Tuesday, 18 February 2014

Talam Labu – Biarkanlah Si Luncai! (Pumpkin Cake)

For a plain yellow pumpkin to become a golden carriage
For a plain country bumpkin and a prince to join in marriage
And four white mice could never be turned to horses
Such falder-all-and-fiddley-dee-of-courses

Alah! Tiba tiba ter-feeling Cinderella nyanyi lagu ni (Whitney Houston and Brandy).  Bought this pumpkin weeks ago, and since my cooking muse could not turn it into a Golden Carriage, she returned it back to me. Yeah, the original plan was to cook this pumpkin with prawns and long beans (Masak Lemak Labu) but turned out making ‘Talam Labu’ instead.

Most of us here in Malaysia know what is a pumpkin, but how or where it originated from? I guess only few know and almost all of us could not be bothered or even care.  Sama macam aku yang menulis ni jugak.  Actually, pumpkins are native to Central America.  Do you guys know where is central America? Ya, Allah, if every little things I have to explain, this could be the longest entry in the history ever!  Perhaps you have heard of a country like Nicaragua, Panama, El-Salvador, Guatemala, Belize and such.  Haaaa itula Central America … I hope that I get this right. Erkkk…. Not very good in Geography at school but hey, I’m not that dumb okay?

For me, when we talk about pumpkin, ‘masak lemak’ and ‘Jack O’ Lantern’ will straight away come to mind.  But this time am not going to talk about those two… maybe next time.  Today, I’d like to share this very smooth and sweet Talam Labu recipe.

Here are the ingredients:

For bottom layer
150 gm pumpkin (cut into small cubes)
700 ml coconut milk
100 gm castor sugar
80 gm flour
120 gm rice flour
15 gm tapioca flour (can also substitute with cornflour)
9 gm salt
Pandan / Screwpine Leave

Blend all the ingredients except pumpkin and screwpine leave
Bring all to the pot, add screwpine leave and cook until it thickens or the steam appears on surface of the mixture
Take out the screwpine leave
Add in pumpkin cubes and pour into a 25cm x 25 cm tray that is greased and line with paper glass
Steam for about 10 – 15 minutes

Top Layer
150 gm pumpkin (you can grate or steam then mash or blend)
160 gm sugar
120 gm rice flour
90 gm plain flour
15 gm tapioca flour
700 ml coconut milk
2 eggs (I use B grade ones)
9 gm salt
Yellow food colouring
Pandan / Screwpine Leave

Blend all the ingredients with coconut milk then sieve
Bring to pot and stir over heat till steam appears on the surface or till the mixture covers the back of a metal / wooden spoon
Pour on top of the bottom layer and steam for another 15 minutes
Let it cool completely before you cut it

Note :  Normally what they do is heat up the coconut with sugar, salt and Pandan leave before blending all the ingredients, but I omit those steps so that we can cut some of the preparation and cooking time.

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