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Saturday, January 21, 2012

Chinese New Year Baked Coconut "Nian Gao" Cake

I was browsing around a random food blog and came across http://en.christinesrecipes.com (Christine's recipes). I love her food blog instantly as she makes a lot of Asian food and they look so appetizing as well. The only complaint I have about her page is the usage of grams/ml versus TBSP/cups. I would have to convert them myself and they are time consuming!

Since it is Chinese New Year weekend, I decided to make a type of "Nian Gao" which is "Rice Cake". "Nian Gao" is a very popular dish to make during the Chinese New Year as it sounds like "Year High", hence translating to mean bettering yourself and prosperity year after year. You know what I mean, basically all those good stuff! :)

There are different varieties of "Nian Gao" but the one thing that they all have in common is the main ingredient - glutinous rice flour. Here you go, enjoy!


You can get glutinous rice flour in any Asian supermarket.
Of course, they can be any brand :)
You do not have to use these seedless dried dates if you do not have but since I had them at home (thanks to my mom), I might as well use them. :)
Line them up like this or you can roughly chop them up and mix it with the rest of the ingredients.
You will notice the sides of the cake rising and edging inwards - this is normal :)
If you do not want the top part to be too crispy, you can add an aluminum foil on it while baking. I actually like the huge contrast between the top chewy layer to the middle soft texture.
Yum Yum!

RECIPE

Bakes one whole baking pan (22.5cm x 33cm)

1 bag of glutinous rice flour (16 oz/ 1 lb)
1 can of coconut milk (14 fl oz)
2 cups sugar 
5 eggs
dried dates (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a big bowl, beat the eggs and add in sugar. Add the coconut milk and glutinous rice flour. Stir and combine well. Spray the baking pan with some oil (I used the rectangular shaped one) and pour the mixture into the pan. Add the dates on the top of the cake (or if you want, you can even roughly chop it up and mix it into the whole mixture (up to you).

Remember, try to use a rectangular baking pan. I used a 22.5cm x 33cm. If you use a smaller pan, the mixture would be too thick, hence not baking well. If you do not have a rectangular baking pan, you can use two smaller ones. Bake for 50 minutes. To make sure it is well, stick a toothpick in the middle and if it comes out clean, it is done.

Happy Chinese New Year!!! :)

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