Sweet Potato 发糕

(Again, I apologize for the long hiatus from blogging on this page)

I have caught the baking bug lately and have been incessantly trying to find good/easy recipes for my experimental trials. While flipping through one of the many cook books I got from Popular, I came across this “Sweet Potato Fa Gao” recipe and decided to try it out last week. I had 3 projects going on in one Sunday afternoon and was dead beat by the end of it all. The almond suji cookies (from an earlier post) and fa gao turned out alright. But the Pineapple tarts leaves much to be desired (imagine feeding your bf the pineapple tarts that you had painstakingly baked for the last 3 hours and all he could do was burst out laughing upon the first bite -__-).

First batch of Fa Gaos from the steamer
Anyhoos… I bought some Japanese sweet potatoes from NTUC last week and it turned out to be the ‘wrong’ kind as it was predominantly pale yellow in color. The fa gao from that batch did not have much of an aesthetic appeal because of that. Today, I dug out the normal orangy sweet potatoes from the fridge (mum always has a stash of them hidden somewhere) and went for round number two.
Needless to say, the orange little cakes looked tons prettier than the ones from last week’s. That being said, the yellow Japanese sweet potatoes did not lose out (taste-wise) when compared to it’s local counterpart. In short, play around with the different varieties/colors available. Mum was even suggesting that I make purple fa gaos with those purple Peruvian sweet potatoes. Yew??)
Unfortunately, though my fa gaos passed Mama Lee’s QC, (read: it tastes so yummy that i got my mum’s accolades-and for those who know my mum, those are really hard to come by!!) they did not 发 very nicely. I have seen done my research online and found out the ‘secrets’ to it. Here are some pointers:
1. Make sure the water in your steamer is BOILING before you place your cake moulds in.
2. Never open the cover of the steamer halfway through baking. Just let it run its course.
3. Use a satay stick/chopstick/whatever to draw a cross on the batter before placing them into the steamer.4. Most importantly, allow your batter to sit for a FEW HOURS before baking. This was one thing that I failed in doing (and i blame the book for that!!#Q#@$)
薯泥发糕 – Sweet Potato Fa Gao (Sweet Nyonya Kuih)
Adapted from: 情牵娘惹糕 by Andrew Kow (Pg. 46)

The original orange sweet potato发糕s from today
Ingredients A:
1 tbsp dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
2 tbsp flour
60ml water
Ingredients B:
200 g mashed sweet potato (that is about one medium size potato)
200 ml coconut milk
300 g flour
2 tsp double action baking powder
1 egg
1. Mix Ingredients A until well combined and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Add Ingredients B and mix well. Set aside for another 1.5-2 hours. (the original version says 30 minutes, but that wasn’t enough for me)
3. Pour the batter into small cups, draw crosses on them and steam for 20-25 minutes. Serve.Huat Ah!!! (sorry, couldn’t resist it.)

发糕 using the pale yellow Jap sweet potatoes.

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