Tuesday 30 July 2013

Steamed Fruit Cake (Kek Kukus)

So far, I've only made Steamed Fruit Cake, or better known as Kek Kukus in Malay, for the coming Eid. I  made six of them, two for my mother in law & the rest for my mum & relatives. I used the same recipe that I've shared before, but this time, I've also included a list of tips which I hope would be useful for those who would like to try making this delicious cake.

Some tips for preparation:
  1. I placed my butter in room temperature overnight so that it's softened by  the time I started mixing the next morning. It's important for the butter to be completely soft so that the ingredients will amalgamate thoroughly. I made 3 batches this week, one using cold, partially softened butter & the other two using overnight-softened butter. I noticed that the cakes from the first batch did not rise as well as the other batches.
  2. I prepared all the ingredients first before I started mixing & preparing the burnt sugar.
  3. I started cooking the burnt sugar & mixing the cake mixture simultaneously as the burnt sugar did take some time to caramelise.
  4. I steamed 2 cakes in one go by using my 2 layer steamer pot. After steaming the cakes for 2 & 1/2 hours, I switched the position of the 2 steamers such that the top went to the bottom & vice versa. Then I continued steaming them for another 1 & 1/2 hours.
  5. I usually covered the pan with grease paper & then aluminium foil before steaming, but this time I just wrapped it with aluminium foil after learning from Ayu. It worked well. In fact, it's easier.
  6. This cake is best eaten after a few days to allow the flavour to fully develop.

(Update: Go to this post for the recipe of a more moist Kek Kukus. )

Steamed Fruit Cake a.k.a Kek Kukus
Recipe by Hamidah Rusdi.

250g butter (softened)
100 fine sugar
1 tsp ( I used 1/2 tsp) ground nutmeg
1/4 tsp (I used 1/2 tsp) orange essence
1/2 tsp vanilla essence
2 large eggs (I used three 55g-eggs.)

*250g plain flour
*1 tsp baking soda
*1 tsp cream of tartar
(* combined & sifted)

**100g mixed dried fruits (The original recipe  uses 300g mixed dried fruits only.)
**200g dried black currants  (Omit if using 300g mixed dried fruits.)    
**50g walnuts (chopped into small pieces) - I added
**20g plain flour
(** combined)

For burnt sugar:
200g castor sugar

  1. Heat a steamer over medium heat.
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine butter, fine sugar, nutmeg, orange essence & vanilla essence & mix with a wooden spoon. Add eggs, one at a time & mix just until well-blended. Do not over mix.
  3. Add flour into the butter mixture & mix until well-blended. Then add in fruits & mix well.
  4. Prepare burnt sugar by placing castor sugar into a heavy skillet over medium heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon as sugar melts. When it becomes very dark brown, remove from heat and carefully pour to the fruit cake mixture. Before pouring the burnt sugar, make a well in the mixture & pour the burnt sugar into the well. Starting from the center,  stir the burnt sugar into the mixture. Continue stirring the rest of the mixture. This is to prevent the burnt sugar from sticking to the side of the bowl as it hardens almost as soon as it sticks to the side. (NB: The hardened sugar that you manage to scrape from the side of the bowl can still be added to the batter in the baking pan.)
  5. Pour mixture into a lined & greased baking pan (8x8x4"). Cover the pan with aluminium foil & tie it with a string (I used a rafia string). Tuck in the foil, making sure the pan is water-proof.
  6. Place the pan on a steamer & steam  for 4 hours. 
  7. Remove pan from steamer. Remove foil & leave pan aside for 10 minutes. Then remove cake from pan. Leave to cool.


kitchen flavours said...

Hi Faeez,
Your steamed fruit cake looks so moist and delicious! This is perfect for a festive celebration!

Nurul Huda said...

Hi Faeez. Can I ask if the fruit cake can be left outside for the flavor to fully develop or should it be refrigerated?

Faeez said...

Nurul, you can just leave it outside. No need to to put in the fridge if it's just for few days. Actually, I've tried putting it outside for two weeks, they're still ok. That's the good thing about this cake. :)

Nurul said...

Thankyou Faeez! If I were to leave it outside, do I need to cling wrap it? If I don't cover it, will it attract ants?

Faeez said...

Nurul, yes, you should cling wrap the cake to retain the moisture & protect it from ants & all other insects. :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Nurul, tried the cake the same way you prescribed. Juz that i soaked the fruits overnight in brandy as advised by some who said the flavour will be better. But I only steamed the cake for two hours. The cake was cooked well. But I found it soft. Must we steam the cake for 4 hrs or if its done by two hrs, can we take out?

Anonymous said...

Dear Nurul would love to try out the cake. Is it ok to substitute orange juice to essence? If yes, how much should I add to the recipe? Many thanks in advance. Wendy

Faeez said...

Hi Wendy, I suppose you can but orange essence is more concentrated than the juice, so I suppose you need to add more than a tsp if you are using the juice, a tablespoon perhaps. Btw, I'm Faeez, not Nurul.Thanks for dropping by.

Abby Laks said...

Hello Faeez!

I'm Abby Laks from Abby's Spice Kitchen blog. I stumbled across your wonderful blog with interesting recipes and steamed fruit cake caught my attention. I would like to know whether you wrapped the sides and bottom of the baking tin with aluminum foil or the top of it as well. Besides that, what kind of steamer shall I use here ? Is it the one used to steam kuih lapis. Please advice me on this.

Thanks in advance.

Faeez said...

Hi Abby Laks, thank you for dropping by. You need to wrap the bottom & sides of the pan with grease paper only, then cover the top with aluminum foil. Yes, use the steamer used for kuih lapis.

Anonymous said...

hai kak

nak tanya...saya da ikut smua step tapi kek nye agak kering...knp ye?

Faeez said...

Hai dek,
Ada kemungkinan, kerana mentega digunakan. Ada yang mengandungi banyak air. Biasanya, kek kukus dibuat dgn menggunakan mentega cap tong. Kualitinya terjamin.

Faeez said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Florence said...

Hi Faeez

I tried your fruit cake receipe it was good. The only problem
I have is that when I caramelize the sugar, it is very hard
n when I pour into the cake, it doesn't melt. Does
anybody encounter this problem? What should I do
to get the sugar to melt, so I can pour into cake. n
not get hard lumps in my cake.

Your reply will be great. Thanks

Faeez said...

Hi Florence,
The sugar should be cooked until it melts & cameralised before you add it to the mixture. Something could have gone wrong if it doesn't melt . I've experienced that before once, so I just threw it away. I don't know what I did wrong...

Masza said...

Sis Faeez,
Do I need to line the sides of the baking pan too?

Faeez said...

Masza, yes dear.. It makes it easier to remove the cake from the pan.

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