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Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Steamed Pumpkin Muffins

For mothers out there, pregnancy is a wonderful experience. The changes that one goes thru thoughout the pregnancy is sometimes weird and unanticipated.

I've heard of people eating toothpaste, eating shoe polish or some find clay to be tasty. Disgusting, right? But I've only heard about such incidences where those people actually consume a limited diet, and they might be malnourished in some way and the body makes then comsume something that in nature contains the nutrient that the mother so needed. I've never heard of funny stories from people who lived in town, or consumes a veriety of food and never impoverished.

In one of the schools I worked in before, the school cleaner once chatted with me, about how she survived all her pregnancies craving for toothpaste, consuming only cream crackers with chilli paste and drinking only tap water for 9 months!! The rest are all, yucks to her. And she was the one who told me stories about people who eat funny stuff, and those people are relatives of hers.  Hard to believe? But I guess it could be true. Just that we are too privileged to be in contact with people who are never deprived of proper food.

When I was pregs with Lydia, from week 5 onwards, I was binging. Eating meals, not snacks every 3 hours. I gained 4 kg in just 2 weeks. Mike looked at me in horror, to see the way that I'm eating.I told him, I can't help it, my tummy is growling furiously.  But when week 7 came by, my appetite dropped drastically. I could eat nothing except fruits. Food made from rice were the worse. From congee to vermicelli, they all smell yucks! I could look at a burger, just look. I don't feel like picking it up. And if I pick it up, I won't feel like biting. And if I finally bit into it, I don't feel like chewing. After chewing, I don't want to swallow it. The whole eating process is just a torture to me. But if I see fruits, I can eat and eat. I dropped 7 kg throughout this difficult period. Which was 3 kg less compared to pre pregnancy. If I wasn't binging during early pregnancy, I'd lose even more.

Actually that time, my hormones were all crazy and I was having bad constipation. Constipation during pregnancy is due to the increment of progesterone. It's the way that my body reacted and helped me to overcome the problem that I was facing by rejected all foods except fruits. Taking in whatever that is needed to help the mother. When the constipation stopped at week 14, my appetite came back, in a snap! Even now, I totally believe in listening to my body. Eat when it tells u to, and don't eat when it doesn't tell u to. So, if I crave, there's no excuse for not eating. That's one pretty good excuse. Hahahaha!

This time, the pregnancy affected not my appetite, but my kitchen mojo. It hit me so bad that I don't want to wash my cup. I didn't want to touch the sink, didn't want to cook anything at all. I didn't bake anything out of fun, but only out of neccesity. I was craving for something with coconut milk, so I made and oil-less pandan chiffon. It was Mike's birthday and  I made him Chocolate Enigma Cake. With the extra cream from the cake, I baked another cake (I'll post that within this week) And I did a sponsored post with a health product that I've promised way before my pregnancy. I didn't cook a proper meal for almost 4 months!! We were eating out daily. Now that I'm at week 22, I'm pretty much the old me now. Not all there, but almost. Still not cooking 3 dishes 1 soup, but one plate meals mostly, like noodles, pasta, fried rice, and congee mostly. Won't call them one pot meals as cooking rice uses one pot and frying uses another wok. LOL.

Funny right? Hard to believe? I was still posting daily, right? hahaha! What you are seeing were usually posts so stale that they were made months ago. Haha! I still have lots of back logs to last me til I move in March.

So now, if you think that this bun in me is a sausage roll, which explained the different pregnancy experience, nah!!! Even Lydia and Lyanne weren't the same. Being pregs with Lyanne was a breeze. I loved food, especially white plain rice during the first 3 months, whereas I hated rice when I had Lydia. Both were burgers, and yet, different. Even now, both girls are very different. One is lingustic, the other technical and artistic. Haha.

Enough pregs talk, let's food talk.
This is the first thing I made, right after I got back my mojo at week 16. And I attempted this recipe twice.

