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Recipes with SATS: Chef Lim Choon Sing shares the easiest way to make Gula Melaka Steamed Cake

Recipes with SATS: Chef Lim Choon Sing shares the easiest way to make Gula Melaka Steamed Cake

Ah, the joy of air travel – the anticipation, the excitement, and of course, the delectable pastries onboard.

Amongst the team behind the finest pastries you get on your flight is Chef Lim Choon Sing, a Sous Chef (Pastry) at SATS Catering, ensuring that 40 to 60 flights get sweeter journeys.


Chef Lim Choon Sing, Sous Chef, Pastry, SATS Catering

Chef Lim's culinary career traces back to 1998 when he first joined a hotel kitchen. In 2011, he found his way to SATS Catering.

“It’s funny, really,” Chef Lim chuckles as he recalls his early days as a Pastry Chef. “I never imagined myself in pastry-making. It started as a playful suggestion from a friend, and before I knew it, I was hooked.”

And what captivated him about pastries? “The magic of transformation,” he enthuses. “It’s a feeling like no other – to witness simple ingredients like flour and eggs metamorphose into beautiful and tasty delicacies, like a decadent royal chocolate mousse for example.”

“Of course,” he adds with a grin, “my love for sweets played a part, too.”


Chef Lim at work in the pastry kitchen

For Chef Lim, precision is crucial in his craft. “Pastry-making is an exact science,” he explains. “It’s all about following the formula to the tee. One wrong measurement, and you risk throwing off the entire balance of flavours.”

But such precision does not stifle his creativity. Chef Lim finds joy in infusing inventiveness into his creations.

Read also: Chef Lim Ah Chye shares his upmarket take on Nyonya Otak-Otak

Amidst his repertoire of pastry creations, there’s one recipe that Chef Lim is most eager to share – the Gula Melaka Steamed Cake. This humble dessert holds a special place in his culinary adventure at SATS, serving as a cherished memory from 2020 when he was part of Singapore’s National Team for the IKA/Culinary Olympics in Stuttgart, Germany.


Chef Lim and other SATS representatives to the IKA/Culinary Olympics in 2020

“Gula Melaka, or palm sugar, is truly a gem in Asian cuisine,” Chef Lim explains. “Its mild caramel flavour adds depth and richness to any dish.”

While the Gula Melaka Steamed Cake may not grace in-flight menus, its simplicity and versatility make it a standout recipe. “It’s extremely easy to make,” Chef Lim assures. “With just a handful of easy-to-find ingredients, you’ll have a delightful treat ready to be enjoyed in under 20 minutes.”


Gula Melaka Steamed Cake


Part A:

600g Gula Melaka

700g water

50g fresh ginger

8 pcs pandan leaves

Part B:

700g flour

4g baking soda

4g baking powder

2 pinches salt

300g sugar

6 eggs

Part C:

100g melted butter

12-24 fresh banana cubes

50g brown sugar

No. of serving: 24


1. Boil Part A ingredients to infuse flavours, then set aside to cool. Once cooled, sift to extract the liquid.

2. Beat the eggs and sugar until fluffy. Mix with the Part A mixture.

3. Sift dry ingredients in Part B and combine with the mixture.

4. Fold in melted butter.

5. Prepare the mould. Pour in the mixture.

6. Toss banana cubes in brown sugar and place in the mould.

7. Steam for 13 minutes.


Chef Lim preparing to serve the Gula Melaka Steamed Cake

Chef Tips

Customise to your taste! Get creative with toppings like chocolate shavings, caramelised fruits, toasted nuts, or infuse the batter with coconut, pineapple, or espresso.


Grow with SATS