Friday, February 22, 2019

Steamed brown sugar and coconut milk cake

On 5 February, it was Chinese New Year, marking the start of the Year of the Pig. In a recent column in the Good Weekend magazine, Helen Goh noted that cakes are important during Chinese New Year celebrations as they symbolise a rich, sweet life.  I knew there was some reason I love to make cakes!

Helen's recipe for Chinese New Year cake was a Steamed Brown Sugar and Coconut Cake.  I already had some coconut milk and the remaining ingredients are pantry staples for me, so I just had to make this cake.

The pleats in the cake are there on purpose, as the cake is meant to look rustic.  I ended up cooking my cake in a pudding steamer, as I did not have a bamboo or metal steamer large enough to accommodate the batter and leave room for rising.

I thought this cake turned out pretty well (after an initial emergency when I turned it out after the advised cooking time and noticed it had "sprung a leak" - back into the steamer!).  The cake is light and fluffy, and is a perfect vehicle for the sweet, heavy golden syrup with which it is served.

If you would like to make this cake, you will need:

5 eggs
180g dark brown sugar (I just used light brown)
zest of 1 orange (I left this out)
90ml vegetable oil
100ml coconut milk
220g plain flour
25g custard powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
golden syrup to serve

Grease and line an 18cm round cake tin (or if you don't have a steamer big enough to hold the tin, just use a pudding  steamer).  Fill a large saucepan two thirds full and bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer.

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar and orange zest until the mixture is thick, pale and trebled in volume.

Whisk together the oil and milk in a jug and set aside.

In another bowl, sift together the flour, custard powder, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

When the egg mixture is ready, fold through the oil and milk mixture using a hand whisk.  In two batches, sift the flour mixture over the egg mixture and fold in gently.

Scrape the cake batter into the prepared tin and place in a metal or bamboo steamer.  Increase the heat on the water to a rolling boil, and place the steamer with the cake inside over the water, and seal the steamer tightly with its lid.

Steam the cake for 40 minutes or until cooked through when tested with a skewer.  (I omitted to test mine and it was not quite ready at 40 minutes.)  Remove the tin from the steamer.

Let the cake rest in the tin  for 5 minutes before turning it out onto a serving plate.  Leave the baking paper on the pudding until ready to serve, then remove the paper  and drizzle with golden syrup to serve.  The cake can be eaten warm or cold.


Johanna GGG said...

looks good - I work with Chinese people who have told me about cooking cakes on the stovetop because they don't have ovens - so it is interesting to see an example of one

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

We usually have a sticky rice cake which I always look forward to eating. Cakes are important here all year around LOL