First attempt flopped bad time. Simply because I read in one of the comments that aunty Yochana said the baking powder has to be double action baking powder, whereas the recipe itself called for only baking powder. My first attempt used DABP and weirdly the muffin was super dense and tasted sourish. I’ve encountered this when I simply substituted regular baking powder with DABP and my baking results were always less than acceptable.

So, with some pumpkin left, immediately I did my 2nd attempt with just regular baking powder. The results were wonderful, all smiling happily and they were all soft and fluffy. I’m now wondering how the taste will be with coconut milk… maybe next time.

Steamed Pumpkin Muffins
Adapted from Aunty Yochana
Yields12 steamed muffins (I used egg tart pans)

125gm steamed pumpkin flesh
1 egg
120gm sugar
100gm evaporated milk or coconut milk
30gm corn oil

180gm cake flour
20gm rice flour
1.5tsp baking powder

1. Prepare your steamer and bring the water to a boil
2. Put steamed pumpkin flesh, egg, sugar, milk and oil in blender and whizz for 30 seconds.
3. Sift cake flour, rice flour and baking powder into a mixing bowl.
4. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour the blended ingredients into the well. Mix until well combined.
5. Spoon into lined steaming cups and steam on high heat for 15 minutes. It will bloom by itself, no need to make a cross with oil.

I love this. My kids love this. My hubby the pumpkin hater said nothing. But please don't ask me if this taste like Fatt Gou, I have no idea. I've never eaten a proper fatt gou in my life, except once, a very very dry yucky one. The muffin stays soft the next day, not as soft as fresh from the steamer, but acceptable even when cold.

See Lydia's thumb????



  1. Your children are as cute as ever :) Wow, pregnancy sounds like such a difficult/tiring time to go through. Now I can semi imagine how my mom felt. The steamed pumpkin muffins look very yummy, do they taste like sweet steamed buns? Also, how do you know if you have dabp as opposed to regular baking powder? Thanks and take care!

  2. Esther,
    The DABP is written as DABP. It's very specific here. Steamed buns? Not, it doesn't have the gluten feel of buns, but rather like muffins, but steamed ones, cake like to be more specific.

  3. Lydia and Lyanne are so cute i hope that i will have a chance this year to meet them and your newborn! hehe! the steamed pumpkin cakes looks great wendy!

  4. Jenn@ChasingFoodDreamsJanuary 25, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    gosh Wendy, you never fail to amaze me.. being preg and 2 kids and still able to produce so much goodies! When I was preg, all I did was by a pig.. hehe

    Love pumpkin, cannot wait to try this recipe..

  5. Wendy, I am literally salivating here and tempted to drive 300km and plant myself between your 2 pretty girls. I love pumpkins!!!

    We hv driven to Ipoh just to eat from morning to night and drive back to KL, many times. :) also just to buy the kaya puffs and other stuffs.

    I mentioned to my sis in America abt your blog and she absolutely liked it.


  6. These steamed pumpkin muffins looks soft and nice.

  7. Jess Kitchen,
    You're coming here?

    No, during early pregnancy I pigged out on my bed mostly too, which was why I didn't bake or cook.

    There's no need for the compulsive long drive here, hahaha. You can just make these yourself in just less than half and hour. Thanks for promoting my blg to ur is

    Yummy Koh,

  8. Congratulation to your third pregnancy. Wish you have a smooth and enjoyable pregnancy. :)

  9. I am one of the lucky ones who doesn't encounter any pregnancy blues thank goodness! Your muffins looks so soft fluffy and moist!

  10. hi wendy.. saya dah cube pumpkin muffin ni...baru siap masak, panas panas lagi ni. sangat sangat sedappppp.. i like it very much!!! my sons makan tak berhenti...esok i akan buat lagi untuk breakfast pulak..haha..thank you very much wendy.. i'll post mine tomorrow lah..

  11. you are defenitely one of my favorite blogs now! *___* it looks so damn good!

  12. nice it Fuat Kuh" in chinese?

