Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Crackle Cookies & the 8th Day of Ramadhan.

If only I could write a letter to Time, I would tell it to slow down a little for us. Because today's already the 8th day of Ramadhan! Argh so fast. Anyway, I hope that you, my Muslim brothers and sisters, are doing well during this month of Ramadhan. :)

To be honest, this year's Ramadhan has been quite a challenge for me, especially when it comes to my health. My immune system has gone haywire - one moment I feel fine, and the next I feel sick. Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining or anything... Just a little bit confuse, hehe. But I'm still grateful that I've enough strength to fast as per normal. :)

Putting my health issue aside, I've been on the roll to bake as many assorted cookies as I can for Hari Raya! I have a lot of time to bake now, since I'm not working at the moment. Woohoo! (I'll try to ignore the fact that I won't be getting any sort of income every month now. :D). I've experimented with a number of new cookie recipes, and of all the cookies that I've made, I'm very impressed with this one: Crackle Cookies!! So simple to make, yet so delicious to eat!

I only get to know about the existence of these crackle cookies just recently, from my fellow instagrammers. My first thought on the cookies was, "hmm... they look kinda ugly." LOL. I know I'm not supposed to judge a book by it's cover, but I can't help it. They don't look like your normal everyday cookies. Even my family members had the same thought. They named these cookies, "Turtle shell cookie". Yup, I agree that they kinda look like turtle shells, hehe. :D

I finally gave this recipe a try after reading so many rave reviews about these cookies. And I have no regrets!! They're a cross between a cookie and a brownie. Crispy on the outside, chewy on the inside, with great chocolatey taste. Once they're popped out from the oven, they're gone in minutes! That's how good they are!

Ratings: 9/10


1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
Confectioners' sugar


In a bowl, combine the sugar, egg, oil and vanilla. Combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and salt; gradually add to creamed mixture and mix well. Chill dough for at least 2 hours.

With sugared hands, shape dough into 1-in. balls. Roll in confectioners' sugar. Place 2 in. apart on greased baking sheets. Bake at 350° for 10-12 minutes or until set. Remove to a wire rack to cool. 

Yield: about 1-1/2 dozen.

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Basic Kek Lapis Horlick (Horlick-flavoured Layered Cake)!

Ramadhan (fasting month) is only a week away, so I thought of baking something traditional for once. :)

Kek Lapis is a layered cake which first originated from Indonesia and then introduced commercially to the people of Sarawak. And now it is popularly known as Kek Lapis Sarawak. This kek lapis is mainly served during the festive seasons and special occasions. It is forever a must for my family members to buy kek lapis for Hari Raya. The colours and patterns on the cake helps to brighten up the festive mood!

As you can see from my picture, mine is a boring single-line pattern layered cake. Usually kek lapis should have thin, delicate layers. You need to have great patience to achieve that. I have fond memories of my grandaunt working on many kek lapis orders for her customers. I know it wasn't easy for her. But she did the layering process so patiently and gracefully that she left me completely in awe everytime. Her end products were always consistent: beautiful kek lapis with thin, delicate, uniform layers. And because I don't inherit similar level of patience from her, my kek lapis doesn't look as pretty as I hope it would be. :D

There are also other types of kek lapis with complex, intricate patterns that just simply boggles my mind whenever I look at it. I mean, how do you even do that????

(Photo taken from

Let me warn you that this is an extremely rich cake that contains enough eggs and butter to clog your arteries. Imagine an 8" X 8" size of this cake can contain up to 27 eggs and around 600g of butter! Sounds suicidal enough. But it doesn't stop me from eating a huge amount of it. The dense, rich and creamy texture of the cake is just too addictive. Simply melt-in-your-mouth goodness!

So, after much searching on the Internet, I've finally found a basic horlick-flavoured kek lapis recipe that is novice baker-friendly. A straight forward recipe that helps the novice baker to kick start their kek lapis-making adventure. Thank god this recipe only use 10 eggs! The only thing I would change about this recipe is to cut down the sugar by 1/4. Overall the cake is delicious with intense malted milk flavour, thanks to the Horlick and condense milk. Everyone in the house loves it! I will try to bake with other flavours soon!

Rating: 7/10

(Adapted from Abg Rozzan's blog)

Makes 1 10" X 7" or 8" X 8" or 9" X 9" square kek lapis

1 pound unsalted butter
220g caster sugar
10 eggs
1 can (397g) condense milk
240g All-purpose flour or Hong Kong Flour
200g Horlicks


Using the grilling function (top heat only) of your oven, preheat the oven at 200 degrees Celsius.

Line your pan with parchment paper or just grease it with butter.

Using an electric mixer, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy.

Mix in the eggs, one by one at high speed. If your batter looks curdled after putting all the 10 eggs, not to worry, just continue to beat at high speed until it has come together and resembles a thick batter.

Pour in the condense milk and mix well.

Mix in the flour and horlicks at slow speed first, and then turn up the speed on high for 20 seconds until the batter is well-mixed.

Layering process

You decide how small or big you want the layers to be. 

I scoop 2 ladleful of batter into the pan and bake for 6-8 mins in the middle tray until the top appears golden brown (please take note that the top must be brown or else you can't see the layering pattern when you cut the cake). 

Repeat the layering process until the batter are used up. Once you have done with all the layering, switch your oven into convection / normal baking mode, lower the temperature to 180 degrees celsius and bake the whole cake for 10-15 mins.

Remove cake from oven and leave to cool on wire rack.