a steamed cake

blame it on harry!  i’ve been so tied up taking care of the little fluff ball that i haven’t had much time to bake…or in this case steam. (plus, he turns into a little gremlin when he knows there are sweets around) . . .

the other day, i got a hankering for this steamed cake that my mother makes.  really, it’s the only cake she made with any sort of regularity during my childhood.  it’s not very sweet — or just sweet enough in my book, and has a wonderfully moist texture.

my mom refers to it as fa gaowhich loosely translates into prosperous cake — it’s something typically made during chinese new year’s.  after my visit to tim ho wan last november, it struck me that this cake is actually quite similar to the ma lai gao that they serve there.  i think that if you actually substitute the milk in the recipe below with evaporated milk, you might end up with ma lai gao.

anyhow, i called up mum and she sent me her recipe . . .

Mom’s Steamed Cake Recipe
(makes 1 nine-inch round cake)

Eggs 2 large ones
Milk 1 ½ cups
Canola Oil ½ cup
AP Flour 1 1/3 cups
Rice Flour ¼ cup
Baking Powder 2 tsp
Baking Soda ¼ tsp
Brown Sugar ½ cup (I used light brown sugar; although usually uses dark brown sugar, which gives it a richer colour and molasses-y flavour)
  1.  Set a bamboo steamer on top of a wok filled with water.  Then, grease a 9″ cake pan and set aside.
  2. Whisk together flours, baking powder and baking soda in a medium sized bowl and set aside.
  3. Beat eggs for 1-2 minutes or until well mixed.
  4. Add in brown sugar and beat for another minute.
  5. Add in milk and oil.  Mix for another minute.
  6. Finally pour in the dry ingredients you had previously whisked together in step 2.  Turn mixer down to lowest speed and mix for 1-2 minutes until evenly combined.
  7. Pour the batter into the greased cake pan. Place the pan inside the bamboo steamer.  Cover with the steamer’s lid.  Steam for 40 minutes.
  8. Resist the urge to open the lid . . . as this will prevent the cake from blossoming — and yes, if you’ve made this cake properly, the center is supposed to crack open!
  9. When the 40 minutes are up, turn off the heat.  Allow the cake to cool inside the steamer with the lid on for 15 minutes.  Then remove the lid and allow the cake to cool completely.

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2 responses to “a steamed cake

  1. Wow, what an interesting construction you have there! Great cake!

  2. M,mmm this steamed cake sounds yum, & Fluffy Harry ain’t bad either!

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