  13. This comment has been removed by the author.

  14. Wendy i'm planning hopefully i can go KL this year!


  16. hii wendy~ ur pumpkin cakes looked very yummy!!
    i've done a few time previously on, steamed egg cake (蒸鸡蛋糕)..but i still cant get it to have a fluffy n loose (not dense) texture..
    It's similar to this recipe tht u did rit? u drew a cross on the mixture before u steam?

    This is the recipe I tried...been trying others but not working as well..this is the latest..

    I was thinking why? I did get the whole egg to be beaten till ribbon stage...maybe my mixing of flour into the egg was wrong? plz correct me...


  17. Happy Flour,

    It's just those funny mood stuff, other than that, I'm prety much ok.

    Wah, cepatnya dah try.
    Best la sedap, esok post ye, nanti hang gi tgk

    LOL, thanks

    Haha, I wrote in the post, I said I dunno.

    Oh what happened??

    Jess Kitchen,
    Then hopefully I can go to KL to meet u

    Thank you and I like them very much too

    No marking with knife. Just pour into the muffin cups and steam.
    That recipe is totally not the same as mine.
    That "jidangao" recipe uses a lot of eggs and this muffin uses only 1. This recipe's ratio is basically a muffin's ratio and method is muffin method too.
    It does not require any beating of any sort
    The folding process into any egg mixture that has been beaten to ribbon stage has to be done carefully so that you won't deflate the batter, once deflated, that's it, flat dense cake. Use a balloon whisk and slowly stir by drawing "8" in the batter twisting ur wrist as if you're playing badminton

  18. Hi Wendy
    What cha cooking next, need a warning so my empty stomach be warned..

    I used to have compulsive urge to bake at 3am during winter nights alone in London among other compulsive impulses :P so I really don't know what happened to my cooking sense, I hv lost all sense of it.

    Yea, sis said she is going to try some of yr recipes if she can find some of the ingredients.

    Keep them coming Wendy, glad I found yr blog.


  19. Pregnancy sounds....painful. I heard a lot about weird food cravings during pregnancy but toothpaste?!

  20. WOW! The steamed pumpkin cake looks so soft and fluffy. Nice color, I must try to make this. Thanks for sharing. Take care :)

  21. Craving for toothpaste? This is the first time I'm hearing it, but I think pregnancy is really a very special journey for every women and I know it's really not easy.

  22. This one good for breakfast lah! Some more pumpkin is healthy food!

  23. Don't our hormones create havoc when we are pregnant? For my first girl, I drank nothing but lychee juice and ate mee pok tah for the first few months. For my second, it was duck rice!
    Congrats on the coming newborn! Your cute girls will be so thrilled!

  24. the muffins or fatt koh looks very attractive. love the bright yellow colour, I probably think this would taste better than fatt koh as most of the fatt kohs taste yeasty, but some are really good with added coconut milk..just like soft sponge cake. shoe polish can be eaten meh? dont scare me.

  25. Those look awesome ... in colour & shape. Every muffins just smile so beautifully. Did you criss cross before steaming? Thanks in advance, cause every time I asked so many question :)
    Finally, congrats on your pregnancy, and hopefully Lydia & Lyanne will have di di soon :)

  26. cinafong,
    Not leaking anything, be back tomorrow to check it out

    toothpaste is so "normal", did u read the part abt clay and show polish? I guess we don't come into contact with such things, but if you ask Malays, they got lots of stories to tell.

    thanks for ur concern

    Haha, you meet so many preggers each day, and especially in gov hosp, lots of complicated cases.

    Yaya, and this is easy to make

    Haha, my elder knows some one is coming, but my younger one knows nothing, ahaha.

    ask the Malays for more stories, you'd be surprised, but ask those from Kampung as they are the ones that are nutritionaly imbalanced.

    Haha, it's ok. No criss crossing, just put into cup and steam. I never said it's Didi... hahaha

  27. A friend of mine love smelling petrol/gas when she was pregnant. Each day she will drive to the petrol station, park her car there and smell it ha ha..weird, right. I love anything pumpkin but too bad Carlos is not a fan of it so I hardly bake with it.

