Pineapple Tarts


  • 2 pineapples, about 1.2 kg each, underripe, rather sour, fibrous, pulpy, not too juicy
  • peel and remove eyes to yield about 1.3 kg in total; rinse and drain thoroughly; chop and blend woody cores till totally smooth, and juicy part till roughly minced
  • 1 star anise
  • 5 cm cinnamon stick, split lengthwise
  • 500 g sugar


  • 360 g unsalted butter
  • 60 ml vegetable oil
  • 75 ml water
  • 60 g sugar
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 600 g plain flour
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 90 cloves, or thereabouts


  • To make filling, put all ingredients in a non-reactive wok. Cook over maximum heat till almost dry, 10-15 minutes. Add sugar and stir till melted. Continue cooking, stirring from time to time, till light brown and starting to thicken, about 20 minutes. Lower heat from maximum to high. Cook till medium brown and just thick enough to hold its shape, another 10 minutes or so, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Turn off heat. Refrigerate 1 tbsp filling till slightly cool to touch. Press to check consistency. If too soft, cook another few more minutes. If too hard or too sticky, add 1-2 tbsp water and mix evenly.
  • When filling is cool, roll into little balls weighing 9-10 g each. Leave in freezer till firm, 30 minutes or longer.
  • To make pastry, put all ingredients except flour in a pot. Over high heat, bring to a boil. Continue boiling till foam subsides and colour darkens. Alternatively, weigh pot and contents before heating, then boil till weight is reduced by about 65 g.
  • Turn off heat. Tip flour into pot. Mix thoroughly and leave till just cool enough to handle. Knead to make sure mixing is even, adjusting with 1-2 tbsp water if mixture is crumbly, or 1-2 tsp plain flour if sticky. Divide into little balls weighing 11-12 g each.
  • To assemble, remove pineapple balls from freezer in batches so that they stay firm and easy to handle. Flatten ball of dough with palm. Place filling in middle of dough. Seal and roll as shown in video.
  • To bake, preheat oven to 190°C (375°F). Place tarts on baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush thoroughly with egg yolk. Garnish with cloves. Bake till golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Don’t overbake or filling would be hard and too chewy. Remove tray from oven. Wait till tarts are firm enough to handle, 5-10 minutes. Transfer to wire rack. When cool, store in airtight containers. Refrigerate if keeping for more than a few days. Serve at room temperature, discarding cloves before eating. Tarts are best when filling and pastry have had a few hours to firm up after baking.

Cashew Nut Cookies


  • 150 g unsalted butter
  • 180 g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, about 50 g
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 200 g plain flour, sift with baking powder
  • ½ tsp baking powder
  • 200 g untoasted cashew nuts


  • bake untoasted nuts at 160°C till brown and fragrant, 15 minutes or so; leave till cool; chop roughly with knife; mince in food processor till fine, leaving some larger bits for bite
  • 130 g untoasted medium size cashew nuts
  • split nuts into 2 halves to yield around 180 pieces
  • 2 yolks, beaten
  • Whisk butter and sugar till pale and fluffy. Add egg, vanilla extract and salt. Whisk till smooth. Add flour and baking powder. Mix till shaggy. Add toasted cashew nuts. Mix till even. If sticky, sprinkle with 1-2 tsp plain flour and mix again, or chill till firm enough to handle.
  • Dusting with plain flour, roll dough thickish, about 4 mm. Cut with cutter just slightly bigger than a cashew nut. Traditionally, cashew nut cookies are shaped like cashew nuts.
  • Place cookies on baking tray lined with parchment paper. Brush lightly with yolk. Gently press 1 cashew halve onto each cookie, flat side down. Lightly brush cashews with egg yolk.
  • Bake at 160°C till golden brown, about 20 minutes. Remove cookies to wire rack. Leave till cool. Store airtight if not eaten immediately.

Butterscotch Popcorn


  • 150 g corn
  • 185 g sugar
  • 40 g unsalted butter
  • 4 tbsp toasted peanuts
  • finely ground to yield 5 tbsp
  • ¼ tsp salt


  • Put corn in warm wok that’s 30 cm wide or bigger. Stir 2 minutes over low heat. Spread corn evenly in 1 layer. Cover and wait 1 minute. Check if there’s water under the cover. Wipe dry with paper towels if there is. Wait another 3-4 minutes, till corn starts to pop. When popping starts, increase heat to medium. When popping slows down, turn off heat. Wait till popping stops completely (which is when you think it’s stopped, plus 30 seconds) before removing cover. Transfer corn to a bowl.
  • Clean wok by wiping with paper towel. Pour sugar into wok. Over medium heat, cook till sugar starts to melt. Swirl wok to heat evenly, till melted sugar is brown like dark honey. Reduce heat to low. Add butter and ground peanuts. Stir till thoroughly mixed. Add salt and stir through. Tip popcorn into wok. Caramel may now thicken because popcorn is cold or at most warm. Increase heat to medium-low to keep caramel liquid. Toss till corn is evenly coated. Turn off heat. Transfer popcorn to a bowl. Break into small pieces. Taste and sprinkle with more salt if necessary. Serve immediately or keep in airtight container.

