BERNAMA – Kuih baulu (baulu cake) is one of the country’s many favourite snacks, not just during festivities like Hari Raya but also as a tasty treat in the morning or evening.
This traditional delicacy is made with only three ingredients – eggs, sugar and flour – but the baking process is strenuous and time-consuming.
Nowadays, many baulu sellers use an oven to bake them because it is easier and more convenient. However, for Rokiah Kulop Malodin, the old way of tending to firewood, coconut husks and sand is still her preferred choice, as the baulu will turn out crispier and chewier and has a longer shelf life.
Known as Makcik Kiah among her customers, the 60-year-old enterprising woman from Kampong Guar, Manong in Perak, Malaysia inherited the baulu recipe, which included the traditional method of baking, from both her mother and mother-in-law.
Rokiah can produce up to 5,000 baulu during each festive season using this method.
“I learned how to make baulu from my late mother and the secret on how to mix the batter from my late mother-in-law.”
She used to do it in a way that the texture will not harden but instead making the baulu softer and fluffier, she said. According to Rokiah, the process of making baulu begins as early as 4am and goes on until 5pm. She needs to beat the eggs and sugar by using a pengenjut (a traditional spiral-shaped egg beater) for two hours, mix the batter with wheat flour, which needs to be toasted in a wok on the stove, and then cooled.
“During the mixing process, I must ensure that not even a drop of water gets into the batter, or it will not turn out well. Baking takes only five minutes and 500 pieces can be completed in a day by using 60 eggs, four kilogrammes of sugar and six kilogrammes of flour.
“For the baking process, coconut husks are placed on the pot while sand and pieces of paper are put inside them. The firewood I use is from langsat or rambutan trees, or forest woods such as cenerai and halban.”
Rokiah said she favoured the old way of baking baulu despite the tedious steps, as she is more satisfied with the outcome especially when customers praise her for the baulu’s “smokey” taste.
The baulu, she said, would last for a month. Rokiah added that orders for her baulu would come from all over the country, and sometimes from overseas too for ceremonies such as weddings and religious events. The baulu comes in three shapes: cermai (Malay gooseberry), fish and flower.