Craving some chocolate cake made from scratch?
and only 2 eggs in your refrigerator?
Steamed Chocolate Cake
Don't despair...Asian "bakers" long ago discovered the joys of steaming their desserts.
I always enjoy a well-made Mah-Lai Goh (Malaysian Cake) at DimSum. It sometimes comes around on the steam carts and it isn't a very easily made cake. Not all restaurants can create the proper texture in the crumb. I like my Mah-Lai Goh tender, moist and full of caramelly flavour. Unfortunately, these cakes need to be eaten fresh from the steamer and don't last too well past a few hours.
I was clicking away around the internet the other day and came across a Steamed Chocolate Cake recipe. It called for evaporated milk and this tweaked in me nostalgia for those DimSum steamed cakes. Unfortunately, I've never seen chocolate anywhere in a Chinese Restaurant (too bad), but the technique is certainly Asian in technique.
A steamed cake may not sound too appealing to many, but in fact it can yield a very tender crumb. You don't get any of those golden brown edges on steamed cakes. Every inch of the cake, including the crust is very much like the center of the cake. The ease of this recipe is a bonus. You don't even need an electric mixer. In fact, most of these items can be found in your pantry. This cake only requires 2 eggs. It can be made into cupcakes or the batter can be divided.
The only problem is finding a vessel large enough to steam your 9" cake pan. I use a wide wok and set the cake pan on a rack in the water. The water doesn't touch the cake pan and I have about 1.5" clearance from the cake pan to my lid at least. My wok lid is too shallow and I need a higher-domed one, but I like it because it's glass and I can always check the water level without lifting the lid to take a peek.
Fortunately, this Steamed Chocolate Cake proved to keep better than the DimSum ones. I covered mine in plastic wrap and by the end of the evening, half the cake was gone. It was still moist.
My mom and the kids loved the cake and inhaled it during snack times. Don't worry...I didn't succumb to the sugar-cravings! I've kept on track and I'm still low-carbing. In fact, I've added running into my health regime and I've been running every day this week so far. Actually, correction: I run every night. By the time I've done my marking, put the kids to bed and everything else you need to do in a household, it's like 10pm! After my run and shower, I'm kind of still buzzed and can't always fall asleep until 11:30. There's no way I can fit the run in, in the morning because you-know-who still has night-wakings/nose-bleeds/night-terrors. These occur around 3a.m. consistently. So running in the a.m. is not happening! :p
In any case, the cake kept well into the next day for snacking in an air-tight plastic container. I didn't refrigerate it. I don't know if it can last longer than that because there wasn't anything left! Here's a Cakebrained tip: if you find the cake has survived into the second day and it's not as soft as you'd like, then simply re-steam that slice for a few minutes. Of course, this is only if you haven't frosted it!
This steamed cake is perfect even without frosting, but if you do intend to frost it, I'm sure it would prove to be excellent too. It slices very cleanly and isn't crumbly or dry. It would make a wicked cupcake. If you were making a tall frosted chocolate cake, I could envision a few problems after doubling the recipe: such as whether to steam both 9" cakes at once, to do them consecutively (would the batter hold well?) or finding two woks so you could steam both pans simultaneously.
Here's the recipe I found at Cuisine Asia.
STEAMED MOIST CHOCOLATE CAKE
(adapted from Cuisine Asia)
makes one 9" round
185g unsalted butter
180g granulated sugar
200 ml evaporated milk
2 eggs, lightly beaten
125g all-purpose flour
70g cocoa powder
1/2 t baking powder
1/2 t baking soda
1/2 t vanilla
Cool the cake in pan before turning out for further decoration.