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Chinese Steamed Cake


peony
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this cake was very popular in my country when I was a young girl... then, we dont have an oven, so steaming is the only way we made cakes..

pic068-1.jpg

you can use any fizzy drink and the cake takes on the taste ( and color ) of the drink

2 eggs

130 g fine sugar

1 tsp ovalette ( can be omitted, tho cake may not be as soft )

1 tsp vanilla extract

150 g flour

120 ml ice-cream soda / 7-up

Whisk sugar and eggs till creamy and stiff. Add ovalette and vanilla extract. Continue to beat for another few more minutes.

Add into the batter, one third of flour, then half the soda. Repeat and end with flour. Mix well after each addition.

Line a bamboo steamer with greased-proof paper.

Pour batter into a 6 - 8 inch bamboo steamer ( smaller steamer gives higher cake ).

Steam on high heat over boiling water for 20 - 25 mins.

Cool the cake before cutting as it crumbles when cut hot.

notes : ovalette is a cake stablizer, and may not be available in the US. or western countries

the cake can be steamed in any cake container.

peony

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Peony:

Wonderful photo, simple recipe and a great way to make a cake! Thanks for sharing.

You are right about ovalette -- it's not generally available in the US, although it can be ordered and shipped in. Several good references via Google. Sounds like there is no good substitute, since baking powder is more a rising agent than a softener ...

My usual baking sources also don't have any suggestions ...

It seems to be used heavily in Malaysian and Singaporean cuisine ... any idea what it would be called in Mandarin or Malaysian?

I looked in Copeland Marks' "Exotic Kitchens of Indonesia" and "Exotic Kitchens of Malaysia" as well as Periplus World Cookbooks' "The Food of Indonesia" and found several steamed cake recipes, but none with information about ovalette or a substitute. :sad:

Regards,

Jason

Edited by JasonZ (log)

JasonZ

Philadelphia, PA, USA and Sandwich, Kent, UK

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Your cake looks so light and fluffy.

Here is my Mom's recipe for a similar looking steamed cake:

Beat 6 eggs and 1 1/2 cups sugar for 20 minutes.

Sift 1 1/3 cups AP flour onto a piece of wax paper.

Gently fold the flour into the egg and sugar mixture.

Line a bamboo basket with wax paper.

Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil.

Steam the cake for 20 minutes.

If you have a bamboo lid, use it; otherwise, you may need to wipe the inside of your steamer lid to prevent water dropping onto the cake.

Let the cake cool for a few minutes before removing it from the basket.

Invert the cake onto a plate, remove the wax paper, and revert the cake onto your serving platter so the original top side is up.

Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds over the top of the cake because a bare cake is bad luck.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Dejah, your recipe would be the one my grandmother used as I don't think fizzy drinks are popular or even available during her time.

As JasonZ mentioned ovalette is widely used in sponge and steamed cakes here. I've no idea what it's called in Mandarin but it can be omitted.

I have made the cake without ovalette. Actually, I think it's the fizzy drink that does most of the job. It takes the place of baking soda...

ovalette just makes the texture of the cake soft ? don't think my granny used this too during her time. She came from China by the way. She made this cake without ovalette n the fizzy drink.

Edited by peony (log)

peony

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Then there's Ma-La-Gau, the steamed sponge cake made with brown sugar and evaporated milk.

I actually prefer this cake to the recipe I posted above. Ma-La-Gau is more moist. The egg sponge that my Mom makes is great with a glass of cold milk. My kids like to dunk their cakes in the milk. :rolleyes:

Peony: In my recipe, it's the beatened eggs that work as the leavening.

I have to be really careful with baking powder and baking soda in the Ma-La-Gau. I hate that funny taste when these ingredients are not incorporated properly.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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The original steamed cake sans fizzy drink and ovalette is called 水 蒸 雞蛋糕 soy jing gai dan go (cantonese) or shui zheng ji dan gao (mandarin).

Edit: My bad. Jason wanted to know what ovalette is in Malay* or Mandarin, not the name of the cake. Sorry, can't help you there. IMHO, ovalette isn't really necessary. I've tried using it and omitting it in recipes which has ovalette in it. The eggs just have to be whisked to the right stiffness. In fact, I don't like the taste and texture of cakes with ovalette or Quick 75 at all.

* If you say Malaysian, you could mean anything from Malay, Chinese, Indian etc...

Edited by Tepee (log)

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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Then there's Ma-La-Gau, the steamed sponge cake made with brown sugar and evaporated milk.

I actually prefer this cake to the recipe I posted above. Ma-La-Gau is more moist. The egg sponge that my Mom makes is great with a glass of cold milk. My kids like to dunk their cakes in the milk.  :rolleyes:

:wub:

Dejah, this is one of my favourite Chinese cakes EVER. Would you be willing to post your recipe for it, either in this thread or in one dedicated to it? The smell of it while baking must be insanely delicious!

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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Mooshmouse,

Ma-La-Gau does indeed smell delicious, and my Chinese students love it when I make it for a treat after exams;-)

The recipe I use is from Wei-Chuan's Cookbook: Chinese Snacks.

Beat 5 eggs and 1 1/2 cups of brown sugar until thick and creamy coloured. (about 5 minutes)

Combine 3/4 cup evaporated milk, 1/2 tsp vanilla, 1/2 cup melted shortening or butter (butter of course!), and 1 tsp baking SODA. Add this to the egg/sugar mixture. and beat for 1 minute.

Sift togehter 2 cups flour, 1 tablespoon baking POWDER and fold into the egg mixture to make a batter.

Line a baking pan with plastic wrap. I use my cheesecake pan with the release on the side. Pour in the batter and steam for 30 minutes over high heat.

