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Ma lai Ko ~ 马拉糕

 

Whenever we 'yum cha' in a Chinese dim sum restaurant we never fail to order and try their Ma Lai Ko, which is a brown sugar steamed fluffy sponge cake and what most kids would like to have.  I have been looking for a simple recipe to make this Ma Lai Ko.  Some recipes require a fermented starter dough which will result in streaky patterns in the Ma Lai Ko, some will just go with baking powder and sodium bicarbonate but I chance upon this recipe which requires yeast, baking powder and sodium bicarbonate.

I made this on a cool, windy, day and was praying that the batter will rest and proof with bubbles after 2  hours and thankfully it did.  I was very pleased when the cake looked good after I opened the lid of my steamer and the taste was superb, not overly sweet and the texture, nice, soft and moist.  I kept the remaining pieces of 'ko' in a container, at room temperature and they stayed nice and moist even on the third day, maybe because the weather was cool and not humid.








Ma lai Ko  ~   马拉糕   (adapted from  'here' )

Ingredients

  • 3 large eggs
  • 160 ml milk
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 180 gm plain flour
  • 190 gm brown sugar
  • 1 tsp dry yeast
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp sodium bicarbonate
  • 50 ml oil
Method
  1. Sift plain flour, set aside.
  2. Using a handwhisk, whisk eggs with water and milk till well combined.
  3. In a mixing bowl, add sifted flour, salt, dry yeast and sugar, mix well.
  4. Add the egg mixture into the dry mixture, mix well till free of lumps.
  5. Sieve the batter into another mixing bowl.  Cover with cling wrap and let it rest for 2 hours till there are plenty of bubbles.
  6. Take out 3 or 4 Tbsp of  the batter and sift in the baking powder and sodium bicarbonate, mix well.  Add in the oil and mix till fully incorporated.
  7. Pour this mixture into the remaining batter, gently fold in and swipe from side to side.
  8. Prepare a steamer with enough water and let it boil on high heat.
  9. Pour the batter into a parchment lined 8 inch square pan (or a 7 inch pan for a taller cake) and steam on rapidly boiling water for about 35 minutes.  Test with a skewer till it comes out clean.
  10. Remove from steamer and let cool in the pan for about 15 minutes before transferring onto a wire rack to cool completely.
Note :  Instead of water, can substitute with pandan juice and in which case vanilla is not needed.



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