Kue Bika Ambon

(Since getting a digital scale, I find it much easier and more reliable to measure most ingredients by weight.  I know many people prefer to measure by volume, so I include both measurements.)


100 grams (4/5 cup) all-purpose flour

125 ml (1/2 cup) lukewarm water

2 1/2 tsp yeast

300 ml ( 1 1/4 cups) coconut milk (I use Chaokoh canned coconut milk)

1/2 tsp powdered turmeric

12 kaffir lime leaves, shredded

2 stalks lemongrass, bruised

2 pandan leaves (we can get these in Sacramento; if you can't, don't worry)

1 tsp salt

300 grams (1 1/3 cups) sugar

225 grams (1 4/5 cups) tapioca starch

25 grams (2 1/2 TBS) glutinous rice flour

7 large eggs

In a bowl, dissolve the yeast in the warm water.  Add a pinch of sugar, then stir in the flour.  Let this sponge rest while you prepare the other ingredients.

Pour the coconut milk into a saucepan.  Stir in the turmeric.  Add the lime leaves, pandan leaves (if using), lemongrass, salt, and sugar.  Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.  Turn off the heat and let the mixture steep while cooling slightly.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the tapioca starch and rice flour.  Add the risen sponge and use a mixer to thoroughly incorporate the starch mixture into the sponge.  Add the eggs one by one, making sure each is completely mixed in before adding the next. 

Strain the solids from the coconut milk.  You should have about 450 ml (a scant 2 cups) of liquid.  With the mixer running, slowly add the strained coconut milk to the batter.  Continue to mix for about 15 minutes.  

Grease an angel food cake pan, or a 9" by 13" baking pan.  Pour the cake batter into the pan and let it rest for 2 hours.

Bake the cake in a 325º F oven for 40 to 50 minutes.