Teatime used to be a very important meal under the British colonial occupation of Malaysia, with scones, cakes, and cookies being paraded in front of guests, making it one of the most colorful repasts of the day. Malaysian sweets were also added to the menu, and even after the country won independence, the teatime practice was still highly appreciated and observed. Although there are still many establishments that serve western-style cakes, cupcakes, and cookies, it is the establishments that serve native Malaysian sweets that have captured our hearts. Here are our top 5 Malaysian Desserts that we enjoy.
1. Kuih Lapis
In Malaysia, kuih lapis is a traditional Asian dessert. Rice flour, tapioca flour, water, sugar, coconut milk, pandan leaves, and red, green, or pink food coloring are generally used to make a multilayered cake.
The cake is steamed, and the finished product resembles layered pudding. Kuih lapis should be let to cool completely before cutting and serving. The multilayered cake is known as spekkoek in the Netherlands, and it is baked rather than steamed.
2. Kuih Serimuka
Serimuka is a kuih variety that is divided into two layers. The bottom layer is glutinous rice cooked in coconut milk, with a bright green coconut milk custard flavoured and tinted with pandan leaves on top. The dessert has been designated as a Malaysian traditional food and is commonly linked with Peranakan Chinese.
These classic sponge cakes, also known as Malaysian madeleines, are popular on important occasions such as Chinese New Year and Eid al-Fitr (Hari Raya), which celebrates the conclusion of Ramadan. They come in a variety of sizes and forms, but the small buttons (bahulu-cermai) and goldfish are the most popular (bahulu-ikan).
These classic delicacies are now available in a variety of flavors, including fruit, pandan, and chocolate. Surprisingly, they have gained a place on the Malaysian Heritage Products list.
4. Kuih Kaswi
This steamed Malaysian treat is made with rice and tapioca flour, white sugar, alkaline water, and dark palm sugar, which gives the cakes their dark brown hue. Traditionally, the batter is cooked in miniature Chinese cups, and the cakes are topped with freshly grated coconut.
Instead of brown sugar, modern varieties are often flavored with pandan leaves that give kuih kaswi an appealing, vibrant green color.
5. Sago Gula Melaka
Sago gula melaka is a pudding delicacy made from sago (starch produced from the pith of various palm stems) and gula melaka, as the name suggests (palm sugar syrup). Despite the fact that the recipe is simple, this pudding is a popular Malaysian dessert. However, it is not widely available in restaurants across the country.
Sago, palm sugar, coconut milk, and pandan leaves are the only four ingredients in traditional sago gula melaka. The sago pearls are cooked until translucent, and the palm sugar is melted separately. Along with the pandan leaves, a pinch of salt is added to improve the smell and flavor of coconut milk.