Sunday, February 21, 2010

Semolina/Sugee/Sooji Cake


Among my fellow Malaccans, semolina or sugee/sooji cake is believed to have been introduced by the Portuguese community in Malacca and has now become a favorite butter cake for many, especially the Peranakan/BabaNyonya families here. The Portuguese people in Malacca are descendants of their forefathers who sailed thousands of miles to South-east Asia in search of spice trading routes which resulted in an era of Portuguese colonization of Malacca during the 16th century. Like the BabaNyonya community in Malacca, the Portuguese community still retains its own cultural identity, Kristang language and famous cuisines.

There are many recipes for semolina cake but as I'm aware, often times each Peranakan family has their own secret version that was passed down by grandparents or parents who had earlier learned it from their Portuguese friends of their generations. Personally, I have 4 different recipes for semolina cake, in which 2 are considered 'secret recipes' passed down from earlier generations - one from my late Mom and the other from a dear Peranakan friend who is currently residing in Toronto and who inherited his family's secret recipe from his mother.

Basically, semolina or sugee derives from wheat and is great for making cakes and desserts. It's a popular ingredient for making Indian desserts too. Semolina cake has become very popular these days and many recipes are easily obtainable. Many love it for its rich buttery aroma and grainy texture which gives one a delightful eating taste. Since semolina cake is absolutely delicious and too good not to be shared, here is a wonderful recipe which I had cut out from a women's magazine a couple of years ago. My family loves semolina cake and I made this for them last week for our Chinese New Year get-together in Malacca. I decided to 'dress it up' with chocolate frosting and basic CNY-theme deco. I'm no expert at cake deco and this was made in quite a rush, thus the molding of the God of Prosperity (Cai Shen) was, as you can see, wayyyy less than perfect (thus, no close up shot of it..;). Well, it doesn't matter since the taste is in the cake and the crumbs were all wiped out by my nieces and nephews!





Semolina Cake

140g cake flour
1/2 tsp baking powder (I used 1 tsp)
100g semolina
1/4 tsp salt
4 eggs
100ml milk
2 tsp vanilla extract/essence
250g butter, at room temperature
200g sugar (I used only 170g)
2 tbsp honey

Sift flour and baking powder into a bowl and stir in semolina and salt. Mix well.
Beat eggs, milk and vanilla essence together in a bowl.
Cream butter, sugar and honey till light and fluffy. Gradually trickle in egg mixture, beating constantly. Mix in flour mixture on low speed and stir till well combined.
Spoon the batter into an 8-inch cake tray lined with baking paper.
Bake for 45 minutes at 150 deg C or until an inserted cake tester comes out clean.
Cool cake for 15 minutes, then unmould and let cool.
Decorate as you like or have it as it is. Best served with a cup if tea.



Best,

35 comments:

  1. I am very familiar with sooji. My husbands family eat it alot, but not as cake. Its just kind of mush in a bowl LOL. I dont like it, but they love it to bits.
    Hope you are having a great weekend.
    *kisses* HH

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  2. I have never had this before. It looks good and sounds very interesting. Thanks for sharing it with us.

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  3. Looks so moist!! happy CNY and gong xi fa cai!

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  4. WOW! This is so pretty. I love suji (sooji) cake but my recipe is deep inside my file. Still a bit lazy to bake anything maybe another week later.

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  5. Gong Xi Fa Cai....must try this one!!!...thank you for sharing...

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  6. the cake is not ugly at all! Sweet thoughts, and sweeter efforts!

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  7. your cake looks really beautiful and festive with the decorations!

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  8. From one of my friends who is Indian, I got to know that semolina is a good thing :) He made some semolina cake for his son's b-day and I kind of like it :)

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  9. Roar!ROAR! I just love this cake of yours, first I am an addict to sugee cake, secondly it looked so moist lastly, the deco is awesome! very kawaii!

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  10. what a beautiful decoration on your CNY cake!!

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  11. Your cake look so beautiful, wish you have a "Fah Fah" this year after eating this cake, hehehe..

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  12. U look expert to me! tts a beautiful cake !!!^^ happy new year ~

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  13. Hello, I just found your blog through Zu.... love your Peranakan heritage and appreciate your information on the background on Semolina treats. The cake looks beautiful and I will coming back for more Peranakan inspirations!

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  14. The cake is gorgeous and I love your decorations! How cool!

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  15. Thanks for posting the recipe. Sugee cake recipe is usually zealously guarded - hard to pry them even from relatives. I will never be able to do icing like that, but I'll love to give the cake a go :-)

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  16. the texture of the cake looks really good! Yummy!
    The decoration is very cute too! I think i would try it this summer when there will be some birthday party :D

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  17. The prettiest sugee cake I have ever seen! Gorgeous!

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  18. Nyonya...even it was done in hurry, still looks awesome to me! A very good begining of a new year! Bravo!!

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  19. wow..i can almost taste the texture of the cake.. it looks so butterish moist.. and i Bet my son would love the icing too!
    thanks for coming by my food blog..

    greetings from www.reanaclaire.com

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  20. Gorgeous cake with excellent decoration dear:)

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  21. Your semolina cake looks promising. I've bookmarked thi's. Hope I get to try this out after our "post-CNY clearance" ... Too much sweets at our house now. =(

    I think you did a great job in decorating the cake. Please don't be too harsh on yourself, K!

    Thanks for sharing interesting observation from the perspective of a Malaccan! My mom is a Malaccan, too!

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  22. Hi All, thank you very much for all your wonderful comments. Sorry I have not had time lately to reply to each of you but I'm always grateful of your comments & thoroughly enjoy receiving them. Cheers!

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  23. What a beautiful cake!!! I love the designs that you did and I can only imagine it tastes just as beautiful. Great job!

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  24. Hmm suji cake is not on my agenda to bake. Love this cake and usually have it over Christmas.

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  25. Hi petitnyonya. Found your blog through Elin and Gert. Great to see you documenting your nyonya recipes! It's very useful indeed, thanks for sharing.

    You have made a really pretty cake! I am also planning to make a sugee cake but am stumped for ideas to decorate it as it is such a rich cake. Your frosting looks nice, not too thick. If you don't mind, could you please share your recipe for the chocolate frosting? And the flowers and wording, are they made of fondant? Thanks for your help!

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