Kuih Bahulu is one of the Malaysian classic cakes that uses three ingredients: wheat flour, sugar and egg.
The process to make Kuih Bahulu is delicate. Thus, it required a whole day to make.
The traditional process of making Kuih Bahulu
This is the process that my late mother used to do in the late ’50s.
First: Measure sugar and egg
On the earlier day of making it, there is no right measurement tool to get the exact amount of ingredients.
The measurement is based on a one-to-one ratio.
We can use any size of bowl to measure.
The quantity of sugar and egg must be at the same level according to the bowl being used.
Second: Whisking the ingredients
After eggs and sugar mix together in a pot, pour in a few drops of rose essence to make the batter fragrance.
Use a traditional brass whisk to whisk the egg and sugar in an up and down manner continuously until it turned fluffy.
Whisking in this direction helps to add more air into the batter and increases the fluffiness.
The whisking is a non-stop process and it takes turns between family members until about from morning till evening.
Third: Adding the wheat flour
Fry dry wheat flour in the wok with slow heat for about five minutes. This is to ensure that the flour is light and easy to mix.
Sift the fried flour for a smooth texture in the batter. Put aside.
The next step is mixing the fluffy batter with the wheat flour.
Scoop a bowl of fluffy sugar and egg batter out and add in the wheat flour.
The batter must be adjusted accordingly until it becomes fluffy and thick.
Fourth: Bake in a self-made oven
To do so, prepare the charcoal and sand. The self-made oven is like the picture drawn.
Put a flat pot lid on the stove. Scatter sand on it. Then, put the Kuih Bahulu brass mould on the sand to preheat it by turning on the gas stove.
The function of the sand in a self-made oven:
- to make sure only the heat from the stove is being received by the bahulu mould rather than direct flame.
- to ensure that the heat is evenly spread.
Once the mould is preheated, pandan leave is used to grease cooking oil in the mould.
Spoon the batter and drop into a hot mould. The amount of the batter should be three-quarters of the bahulu mould.
Close the bahulu mould using its own lid covered with hot charcoal, which helped speed up the cooking process.
I used to help my mother wait for the Kuih Bahulu to cook.
There is no timer so we have to wait patiently and monitor the cake to avoid it from burning.
Once it was cooked, I used a clean toothpick to take the Kuih Bahulu out from the mould.
I still remember the texture of the traditional Kuih Bahulu that my late mother used to make which is soft inside with crusty on the outside.
The Modern way of making Kuih Bahulu
Instead of whisking the egg using a traditional brass whisk, we beat the egg and sugar using a cake mixer and baked in the oven.
The measurement ratio remains the same as classic traditional bahulu as well as wheat flour.
As I mentioned in the early part of the post, I maintain the measurement as per the traditional ratio. The ingredients used remain unchanged.
Commercial Kuih Bahulu
Nowadays, Kuih Bahulu is produced by the food industry in large numbers so that we can have it throughout the year.
They added variety to the Kuih Bahulu by introducing pandan, chocolate and chocolate rice flavours.
Being said, the taste is not the same as traditional bahulu and the texture is spongy.
The commercial Kuih Bahulu sells in supermarkets, hypermarkets, bakery and grocery shops.
Nowadays Kuih Bahulu is available throughout the year as it is being sold in the grocery store, bakery and supermarket.
The Kuih Bahulu is being commercialised because Malaysians love to eat Kuih Bahulu anytime.