Tuesday, 3 April 2012

'Nian Gao', Chinese New Year Cake method

'Nian Gao', Chinese New Year Cake method

For those of you who do not know, Malaysia is a multi-cultural country that made up from the Malays, Indians, Chinese and many other races. Every year, the Chinese would celebrate Chinese New Year.

During Chinese New Year, there's a very beloved and a must-have food to celebrate with. It is said to bring luck to every person in terms of finance, vocation and family. This is a cake that has been traditionally passed down from many generations thousands of years ago, it is call 'Nian Gao' or some habitancy call it Chinese New Year cake.

Cake Recipes

'Nian Gao' was told a story that Chinese has been using this cake to store as food for winter. This cake can be kept for long time without spoil and it provides power to our body while winter.

Last year, I've visited a installation that produces this cake and had met with its owner. I was very curious on how they indeed make this cake and I was asking for the cake's recipe. The owner didn't let me down from my sincere request, and so he gave the recipe to me. Below is the recipe that I would love to share with you.

Ingredients to prepare:

- 1 1/2 (325ml) cups water

- 2 1/2 (625ml) cups dark brown sugar

- 4 1/2 cups sweet glutinous rice flour

- 1/2 cup (125ml) vegetable oil

Instruction to make Nian Gao:

1. Pour the brown sugar and water into a small saucepan, bring it to slow boil. When it starts to boil, lower the heat and simmer for about 5 to 6 minutes until all the sugar has dissolved. Then allow it to cool to slightly warm temperature.

2. Add vegetable oil and mix (1) together thoroughly. Keep a 1/4 cup of the mixture in a cut off container.

3. Couple the glutinous rice flour with the oil, water and mixture (2) in a large bowl. Work straight through the batter well. It will turn very sticky and thick. Spend as much time as inherent to knead and work the mixture to a uniform consistency.

4. Use a 250 mm round tin cake or a round soufflé bowl of similar diameter. Oil the sides of the cake tin or bowl with some vegetable oil. Pour the batter into the cake tin or bowl. With wet fingers press the batter into the cake tin or bowl and dislodge any air pockets. Pour the reserved oil, sugar and water mixture on top.

5. Steam the cake over high heat for 4-5 hours. Make sure the water does not dry up or overtop the cake tin or bowl.

6. When the cake is done, remove from the steamer and allow cooling to room temperature.

7. For faster process, you can also cover it with foil and keep in the refrigerator to allow the cake to harden.

To serve, simply slice into wedges and serve in a plate. For those who prefer a soft texture, microwave for 20 seconds or steam on boiling water for 5 minutes until softened to the desired consistency.

Happy Chinese New Year and 'Nian Nian Gao Sheng'(increasing prosperity every year)!

'Nian Gao', Chinese New Year Cake method


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