Water Chestnut Cake
Original Recipe from Appetite for China.
08/06/2012 For this recipe, we halved the recipe and ended up using conventional organic brown sugar instead of Chinese Rock Sugar or Chinese Brown Sugar. We ended up getting a sweeter, darker and stickier blend than we've encountered at Dim Sum, but quite like the darkness portrayed in the original recipe. Also, recipes say that the pudding/cake should just pop right out of the cooking pan (after it's cooled). This is true, but not accurate. There's some coaxing involved, but once it starts letting go, it all lets go at once (within 2 or 3 seconds), so hold onto your hats! We still need to fry some pudding up and see how it handles that end of things.
Pasted from original recipe:
250 g water chestnut flour 1000 mL water, room temperature 500 g dark brown sugar 2 to 3 whole water chestnuts, roughly chopped (or 1 can of water chestnuts, drained and roughly chopped) 1- to 2-inch piece ginger, peeled and grated
Squeeze the grated ginger through a sieve to strain out juice; set aside.
In a large bowl, mix 300 mL of water into chestnut flour, working in a little at a time. Make sure all the flour at the bottom of the bowl dissolves into the water.
In a large pot, bring the remaining 700 mL water to boil. Pour in brown sugar, and mix until dissolved. Remove from heat, and mix in about 1/4 of the chestnut flour liquid. (Don’t pour all the flour liquid in at once, because too much heat will cook the flour on the spot.) Set the pot in a basin of cold water to cool, then remove and mix in ginger juice and the rest of the chestnut flour liquid. The mixture should have a thick and pasty texture.
Pour the mixture into a 10-inch round cake pan. (No need to grease the pan, since the cake will pop out easily after it cooks.) To steam: Place pan in a large steamer or wok. Bring 8 cups water to boil, cover, and steam for 20 to 25 minutes.
Check for doneness by sticking a toothpick in the cake; if the toothpick comes out clean, you can remove the cake from the heat. Place on a cooling rack or in a basin of cold water to allow the cake to set. When cooled (about 15 to 20 minutes), you can slice and serve immediately.
This cake can be stored in tupperware at room temp, in the fridge, or frozen. (Obviously the colder the storage temp the longer it keeps.)
To reheat, you can either pan-fry the same way as with turnip cake, or steam for 5 to 10 minutes to get the jellylike texture again.
(8/6/2012 Will edit this with our method/findings later)