Recipe is adapted from Travelling Foodies
Kueh Sarlat aka Seri Muka Recipe (adapted from Travelling Foodie who adapts from Rohani Jelani’s “Malaysian Cakes and Desserts)
Ingredients listed below makes a 8″ square tin
Ingredients for the bottom “pulot” glutinous rice layer
450g glutinous rice, rinsed
300ml thin coconut milk (mix 100ml thick coconut cream with water to get 300ml)
1.5 tsp salt
3-4 pieces of pandan leaves (omit this if you do what I did in step (5) for rice preparation)
25-30 bunga telang (blue butterfly pea flower), can be replaced with blue food coloring or omitted totally
100 ml water, omit if blue food coloring or no coloring is used
Ingredients for the top “kaya” custard layer
4 large eggs (appro. 60 g each)
300 ml thick coconut milk (I used fresh coconut milk)
200g fine granulated sugar
20-30 pieces of pandan leaves, rinsed and cut into small pieces (use young leaves-more fragrant and juicy)
150 ml water
10g corn starch ( 4 tsp)
25g plain flour (2 tbsp + 1 tsp) , for a slightly firmer custard texture which is more manageable for first-timers, flour can be increased to 40g. (I used 40g to get the texture as in photos)
Preparation work starts the night before the actual cooking, clean the rice and do the following:-
(1) Steep bunga telang in a bowl of hot water to extract the dye from the flowers. Cool it before soaking about 1/3 portion of the rice in it for several hours (overnight is best). Make sure all the rice is covered with the water.
After the rice are done soaking,
(1) Drain the glutinous rice that had been soaked and spread out onto two separate plates for steaming. Crush or shred the pandan leaves slightly and stuff them between the rice grains. (I placed both the rice in one big tray) ~ omit the leaves if you use pandan water saved from step no. (5)
(2) Add salt to thinned coconut milk and give it a good stir to dissolve.
(3) Divide the coconut milk into 3 parts, and drizzle 2 parts into the plate with “white rice” and one part into the plate with “blue rice”. Stir thoroughly to combine coconut milk with rice grains. (I just pour the liquid in one direction around the rice)
(4) Place the plates into a steamer and steam at high heat for 20 min.
(5) While waiting for the rice to steam, begin with the preparation of the “kaya” custard layer by first placing snipped pandan leaves and water in a food blender and blitz until a fine pulp is obtained. Squeeze out the juice on a cheese cloth or with your hands (strain the juice if using hands). Measure out 150 ml. (This step can be prepared ahead. Just keep the prepared juice in the fridge. Pour out the top clear part of the pandan juice that has separated from the heavier paste and use it to steam the rice.)
(6) In a mixing bowl, add eggs and sugar. Whisk slightly to break the eggs and proceed to add coconut milk, 150 ml pandan juice, plain flour and corn flour. Stir well until smooth and free from lumps. Set aside (NOTE: do not be tempted to use more than 150ml of pandan juice as too high a liquid ratio would make it difficult for the custard to set)
(7) When the rice is cooked, combine the two parts into a slightly greased 8″ square tin and press down with a “penekan kek” (kek lapis legit press) or the back of a sturdy metal spoon. (I used a plastic rice scoop). Try to press until very compact, especially around the edges and corners. Place the tin into the steamer and top up the water in it if necessary. Turn on the heat and continue steaming the rice over medium-low flame.
(8) Return to work on the custard layer, strain the mixture in (6) into a heat-proof or metal bowl and sit this bowl over a pan of gently simmering water. Stir continuously until custard just begins to thicken. Note that the custard batter should still be very fluid and not viscous. (I cook directly on very low fire, keep stirring and lifting the pot out of the fire if it is too hot. Mine curdled slightly but it turned ok once steamed.)
(9) Pour the slightly thickened custard mixture carefully over the rice layer in the square tin and steam over barely simmering water until the custard layer sets. (My heat was not low enough, resulting in a bubble forming in the middle of the kueh!). It should take about 25-30 min. Wrap the lid with a large towel to catch any condensation.
(10) Leave the kueh to cool completely (about 6 hours) before unmoulding and cutting. (I kept mine over night, covered with cling film in the fridge.)