Killer Sugee Cake


  • 165 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • 35 g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp golden syrup
  • 2 tsp brandy
  • 60 g semolina
  • spread thinly on baking tray lined with aluminium foil; bake 10 minutes at 180°C; stir thoroughly; continue baking till light brown and fragrant, another 5 minutes or so; leave till cool
  • 80 g yolks
  • 35 g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 60 g almonds
  • bake at 180°C till brown and fragrant, 6-8 mins; chop roughly when cool; grind till fine
  • 20 g cake flour
  • 1/6 tsp baking soda
  • 80 g egg whites
  • 1/8 tsp cream of tartar
  • 35 g castor sugar


  • Whisk 165 g butter and 35 g sugar till thick and pale. Add 1 tsp golden syrup and 2 tsp brandy. Mix till combined. Add baked semolina. Mix thoroughly. Set aside till semolina is soft, about 1 hour, in air-conditioned comfort if weather is unusually hot.
  • Preheat oven to 170°C. Line 18 x 5 cm round cake pan with parchment paper.
  • Whisk 80 g yolks and 35 g castor sugar till thick and pale. Add 1 tsp vanilla extract and ground almonds. Sift 20 g cake flour and 1/6 tsp baking soda into mixture. Mix evenly. Add to butter mixture. Fold till almost even.
  • Whisk 80 g egg whites till thick foam forms. Add 1/8 tsp cream of tartar. Whisk till foam thickens further. Gradually add 35 g castor sugar as you continue whisking. Keep whisking till egg whites just reach stiff peak stage. Fold into yolk and butter mixture in 2 batches till just evenly mixed, scraping down thoroughly as you fold.
  • Pour batter into cake pan and level top. Bake till cake shrinks very slightly from sides, around 40 minutes. If cake browns too fast – check 25 minutes into baking – block oven’s top heat with baking tray. Remove cake from oven. Let cool a few minutes. Unmould and leave on wire rack till completely cool.

Peanut Cookies


  • 200 g plain flour
  • sift with icing sugar
  • 150 g icing sugar
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 200 g + 50 g peanuts, with peel

roast in oven set at 200°C (no preheating needed); when peel is dry, remove 50 g from oven and, when cool, rub off and discard peel; bake remaining 200 g till brown and fragrant, then peel when cool and grind till fine-medium

  • 140 ml peanut oil
  • 1 yolk
  • beat thoroughly with 2 tsp water
  • Preheat oven to 180°C. Line baking tray with parchment paper.


  • Mix flour, sugar and salt. Add 200 g ground peanuts. Mix thoroughly. Add oil. Mix till even, adding more oil if crumbly, or more plain flour if sticky.
  • Divide dough into small pieces weighing 10 g each. Roll each piece into a ball. Place balls on baking tray spaced about 3 cm apart. Garnish with remaining whole peanuts, 1 per ball, pressing nuts firmly into dough.
  • Bake cookies till peanuts on top are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Brush with egg yolk. Continue baking till cookies are well browned, 5-10 minutes. Transfer cookies to wire rack. Leave till cool. Serve immediately or store airtight.

Ang Ku Kueh




  • 160 g skinless split mung beans
  • 115 g sugar
  • 80 ml peanut oil

  • 60 g young, light green pandan leaves
  • wash and chop roughly
  • 60 g undiluted fresh coconut milk
  • 2¼ tsp rice flour
  • 1 tbsp peanut oil
  • 2 tsp castor sugar
  • 1 medium-sized yellow sweet potato (aka yam in the US, I  think)
  • wash and peel; slice 110 g ½ cm thick
  • 150 g glutinous rice flour
  • mix evenly with 125 ml water; refrigerate overnight, covered
  • banana leaf
  • scald in hot water; drain and blot totally dry; cut into 21 pieces each slightly bigger than your AKK
  • rice flour, for dusting
  • peanut oil, for glazing


