Chinese food: Baked Chinese New Year Cake
While traditional Nian Gao is steamed and does not contain butter, eggs or other ingredients normally found in a cake batter, this is a baked version that is good "if you don’t like standing over the stove worrying about the steamer boiling dry, if you don’t want to pan fry lots of pieces, or if you want to share with non-Asians who might be used to a more…cake-like cake." The recipe comes from Frances Kai-Hwa Wang, who adds that the "sweet, cake-like Nian Gao has a slightly sticky texture or bite to it."
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
16 oz. Mochiko sweet rice flour (glutinous rice flour), plus a bit extra for sprinkling on the baking dish
1 stick of butter or 3/4 cup of vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups milk
1 to 1 3/4 cup sugar--depending on if you like it sweeter
1 Tb baking soda
One can of red azuki beans
Mix everything but the beans with an electric mixer at medium speed for 2 minutes. Beat for 2 more minutes at high speed.
Sprinkle Mochiko flour over a 9"x13" baking dish that has been oiled or sprayed with Pam.
Spread half of the batter on the bottom of the baking pan Spread the red azuki beans (you can mix some batter into the beans if they are too thick to spread).
Spread the other half of the batter over the red azuki beans. Bake in oven at 350 degrees for 40 to 50 minutes.
Test for doneness by inserting a chopstick (this is Chinese New Year’s Cake after all)—if it comes out clean, it is done.