Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Chinese White Sugar Cake I

First, I want to say how heart wrenching it is to watch the news on the tornado's devastation in Moore, Oklahoma.  I can't imagine what it must be like there and I am so sorry for those who have to endure it.  I know the need to help is great right now so here are a few ways you can easily help:

American Red Cross DisasterRelief  - text REDCROSS to 90999 to make a $10 donation
RegionalFood Bank of Oklahoma - text FOOD to 32333 to make a $10 donation
Central OKHumane Society - need financial donations to help treat and house lost and injured pets.  I can't help but think of my own pups, Buddy and Ellie (they both came from non-profit rescues).

Keep reading for my first attempt at making one of my favorite Chinese dim sum desserts, "bak tong gou" which literally translates to white sugar cake.  I had to do some online research for the perfect recipe and I have yet to figure it out.  Did you know you have to steam not bake this cake?  The texture of this cake is moist, spongy and soft due to the steaming. What I love is that this cake is sweet but not overly sweet since the recipe requires fermentation with yeast. 

This is my first try of a recipe and I haven't stopped yet.  I have tried to make this white sugar cake 2 more times and it is still not perfect.  It is really hard to figure out but it is one of my goals to get the perfect recipe.  I need to get the right consistency since this first recipe wasn't as soft and spongy.  Check out the picture below for the differences from the store bought cake and the homemade cake.  I think I need to make the cake thinner to get closer to the store bought version...I'll keep trying!  If you have any suggestions, please let me know.

Chinese White Sugar Cake I

1 ¼ cup rice flour
1 ½ cup water (divided)
½ cup sugar
½ teaspoon yeast


In a small microwavable bowl, add in ½ cup water and microwave for about 30 seconds so the water is lukewarm.   Stir in yeast and sugar.   Set aside while making dough.

In a large bowl, combine rice flour and ½ to ¾ cup water.  Add in just enough water to form into dough.  Knead to form soft dough. (Note:  if you add too much water, add in additional rice flour a tablespoon at a time.)

Pour yeast mixture into larger bowl with dough.  Stir with a fork until everything looks dissolved; it will look watery.

Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest for about 6 to 8 hours.

Prepare steamer (water should be simmering) and line the steamer basket with foil or parchment paper.  Spray lightly with non-stick spray.

Pour batter into steamer basket.  Cover and steam for about 20 minutes.  (It is done when a toothpick inserted into the center comes out dry.)

Allow to cool before cutting.  Lightly grease a knife before cutting because it is sticky.