CAPODANNO CINESE, SNACK

CHINESE STEAMED CAKES WITH RICE FLOUR AND (LITTLE) SUGAR

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Chinese steamed cake is an oriental dessert, fluffy and flavorful. It is made of few ingredients in several simple steps and, unlike the western styled muffin, are cooked on steam. Besides being a popular sweet snack, it is a dish commonly used (especially in the Southern China) as the offering to the ancestors in certain traditional occasions. Furthermore, Chinese people also like to prepare the steamed cakes during Chinese New Year to send our seasonal greetings.

MUFFIN AL VAPORE CON FARINA DI RISO E POCO ZUCCHERO

A SIGNATURE LOOK: THE CRACKED TOP

A characteristic look of the steamed cake is its exploded top. This is formed due to several factors:

  1. The batter made of very weak flours
  2. The yeast
  3. Cooked on steam with high heat

The formation of the spongy texture and the cracked top is called ‘发 Fā’, which means “fermentation” “raising up”. For this reason, this type of muffin is called Fa Gao (raised cake). Fa in Chinese also has the meaning of “becoming rich” “earning money”. So, this muffin is also a popular festival snack in the Chinese New Year celebration period to send out seasonal greetings and wishes.

Il muffin al vapore è un dolcetto orientale, morbidissimo e gustoso.  sono cotti al vapore.

For more recipes of new year dinner dishes, please check out my eBook for Chinese New Year.

DIFFERENT FLAVORS OF CHINESE STEAMED CAKES

Over the year, People have developed different flavors to make the steamed cake more interesting and appetising. The most recognized versions are steamed cakes with brown sugar flavor (红糖发糕); steamed cakes made with rice flour (米发糕), which is a gluten free version; steamed cakes with coconut milk or juice of pandano (a plant from the Southeast Asia).

In this recipe, I am using a combination of rice flour and farina tipo 00 (a weak wheat flour in Italy) to make the “flour of the muffin”. Meanwhile using cocco nut cream to add a natural sweetness to the muffins.

As a festival food, as well as a commonly used offering to the ancestors in certain occasions, we like to dye the muffins into different colors. Some organic natural food powders are great to use here. Otherwise, like what I did in this recipe, some edible coloring are convenient options.

CHINESE STEAMED CAKES WITH RICE FLOUR AND (LITTLE) SUGAR (低糖米发糕)

Recipe by Sasha WangCourse: SNACKCuisine: Chinese, Southeast AsianDifficulty: Low
Portion

8

steamed cakes
Preparation

15

minutes
Cooking

15

minutes

Chinese steamed cake is an oriental dessert, fluffy and flavorful. It is made of few ingredients in several simple steps and, unlike the western styled muffin, are cooked on steam. Chinese people also like to prepare the steamed cakes during Chinese New Year to send our seasonal greetings.

INGREDIENTS

  • Rice flour: 80g

  • Cake flour: 80g

  • Sugar: 30g

  • Cocco nut cream: 200ml (1 pack)nota 1

  • Water: 80ml nota 2

  • Instant yeast: 8-10g

  • Baking soda: 1/2 tsp

  • Sunflower oil: 2 tbsp

  • Food coloring: red and yellow (as your choice)

Preparation

  • Put the rice flour, cake flour and the sugar in a big bowl. Add in the cocco nut cream and mix everything together.
  • Add in water little by little meanwhile amalgamate it with the other ingredient. The mixture should be solid enough until it forms dripping streaks.Come preparare il composto per muffin al vapore. Il composto deve essere solido a sufficienza fino a che non formi delle strisce gocciolanti.
  • Add in the yeast and baking soda. Mix them well to get the batter.
  • Divide the batter into two portions. Dye each portion with food coloring.Dividi la pastella in due porzioni. Colorare ogni porzione con la colorante alimentare.
  • Add one tablespoon of sunflower oil in each portion of the batter and mix it well.
  • Brush the cake moulds with oil. Fill the mould half full using the batter of one color.Spazzola gli stampi muffin con olio.Riempi ogni stampo con la pastella del un colore fino a quando non è mezzo pieno.
  • Fill the molds 80% full with the batter of other color. Make sure you pour the 2nd color batter at the center of the stamp as shown in the photos.come riempire gli stampi dei muffin al vapore in due colore
  • Boil some water in a pot. Put the moulds into the steamer and cook them on high heat for 15 minutes. nota 3.
  • Turn off the heat and wait 3 minutes before open the steamer.come cuocere il muffin al vapore

VIDEO RECIPE

NOTE

  • 1. You can replace the cocco nut cream with other liquid ingredients such as water, milk, cocco nut milk (which is more liquid than the cream), etc.
  • 2. If you substitute the cocco nut cream with other liquid ingredient, remember to reduce the amount of water. Make sure the final consistency of the batter is the same as mentioned in the recipe above.
  • 3. Make sure the water is boiling before placing the steamer on the pot.

It is always exciting, at the same time a bit nervous, to make the steamed cakes for Chinese New Year. Because until you don’t open the lid you never know if your Fa Gao are with the cracked top or not. And if you fail to get the cracks, it is a sign that you might not make a lot of money in the new year. This is why many people (especially our moms and grannies!) like to pray once the muffins are left to steam.

MUFFIN AL VAPORE CON FARINA DI RISO E POCO ZUCCHERO

Hope you have fun reading the little story of our tradition of new year’s food. More importantly, wish you will succeed in making your Fa Gao and harvest sufficient, both material and spiritual wises, in the new year!

Get a copy of my new eBook for Capodanno Cinese 2023 and make your table of the new year full of culinary stories!

ebook: piatti della fortuna per il capodanno cinese 2023

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ebook piatto della fortuna per capodanno cinese 2023