KUALA LUMPUR: For many, baking is therapeutic. For others, it’s intimidating and best left to the experts a.k.a. bakeries.
But even for those who love to bake, time is a luxury they do not have, what with juggling work and family commitments every single day.
Thank goodness for premixes: they are convenient and less time consuming, allowing you to still enjoy baking even on a busy day. And if variety is what you’re after, baking supplies retailer Bake With Yen (BWY) has over 50 pre-mixes for cakes, cookies, breads, and muffins.
“During the pandemic, a lot of people started baking either as a hobby or to start a business to supplement their income. So, we saw a high demand for [premixes] and subsequently developed a larger selection,” BWY’s group chief executive officer, Alexandre Rosso, 45, told FMT.
He added that they also created new flavours based on suggestions and ideas from customers.
He shared that BWY aims to make baking easy, enjoyable, and affordable, with premixes starting from as low as RM3.20 for a 500g pack.
BWY, which describes itself as Malaysia’s largest baking supplies retailer, was established in 1987 and today has 90 outlets throughout Malaysia. Additionally, customers can also shop online via their website or Shopee.
Citing an example of how easy it is to bake with their pre-mixes, Rosso shared: “My friend’s 12-year-old daughter used our cookie premix and baked it with minimal assistance from her parents. And the cookies turned out great!”
Among their more popular premixes are Mango Yoghurt Cake, Brownies Brittle, and Red Velvet Cookies. They even have a unique flavour called Nasi Lemak Crunchy Cookies.
“We came up with this for Hari Raya. And since nasi lemak is a favourite food among Malaysians, we decided to develop it into a cookie, and it was very successful,” Jet Ang, 28, BWY’s assistant manager of new products development, shared with FMT.
And it’s not just popular among locals as Rosso, who is French-Italian, and arrived in Malaysia only six months ago, also says nasi lemak is his favourite food.
He added that for the upcoming mid-autumn festival, BWY will be introducing a new traditional mooncake premix – the third in their mooncake series.
“Customers will only need to add some water and peanut oil to make the dough. In fact, they can also purchase mooncake fillings such as red bean at BWY.”
Rosso added that BWY carries over 4,000 products – chocolate, nuts, food additives, dairy items, flour, baking tools, and kitchen appliances. They also carry their own in-house brands for chocolate, cheese, and butter.
Baking with Yen
The FMT team put two of the pre-mixes to the test: the Mango Yoghurt Cake and the Nasi Lemak Crunchy Cookies.
The Mango Yoghurt Cake premix, when opened, instantly exuded the scent of mangoes. Clear instructions in both Malay and English are printed on the pre-mix packet.
For a 250g pack, five eggs and 65g of water including 65g of oil or melted butter was needed. The process itself was simple enough: mix all the ingredients together before pouring the batter into a recommended eight-inch (20 cm) round cake mould. Then bake.
The end result was a cake that was moist, dense, fragrant, and not too sweet. Overall, the premix was a good option for those wanting to try something different from the usual chocolate and marble butter cake premixes available in the market.
Meanwhile, the premix for the Nasi Lemak Crunchy Cookies was an interesting one to test.
Preparing the cookie dough was an easy process and only 250g of butter was needed for a 500g pack. The omission of eggs, according to Ang, was to keep the pre-mix simple and affordable.
All you have to do is beat the butter until light and fluffy before adding the pre-mix. Once the dough is of a soft consistency, roll out the dough and use a cookie cutter to cut out shapes. Top each cookie with toasted peanuts before baking.
The end-result? This cookie certainly had the unique flavours of nasi lemak including a faint whiff of sambal. The peanut added a nice crunch, and it did feel like a plate of nasi lemak condensed into a tiny cookie.
The savoury flavour may be an acquired taste for some. For others, it might be addictive – and a great way to enjoy nasi lemak on the go!