers. Great pictures.

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    16. Wow, sounds delicious. It sounds like a lot of work, but looks like it is worth the time.

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    17. Oh wow, this is gorgeous! When I have the time, I'll definitely try yo make this!!

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    18. Greetings!from Toronto Mich,your Kueh Lapis looks stunning,nothing like hand folding Method ,when you said turn to grilling Mode? I like to do this Lapis again its all worth while.Thanks for sharing the recipe in full details.
      Happy Chinese & Prosperous New Year 2013.



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    19. What a fantastic looking kue lapis! Your layers are so neatly grilled and I absolutely love the step by step guide you got there! Thanks for your submission! :)

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    20. this is very impressive, mich! definately worth all the effort and time making this. The layers are so even and beautiful! i will forget abt the calories and enjoy this cake first!

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    21. It's an amazing cake Mich!!
      I'm guessing it's similar to your awesome Thousand-layer-cake. I cannot forget that cake which brought me for the 1st time to your blog.
      I'm telling you - one day, hopefully soon, I will try this recipe
      Thank you so much for the detailed-instructions

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    22. This is truly amazing Mich!!!!! I've only tried something similar (Japanese crepe cake) but I know how much work is involved to make this thinly layered cake! So impressive! If I make this I want to save it and am afraid my hard work will disappear in a second! Ha ha just kidding. Of course I'll eat it all...looks so delicious!!

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    23. I love this traditional treat. Love it Mich.

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    24. Oh Mich , that kuih lapis looks absolutely fantastic ! I've watched this travel show before where they feature Malaysia and of course there's kuih lapis making segment as well :D You made it look so easy ! Very impressive ! Great job ;D

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    25. From the end result seems that it was definitely worth the time and effort! Looks perfect!

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    26. THis is a very time consuming job indeed, and you ended up with lots of egg whites in the fridge! But it is indeed addictive...Very even layers!

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    27. Ooh, this is new to me. It looks really delicious and decadent and very elegant. You made the layers so fine, great job!

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    28. Mich, I salute you! You did a wonderful job, your kueh lapis turned out beautifully. And the step-by-step photos are really helpful. I will bookmark this for a time when I am more free to do this marathon :)

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    29. Beautiful Kueh Lapis! Happy Chinese New Year to you! This cake is so much work and you pulled it off wonderfully. There is a lot of hustle in bustle here in Hong kong preparing for the event as well.

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    30. WOW! This is a lovely kuih lapis & definitely worth all the hard work! I must salute you for standing 3 hours making this awesome cake! The end result is amazing with beautiful layers. I always wonder how to make this kuih lapis, thanks for posting the step by step tutorial. I don't know if I have enough courage to make this cake. Well done Mich! ;)

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    31. Mich, really nice-looking lapis you have there. Kueh lapis is also must-bake cake for my family for hari raya. Like any challenge, the satisfaction after baking it is hard to beat.

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    32. I always wonder how this cake is done. Thanks to you now I know. I salute you for your patience in baking this layer by layer. I don't think I'll have the patience..lol. Your Kueh Lapis looks so moist and perfect. Well done, Mich!

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    33. This is awesome!! 3 hours... really? It does look really yummy if that makes you feel any better :) Having a blog is such a great push to cook something you have been putting off.

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    34. My My this looks awesome and a lot of hard work. It is like a piece of food art. great work and hats off

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    35. Wow! That is an incredible amount of eggs and such commitment to baking but with such fantastic results. Really enjoying reading your CNY recipes. I'm learning lots :-)

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    36. Hi Mich, My first reaction was "Oh Wow, this look fantastic". As I scrolled further down..... I think I need to build up some confidence and courage before I dare venture trying it out. Great recipe !. Gong Xi Fa Cai !

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    37. May I ask what kind of rum? Any specific brand or type of rum? Thx.

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      Replies
      1. Any type of rum is fine... brandy is ok also.

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    38. Hi can I not use rum? Or any substitute for rum?

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      Replies
      1. You can omit the rum but it will lack the richness of the alcohol. You can use brandy, or vodka etc...

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    39. Nice recipe! I was wondering, how do you get the lines on the very top layer?

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      Replies
      1. hi, I placed it on a cooling rack and the design was from the rack ha ha

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    40. Hi,

      May I ask where you bought your cake tin and lapis press? I have not seen it in any shops I've been to!

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      Replies
      1. I got mine from Phoon Huat. They have both the 9 inch cake tin and lapis press.

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    41. Hi can I ask why do you freeze your butter?

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      Replies
      1. The tin butter is soft. we need hard butter to beat.

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    42. Hi, if I'm using 7" inch square tin, how's the recipe will be?
      Condense milk, can I use the milkmaid brand sweeten condense milk?
      Can I don't freeze the butter, buy fm ntuc 1 day earlier, next day use it ok?
      As for rum, I saw rum-aroma paste, can I use that? If not replace by vanilla essence, will result be the same?
      Have a great day! Thx

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      Replies
      1. 7 inch tin is half the recipe. You have to freeze the butter, cannot skip that step if you are using golden churn which is a soft butter. You can use any condense milk and the rum paste is fine.

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    43. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

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    44. It's nearly 11PM here on the East Coast and you have made me want to head right into the kitchen and start cooking!

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    45. Hi may I know whether it is necessary to chill the cake ? If yes how long can I keep the cake ? Thanks

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      Replies
      1. Yes after 2 days you will need to refrigerate the cake. I kept mine for over a week... still good :)

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    46. Hi!

      I tried making one but found that the cake tended to be very oily and "compact".
      Any suggestions for it not to be so oily?

      Thanks!

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      Replies
      1. Maybe "compact" is a wrong word to describe it, I'd say it was kinda "dense".

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