"Nian Gao" (Year Cake) is a typical Cantonese-style (Southern China) New Year steamed cake. It is eaten as dessert and is often given as a gift.
It is used as an offering or "bribe" to the Kitchen God so that he would give a favorable report on the family's behaviour when returning to heaven. If the report is good, then the family will not suffer from bad luck during the year to come...
This requisite sticky rice fruit cake is absolutely delicious as it's sweet and delightful to please! "Nian Gao" has an addictive taste of rice and a unique texture that will drive you crazy. I really love it!
There are hundreds of varieties around, but I've chosen to give you Karen Lee's recipe which was adapted from "Chinese Cooking Secrets". As usual, I have added my own touch to the recipe...
Yields 2 small cakes or one medium cake
140g Glutinous rice flour
2 Eggs, with whites and yolks separated (~50g)
63g Unsalted butter
110g Castor sugar
1 Tsp Rum (optional)
100g Candied mixed fruits and peels, diced
1/2 Cup Walnuts, chopped
1. Grease a loaf pan that is approximately 4"x 8" (or two small pans) and set aside.
2. Beat the egg whites until stiff.
3. Cream together the butter and the sugar.
4. Add the egg yolks and mix thoroughly.
5. Add one-third (a little less than 1/2 cup) of the glutinous rice flour and mix.
6. Add about half of the milk.
7. Continue adding the rice flour and the milk alternately until the entire amount is mixed in.
8. Stir in whichever fruits you are using and the walnuts.
9. Then add the beaten egg whites, folding them into the cake batter.
9. Pour the cake batter into the loaf pan and steam, covered, for about one hour.
10. Allow to cool and cut into thin slices.
Regarding the fruits which are to be used, the Karen Lee suggests 1 cup Chinese dried fruits, pitted if necessary and diced (preserved seedless plums, preserved pears, or Chinese seeded red dates/jujubes).
Eat this cake as a dessert or simply like you would do with any other cake...
(Guilin -Pic by http://bigwhiteguy.com)