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Ah Ma's Steamed Sponge Cake (鸡蛋糕) {Recipe}

By July 14, 2017 ,

I've been living in Melbourne for eight-and-a-half years now, and every winter is just as painful as the last. Perhaps its the longing for some warmth and comfort that made me crave for childhood flavours from Malaysia.

Years ago, my Ah Ma (grandma) lived with us in KL following her knee reconstruction surgery, and she introduced us to many simple but delicious traditional food. Among them is the old-fashion steamed sponge cake. Using only flour, sugar and eggs, grandma would hand-mixed in a plastic bucket. In order to create the light and fluffy texture typical of a sponge cake, ah ma would whip out her old-school spring whisk/egg beater that is the size of a hand-held vacuum, add some Fanta or Sprite to create fizz and air, then she would start whisking away until the batter was thick, glossy and creamy. The mixture was then placed in a bamboo basket and steamed until the mixture set and we would have steamed cake for breakfast or as prayer offering. Making the cake was a family affair, as we would take turns to whisk the batter.

Sadly, Ah Ma got too frail in her later years and passed away a few years ago. But the taste of the sponge cake stayed with me and on this particular winter, I have a very strong craving for it. Lucky for me, this cake is not unique to my Ah Ma - I found a few recipes from people who recreated their Ah Ma's steamed sponge cake. Although this cake is not a 100% replica of my Ah Ma's recipe, I dare say it's quite close to the original. Moreover, the new and improved recipe does not require a bucket from Bunnings, a DIY hand whisk or Fanta. My regular Sunbeam mixer and Kmart steamer did most of the work and I got to enjoy a traditional steamed sponge cake.

I am also pleased to report (especially to my dad) the cake remained soft and moist up until the very last slice. So dad, give it a go!

Ah Ma's Steamed Sponge Cake

140g all purpose flour
5 medium eggs
240g sugar

Beat egg and sugar in a mixer over low speed for 2 minutes, increase to medium high speed and continue to beat until double in volume (about 30 minutes), thick, creamy and pass the ribbon stage. Change to low speed, beat for another 1 to 2 minutes to minimise the air bubbles.

Sift in flour, mix slowly with a spatula and combine well.

Pour the cake mixture into a prepared 8 inch lined baking tin, rest for 10 minutes.

Steam over high heat for 40 minutes, then wait 1 minute before removing the cake.

Serve after slightly cool down.

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