  28. Hi, can you tell me how many cup of pumpkin and rice flour do i need, if using measuring cups for measure? Also, what kind of rice flour are you using?

  29. Muffins look cutely baked...your kids are much cuter!!! :D

  30. Hey this recipe is so easy and they all looked so fluffy! I think I will try this out

  31. Gert,
    Oh petrol is so so dangerous during pregnancy, the VOC can cause birth defects. It's so weird right?

    Sorry, I think there are lots of conversion tools available online.
    It's pure rice flour. If it's glutinous rice flour, it will be mentioned clearly.

    Thanks, they are indeed my cute *proud* LOL

    Oh yes, very easy to do. Hope u enjoy this.

  32. Oh my gosh, I want to try this one too! So many lovely pumpkin recipes. I love steamed cakes.

  33. thanks wendy! i'll try again n be careful with the folding!

  34. Hi Wendy, I baked this pumpkin muffin this morning, but why the muffin cannot bloom by itself, it has the round top, but is yummy!


  35. Casey,
    Oh, what type of flour did you use?
    Do not overmix but only until everything looks combined and it'll be good enough.

  36. Wendy,
    I just made half portion of your recipe, and I used self-raising flour + rice flour.

    Is it the self-raising flour contains not sufficient baking powder, so the muffin cannot bloom?

  37. Casey,
    Oh, then I think you have to add in about 1/3 to 1/2 tsp of baking powder if u use SR flour, for the full portion.

  38. Hi Wendy, I steam this last night. The muffin will not bloom like yours. I'm using ramekins as base and put in the paper cup. As for recipe wise, I cut all your recipe into half as I only need to bake 6 muffins. Anything wrong?..Sandy

  39. Sandy,
    Do not overmix. If you overmix, the batter will toughen due to formation of gluten and it will effect the blooming effect.
    I've seen some using ceramic cups to steam cakes and it doesn't affect the blooming effect

  40. Wendy,
    I'm using double action baking powder. Will this the problem too? How do you steam yours? Paper cup placing in where?..Sandy

  41. Sandy,
    If you read my post carefully, you would have known I encountered problems when I used Double Action baking powder. My muffins were dense and yucky.
    When I did another batch, using just regular baking powder, it bloomed beautifully.

  42. Thanks for the advise as You are more senior in baking and I'm just junior..hope can learn more from you..btw, steaming in ramekins doesn't cause this blooming problem? sandy

  43. Sandy,
    Your ramekin is made from ceramic right?
    Traditional "fatt gou" is steamed in ceramic cups. I've seen few bloggers steaming cakes in ramekins lined with paper, they had no problem.
    I steam mine in a egg tart tins. I do not own that many ramekins.

  44. Wendy,
    I have egg tart mould too but is it mini egg tart.. ok, will try and let you know the outcome...Sandy

  45. Hi Wendy,
    my muffin bloom nicely..thanks for the advise..Sandy

  46. Dear Wendy

    I made steamed pumpkin muffins using ur recipe today and cakes turned out so sucessful, delicious and beautiful. I am ever so grateful to u for sharing sure simple and tasty recipe. Do u know in S'pore, a training school charges about S$40 to S$60 to learn how to make these cakes?

    Wendy, u are so talented, like Food-4-Tots, Lai Kuan, u are all so nice and capable people and I just love visiting all of ur blogs for very trustworthy recipes.

    God bless all of u for the unselfish sharings.

    Priscilla Poh

  47. Oh ya, I forgot to ask u, next time I make these pumpkin muffins again, do u think I can use Top flour instead. Will Top flour give structure and create the blossom or laughing effect in the cakes?

    Priscilla Poh

  48. Priscilla,
    Wow, I think Lai Kuan will be very grateful to you for promoting her blog each time. :)
    Frankly, I have never used Top flour. I have never seen it here.

  49. I tested this recipe with pumpkin, nicely bloom. So I got so motivated to try it 2nd time with purple sweet potato. Guess what, after steaming the muffin, the colour turns turquoise like kena racun, so scared to eat. Have u encounter this??

