On a recent trip to Mentakab, a town in the state of Pahang, two hours away from Kuala Lumpur, we stumbled upon a roadside stall selling one of our favourite local tea-time snack – the ‘Akok’.
This traditional cake is more commonly found in the east coast states of Kelantan and Terengganu in Peninsular Malaysia, and rarely in the west coast.
Made with eggs, flour, coconut milk, water, palm sugar, salt and flavoured with pandan (screwpine) leaves, this soft and caramelly treat is best eaten fresh off the stove where it is cooked in a solid brass mould over charcoal and coconut husk (which gives it a smoky flavour).
The mould ensures that each piece is identical in shape and size, though the outer texture of this delicacy may differ due to the caramelisation.
Only very skilled cooks are able to get the shape of this cake right though. Most times, it tastes like heaven but looks like something the dog trampled on.
This unexpected pit-stop just off Jalan Maran-Temerloh – in front of a small house with the ‘Bangunan Fairuz’ sign, next to Maran Road sawmill – was well worth our time as the hawker got both the taste and the texture right.
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