Lunar New Year Cake

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It's the second day of the Year of the Tiger. Last night to serve as dessert to our New Year's Day meal, I dusted off an old recipe from the files, and it tasted exactly how I remembered it. What a joy it is to resurrect old tastes from childhood, which I last had at least twenty years ago.

Loosely translated, it's "Puffy Cake," something akin to sponge cake thanks to its airy texture. What's different about it is that it isn't baked in an oven, but rather steamed in a rice cooker. My mom gave me a vintage one last December, the same model I used to make rice for the nightly meal.

Sadly, the recipe is specially designed for the Tatung Rice Cooker in the 10-cup size, so I have no idea if it will work in any other brand or type, which is an indirect heat cooker.

4 eggs
1.5 cups brown sugar
0.75 cups milk
0.5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp baking powder
1.5 cups flour, sifted
6 tablespoons vegetable oil

  1. Whisk eggs vigorously in a bowl, then add sugar and milk.
  2. Dissolve baking soda & powder in a tablespoon of water, then add to egg-sugar-milk
  3. Whisk in sifted flour until no lumps remain.
  4. Add oil.
  5. Pour into Tatung rice cooker's inner pot, then add 1.5 cups water to the outside and steam for approximately 50 minutes, or until a plunged knife comes out clean.

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