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I like the texture of these steamed cupcakes cos they are laced with the fragrant gula melaka (Malaccan palm sugar) taste and smell and it doesn’t stick to my teeth every time I take a bite. Absolutely gorgeous and a changed from normal cupcakes!
For those who are thinking “What on earth is this Gula Melaka?” here’s a little description. Gula means sugar in the malay language and Melaka is actually a state in Malaysia. “Gula Melaka” is a type of palm sugar made famous in the state of Malacca, Malaysia. It is a rich dark brown harden sugar made from coconut and caramel-flavoured sugar tapped from palm trees. It is boiled until thickens and poured into bamboo tubes to harden hence taking the bamboo segment shape. Sold in many countries and mainly used to flavour desserts.
150 gm gula Melaka (chopped)
80 ml filtered water
hot water for topping up
80 gm butter (melted)
100 ml evaporated milk
1 egg (slightly beaten)
200 gm self raising flour (sifted)
1 tsp soda bicarbonate
A pinch of salt
- Grease heat proof tea cups or coffee cups of your choice with butter.
- Caramelize shaved or chopped gula Melaka in filtered water. Put water into small saucepan, then place the shaved Gula Melaka right in the centre.
- Bring to boil slowly until consistency becomes thick and gluey. Careful not to burn the sugar. In place of Gula Melaka, one can also use brown sugar, follow the same process.
- Pour out into a measuring jug and top up with hot water until 150 ml. Stir well and leave to cool.
- Sieve flour, soda bicarbonate and salt together. Make a well in the centre and leave aside.
- Add butter, evaporated milk and egg into the cool Gula Melaka sugar. Stir well. Pour mixture into the centre well of the flour and stir consistently with a fork until mixture becomes a smooth batter.
- Spoon mixture into the greased cups and place into a preheated steamer for approx. 30 – 35 minutes or until skewer comes out clean. Cool, and served drizzled with some melted Gula Melaka.
Note : In order to achieve the cracked top effect, use teacups with a smaller bottom than the top opening. When steamed, the heat will push the cake upwards thus causing the crackling effect.