Chinese New Year Steamed Brown Sugar Cake (Fat Goh)
I’m cutting it pretty close to Chinese New Year, but January has totally gotten away from be. Basically I blinked and we’re in February and another year on the lunar calendar. I don’t do a lot of Chinese cooking, but I do love to incorporate Chinese/asian flavors into my bakes. This is not really one of those times. This is straight up steamed cakes from my childhood and I’m sure from many of my Chinese readers. When Chinese New Year rolls around, our parents make dishes and dishes of food that symbolize luck, health and wealth for the upcoming year. It’s as if eating these good luck foods would in turn bring you good luck. In Chinese these little cakes are called Fat Goh, Wealth cakes. It’s a play on words because the word “Fat” means both wealth and expansion- which is exactly what these cakes do when steamed. They expand and nearly explode out off their little cups! It makes for an adorable presentation, not to mention super yummy! Lets let the wealth expand around us with these Chinese New Year Steamed Brown Sugar Cakes!
This batter uses a few ingredients that may seem different to some. But I assure you that you can find them at your local asian market! The first is Brown sugar, but this sugar comes in bar form. My mom use to use it all the time to sweeten medicinal teas and we even used in a hot compress for bug bites! One bar of this brown sugar is melted into some water to create a simple syrup.
Once slightly cooled, the simple syrup is poured into mix of cake flour, rice flour (*not glutinous rice flour- big difference!) and baking powder. This gets whisked together until smooth. Fill your foil lined muffin tins till it almost reaches the top. (the foil helps the liners from falling over when the batter goes in and helps keep the cake’s shape once in the steamer!)
Steam on high heat for 20 minutes. And no peeking!! Keep that cover closed till its done! The cakes should puff up and blossom over the top o the liners. It’s like the best muffin tops ever! Sprinkle some sesame seeds over them and enjoy warm. If they get hard, res team for 10-12 minutes and they’ll soften right up!
Chinese New Year Steamed Brown Sugar Cake
Yields approx 5 cupcake sized cakes
1 Cup plus 2 tbsp Water
1 bar Brown Sugar (approx 1/2 cup dark brown sugar)
1 1/4 Cup Cake flour
1/4 Cup plus 2 tbsp Rice Flour
2 tsp baking powder
Sesame seeds (optional)
Place Brown Sugar Block and water into a small saucepan, heat until sugar has dissolved. Set aside to cool.
Fill Steamer with approx 2 inches of water and turn on high heat.
Whisk together Cake flour, rice flour and baking powder till combined.
Add in cooled sugar syrup and mix well until a batter is formed with no visible lumps.
Fill batter into foil lined muffin tins until 90% full.
Steamed over high heat for 20 minutes, do not open lid until cakes are fully cooked. Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Enjoy warm!