I haven’t had this malaysian layered cake for years now . I had it once when my big ‘sister’ made it for one big event , it was 2 years ago.
This is basically a layered cake with glutinous rice on the bottom and custard on top. Usually in Malaysia, we make it with screw pine leaves concentrate to make the top green and of course it gives a wonderful flavor to the custard layer. Nowadays, people are more creative and make it with durian, yam, potato and etc for the custard layer and use combo of black sweet/glutinous rice and white sweet rice for the bottom. Of course, the traditional one is the best!
As for I only had only a couple screw pine leaves left in the freezer ,I went to the creative version. I made it with pumpkin . I need to finish the cooked pumpkin remained in the refrigerator for almost a month now. Alhamdulillah, it turned out very satisfyingly rich. The custard layer was velvetty and melt in your mouth.. alhamdulillah, at least I made a full use of the left over pumpkin and wonderful to our taste. I made this based on my mother’s recipe who always made kuih serimuka when I was a kid. I made the whole batch because I am not too sure about halving the recipe noticing I didn’t have a smaller tray to fit the half batch . Now I wonder who is going to finish all these.. or may be wrap and freeze them up for later dessert? any suggestions?
For the top layer:
2 ½ cup thick coconut milk
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup diced cooked pumpkins
1/2 cup white rice flour
2 Tablespoons tapioca starch
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/4 cup custard flour ( you can replace with just cornstarch)
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch of cinnamon powder (optional)
1 teaspoon salt , to taste
For the bottom layer:
2 cups glutinous/sweet rice , (soaked for 3 to 4 hours)
1 cup thick coconut milk
1 ¼ cup water
Pinch of salt
2 Screw pine leaves
- Prepare 8 inch x 8 inch square tray. Cover the tray with aluminum foil. Line a 8×8 inches of greased banana leave in the tray . ( I just like to use banana leave for more exotic flavor. You can totally omit this )
- Preheat the oven 300F or you can steam it in a steamer ( See Notes)
- Making The bottom layer ( glutinous cake layer/white layer)– After soaking the rice for 3 hours, , drain the glutinous rice and put into a medium pot.
- Add in coconut milk, water , salt and screw pine leaves.
- Cook on low medium heat until the rice fluff up and completely cooked. It looks a little bit starchy, mushy and moist..it’s perfect , that’s what we want.
- While cooking/steaming the glutinous rice, prepare the custard layer/ top layer. (see below)
- When the rice is cooked, while it is still hot, pour the cooked glutinous rice into the prepare tray, sprinkle with a tablespoon of tapioca starch ( See Notes). Press it with spatula or your plastic cover hands or layer of banana leave until firm ( See Notes)
- Preparing The Top Layer – In the blender, put the cooked diced pumpkins, coconut milk, brown sugar. Blend them thoroughly until smooth.
- Add the rice flour, tapioca starch, cornstarch , custard flour. Continue to blend them until smooth and well blended. Add the salt, vanilla extract and cinnamon powder. Blend until well combined.
- Pour the mixture into a large pot. Pre-cook on medium-low heat ( keep stirring to avoid lumps and burn on the bottom) until bubbles appear on top and creates steam. The consistency should not be too thick or too runny by now. Remove from the heat.
Preparing The Serimuka – Slowly pour the precooked custard ( the prepared top layer) over the pressed glutinous rice layer ( the bottom layer).
Place the tray in the preheated oven and bake for 50 minutes or until the top layer is no longer jiggling (only slightly in the middle ) when gently tilted and slight crust formed along the side.
Remove from the oven, let the layered cake completely cool at room temperature for at least 3hours and place in the refrigerator after that for further cooling process. Make sure it is firm enough before cutting it. Cut it square or diamond. Ready to serve . ( Yields about 16 cakes)
Shida’s 2 cents (Notes) :
- If steaming, Prepare the steamer , make sure it’s hot. place the cake in the steamer and steam for 20 minutes or until cooked.
- Adding in a little bit of tapioca starch in the bottom layer mixture helps the top layer attached nicely on the bottom layer.
- It is important to press the rice while it’s hot because the starch is still active and acts as glue, if you wait until it’s cooled, the starch begin to firm up , this is not a good way to press the rice as it has no glue ( the starch) to get each rice attached to each other.
- Deep knife into cold water when cutting each time so the cut side edge will not stick to your knife.