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Sunday, 6 November 2011

A Small Fortune Perhaps?

This post was supposed to be for Traditional Kuehs, Aspiring Bakers' theme for the month of October but as it is, I missed the boat.   Here's the story behind what inspired it...

Fortune is very much a part of the Chinese culture.  Doubts? Most of you would have heard about the Chinese fortune cookie to begin with.   In our culture, so much is being centred around ways to ensure good fortunes get ushered into our lives...colors that we wear, words that we utter,  where and how we place stuff around.  Even the food that we put in our mouths are not spared, we make them in auspicious  colors, shapes and top it all with an auspicious sounding name in hopes for more fortunes to come.    It is amazing how every aspect of our lives can be tied it.   Somehow or rather, I feel a materialistic mindset or if i were to put it on a lighter node, it's this constant reminder of the importance of money/fear of insufficiency is subconsciously nurtured because of this culture.  It is a good motivating factor, but the i think the key is finding the balance.  When do we draw line?? I have no answer to this myself, striking a balance is a challenge.  Because there are things that we sacrifice in the pursuit for more fortunes, we can't have them all.   Is it worth the sacrifice?  I may not know or choose to belittle the price that I pay for now but would it be too late when I realise it?  Do I sound like a lost soul? I hope not :)

This is one little cake that got itself caught in the fortune culture.  It is known as "Huat Ker" in my dialect, of which Huat means 'Prosper'.    This little steamed cake is suppose to bring good luck, to the ones making, giving and of course to those eating them too.  One thing that this little thing is sure to bring is ...inches if not fortune!   For those making them, there is no better reward then opening up your steamer to see a tray of beautifully  bloomed cakes, a sign of good fortune to come, so they say....

Unfortunately, this was what greeted me when I opened mine.  Bloomed they did but they looked like buds rather than flowers to me!   Maybe God was trying to remind me, a small fortune was all that I need, don't get too caught up with it! Yes, that must be it! Good excuse to hide from the real reason why they didn't bloom as well as they should!  Actually, i am not too sure why too, it would be good if any of my dear friends could enlighten me.  Recipe says double action baking powder, mine does not have the word double, could this be the reason??

Anyway, this was made with some sweet potatoes, giving it a nice yellow orangey color, gold like in auspicious lingo:).  It was soft, moist and sweet smelling, pretty yummy.

Source : Cherry's Kitchen (hop over to her blog to see her blooms and variety of flavours)

A Ingredients - Yeast dough
  • Plain flour 50g
  • Water 50g
  • Yeast, 1tsp (7.5gm)

B Ingredients 
  • Sweet potato (steamed), 200g 
  • Coconut milk, 120g 
  • Water, 40g 
  • Orange sugar, 140g (Fine Sugar)
  • Egg, 1 
  • Plain flour, 200g
  • Double acting baking powder, 1dsp (1 dsp = 2 teaspoons, probably the culprit)

  1. Mix yeast dough (A) ingredient together. Leave aside for ½ hr until it has proofed.
  2. Combine mashed sweet potato, coconut milk, water together and blend it. Add in flour, double acting baking powder, yeast dough and mix evenly (Mix quickly in one direction, do not overmix). 
  3. Pour mixture over cups. Dip a spatula in oil and make an “X” across the batter. Leave it aside to proof for 10 minutes. Steam over high heat for 15 minutes.


your Huat Ker is blooming beautifuly, you must be very lucky in this case,hehehe..

i did made some 'huat kuehs' but hv yet to post it up.actually i almost forgotten abt this post. It did bloom beautifully, giving you big smiles...big fortunes..maybe. These huat kuehs still look good to me, they're still smiling!..btw, i dont think you're a very superstitious person..LOL!

These 'Huat ker' look very pretty. At the first glance, I thought is a traditional cupcakes. :)

Thank you Sonia, Lena and Ann!
@Sonia: More like about to bloom to me :)
@Lena: Show me yours! No i am not superstitious at all, but a bigger smile would definitely make me happier :)
@Ann: Like cupcakes, yalor because it only huat a little bit :)

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