Remove, cool ( if you can wait;-) ), slice and serve.

This cake is more like a sponge than the one my Mom makes. I have made it for my "experienced aunties" and it passed the test! They said, "Ho Sic lah!" :laugh:

Tonight, I've made 3 doz. char siu baos, a dozen with curry Halal chicken , a dozen curry vegetable baos, and a dozen spicy pork baos. I'm trying to build up their strength before finals next week. :laugh: My grandson has eaten 3 char siu baos!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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Even with my limited food-based knowledge of Cantonese, I know that Ho Sic lah means that you done good! ;)

That's some heavy-duty baking you've been doing... hopefully, it pays off in good grades!

I'll report back once I get around to trying the recipe. Like you said, I'll be hard-pressed to wait until it cools before taking my first bite. A million thank-yous! :biggrin:

Edited because I was so excited that I forgot to be polite. :rolleyes:

Edited by Mooshmouse (log)

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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[...]  Like you said, I'll be hard-pressed to wait until it cools before taking my first bite.  A million thank-yous!  :biggrin:

Why wait until it cools down? In Hong Kong dim sum restaurants, Ma Lai Gou (馬拉糕) is brought out on a cart with a big round steamer.

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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Why wait until it cools down?  In Hong Kong dim sum restaurants, Ma Lai Gou (???) is brought out on a cart with a big round steamer.

The best Ma Lai Gou I've found in town so far at dim sum is steamed to order... it smells the best when it's piping hot!

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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What was special about the gai dan go was the way it was made back then. Mother always made a huge one...with all the eggs in a large clay pot and everyone took turns beating the eggs with this giant sproingy whisk.

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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What was special about the gai dan go was the way it was made back then. Mother always made a huge one...with all the eggs in a large clay pot and everyone took turns beating the eggs with this giant sproingy whisk.

oh yes, those were the days......

the whisk, is it like a mosquito coil with a handle ?

we make ours in an enamel basin.....think the cake can feed a family of 15...it was as huge as a big wok ...

peony

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the whisk, is it like a mosquito coil with a handle ?

we make ours in an enamel basin.....think the cake can feed a family of 15...it was as huge as a big wok ...

Yes! :biggrin: Cooking (especially for special occasions) was usually a family or communal effort. Fun!

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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2 eggs

130 g fine sugar

1 tsp ovalette ( can be omitted, tho cake may not be as soft )

1 tsp vanilla extract

150 g flour

120 ml ice-cream soda / 7-up

Is the ovalette what made this cake a little yellowish in the overall color?

W.K. Leung ("Ah Leung") aka "hzrt8w"
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2 egg

Is the ovalette what made this cake a little yellowish in the overall color?

Eggs give the cake the colour.

I goggled ovalette:

Ovalette is a stabiliser used in baking sponge cakes. It helps the eggs to rise rapidly and stiffly. As it is acidic it also helps the beaten eggs to remain stable and not lose the airy and voluminous texture. It makes sponge cake softer and smoother.

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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If Ovalette is acidic, maybe you could add some lemon juice or cream of tartar to your egg whites. Same principle.

I have to try Dejah's Ma La Gau. It sounds really good--I don't usually like steamed cakes. And Ovalette will not find it's way into my pantry.

May

Totally More-ish: The New and Improved Foodblog

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One variant of Ma Lai Goh that I've tasted at dim sum incorporates "olive kernels".  Is this common?

That sounds interesting Mooshmouse. Can you remember if the olive kernels(hung yan) were roasted?

They are really crunchy in the raw form. When I use them in a soup, I have to soak them overnight before using. They still retained their crunch even after simmering for hours in the soup.

I really like them though..

Speaking of olive kernels, does anyone have a recipe for "hung yan woo"? It's the sweet dessert like sesame soup. Haven't had that for a long time!

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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That sounds interesting Mooshmouse. Can you remember if the olive kernels(hung yan) were roasted?

They are really crunchy in the raw form. When I use them in a soup, I have to soak them overnight before using. They still retained their crunch even after simmering for hours in the soup.

I really like them though.

Not that I recall. The olive kernels were still a pale greyish-green in colour with no distinct roasted flavour.

Aside from use in Ma Lai Goh and soup, are there any other applications for them?

Joie Alvaro Kent

"I like rice. Rice is great if you're hungry and want 2,000 of something." ~ Mitch Hedberg

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That sounds interesting Mooshmouse. Can you remember if the olive kernels(hung yan) were roasted?

They are really crunchy in the raw form. When I use them in a soup, I have to soak them overnight before using. They still retained their crunch even after simmering for hours in the soup.

I really like them though..

Speaking of olive kernels, does anyone have a recipe for "hung yan woo"? It's the sweet dessert like sesame soup. Haven't had that for a long time!

I didn't know hung yan is olive kernels...always thought they were chinese almonds. Dai gah jeh, you've got me craving for hung yan woo. My mother used to make that and chee mah woo (sesame seed cream) and fah sang woo (peanut cream) for rainy nights. I need to make these too....nice childhood food memories.

I just called up my mom for a recipe. She says to grind up some hung yan to add to a gooey (up to you on how starchy) soup made with some glutinous rice flour. For more flavour, add some almond extract. Now to buy some hung yan.........

TPcal!

Food Pix (plus others)

Please take pictures of all the food you get to try (and if you can, the food at the next tables)............................Dejah

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You know I'll be expecting pictures, Tepee!

Speaking of expecting, did you ever eat chee mah wu while pregnant? Mom used to make it with the black sesame seeds. I was always teased that my babes will be born with skin like black sesame seeds! :laugh:

Dejah

www.hillmanweb.com

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