KajoMag traded our pens and laptops for a whisk and a wok to make our own traditional Malaysian cake – kuih cap.
Even if you have never heard of ‘kuih cap’, you have most probably heard the name of this cake under other names. In Sarawak, it is widely known as kuih cap (sometimes kuih sap). This snack is also called kuih goyang, kuih loyang, kuih ros, kuih bunga durian, beehive cookie and honeycomb cookie.
The basic ingredients to make kuih cap are rice flour, eggs, sugar and coconut milk.
Although this traditional snack does not share a common name, it uses the same brass mold to make it. In Malaysia, you can find the mold at major supermarkets, grocery shops or kitchenware stores.
The original kuih cap is golden brown in colour but it can come in other colours as well, especially in pink.
Similarity with snacks from other countries
While there is no proven fact on where kuih cap comes from, the common understanding is that it is inspired by southern Indian’s rose cookies.
Even in India, it is known by different names; Gulabi Puvvulu in Telugu, Acchu Murukku in Tamil and Achapam in Malayalam. Made from flour, sugar, eggs and coconut milk, this rose cookie is a favourite among Indian Christians during the Christmas season.
In Indonesia, this snack is called Kembang Goyang. It shares the same ingredients with kuih cap of rice flour, eggs, sugar, salt and coconut milk.
Meanwhile in Thailand, a snack which is similar to kuih cap is Lotus Blossom Cookie or Kanom Dok Bua.
The pattern of the Lotus Blossom Cookie mold looks more like a lotus flower and more elaborate from kuih cap’s mold.
Unlike kuih cap, Thai’s Lotus Blossom Cookie is not flat and really does look like a flower. To shape the flower, place a small bowl upside down on a plate. When the cookie is fresh out of the fryer and still soft, place the cookie on top of the bowl to make it curve like a blossoming flower. Allow to cool.
Beside rice flour, some Lotus Blossom Cookie recipes also put in all-purpose flour and cassava flour as their ingredients.
This Lotus Blossom Cookie reportedly can also be found in Hong Kong and Taiwan.
The variations of Malaysian kuih cap recipes
In Malaysia, there are plenty of variations in portions when it comes to kuih cap recipes. However, the main ingredients are rice flour, sugar, eggs, coconut milk, salt, water and oil for frying.
Some put in drops of colouring to make it more colourful. Another ingredient, which is optional for kuih cap, is sesame seeds.
After mixing all the ingredients into a batter, heat the oil together with the brass mold. After the oil and mold are hot enough, dip the mold lightly into the batter and then put it back into the hot oil long enough to cook the batter. Then shake it over a plate until the snack comes off the mold.
KajoTries to make our own kuih cap
Here at KajoMag, we traded our pens and laptops for a whisk and a wok to make our own kuih cap.
To make the batter, we used 500g of rice flour, one cup of castor sugar, 2 eggs, 250ml of coconut milk, one teaspoon of salt and 400ml of water.
The recipe also stated that we supposed to put a little bit of air kapur (limewater). But we couldn’t find any so we scratched that of the ingredient list. (Do let us know in the comment box why we should put in limewater in our kuih cap).
While the rest of the ingredients were easily available and affordable, the hard part was deep-frying it.
Some people suggested keeping the fire low to prevent it from burning. (But it does take a toll on our patience.)
Sometimes, the mold was too hot that the batter just fell off the mold even before we transferred it from batter to oil to fry it.
Additionally, we realised that therewas an art to shaking the mold while dipping the batter in the frying oil that most online recipes failed to mention. We were supposed to shake the mold up and down – not side to side as we were doing! – in order for the snack to stay in shape.
The end product
After getting the hang of the mold and the frying, we were happy to announce that 60% of our kuih cap were nicely shaped and crispy, while the rest were burnt or deformed beyond recognition.
KajoMag readers, feel free to share your ultimate recipe of this traditional snack and tricks to make the perfect piece of Kuih Cap in the comment box.
Do you have any traditional recipes that you want us to try to make next? Let us know!