Makcik Kiah’s firewood baulu, sought by many

Rokiah Kulop Malodin, or more affectionately known as Mak Cik Kiah bakes kuih baulu cakes using firewood and coconut husk, in Kampung Guar, Manong, Kuala Kangsar, April 19, 2021. — Bernama pic
Rokiah Kulop Malodin, or more affectionately known as Mak Cik Kiah bakes kuih baulu cakes using firewood and coconut husk, in Kampung Guar, Manong, Kuala Kangsar, April 19, 2021. — Bernama pic

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KUALA KANGSAR, April 19 — Kuih baulu (baulu cake) is among the favourites not only during Hari Raya, but also as a tasty treat in the morning or evening accompanied by coffee or tea.

This traditional delicacy is made up of only three ingredients namely eggs, sugar and flour, but the baking process is strenuous and time-consuming.

Nowadays many baulu sellers use the electric oven for faster and easier baking, 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.

Also known as Makcik Kiah among her customers, the 60-year-old from Kampung Guar, Manong, here, inherits the traditional method of making the traditional cake from both her mother and mother-in-law.

Makcik Kiah can produce up to 5,000 baulu during each festive season using this traditional method.

“I learn how to make baulu from my late mother and the secret on how to mix the batter from my late mother-in-law so that the texture will not harden but instead it will become soft and fluffy,” she said.

According to Rokiah, the process of making baulu begins as early as 4 am until 5 pm, comprising of beating the eggs and sugar by using ‘pengenjut’ (traditional spiralled shaped egg beater) for two hours while mixing the batter with wheat flour, that needed to be toasted (using a wok on a stove) then cooled.

“During the process of beating, I must ensure that not even a drop of water get 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 (kg) of sugar and six kg of flour.

“For the baking process, coconut husks are placed on the pot while sand and pieces of paper are put inside it, and the firewood used are of langsat or rambutan tree or forest woods such as cenerai and halban.

Rokiah said she favoured the old ways of baking baulu and despite the tiredness, she is satisfied with the outcome especially when being praised by customers for its smoky taste.

Orders received would be ready two weeks before Aidilfitri and limited to only 100 containers, quipped Rokiah.

The baulu, she said, would last for a month.

According to Rokiah, orders come from all over the country including Sabah and Sarawak, and sometimes from overseas for various ceremonies such as weddings and religious events.

The cermai (Malay gooseberry), fish and flower-shaped baulu are sold at RM3.50 per piece and up to RM35 per container. — Bernama

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