Monday, June 9, 2008

Sweet air

My sister Michelle's birthday was this past week. She is perhaps the biggest bread lover I know, a connoisseur of all things spongy and composed of carbohydrate. Whenever we went to dim sum as children, my favourite items were always crispy but Michelle's were soft and spongy, her ultimate selection being Ma Lai Go, a sweet steamed sponge cake served warm in large wedges. I am still in search of a good Ma Lai Go recipe so in the meantime, I decided to make another spongy classic, angel food cake. It was also a good opportunity to use up my excess egg whites which have been haunting the refrigerator.

I could not find my angel food cake tube pan which must have wandered away during one of my multiple long distance moves so my Bundt pan was used instead. To dress up this fairly plain cake, a passionfruit Italian meringue was piped to give flavour and a more finished look. An impromtu strawberry-lime coulis was also prepared because I was afraid the cake would be too dry but surprisingly, it was quite moist and I forgot to serve the sauce anyways! Happy Birthday and I will hopefully make Ma Lai Go instead next year!


Turtlekeeper Designs said...

Thank you very much for the fluffy decadence. Yes- sponge is my weakness. I will be enjoying a leftover slice shortly :)

Anonymous said...

Hi Cuz:
That is a beautiful cake :)
I think I have a recipe for the Ma Lai Go in one of my recipe books. I will try and find it and email it to you.
See you on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

Here is the recipe that I always use...very yummy. Reminds me of when I was a kid :)
Chinese Steamed Cake

6 large eggs
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 1/2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 cups cake flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1 1/2 teaspoons almond extract
1/4 cup powdered sugar for dusting
Arrange a large bamboo steamer or a large vegetable steamer over simmering water. Make sure it is large enough to hold the baking pan. Line a 9 inch square pan with waxed paper.
Separate the eggs. Place the yolks in a large bowl along with the sugar and water. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until the mixture has increased about three times in volume. Whisk together the flour and the baking powder; sift this over the egg mixture, and fold in gently. Blend in the extract.
Whip the egg whites in a clean bowl to stiff, not dry, peaks. Fold into yolk base. Pour the batter into the prepared pan, and smooth out to edges. Rap the pan on the counter to get rid of large air bubbles.
Place the pan into the steamer. Cover the top of the steamer with a kitchen towel, and place the lid on top; the towel will absorb any steam that collects on top from dripping onto the cake. Steam for about 20 minutes, or until a wooden pick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool on a wire rack. Dust with powdered sugar.
Makes 12 servings.

Charmaine said...

Hmmmmm, sounds great. Michelle should make it. I like crispy! Thanks for the recipe!

Cannelle Et Vanille said...

oh my... that looks amazing!