With the Lunar New Year quickly approaching, many families are busily preparing to welcome a new year of good fortune and prosperity. Steamed Prosperity Cakes (發糕) are a traditional dessert served during this important time of the year. The ingredients used in Prosperity Cakes are simple. By using a combination of white rice flour (available at oriental grocery stores or specialty stores) and all purpose flour, you will be able to achieve a light, tender texture. The signature of these cakes is the “blossom” on the top which resembles a smile that brings good fortune and happiness. The more “petals” to your cake and the higher it expands, the better!
恭喜發財! 祝大家萬事如意, 心想事成!
Time: 35 minutes
60g white rice flour
300g cake flour
8g (or 1+3/4 tsp.) baking powder
160g dark brown sugar
140g (140ml) hot water
200g (200ml) cold water (Reserve 2 table spoon)
1) Dissolve sugar with hot water in mixing bowl. Reserve two table spoons of cold water; pour cold water into hot sugar mixture. Set aside to cool to room temperature before use.
2) Sift white rice flour, cake flour, and baking powder together three times.
3) Line the baking cups. (You may use an aluminum muffin tray lined with muffin cups.)
4) Heat up the steamer with enough water so that it would be continuously steaming at high heat, as we cannot open the steamer to refill the water during the steaming process.
5) Add sifted dry ingredients to the sugar mixture. Stir until thoroughly mixed and the mixture reaches a “ribbon” stage. If the mixture is too thick, add remaining cold water.
6) Strain the mixture through a sieve
7) Portion the batter and fill each cup up to the top.
8) Place the cakes in a steamer and steam over high heat for 20 minutes.
9) Remove cakes from the steamer. Allow to cool on the wire cooling rack until it’s ready to serve.
Temperature is extremely important for the Prosperity Cakes to develop its signature cracking. When steaming the cakes in the steamer, do not uncover the steamer until the steaming time is completed. Lifting the cover would allow the steam to escape and reduce the temperature.
Prosperity Cakes can be kept fresh up to 2 weeks by covering in plastic wrap and storing in the refrigerator. Re-heat the cakes in a steamer over high heat for 10 minutes. If you are in a rush, you may re-heat the cakes wrapped in a microwaveable, damp paper towel and microwave for 30-seconds.