Chinese Ma Lai Cake
Served this last night after a nice wonton noodle soup as I was on chef duty for a family gathering. Served this as I didn't exactly want to dish up the wonton soup then whack down a tarte tatin which would have seemed a bit out of place (though I was sorely tempted to, ah well Autumn is only a week or so away).
Honestly I feel that this is better without the sauce. When steamed right it is so light and fluffy and putting the sauce on it just turns it into a bastardized Western creation in which we cannot resist having something plain. And please don't serve it with ice cream or cream!
Ma Lai Cake:
4 eggs, at room temperature
180g white sugar
20ml golden syrup
150g plain flour
1 tsp baking powder
150g dark brown palm sugar
3/4 cup thickened cream
1/2 tsp vanilla essence (coconut essence also goes well I think)
Butter a round or square 15cm (6") diameter cake tin, and line the bottom with enough greaseproof paper to form handles above the level of the cake tin. Make sure the tin fits within your steamer. Sift flour and baking powder together and set aside.
Place eggs, water, sugar and golden syrup in a mixer and blend for 10 minutes at high speed, until mixture is thick and creamy. Remove to a bowl, then fold in the sifted flour and baking powder. Pour batter into the cake tin, and set inside the steamer over boiling water. Cover and steam for 30-40 minutes, keeping an eye on the water to make sure it doesn't boil dry.
Insert a thin skewer to test if cooked. If the skewer comes out dry, not wet, and cake is cratered with small air bubbles, gently lift the cake from the tin using greaseproof paper, rest on a rack and peel off the paper.
Cut cake into squares or wedges and place each serving in the centre of a warm dinner plate. Serve as is or with the sauce. Combine all the sauce ingredients in a small saucepan, bring to the boil then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Enjoy! I did.