Kue Mangkok – Sweet Steamed Coconut Cakes
Kue or kwee mangkok means ‘cake in a bowl’. I use ice cream cups for mine today. I get them at specialist cooking stores or sometimes at the supermarket. They work well and I did not need to grease them at all. Anything will work for the mangkok; any container that is small and can handle heat is fine. Make sure they are small enough to fit your steamer pan neatly. Check out my other kue mangkok entry with different bowls.
No eggs, no butter
This kue is made without eggs or butter. To keep the cakes creamy, I replaced the water with coconut milk (not necessary but tasty). You can use coconutmilk from a can or dissolve a piece of santen (coconut cream) in warm water. Don’t make the solution too thick, your cakes will become too heavy.
Salt is important. It adds to the flavor of the coconut. I colored the mangkok with pandan- and roses extract. Pandan has that distinctive green color and tastes great too. A few teaspoons is enough to color a portion of the dough to make a colorful bundle of mangkoks.
250 gram (2 cups) self-raising flour
250 grams (1 1/4 cup) of sugar (cane sugar, brown sugar, gula jawa or whatever you like)
300 ml (1 1/4 cup) of water with a dissolved piece of santen (the size of 2 walnuts)
two good handfuls of grated coconut
two sachets of vanilla sugar
natural food coloring (pandan- or rose extract)
If it’s difficult to get self raising flower at your supermarket, make your own. ‘Just add 2 teaspoons of baking powder for each 150g/6oz/1 cup plain flour’ (Nigella Lawson).
Small earthenware or aluminum bowls or small containers. I use in this version ice cream cups made out of cardboard and an ordinary rice steamer.
Bring the water in your rice steamer to a boil with the lid on.
In the meantime stir all the ingredients together, except for the food colors. Keep stirring until your batter is thick, lumpy (because of the grated coconut) and sticky.
Neatly place them in the colander of your steamer. Wrap a clean towel over the lid and steam the cakes for 40 minutes. Do not peek. That can stop them from breaking open at the top. After 40 minutes they have opened up like tulips and look great. Just believe me, not much can go wrong with this recipe.
When done sprinkle them with coconut or roast some grated coconut in a pan without butter or oil. It will bring out the nutty flavor and looks beautiful.