Saturday, January 24, 2009

New Year's Cakes

Current mental soundtrack: "Biggest Blame Fool" from Seussical

I don't do a lot of traditional stuff for Chinese New Year, but one thing I rarely miss is the chance to make Chinese New Year's cakes. Many years I manage to make dumplings for dinner, but I didn't get to the Asian supermarket last weekend, so we're going to have an American New Year's Eve dinner tomorrow (steak or roast), followed by Chinese New Year cake.

It's taken me a while to get the dessert recipe right, but I think I finally have it down. My mom always made one big one that had to be steamed for hours, but last year I figured out that it was much faster to make a bunch of small ones. Plus, that makes it easier to freeze the leftovers.

2 pounds sweet rice flour
4 cups dark brown sugar
2 cups water

Lightly grease 8 custard cups (I use Pyrex ones) with shortening. Melt brown sugar in water over low heat until completely dissolved. Mix with rice flour, adding additional water as needed until dough is wet and sticky. Scoop into custard cups. Steam for 1.5 hours, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. Cool. Slice into thick slices, and pan-fry in oil until lightly browned. Serve hot. Leftover cakes can be tightly wrapped and frozen.

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