Huat Kuih – Sweet Rice Cake Recipe
90 ml water
180 g sugar
60 ml coconut water
150 ml toddy (palm wine)
250 g rice flour
1 packet Eno fruit salt (4.5g)
Boil the water and sugar together to dissolve the sugar. Set aside to cool. In a mixing bowl, combine the cooled sugar syrup, coconut water, toddy and rice flour. Mix well. Set aside for 6 hours or keep overnight to rise, covered with a towel. Stir in 1 small packet of Eno fruit salt and coloring just before steaming the cakes. Mix well and pour into heated Chinese tea cups (about ¾ full). Steam over a high flame for 30 minutes ensuring no water drips onto the batter when steaming and do not open the steamer cover until the cake has fully risen or else the cake will sink and not rise properly. A well-risen cake will display a characteristic crack at the top, which can range between three to five segments.
Note: These little sweet and pretty rice cup cakes (they can come in colors of pink, white, and green) are irresistible to children but in the culinary scheme of things, they are more popular as altar table and graveside offerings. Its name in local Hokkein dialect alludes to its great ability to “rise” (huat); a more literal translation of its name would be “Rise Cake”!