  • To make filling, soak mung beans in 480 ml water till expanded, about 1 hour (in tropical weather). Drain, rinse and drain again. Cook in 180 ml water, uncovered, till soft and dry, about 20 minutes. Mash beans roughly with spatula. Add sugar. Mash till dissolved and evenly mixed. Add oil. Mix till combined. Blend mixture till silky smooth. Fry in a wok over maximum heat possible, stirring constantly, till thick enough to hold its shape. Leave till cool. Divide and roll into balls weighing 20 g each (adjust to suit size of your mould if necessary; mine is 6 x 5 x 2 cm).
  • To make dough, blend pandan leaves with coconut milk till finely minced. Squeeze to yield 60 g green milk. Place milk in a small pot. Add rice flour, oil and sugar. Mix till smooth. Cook over low heat, stirring, to make a smooth paste. Leave till cool.
  • Cook 110 g sliced sweet potato in 120 ml water till soft and dry, about 15 minutes, to yield 100 g. Mash roughly. Add green coconut paste. Continue mashing till paste is smooth. Add wet glutinous rice flour made earlier. Knead thoroughly till evenly mixed. Divide and roll into balls weighing 20 g each (adjust if necessary to equal weight of filling).
  • To assemble, lightly dust AKK mould with rice flour. Flatten ball  of dough, to about 6 cm wide. Place 1 piece of filling in the middle. Cupping top of kueh with corner of right thumb and forefinger (for right-handers), nudge and press dough to seal filling. Roll gently between palms till round, dusting lightly with rice flour if too damp. Place in mould. Press to flatten and level top. Turn over mould and whack hard against worktop so that kueh falls out, onto shiny side of banana leaf.
  • To steam, bring steamer to a rolling boil. Place kueh in steamer, on a perforated tray. Cover and reduce heat to very low so that water barely simmers. Steam till kueh is slightly expanded, about 6 minutes. Remove kueh to a plate. Brush lightly with oil. Leave till cool. Trim excess leaf around kueh.
  • To serve, wait till there’s a birthday celebration . . . . Just kidding. AKK is good any day of the year but if you have a red one on your birthday, you’ll live as long as a tortoise. And when your baby is one month old, you absolutely must give your friends and relatives some “red tortoise cakes” as a celebration. The red colour brings good luck and the tortoise shape symbolizes longevity.

Kueh Bangkit




  • 380 g tapioca starch
  • 1/2 tbsp plain flour
  • 50 g young pandan leaves
  • rinse and cut finger length; dry thoroughly with paper towels
  • 170 g coconut cream
  • refrigerate 350 g undiluted fresh coconut milk undisturbed till cream separates, at least 3 hours; skim 170 g cream and place in a small pot; refrigerate till ready to proceed
  • 120 g sugar
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1 egg, about 50 g
  • 1 yolk, about 15 g
  • 5 g butter


  • Sift tapioca starch and plain flour into mixing bowl. Weigh and take note of weight. Tuck pandan leaves in mixture. Bake at 160°C  for 1 hour. Discard pandan leaves. Re-weigh bowl and contents. If not lighter by 45 g or more, continue baking. When target weight is reached, turn off oven. Leave bowl in oven till almost cool. Re-sift starch and flour, inside a plastic bag unless you enjoy dusting your kitchen. You should have about 335 g starch mixture. Leave till completely cool.
  • Whisk coconut cream, sugar, salt, egg and yolk till smooth. Cook over low heat, whisking, till sugar just melts. Turn off heat. Add butter. Whisk till incorporated. Leave till cool. You should have about 360 g coconut syrup.
  • Set aside 20 g baked starch for dusting. To remaining 315 g, add 315 g coconut syrup. Mix till well combined. Knead thoroughly till smooth and even, drizzling with remaining syrup as necessary, about 2 tbsp, so that dough just comes together. Cover and set aside 10 minutes.
  • Preheat oven to 160°C. Line baking tray with parchment paper. Lightly dust parchment paper with baked starch.
  • Lightly dust worktop and rolling pin with baked starch. Working with golf ball-sized  amount each time, roll dough 3 mm thick, dusting as necessary to prevent sticking. Cut dough with dusted cookie cutter measuring about 3 x 2 cm. Place cookies on baking tray spaced 1 cm apart.
  • Bake cookies till bottom is slightly brown and top has hint of colour around edges, about 15 minutes. Remove cookies to wire rack or plate to cool down. Serve immediately or store airtight.

