Chinese Steamed Cake Ma Lai Gao Recipe:
The other day I was in the mood for Cake, not just any old cake but the one you can order when you are out for Chinese. It’s called 馬來糕 Ma Lai Gao, a Malaysian Cake when translated from Cantonese to English.
It’s a Chinese dish despite its name and is usually served in Dim Sum restaurants or at Yum Cha. The beauty of this Cake is that it’s steamed, which explains why most houses in Hong Kong don’t have an oven; it’s simply not needed.
The beauty of steaming a cake is in the results; a fluffy, tender and moist Cake. Generally, Ma Lai Gao is made in a bamboo steamer, but I decided to go down an alternate route since I don’t own one. All you need equipment-wise is either something similar I’ve got to the object pictured below or some aluminium foil and a saucepan.
The object below keeps the Cake lifted above the hot water. If you don’t have one, you can roll up three or four balls of aluminium foil, put them in the bottom of the saucepan and balance the dish on top while the Cake is steaming.
Ma Lai Gao 馬來糕:
- Difficulty: Easy
- Preparation: 10 minutes
- Steaming: 30 minutes
- 5 Tbsp Evaporated Milk
- 3 Tbsp Olive Oil/Sunflower Oil
- 1 1/4 Cup Plain flour
- 4 tbs Baking Powder
- 120g Brown Sugar
- 2 Eggs
You can easily find these ingredients on Amazon.
Instructions: How To Make Ma Lai Gao?
Boil about three cups of water in a large saucepan over high heat. Meanwhile, mix the evaporated milk, olive oil, plain flour, baking powder and eggs. If your sugar is extremely lumpy, microwave it for about 15 seconds with a little water stirring until it has melted.
Whisk all the ingredients together for a couple of minutes using an electric whisk until smooth. Oil a ceramic bowl and pour the mixture into the bowl. Carefully lower the bowl onto the steamer basket or your aluminium foil balls.
Steam at a high heat for 20 minutes and then at a low heat for 10 minutes. Cover the saucepan with the lid while the Cake is steaming. Remove the Cake from the heat and allow it to cool slightly before gently removing it from the bowl. Enjoy it warm or cool!
I hope this post dares you to try something new! Ma Lai Gao is something I always get when I go for Yum Cha, which is only when I’m in Hong Kong. I’m always a little scared of trying new foods, especially seafood. As I’ve grown up, I’ve started experimenting a little more, but I always like to have a ‘safe’ dish on the table that I know I’ll love.
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