Thursday, June 11, 2009

Steamed Almond Cake

I came across this recipe in I was looking for a cake that was similar to the "paper almond cakes" you find in Chinese bakeries. Although, I think that those are actually baked (they have browned tops), this was the closest I could find. Plus, if you don't have a proper oven but still crave some kind of cake, this recipe is for you!
Egg yolks, sugar, and almond extract Mix until pale yellow in color and increased in volume Blend dry ingredients (minus confectioner's sugar) Carefully fold into yellow egg mixture Egg whites Whisk until peaks form and volume has tripled Fold in egg whites to cake mixture Put into prepared pan. Then steam for 30-40 minutes. Cake test with toothpick. Cool slightly in pan. Then on rack. Top with confectioner's sugar.
The texture is super spongy with a slight almond flavor. You can also add sliced almonds on top before you steam. If you over steam this cake, it will be very dry. You can try to save it with some simple syrup laced with orange/lemon zest. Or have it with some jam or marmalade. Cover with plastic wrap once cooled and it will last a couple of days. Do not refrigerate. My own personal adaptions of the recipe below include: 2 tsp of almond extract; butter and flour Pam spray for prepared pan; and more steaming time (30 minutes and check every 5 minutes after that). Chinese Steamed Cake Recipe as provided by INGREDIENTS 6 eggs 1 1/4 cups white sugar 2 1/2 tablespoons water 1 1/2 cups cake flour 1/2 teaspoon baking powder 1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar for dusting DIRECTIONS Arrange a large bamboo steamer or a large vegetable steamer over simmering water. Make sure it is large enough to hold the baking pan. Line a 9 inch square pan with waxed paper. Separate the eggs. Place the yolks in a large bowl along with the sugar and water. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture has increased about three times in volume. Whisk together the flour and the baking powder; sift this over the egg mixture, and fold in gently. Blend in the extract. Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl to stiff, not dry, peaks. Fold into yolk base. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth out to edges. Rap the pan on the counter to get rid of large air bubbles. Place the pan into the steamer. Cover the top of the steamer with a kitchen towel, and place the lid on top; the towel will absorb any steam that collects on top from dripping onto the cake. Steam for about 20 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with confectioner's sugar.

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