The reason why this kuih is called as Kuih Lapis is because of the layering effect. In nyonya and chinese community, this kuih is called as Kow Chan Kuih. It is because of there are nine layers of this kuih. Nowadays, the nine-layer rule may not be observed anymore. There are many other variation of this kuih in different flavors and color combinations.
In my opinion, the most interesting part of making this kuih is I can choose my own color. In the picture, I color the top layer blue, pink and white alternating in between the other layers. I used Butterfly Pea Flower or in malay it is known as “bunga telang” (the blue purplish color) as dyes. Buying this kuih from outside there are lots of food dye just to look delicious. At home, I always try using different method to replace the artificial coloring when ever it is possible.
Hope you enjoy making it too!
700ml thin coconut milk (grated from 1 coconut)
5 pandan leaves, knotted
1/2 tsp salt
Combine and sift:
450g tapioca flour
125g rice flour
2 tbsp mung bean (Hoen Kwe) flour
500ml thin coconut milk (grated from 1/2 coconut)
1/8 tsp coloring of your choice
Boil ingredients (A) until sugar dissolves; strain. Put sifted combined ingredients into a mixing bowl. Add coconut milk and mix till smooth. Set aside. Pour the boiled syrup gradually into the flour mixture. Stir well to blend.
Set aside one portion (1 cup) of the batter and color it darker for the top layer. Divide the rest of the batter into two equal portions. Leave one portion natural white color. The second portion, add light pink or any other color of your choice.
Lightly grease a 26 x 16cm square pan and place it in a steamer and steam for 5 minutes. Pour one cup of colored batter into pan and steam for 6 – 7 minutes over rapidly boiling water. When set carefully pour in one cup of white batter and steam for another 6 – 7 minutes. Repeat the procedure alternating between a colored layer with a white layer until all the batter is used up. Top up with the darker color for the final layer and steam for 20 minutes.
Brush kuih and knife lightly with cooking oil. Cool for at least 5 – 6 hours before slicing into pieces.
Note: While steaming your kuih do not let any droplets of water drip into your kuih because it will taste soggy and the surface will not be smooth. When steaming the layers, constantly stir the uncooked batter to prevent the flour from settling to the bottom.