Baked Chinese New Year Cake

Chinese New Year is right around the corner.  This year its just me and my boyfriend celebrating together.  My mom has yet again gone on her vacation and to represent our family for my cousin’s wedding in Australia.  Fun times, right?

Before she left, I asked her to leave me the recipe for this wonderful little dessert that we have to ring in the New Year’s.  Just saying, this weekend will most probably be the first recipe up for A Bite of China project. I added the link there so you can check it out.  We are going to ring in the Year of the Snake in style 🙂

For now, we start with my attempt at this delicious dessert:

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Before I tell you more, here is the recipe:

CHINESE NEW YEAR CAKE

Ingredients:

1 bag (400g) White Glutinous Rice Flour

2 1/4 cups Milk (but I used water)

2/3 cup cooking oil

1 1/3 cups sugar (I only used 1 cup)

1 tsp baking powder

3 small eggs (or 2 large)

Optional:

1 cup Coconut flakes (I used coconut shreds)

some Toasted Sesame Seed (skipped these)

Right out of the oven, it tends to be puffy but it will go back down as it cools down

Right out of the oven, it tends to be puffy but it will go back down as it cools down

Directions:

1) Mix above 6 ingredients in a large bowl.  Use electric mixer to beat 3-5 minutes at slow/medium speed and 5-7 minutes at high speed until bubbles formed.  Add coconut flakes

2) Pour the cake mixture into a baking pan lined with parchment paper or non-stick spray to prevent cake sticking to the bottom of the pan.  Sprinkle toasted sesame seeds on top of the cake (if you desire).

3) Put the pan in a preheated oven at 350F and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the top of the cake turns golden.

4) Cut the cake after cooling at least 10 -15 minutes.

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If you look at the ingredients, you’ll see what changes I made.  Just a confession (and I blame it on fatigue and stress), instead of baking powder, I used baking soda.  However, it did turn out pretty decent. I figure it might change the consistency a bit.  Just be super attentive if you do that that the glutinous rice flour doesn’t get stuck at the bottom of the large bowl.  That happened to me and the electric mixer just doesn’t go that far so remember to scrape the bottom a bit to make sure you get it mixed thoroughly.

Also, stick with non stick spray or oil to prevent the cake from sticking to the baking pan.  I was trying out parchment paper for the first time and the glutinous rice flour has that name because it gets very sticky and it just stick onto the parchment paper as I tried to cut a piece out.  Ended up sitting there peeling off the little pieces of parchment paper before I could taste it.  Just warning you to save you the hassle.

As for the taste, despite all my little changes, I may have taken away the sugar but adding the coconut shreds (which my mom doesn’t do) helped compensate for that and gave it a nice texture to bite into.  Definitely going to try it another time WITH BAKING POWDER this time and probably will post an update at the bottom.

Do you enjoy trying food or desserts from other cultures? Which ones do you like? Any recommendations?