  50. Esther,
    Oh yes, purple sweet potatoes, once mixed with eggs will change colour to turquoise.
    The natural pigment, anthocyanin changes to blue when in contact with akaline components.
    There's nothing racun with it, it's safe.

  51. May I know what is cake flour?I couldn't find it in the supermarket.Is there any other flour that I can substitute with?I am in Australia.Thanks.

  52. Shirley,
    Superfine flour?
    Extra Fine flour?
    I have seen some online selling superfine in Australia.
    If you still can't find, use an all purpose flour with a lower protein content, maybe 9%, but if better, even lower.

  53. Hi Wendy,
    What other oil can I replace with corn oil in the recipe? Can I use olive oil?
    Also, in your pic the pumpkin muffins are steamed using evaporated milk, did I guess correctly?

  54. Lynn,
    Yes, I did mine with evap milk.
    If you want to use olive oil, I suggest use Light Olive Oil, so that the taste will not be prominent.
    Any vegetable oil will be fine, grapeseed, if you have will be ok too.

  55. Thank you do much Wendy for this tried and tested recipe! I was smiling ear to ear when I saw my muffins blooming in the steamer this morning. I ate one after it cooled down and found right in the middle that abit of batter still moist-> I need to steam longer than 15mins is it? Or is it that I did not mix the batter well enough?
    I am glad the muffins were not too sweet. The pumpkin taste was quite subtle-> is it due to the type of pumpkin I bought or it's suppose to be subtle?

  56. Lynn,
    I'm not sure how big you made them, but I had 10.
    The bigger the more time needed. I used a wok to steam and the muffins were quite near to the boiling water, that could speed things up a bit.
    Don't mix too much, if not the blooming effect will not be prominent.
    Any cakes with pumpkin will taste subtle (to me) as pumpkin itself is not a strong tasting food. But to my hubby, it's strong enough to make him hate it.

  57. Hi Wendy,
    I also used a wok to steam but put the muffins on a plate ontop the steaming rack as I was worried the boiling water will get into the cups. I have 7 muffins from using cupcake liners as that's what I have available. I haven't got egg tart tins or such.

  58. Lynn,
    Oh... Mine was direct on the rack.
    With 7, it's bigger and you will need to extend the steaming time.
    I suggest you get a rack like mine (in crispy mashed tofu), it's sturdy and you can place buns and paper lined items directly onto it

  59. Oh I forgot to ask you. When I steamed the pumpkin, some liquid oozes out during the steaming process. Should I discard this liquid or add into the blender with the steamed pumpkin?

  60. Lynn,
    I drink that up, it's sweet!

  61. Thanks Wendy! Let me go hunt for that steaming rack. I have only seen much smaller ones.
    I have sweet potatoes sitting at home, should I also drink up the liquid after steaming the sweet potatoes? Or should I use it to purée? as sweet potatoes are dryer than pumpkin.
    Thank you for your advice.

  62. Lynn,
    If u're from Malaysia, I bought my rack from Jusco.
    There's no liquid oozing from sweet potatoes, usually.

  63. Hi Wendy, the pumpkin weigh 125g is before or after steam? I am such a failure. I tried twice and failed. I found the batter is very thick. When I scoop to the cup. It could not place properly according to the muffin cup. Is this normal? I use ayam brand trim coconut milk. Both try it could not raise. Sad sad sad.

  64. Ching,
    the ingredient list says clearly "steamed pumpkin flesh".
    The batter is thick.
    If it didn't rise, I think you have beaten the batter way too much.
    You should only mix until moistened. No more than that.

  65. Thanks Wendy. I dont think I over mixed it. Because i am aware u mention do not over mix. Perhaps I put too much pumpkin.

    Anyway, I love reading ur blog. I wont give up. Thanks for sharing.

  66. Hi Wendy, It looks so so tempting...i wanna try this but i hv no tart tin...guess i will use my muffin tray lined with paper liners. Btw since the batter is so thick can the paper liners hold them in and just put them on plate to steam?? thanks


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