Monday, February 18, 2008

The Secret to Making Beehive Biscuit (Mutt Foong Tau)

Beehive biscuit, aka kuih rose, aka mutt foong tau doesn't come cheap. I bought 1 container (about 10 inches high) and it cost me RM16. I love to eat it but paying RM16 and having it gone in 1 day did not sit too well with my DH. Afterall, the ingredients don't even cost that much... flour, eggs, santan, sugar. So, I decided I would try to make it myself.

When I went back to MIL place for Chinese New Year, I asked her for the recipe. She makes wonderful ones (unfortunately she didn't make anything this year). Thought maybe she could demonstrate to me how to make it but her answer was "chinia che kang chai oh" (hokkien for "it's a lot of work you know!"). And so, ignorant me took the recipe home, thinking "hey, how hard can this be?"
MIL's (I used this)
500gm rice flour
2 eggs
150gm caster sugar
700ml concentrated coconut milk
1/2tsp salt.

Friend's (Will try another day)
300gm flour
250gm rice flour
8 large eggs
1 rice bowl of coconut milk
2 cups sugar
So, after sieving it, here is my batter. With mould in hand, I'm ready to tackle the task. I reviewed the instructions to heat up the mould in the oil, make sure dip it only about 3/4 into the batter, put into oil and shake it off. Remove when slightly brown. Okay, all set!

And then... jeng, jeng, jeng.......... BURNT, BURNT, BURNT!
The first few ones I put into the hot oil, I couldn't even shake it off. It wasn't brown when I took it out, it was black and still sticking to the mould. Okay, scrap it off and tried again. Same thing. In the end, I turned off the gas, called MIL but not at home. Called friend but she couldn't tell me why. So think, think, think... (Actually, the burnt ones were worse then the photo below).

Nevermind, try again. Maybe oil was too hot. Now, I turn it on low right from the beginning, instead of big fire then turn down low later. Heat up the mould again. Dipped it into the batter but this time dip it many, many times (like 10-12 times) to get a thicker coating. Put it into the oil and YAY, managed to shake it off this time. But still little bit burnt as I waited until they were too brown before getting them out.

After much practice and experimenting, WHALLA! Okaylah hor? Not too bad ya? Still not as nice as the "professionals". But hey, after like 4 hours later, these look pretty darn perfect to me (would have finished faster if I didn't take a break in between).


  1. After heating up the mould, you have to shake some of the oil off. If not, when you dip into the batter, the batter slides off.
  2. If you have too thin a batter on the mould, you can't shake it off when cooking it in the oil.
  3. How long do you start shaking after you dip the batter into the oil??? Only a few seconds. In the end, I was counting up to 4 and then shaking it. But I guess it would also depend on how hot is your oil.
  4. The sides will peel away from the mould first. The middle part is sometimes hard to shake off. I would lift the mould very slightly above the oil and try to shake it off.
  5. I kept a pair of chopsticks handy. When any part wouldn't shake off, I would cheat and use the chopsticks to separate the biscuit from the mould.
  6. After each dipping into the oil, I would shake, shake, shake the oil off the mould. Sometimes placing it on some tissue paper to get rid of excess oil. Like I said, too much oil and the batter slides of the mould.
  7. "Brown" is a deceiving word. Don't wait until it's brown. By the time you get it out, it will be dark brown. Get it out when it's like golden-yellow. Bit-bit white also okay. I think so lah.

Okay, that is my experience. I don't claim to have gotten it right. I probably am still doing something wrong. I'm open to free lessons. So, come on ladies, what's the secret to making beautiful Mutt Foong Tau???????

p.s. Okayyyyyy.... now I know why it cost RM16. The time, expertise and the backache. Nothing to do with the ingredients.


  1. ya simple ingredient but take long time and effort.

  2. That's why I hear that it helps to have more than 1 person do it. Like that lady featured in the newspaper that had 3 of her sons help.

  3. wow... this is one of the time consuming biscuit the other one must be kuih kapit. I only managed to bake moist chocolate cake only... MIL did another time consuming biscuit, alamak! forgot the name it's white in colour and main ingredient is coconut milk too...need to use the mould and knock them out one by one using the round oven (see thru at the middle) to bake...I'm scare of the work but it's delicious though...


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