I have always thought Kuih Lapis a local Malaysian snack, it was known to me as 9-layered kuih (九层糕 in Chinese）for a long time. I later learnt that not only the Malaysian, the Singaporean, Indonesian, Thai and Vietnamese all have similar versions of this cake, the difference are mostly on the ratio of rice flour and starches.
I have also learned that 9-layered cake is a specialty made in Hainan and Canton province in China during festive seasons. Its name implies "longevity and growing upwards" It is also something that is made only for prayers and serves only to family members. It is not to be shared with outsiders as luck and prosperity should be preserved within the family.
As its name suggested, there should be nine layers in this kuih, hence I designed my recipe based on that. It is normally made with food coloring (red being the most common choice) in my country. I made mine with pumpkin for its sweetness and bright color, I am really pleased with the color!
For those who has been following my blog, you would have noticed that I had been experimenting with ground rice instead of rice flour in recipes lately. My Chee Cheong Fun (steamed rice rolls) project got me obsessed to ground rice, the texture and taste a freshly ground rice provides is simply out of the world. It is truly worth the while and it is hard to go back to the ordinary rice flour now.
有些人还用食用色素掺入，每层红白相间，十分好看。 节日期间，人们将蒸好的九层糕切成菱形小块，每四块叠成一盘（三块在下，一块在上），先敬神、后敬祖先，然后是全家吃糕。取其吉祥之意。春节时，人们往往以松糕、年糕、煎堆、油角互赠亲友，但九层糕则不赠与别人，据说分给别人会把吉祥分薄，于己不利。 层匀美观，软滑可口，乳香甜润。】资料来源：http://baike.baidu.com/view/121245.htm
220 g Aged Basmati Rice （or any type of long grain rice)
80 g tapioca flour
100 g pumpkin cubes
120 g sugar
A pinch of salt
A pinch of salt
320 ml water
400 ml/1 can of coconut milk
4-5 pandan leaves/screwpine leaves
220 克 印度长米（或任何一种籼米）
80 克 木薯粉/菱粉
120 克 南瓜 （去皮切丁）
120 克 糖
320 毫升 水
400 毫升/1 听 椰奶/椰浆
400 毫升/1 听 椰奶/椰浆
4-5 片 3-4 寸 的香兰/斑兰叶
1. Washed and soaked rice submerged in water for at least 5 hours, drained the rice well.
2. Place 320 ml water, 120 g of sugar, salt and pandan leaves in a saucepan/pot, bring to boil and cook for 5-6 minutes. Remove pandan leaves and let cool.
3. Steamed pumpkin cubes for 10 minutes or until cooked.
4. Grind rice, coconut milk and pandan syrup together for a few minutes until smooth. Add tapioca flour and run the mixer for a minute until the flour well incorporated.
5. Strain half of the mixture (550 ml) through a sieve into a mixing bowl, this will be our batter for white layers.
6. Add cooked pumpkin into the remaining batter, run the mixer until smooth again, this will be our yellow layers.
5. 把一半(550 毫升)的米浆过滤到一个深碗里就是九层糕的白色米浆。
7. Grease an 8-inch baking tray and place it in steaming pot over high heat for few minutes.
8. Pour in 1/2 cup (125 ml) of yellow/pumpkin mixture, cover with lid and steam for 3 minutes or until the batter is cooked. Then add 1/2 cup (125ml) of white mixture onto yellow layer and steam for another 3 minutes.
9. Repeat the steps alternating white and yellow mixture until all the batter is used. Remember to stir the batter every time before pouring for steaming.
10. Steamed the last layer at 13-15 minutes to set the layers and to ensure the cake is fully cooked.
11. Leave the steamed Kuih Lapis to cool completely (around 2 hours), invert the pan to knock out the kuih. Grease knife before cutting.
8. 取1/2杯 (125 毫升)的黄色/南瓜米浆倒入烤盘里加盖高火蒸3分钟或至定型。打开盖子把1/2杯 (125毫升)的白色米浆倒到刚刚蒸熟的南瓜层上，再蒸3分钟。