It was 5 am in the morning. I told myself that I must wake up early to write this post and share with readers about this extremely simple recipe. This is rather a special post to me because it is my 200th post since I started my blog 3.5 months ago in late April 2013.
Yesterday evening, I made a traditional Chinese steamed sponge cake (鸡蛋糕）and posted in certain Facebook Group and surprisingly these 2 eggs sponge cake caught a lot of readers’ attention requesting for the recipe. In fact, I am rather happy that this Chinese steamed sponge cake turned out so well.
Those who come from a traditional Chinese family will know that this cake is a delicate cake to make. As contrast to Western cakes, this cake should have “cracks” or “smiley face” in its top, the bigger the better. In Chinese, such cracks will signify prosperity and brings good fortunes when the cake was offered to the ancestors,
Traditionally, while making this cake, there were lots of “taboos” or “pantang larang”. Only the person who are making the cakes were allowed to enter the kitchen freely. Those who entered should not be talking anything that could possibly “resulted” in a crack less cake or a “bald” head! And housewives are trying all sorts of ways to make the cake “laugh” as “happily” as possible. She will generally be respected, admired and pampered for her ability to make a “laughing” steamed sponge cake for offering to the ancestors.
WHY THIS CAKE?
Tracking my readership statistics, I found that during the last two weeks, quite a lot of readers were visiting one of my post The Plights of Kuey Neng Ko…The Traditional Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake…. This is a post whereby I analysed why younger Chinese generations are not fond of having this traditional Chinese Steamed Sponge Cake and tweaked it into a cute party snack.
I also knew that as one of the big Chinese religious festivals – Hungry Ghost Festivals is approaching, a lot of people are looking for recipes to prepare this cake for religious offerings. Another possible reason is because bloggers in certain hop in group is having an “egg” events whereby bloggers are searching for eggs related recipes.
Knowing those who visited my earlier post of party snack Chinese steamed sponge cake may get disappointed as that cannot be used for ancestor offerings, therefore, I feel obliged to share a recipe that can prepare a cake for praying purposes.
WHAT IS REQUIRED?
Recipe adapted from : Xinshipu.
2 large eggs (preferably at room temperature) （鸡蛋）
300 grams of self raising flours – sifted （自发面粉）
150 gram of fine sugar （细砂糖）
Sprite or 7-up or ice cream soda about 200ml （汽水）
2 tablespoons of condensed milk （炼奶） or 2 teaspoons or ovallete
One 6” bamboo basket (竹篮） that are 4” deep or round baking tin (烤盘）
It is rather common in Malaysia and Singapore or even the original recipe uses ovallete. As I do not have ovallete with me, I have searched for ovallete substitute and I came across this blog http://www.thelittleteochew.com/2009/09/what-is-ovalette.html which have list out his/her preference of not using ovalette. I tends to concur with her that as long as the egg is adequately beaten, there is no need to have ovallete or condensed milk. My mother in law also disclosed to me that they have never used any ovallete in her many years of making this cake.
STEPS OF PREPARATION
Get ready a 6 inches diameter baking tin and lined it with baking paper. Ideally, use a bamboo basket and lined with cellophane plastic sheet (竹篮玻璃纸). As I do not have the bamboo basket, I used a baking tin instead. Baking tin are more difficult to steam.
Get ready a big pot or wok for steaming and make sure that the cover is tall enough for your cake rise. One of the reasons that this cake as in the illustration did not rise as high as desired because it was constrained by the height of my steamer.
Boiled the water under high heat and put the empty baking tin in the steamer to warm the baking tin.
Making the cakes
Crack two eggs in a big mixing bowl. Add the sugar and 2 tablespoons of condensed milks or 2 teaspoons of ovalette.
Beat at high speed until the eggs turns light and fluffy. (Note that as a result of adding condensed milks, you may not be able to obtain the soft peak form from egg beating).
Fold in the sifted flour as quickly as possible.
Add in the gassy drinks and, stir lightly and quickly until well mixed.
Transfer the batter quickly to the heated baking tin/wooden basket. Put some some sugar on top of the batter in a cross shape (this is an important step to make it crack). 在鸡蛋面糊上面上，跟着十字的形状，撒下2条直线的白糖。
Steamed under high heat for about 25-30 minutes or until a skewer inserted in and comes out clean. Put in additional hot water if the water dries up. Do not open the steamer cover for the first 15 minutes.
Once your remove the cake from the steamer, immediately remove it from the baking tin or bamboo basket. Place in a wiring rack and let it cool completely. It is important that you took out the baking tin or bamboo basket immediately to prevent water condensation around the side of the baking tin that will make the cake become soggy.
Cut into pieces before serving. Re-steamed the cake before serving if you find the cake hardens after two to three days.
I have purposely to decorate this cake with a red ribbon and some red colouring on top of the cake. This is the traditional way of decorating the cake before offering sessions.
Analysis On Textures of The Cake
The texture of the cake is slightly different from the traditional cake due to the addition of gassy drinks and condensed milk. It is moister and I do not even need to have some drinks after taking three to four pieces. Traditionally, as it is very light and fluffy, I tend to get choke as the cake debris will irritate my throats. Therefore, do not compare with the traditional cake texture. So far, family members preferred this newer texture than the traditional types as it is easy to eat!
This is a simple cake. This is a traditional cake that not many blog writers would want to write about. However, to make it to “laugh” or crack to the way that you desired, it needs delicate handlings. As a traditional old man, I respect the cake and give the cake full attention and the cake is happy to give me back a big smile… Haha.
Have a nice day and hope that this post will help those readers who are seeking for Chinese steamed sponge cake recipe.
Hope you like the post. Cheers
I am submitting this post to Little Thumbs Up “Eggs” event organized by organized by Bake for Happy Kids, my little favourite DIY and hosted by (Baby Sumo of Eat Your Heart Out). You can link your egg recipes here.