Kueh Baulu: A Family recipe and tradition

For as long as I can remember, I would look forward to spending the weekends leading up to the Lunar New Year helping my dad make his famous Kueh Baulu (Egg Sponge Cake), a traditional New Year goodie handed down from my grandmother and hopefully to me and my sisters in future.

Making kueh baulu is very much a family affair, which involves sourcing for used aluminium/plastic containers, cooking the coconut oil three days beforehand , and ordering tons of ingredients from the neighbourhood grocer.

In the past we used to make them for sale but now given my dad’s age and the unfortunate fact my sisters and I haven’t been helping for a number of years, we now do it just for one day a year.

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The many shapes of a traditional kueh baulu

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My sister taking over dad’s duties

I don’t believe that traditional recipes should be kept secret, because ultimately it takes years of practice to get the mix and technique just about right, and it was something I decided to document this year.

Ingredients
12 eggs (approx. 60g each)
600g plain sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence (add at the end)
180g of plain flour
Coconut oil

Step 1: Crack 12 eggs into a bowl together with 600g of plain sugar, pour into bigger bowl
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Step 2: Mix the mixture at medium speed for around 4-5 minutes, it should start turning into a cream colour by thenIMG_7326

Step 3: Up the speed of the mixer and continue for another 3 minutes, colour should be like below
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Step 4: Add vanilla essence 30 seconds before the 3 minutes is up
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Step 5: Pour 400 ml of the mixture into a container and add another 180g of flour, proceed to mix it in a single direction till mixture is even (bowl here is actually 800ml + 360g of flour)
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Mix till mixture is even

Step 6: Preheat oven to approximately 220 degrees Celsius  Make sure to fill the brass moulds with coconut oil and heat it up for around 15 minutes. (Note: It may take a few batches for the mould to ‘warm up’ properly so the first few times the kuehs may not turn out as expected )

Tip: A good way to ‘oil’ the moulds is to take a small absorbent cloth and use a rubber band to attach it to a chopstick.
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Step 7: Once heated, add more coconut oil and fill moulds with the mixture.Filling the mould will take a no. of times to get right, a tip is to just use the tip of the spoon and scoop at the edge of the container

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Step 8: Let it cook for around 10 minutes till it becomes a nice light brown colour on top, the bottom should appear as being more of a biege colour. Simply use a satay stick to remove the kueh baulu

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After 2 mins it will appear like this

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Use a satay stick to pick the kueh baulu out

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A nice beige brown should form at the bottom

Step 9: While you are more than welcome to eat some straight away, do remember to let them cool down before packing  to prevent them from getting soggy. Also if you are going to pass them onto friends and relatives, make sure to tell them to eat it only 3 days later to let the dough ‘rest’ properly.

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In many ways making kueh baulu is really something i try to look forward to every year, if it just means spending that little bit more time with my family and keeping a wonderful tradition alive.

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