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Ube Huat Kuhi: A Fusion of Flavor and Tradition

Updated: Sep 17, 2023


Ube Huat Kuhi
Ube Huat Kuhi

Ube Huat Kuhi, a delightful variation of the classic Filipino puto, is inspired by the rich traditions of Asian baking and carries a unique twist. While resembling the beloved Filipino puto, this vibrant treat has its roots in Longyou County, Zhejiang Province, located approximately 500 km north of Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian Province. The majority of Chinese communities in Penang and Singapore trace their ancestry back to Fujianese immigrants who arrived in Southeast Asia during the 19th century.


The name “huat kueh” directly translates to ‘prosperity’ cake, and it has become a common sight during Chinese New Year celebrations. Chinese families hold a deep belief that these cakes bring good luck and fortune to their households. The defining characteristic of a perfect huat kueh is its ability to split on the top, signifying a cheerful smile. Only cakes that ‘smile’ are deemed suitable for use in these auspicious celebrations.


Ube Huat Kuhi
Ube Huat Kuhi

Originating in Longyou County, Zhejiang Province, and enriched by the culinary traditions of the Fujianese diaspora, Ube Huat Kuhi embodies the fusion of flavors and heritage. While inspired by the Filipino puto, it boasts its distinct identity with the infusion of ube, a purple yam renowned for its vivid color and unique taste.


Ingredients:

• All-purpose flour: 110 grams

• Ube powder (purple yam): 10 grams

• Baking powder: 12 grams

• Sugar: 50 grams

• Condensed milk: 20 grams

• Coconut milk: 140 grams

• Oil: 15 grams

• Ube flavocol: 1/4 teaspoon

• Yield: 7 pieces


Instructions:

  1. Begin by measuring all your ingredients with precision, ensuring a harmonious blend of flavors.

  2. In a clean mixing bowl, combine all the ingredients using a wire whisk or fork.

  3. Mix the ingredients until they unite seamlessly, avoiding overmixing.

  4. Grease your puto molds with care, adhering to traditional tin molds for safety and authenticity.

  5. When filling the molds with batter, aim for a 3/4 full level.

  6. To create the signature ‘flower’ crack pattern, use oiled scissors to make a cross cut into the batter, repeating twice for a clean, defined cut. The oil on the scissors acts as a barrier, preserving the distinctive pattern as the puto steams.


Before mixing the batter, ensure that your steamer is ready, with vigorously boiling water producing heavy steam. This critical step guarantees the necessary heat and pressure for proper leavening.


Ube Huat Kuhi, an embodiment of culinary fusion, celebrates both tradition and innovation. With its vibrant appearance and delightful ube flavor, it’s a charming addition to your dessert table or a perfect gift to share during festive occasions. Enjoy this unique treat that bridges cultures and flavors, bringing smiles and prosperity to your celebrations. #puto #steam #CNYtradition


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