For my frequent readers, you will all know that I'm doing my bit to be a little bit more Asian these days... thought that as I'm going to hit 30 soon enough, and I'm an old married woman now, I should start learning some Asian recipes so that I keep some of my culture! Part of learning Asian recipes includes, of course, desserts! Asian desserts vary greatly from what we would usually classify as desserts - cakes are not as sweet, butter cream icing a rarity, chocolate nowhere near as rich and there really isn't that sinful indulgence attached to their desserts.
As a kid, I was toted about by my parents and grandparents to visit lots of their friends. I remember always being fed some kind of sweet, and once or twice had this light fluffy cake that was best eaten warm. So, when thinking about what kind of Asian dessert to venture into, I immediately thought of a steamed cake.
Firstly, this cake is the easiest cake in the entire world to make. The ingredients are simple, the process is fool proof and the cake turned out perfect. Secondly, this is the perfect parental cake - for me, that means cakes that are light, not rich, not overly sweet... cakes that my parents would eat without bemoaning their sugar levels essentially! For a cake where I really guessed the measurements and cooking time, I'm very happy with how it turned out!
2 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 cup caster sugar
1/3 cup vegetable oil
1/2 cup skim milk
1 1/2 cups self raising flour
1 teaspoon matcha (green tea powder)
1. Grease and line a cake tin with baking paper, and prepare your wok for steaming i.e. Put in a wire rack, water and bring to a boil, covered, on the stove top.
2. In your mixer, or in a bowl with your hand mixer, beat the eggs and sugar on high speed until it has tripled in volume and is pale and creamy.
3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and continue to beat on medium speed until the whole batter is light and fluffy, and the green from the matcha mixed through - only about 2-3 minutes.
4. Pour the batter into the prepared tin. Rap it a few times sharply on the counter top to get rid of any air pockets or bubbles in the batter.
5. When the water is boiling, remove the cover, place the cake tin onto the wire rack, and replace the cover on the wok. Let it steam for 20 minutes.
6. Check the cake at 20 minutes by inserting a skewer right into the middle. If it comes out clean, turn off the heat, remove from the rack and wok. If it isn't yet done, replace the lid and continue for another 5 minutes.
7. The cake cools down very quickly, so remove it from the tin straight after removing from the heat. The easiest way to do this is to turn it out onto a plate, and then flip it over onto another plate.
8. Slice and enjoy!
This cake is at its best warm, so either eat it immediately, or reheat by resteaming for a minute or two. I found this cake to be very subtle in its flavours, and not sweet - which was what I liked. However, if you do prefer a sweeter cake, then increase the sugar to 3/4 cup rather than 1/2 cup.
Another Asian dessert under my belt... would you believe that my Vietnamese banana cake (banh chuoi nuong) is my most popular post?!?! Guess I'm not the only one trying to get in touch with my Asian roots!