Another yummy Chinese tea treat—Chinese rice cake (Bai Tang Gao in Mandarin and Bak Tong Gao in Cantonese).
The making process of this steamed rice cake is quite similar with Chinese rice fa gao, but they tastes quite different. Bai Tang Gao is fluffy and chewy and taste best when cold, while rice fa gao is fluffy but soft. Rice Fa gao should be severed warm.
Although the process seems quite simple, there are lots of reasons can lead to failure. A successful Bai Tang Gao should presents honeycomb texture in center and tastes chewy after cooling down. Following are some of the tips Elaine summarized to help you avoid mistakes.
- The proofing time actually depends on the room temperature. It may take 2 hours in summer days, but quite longer in winter. A good solution is to place the rice batter into the oven with fermentation function (around 38 degree C). If your oven does not provide this function, place a cup of boiling water within the oven and close it.
- Bring the water to boil before pouring the rice batter in is extremely important for the honeycomb texture. We need the air steam hot enough to go through the batter and create the bubbles inside.
- Do not use any oil with strong taste, for example peanut oil. Otherwise, they will spoil the faint rice aroma.
Fluffy and chewy Chinese rice cake--Bai Tang Gao
- 250g rice flour (2 cups+2 tablespoon)
- 500ml water
- 5g yeast+20ml warm water (under 40 degree C)
- 110-150g sugar
- several drops of oil (corn oil, around 1/8 teaspoon)
- In a large mixing bowl, mix 150ml to 160ml water with rice flour. Combine well.
- In a small pot, melt sugar with the left water (350ml). Bring to boil over medium fire.
- Pour the hot sugar liquid directly to the rice mixture. Combine well and set aside to cool down until less than 40 degree C or room temperature.
- Mix yeast with 20ml and set aside for 5 minutes.
- Combine yeast water and rice mixture well, cover with plastic wrapper for proofing.
- Drop several drops of oil in the batter and combine well. Continue proofing until there is a thick layer of small bubbles on the surface.
- Prepare a plate (steel plate is highly recommended as they are usually quite thin) and brush some oil on surface (this can help the de-molding process).
- Bring the water to boil firstly and then pour the rice batter to hot steel plate around 80% full.
- Cover with lid and steam for 15 minutes over high fire. Wait for around 10 minutes after turning off the fire. Transfer the cake out, wait for minutes and move it from the plate. Set aside to cool down completely. Either cut into large wedges or small cubes. Serve cold with tea or as breakfast.