While my friend, Cher, and I were planning for our Southeast Asian-themed cooking party, she suggested to make sugee cake for dessert. I’ve never heard of sugee cake, so I had absolutely no clue. However, I soon found out what this nutty dessert is all about.
Sugee cake is a soft cake made with semolina flour, almonds, and egg yolks. It is an Eurasian heritage in Southeast Asia. The name sugee (or suji) comes from Hindi, meaning “semolina”. Moreover, there are all sorts of variations for this cake, such as with or without icing, nutmeg, cardamon, even to soaked or not to soak in alcohol.
Sugee cake is a festive dessert, which is served at Christmas, weddings, house-warming parties, New Year’s Eve parties, birthdays, and anniversaries…etc. It is a very rich, dense yet fluffy cake, which has little flour and lots of butter, eggs and almonds.
It was my first time having it, but I’m already in love with it! Despite the amount of butter and eggs, this cake is very nutty and has a distinct grainy, and crumbly texture. A tasty cake can be enjoyed any time of the day, not only for festivals! Brew a good cup of coffee, bake the cake, and have a nice afternoon with your loved ones!
- 165 g unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 35 g castor sugar
- 1 tsp honey (any types of syrup would work)
- 60 g semolina
- 80 g yolks (around 5 large eggs)
- 80 g egg whites
- 35 g castor sugar (x3)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 60 g almonds, chopped roughly
- 20 g cake flour (or almond flour)
- ⅙ tsp baking soda
- Preheat the oven to 180°C
- Spread the semolina thinly on baking tray lined with aluminum foil, and bake for 10 minutes (Stir thoroughly; continue baking till light brown and fragrant, then leave it to cool)
- In a mixing bowl, whisk butter and one portion (35 g) of sugar till thick and pale
- Add honey, and mix till combined
- Add baked semolina, mix thoroughly.
- Set aside till semolina is soft (around 1 hour) in cool area.
- Preheat oven to 170 °C, and line the baking pan with parchment paper
- In another mixing bowl, whisk the yolks and another portion (35 g) of sugar till thick and pale
- Add the vanilla extract and almonds.
- Sift in cake flour and baking soda into the yolk mixture. Mix evenly.
- Add the yolk mixture to butter mixture. Fold it in gently and thoroughly
- In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites till thick foam forms
- Gradually add the castor sugar as you continue whisking
- Keep whisking till egg whites form a stiff peak
- Fold the egg whites into yolk and butter mixture in 2 batches, till just evenly mixed, and scrap down thoroughly as you fold
- Pour batter into the baking pan, and level top
- Bake for approximately 40 minutes, until the cake shrinks slightly from sides
- Remove cake from the oven, and let it cool for a few minutes before unmould it.
- Unmould and leave on a wire rack to cool completely before serving