Chai Tow Kway


  • 250 g grated white radish
  • 480 g water
  • 150 g rice flour
  • 12 g cornflour
  • 12 g wheat starch
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp vegetable oil
  • 220 g water


  • 100 ml lard, melted
  • replace with vegetable oil if you’re a Muslim, Jew or wimp; if you’re Muslim or Jewish but not a wimp, use duck or goose fat
  • 40 g minced chai poh  (salted radish), Twin Rabbit brand
  • rinse twice; soak 2-3 minutes in enough water to cover; taste and soak longer if too salty; drain
  • 20 g garlic, peel and mince roughly
  • 2 tsp light soya sauce
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • sambal (chilli paste) to taste
  • 4 eggs
  • 2 tsp light soya sauce, add to eggs and whisk thoroughly
  • 200 g bean sprouts, rinse and drain thoroughly
  • 40 g spring onions, wash and chop roughly


  • To make steamed kway, place radish in a small pot. Add 480 g water. Weigh pot and contents. Take note of weight. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, covered, till radish is soft, 
  • about 5 minutes. Turn off heat. Remove cover. Wait till evaporation stops, about 10 minutes. Weigh pot and contents again. Weight should be lower by 100 g. Top up with water or discard excess liquid as necessary.
  • Whilst radish is simmering, assemble rice flour, cornflour, wheat starch, salt, oil and 220 g water in a wok. Stir batter till smooth. When radish is ready, add radish liquid. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, till batter is creamy. Add cooked radish. Continue cooking and stirring, reducing heat to low as batter thickens, till batter is thick but not thick enough to hold its shape. Pour batter into 18 x 5 cm round cake pan. Level and smooth top.
  • If you have difficulty smoothing the batter, that means it’s too thick and your kway will be hard. If the top is smooth without human assistance, the batter is too thin and your kway will be mushy.
  • Steam batter over rapidly bubbling water till cooked, i.e. inserted skewer comes out almost clean. This takes about 40 minutes.
  • Remove cake from steamer. Leave till cool. Refrigerate overnight. Cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • To fry kway, heat well-seasoned wok till very hot. Place 1/3 of lard in the wok. Heat till just smoking, swirling so that lard coats bottom of wok.
  • Add steamed kway. Spread in a single layer. Fry over high heat till lightly golden. Turn over. Drizzle with a little lard. Fry till second side is also lightly golden, stirring to check if it is.
  • Add chai poh and garlic. Drizzle with more lard. Stir to mix thoroughly. Drizzle with 2 tsp light soya sauce and 1 tsp fish sauce. Stir thoroughly. Alternate frying and stirring till kway is nicely brown and aroma of chai poh is released, drizzling with more lard when wok looks dry.
  • Add eggs, followed by yet more lard. Turn over when bottom of eggs is golden brown,  pressing lightly with spatula after flipping to help eggs stick to kway. Fry till golden brown again.
  • Add sambal. (If you prefer black CTK, add sweet sauce now, about 1 tbsp per portion.) Stir till thoroughly mixed.
  • Add bean sprouts, then more lard. Stir till bean sprouts are heated through but not wilted.
  • Add spring onions, leaving aside 1 tbsp or so. Stir through. Quickly taste and, if necessary, adjust seasoning with pinch of sugar if too salty or a few drops of fish sauce if too bland. Plate, sprinkle with remaining spring onions and serve immediately.

Chwee Kueh


  • 150 g rice flour
  • 12 g wheat starch
  • 12 g cornflour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 2 tsp oil
  • 300 ml room temperature water
  • 400 ml boiling water

  • 150 g chopped chai poh (菜脯; salted turnip), Twin Rabbit brand
  • 30 g garlic, peel and chop roughly
  • ¼ tsp dark soya sauce
  • 120 ml vegetable oil

  • 2 tbsp sugarTo makekueh, thoroughly whisk rice flour, wheat starch, cornflour, salt, oil and 300 ml room temperature water. Add 400 ml boiling water. Whisk again. Cook over medium-low heat till just thick enough to coat sides of pot thinly, stirring constantly. Place pot in water-bath. Stir till half-cool.
  • Bring steamer to a boil. Place perforated tray in steamer. Arrange moulds, measuring 6 x 2 cm, slightly apart on tray. Fill moulds with batter to 3 mm from edge. Cover and bring steamer back to a boil. Steam 20 minutes over rapidly boiling water. Uncover. Cakes should have some water on top. If there is, steam uncovered till water evaporates, 1-2 minutes. Remove cakes from steamer.
  • Cakes should be mushy just after steaming. Leave to cool down and set. Resteam just before serving if you prefer hot/warm chwee kueh. If batter is overthickened before steaming, cakes may be set or half-set whilst piping hot.

To make topping, rinse chai poh twice. Drain in sieve, pressing to remove excess water. Transfer to mixing bowl. Add garlic and dark soya sauce. Mix thoroughly. Heat wok till hot. Place chai poh mixture in wok. Add enough oil to almost cover mixture, about 120 ml. Fry over medium-high heat till garlic is golden brown. Reduce heat to low. Add sugar and stir till dissolved. Turn off heat. Taste and if necessary adjust seasoning.

To serve, unmould chwee kueh and top with fried chai poh, along with some oil. Add sambal on the side if you like your chwee kueh spicy.