Monday, January 19, 2009

New Year Rice Cake

What happened to the fruits - all sank to the bottom.

According to WikiHow :

One popular desert eaten during Chinese New Years is Nian Gao (年糕). One of the reasons it's eaten during this time is because the words "nian gao (粘糕)", meaning "sticky cake," sounds just like the words 年高, which means something along the lines of "growing taller every year." Similar to "a pinch to grow an inch," this is just used to wish the person good health in the new year.
Nian Gao is a sticky rice cake that's usually eaten warm.
My friend, Claire came with the recipe and all the ingredients to try out this cake and we followed the recipe to the tee except i cooked the batter in the microwave until the batter thickened slightly. We should not have mixed in the fruits and nuts before i cook the batter in the microwave, but this step was an after thought, when everything was mixed and ready for the oven. I would suggest, dust the fruits with some of the dry flour, when batter is ready for baking, pour batter on to baking tray, then only sprinkle the fruits and nuts on top - hoping that they will not sink so far down to the bottom.
The crust was quite thick cos i think we overbaked. I used the convection at 375f and the batter was slightly cooked, so it should take a shorter time to bake - should have checked at 40 minutes when the top was nicely browned. Baking at high altitude can be tricky.
Overall, good job, Claire - the cake tasted so much better the next day, the crust has softened and was more chewy.
I will make this cake again and tweak it to my liking.

Below is the recipe which came with Claire

3 1/2 cups glutinous rice flour (sweet rice flour), about 1 pound
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup dried tart cherries
1/4 cup candied pineapple, chopped
1/4 cup chopped pitted dates
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup canola or vegetable oil
3 large eggs
Cooking spray


Preheat oven to 375°.

Lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups; level with a knife.
Combine flour and next 6 ingredients (flour through baking powder) in a bowl.
Combine water, oil, and eggs; add to flour mixture, stirring by hand just until moist.

Spoon the batter into a 9-inch round cake pan coated with cooking spray.
Bake at 375° for 50 minutes or until a wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.
Cool rice cake for 15 minutes in pan on a wire rack, and remove from pan.
Cool completely on wire rack.
What should be done:


Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

I'm glad you liked the baked Nian Gao cake...I also added 1/4 C. golden raisins (sultannas) to this...I like golden raisins. Tell your blog readers that if they cannot find dried tart cherries, dried cranberries are a good substitute also.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

Also forgot that when we did it, we baked it for 1 hour and 10 minutes....I find that if we just cook it at 50 minutes, it's not cooked through. So your readers might have to bake it at least 1 hour till a wooden toothpick comes out clean.

But since we microwave the batter before-hand before we put it in the oven, then we probably only need the 50 minutes.

Hope this help your blog fans!! :-)

Anonymous said...

I really like the combination of fruits you use! Sounds delicious...and I love the cake!

Charlie said...

Hi! I just stumbled across your site. As a learning cook who loves Chinese food, and having grown up in HK, it is SO hard to find authentic chinese dishes I crave in the US. Thanks for all those wonderful recipes! I will DEFINITELY try some whenever I get the chance. Thank you!!!

Jo said...

Nian Gao is traditionally steamed.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,
I am now officially a big fan of your blog too. I made your clay pot rice today and of course, it turned very well. You are my hero for all the wonderful recipes!! Wanted to ask a question about the nin quo....I wasn't sure if this is the same as "lin kuo"? Thought it is a thick sticky cake that is usually dried in the sun wrapped in leaves, not a fluffy cake like the picture above. Just wanted to confirm just incase I'm thinking about something else. Thanks so much and "Kong Hey Fatt Choy!!"

Unknown said...


this is something new to me too. what you are refering to is here

Rebecca Lee said...

Hi Lily,
Chinese New Year just left us and we were still looking at your New Year cookies and cakes !! I never come across of Glutinous Rice flour -- Pulut Flour can make into " Fruits cake " Surely will try it one day. Yes, by dusting and sprinkle them on to at the last stage is the best tips as I often do that. But beware some will not sunk at all and got burnt !! Ha !! So I kept some batter to pour on those stubborn fruits before I bake it.

Thanks Lily and Claire for sharing this unusual Nian Gao cake

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