Cake was a luxury item in my home when I was young, we will only buy cake on elders' birthday, the kids get a piece each and I will savored mine a little by little hoping that it would last longer.
This Traditional steamed sponge cake/Kuay Neng Koh (Oven is not a common thing back home, even up till today) is what we usually eat during the Chinese New Year or festive season. Electric mixer was not popular in those days, this cake was made using a huge spring like whisk and was whisked manually for a long time with few people taking turn to do it.
This recipe was passed on to my aunt by word of mouth from the elderly, my aunt was with my mother when I called on Chinese new year eve, so I quickly grasp the opportunity to get the recipe from her and made it the next day. As traditional as this cake could be, the recipe is also very interesting, it is measured using rice bowl rather than measuring cup. I had to showed my rice bowl on facetime to my aunt to confirm the size of bowl that she used!I did, though convert it into cup/weight for recording purpose.
The ingredients for this heritage delicacy is very simple, it produced the fluffiest cake that I had ever had, it is very tasty and has the taste of home and my childhood.
1 bowl / 1 1/3 cup/ 150-160 gram of all purpose flour ( sifted )1 bowl / 6-7 organic eggs 3/4 bowl / 1 cup/ 200 grams of sugar ( or 2/3 bowl / 150 gm )
1 tablespoon of cooking oil optional
1 tsp baking powder optional
1. In order to measure out a bowl of egg, I did cracked the eggs one by one into the bowl until I have a bowlful. (it takes 6 large eggs/7 medium eggs to make 1 bowl.)
2. Use a spoon to separate the yolk from white . ( The cake can be make without the egg separation method, but I personally liked the texture better with the separation method. )
3. Place sugar and egg white in a mixing bowl and start a electric mixer at slow speed stirring 2-3 minutes until sugar dissolves, set the bowl on stand mixer and whip the egg mixture until medium stiff (a short pointy peak a little bent form when the whisk head removed). .
4. Sieve together cake flour with baking powder, add the flour in 3 parts. Fold in the first one-third of the flour with a spatula by hand. Repeat until all flour incorporated, add 1 tbsp of oil and incorporate with hand using a spatula.
6. Put the batter in the lined bamboo steamer, steam for 30 minutes. Let it sit for 5 minutes on steamer after switching off the stove before removing from steamer.