These steamed pumpkin huat kueh are my childhood favorites. Made with mashed pumpkin, yeast, brown sugar and coconut milk. Incredibly flavorful yet light tasting.
My husband often jokes about how I wouldn’t let our kids “off my hook” when they are old enough to do so. The truth is, I don’t even want to think about that. Our two kids who still adore us like we are their Gods. I still pretty much have a say or decide for them at this stage of their lives. Then I think about my own journey when I was 18. Green as moss. So much hope for the future and humanity. So excited to pursue my dream of becoming an architect. I wanted to go somewhere and be far away from home to pursue that dream. I love my family. I believe I have one of the best parents on planet earth, but you know…I just gotta go explore the world out there. I didn’t go very far though, well….far enough from home but still in the same country.
I couldn’t even begin to describe the hollow inside me. If I remembered it correctly, I might have cried myself to sleep the first few nights in my tiny rented room near the college in Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia. It was my first time being away from home. My parents. My siblings. I missed them like you wouldn’t believe it. I still remember I wrote home (read: snail mail) almost every week. There was no such thing as a computer within my reach. This was back in 1997 alright! Computer was a luxury. No one I knew had a mobile phone (If you had one, you were probably God). Calling cards and old-school phones (not even cordless phones..not yet, not where I was). I called home almost every day, which probably worried my mom. I just needed to hear a familiar voice. Mom often asked if I ate well. If I slept well. How I liked school. I always told her that I was doing fine with some tears pooling in my eyes and I was trying hard not to let it dropped and sounded like I was actually pretty miserable.
One day, a huge package arrived and the lady who owned the place where I rented called my name. I was excited because mom told me she sent me a package. It was so huge that I actually needed help to have it carried inside my room. I was tearing up the box and couldn’t wait to discover what’s inside. FOOD !! All my comfort food !! This moho kue was one of the food she sent me. She knew how much I loved moho kue since I was little. Individually wrapped carefully. Well, besides food, there was mini refrigerator my parent sent me. Jaw dropped. I was happy to the point that I sobbed like a pathetic person who has never seen a mini refrigerator before. I was capable of buying my own refrigerator alright, but mom thought she would make my life easier as she knew I was still in that transition period. There was a refrigerator at the main kitchen area that everyone shared. But mom knew it would be more convenient to have one in my own room and when I had to stay up late at night to do projects I would have easy access to food and reheating food. There were also mini steamer she sent me among zillion of other things. That night…that night my heart swelled and I stared at that refrigerator with a silly smile on my face. And that’s how I felt asleep and energized the next day and had moho kue for breakfast before I went to school.
So, the mention of moho kue is one of those extremely nostalgic moments to me. My mom brought me this “special” muffin cup to steam cake when she came to visit us when I first had our baby. Those cups. Those steamed cakes. Lots of sentimental values.
Now I get to share these favorite steamed moho kue with my kids. They enjoy them as much as I do.
Traditionally, moho kue is made with sweet potatoes or potatoes. You can see here the sweet potato huat kueh I made. But as you can see, yes…trying to deplete that pumpkin stash and so I thought why not made some moho kue with it and they turned out so good! The steamed cake is characterized by its huge “flowering” top. Soft, fluffy, and just lightly sweetened.
Who knows one day I would be the one sending this moho kue to my kids when they are far away from home 🙂 or perhaps they’ll make these because mom has it up on the blog 😉
Pumpkin Huat Kueh /Moho Kueh (with yeast)
- Steam the pumpkin until soft and mashable, or you can also place the whole pumpkin inside the oven and roast them at 400 F until soft too. Then mash while still hot. Set aside to let it cool down completely before mixing into the flour
- In a large mixing bowl, mix flour, eggs, coconut milk, mashed pumpkin, coconut sugar, yeast. You will have quite a thick and sticky batter and that's the way it is, don't panic. Cover with plastic wrap and let the batter rest for 1 hour in a warm place. It will double in size. Once it rises, this is an important step and you must not skip it or you will not have a good result: STIR THE DOUGH TO MIX IT WELL
- Get your steamer all hot and ready. Line the individual muffin cups with paper. Only fill up the cups as many as you can steam. Do not fill them up and waiting to be steam. Portion the dough into an individual cup and fill it up all the way to the top and then top it up with 2-3 more tablespoon of batter. This will give you a large "flowering" top. The top will break into 3-4 segments like a flower if you "overfill" it (it will not spill because the batter is sticky and thick). Once you fill them up in the cups, they must go to the steamer as soon as they can or they will continue to rise if they are sitting in the cups for too long
- Steam on high heat for 15-20 minutes. DO NOT be tempted to open the cover or they will not rise
- You will see how the top has expanded and broken into 3-4 segments and that's what we want in moho kue. Remove from the steamer. STIR THE BATTER AGAIN and then fill up more cups to steam. Continue until you run out of batter. This will store at non-humid room temperature for about 3 days. They may harden a little bit as they cool down but you can microwave for few seconds or steam on high heat for 2 minutes or so and they are soft and fluffy again