Categories: People

Kueh lapis: Fanty Soenardy shares her recipe

For Chinese New Year dishes that are sure to impress guests, Nafeesa Saini looks to four society personalities known for their cooking wizardry. At the stylish showroom of German luxury kitchen appliance brand Gaggenau, she speaks to Fanty Soenardy on their family celebrations, signature recipes and expert tips.

Mum’s the word

“Since I was a child, my mum would always bake kueh lapis during the Chinese New Year festivities. I first observed the baking process, helped her with preparing the ingredients and finally did the baking myself. Baking it has been a family tradition and we improve the recipe over the years.”

Fan favourite

“There were a few times that my close friends requested kueh lapis for their birthdays! It is also the Chinese New Year goodie most requested by my family and friends. I usually bake it during these two occasions.”

Lapis perfection

“Make sure you use a good mixer. Also, practice makes perfect!”

A special season

“I always look forward to Chinese New Year gatherings. My husband has a big family that we don’t see very often, but we make it a point to gather during this occasion. Our meet-ups have always been full of joy and laughter. Gatherings used to be big and each one was a great opportunity for me to cook and showcase my culinary skills. This year, depending on the government regulations, I definitely hope to celebrate with as many family members and friends as I can.”

Substance matters

“My dream kitchen is a spacious area with good equipment. Storage must be sufficient. And it should accommodate a group of people coming over to enjoy my food!”

Fanty’s Kueh Lapis

Ingredients

  • 250g butter
  • 200g sugar
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract
  • 1 tbsp rum
  • 1 tbsp condensed milk
  • 25 egg yolks
  • 100g self-raising flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tsp mixed spices, such as cinnamon and cloves

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 190 deg C.
  2. Cream butter, sugar and vanilla extract.
  3. Add rum and condensed milk. Beat until the mixture is pale.
  4. Slowly add in the egg yolks. Whisk until fluffy.
  5. Stir in the flour, salt and spices and mix using a spatula until well combined.
  6. Prepare a baking tray and scoop the batter into it, levelling as evenly as possible with the back of a spoon. If you want to be exact, each layer should approximate 70g.
  7. Bake the first layer for a few minutes or until cooked and lightly browned.
  8. Remove and spread the next layer of batter. Shake to level it evenly.
  9. Repeat steps until all the batter has been used up. The top layers require less time, so this needs careful observing.
  10. Let the cake cool in the tray. Run a knife along the edges and invert the cake to release before transferring to a wire rack.

PHOTOGRAPHY: ALECIA NEO | ART DIRECTION: AUDREY CHAN | HAIR: SHA SHAMSI | MAKE-UP: NOOR FASEHA ISMAIL

This story first appeared in the January 2022 issue of Prestige Singapore

Nafeesa Saini

Nafeesa straddles both the print and digital Prestige publications, helming the features and lifestyle section. While storytelling is her core passion, she spends her free time looking at home decor inspiration, working out, and nursing copious amounts of coffee.

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