Sunday, October 24, 2010

Coconut Sweet Potato (Steamed) Cake


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Lavender in a potpourri, I can tolerate. Lavender in a scented candle, I can tolerate. But Lavender in my food ... that's where I draw the line.

That's why you'll never see a Lavender-anything in my blog. Unless it's "Lavender Street" hawker food. :)

So when it was announced that this month's International Incident Party's theme was Lavender, I decided to give it a miss. Until Penny kindly pointed out that I could think out of the box and make something the colour of Lavender. Ah, now we're talkin'!



Instantly, my mind ran through all things purple - grapes ... red wine ... beets ... eggplants ... gentian violet ... Barney. In the end, I settled on the beautiful Okinawan Sweet Potato (also commonly known as Japanese Sweet Potato).



Quite by chance, as I mulled over what to make, a friend loaned me a copy of Magic Steamed Cakes by Alex Goh. In it was a recipe for Coconut Sweet Potato Cake, using exactly this purple variety. Perfect!

So here's my contribution to the party ... a cake that is steamed, not baked ... and which, I'm sure, will be well-received by those not too fond of Lavender in their food. ;)

Recipe
(from Magic Steamed Cakes by Alex Goh)

A
- 200g butter
- 120g sugar

B
- 1 egg
- 3 yolks

C
- 3 whites
- 80g sugar

D
- 300g flour
- 1 tsp double acting baking powder

E
- 100g coconut milk

F
- 300g sweet potato cubes (I used less, about 200g)


Don't the suspended bits purple sweet potatoes look like pieces of garnet? :)

1. Cream A till light and fluffy.

2. Add B. Cream till smooth.

3. Whip C till stiff peaks (in a separate bowl). Add to above batter and combine till well blended.

4. Add D (make sure you have mixed and sifted them well first). Fold in gently.

5. Add E. Again, fold in gently.

6. Add F.

7. Pour in greased lined pan.

8. Steam for approximately 50mins or until a skewer comes out clean.

Note: The above recipe is not quoted verbatim from the book. To be honest, I am not impressed by its overly-simplistic, oft hazy instructions.


Perfect for oyatsu, don't you think? :)
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34 comments:

  1. Fun- I love the color and what a great adaptation of the theme.

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  2. Gorgeous! I love sweet potatoes and I love steamed cake and the purple hue set against that lovely creamy white does look like jewels! :) Love this dish!

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  3. If I may try to persuade you, lavender in food really can be very nice when done right! But having said that, your cake is gorgeous and no doubt very tasty!

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  4. Steamed cakes are my favorite cakes since they tend to be not overly sweet. Perhaps it's time for me to try making them again. Thanks for the idea.

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  5. Hi Ju, love the purple potato added in the steamed cake, so pretty!

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  6. Hahaha about the lavender in food. Strangely I kinda like it. I don't like it in air freshener though, it smells too fake. But you are so ingenious in keeping with the theme!! Looks good!

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  7. I thought about Yam (Taro) when the theme was announced. I am not a big fan of lavender but a little is acceptable. Love how you think out of the box. Very interesting cake. Ju, your photos and styling skills are getting better each day!

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  8. Didn't know that you dislike lavender in your food. I like lavender, but in this case, I go for your purple ubi yam!

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  9. I was so curious to see what you came up with. Ha... good idea! I am ok with lavender but not too much. I thought the cake looks like it is dotted with lavender buds! NICE JOB!!

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  10. Way to go Ju! I've never tried to steam a cake before but I know it's done in the Philippines too. Must try this technique one of these days

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  11. I also have that same book on steamed cakes by Alex Goh, and I love how you've utilised your creativity by offering this lavender color-dotted cake!

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  12. I still have 2 of these Japanese Sweet Potatoes and was wondering what to do with it! :D Thanks for sharing, your cake looks lovely!

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  13. LOL @ lavender hawker food & barney. hahaha. i like yr cake, its very pretty, the diced purple sweet potatoes really add texture to the cake, so interesting to look at as well. think i'm gonna do that for the purple sweet potato chiffon :p

    i was surprised alot of ppl can't find purple sweet potatoes at the supermarkets/wet markets. one local blogger even bought from isetan @ 3 for $15, known as murasaki imo. the vietnamese ones are so cheap lor, like $2.50-$3.50/kg!

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  14. Ju this is gorgeous and your pics....WOW!
    L~xo

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  15. Very pretty indeed! Love your steam cake dressed up with amethyst-like sweet potatoes.

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  16. So pretty! You are becoming a master photographer:) Well you are already..How ingenious to have thought outside the box..Those sweet potatoes are such a beautiful color..and the cutlery so unique..C'est beau Ju!

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  17. You are too funny! Personally, I only like lavender if it's balanced by something spicy or savory - otherwise it does indeed taste like you're eating a scented candle! I love your lavender color interpretation here! And I just bought some rose syrup and was thinking it would be fun on a steamed cake, so your post in serendipitous!

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  18. I'm confused. What do you steam the cake inside of? Do you put it in the oven still inside a pan with water in it or put it in a pot that has a a steamer basket?

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  19. I can tolerate a little bit of lavender in my food, as long as the taste is not too overpowering. Love the bits of potatoes in the cake, very pretty!

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  20. never heard of steamed cake, how beautiful they look :)

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  21. i am practically obsessed with beni-imo (okinawan sweet potato).. i'm pretty sure i love it more than other okinawans. haha. and i'm a huuuge fan of mushi-pan (steamed bread/cake)... so this is the perfect combo for me!! i cant wait to try it :)

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  22. I'm also not a big fan of lavender, but the color is a totally different matter. What a delightfully different cake. One of my favorite cakes is a Chinese steamed cake, so this is right up my alley!

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  23. Thanks everyone!

    Leaf: Believe me, I have given lavender many chances, but I still don't like it. ;)

    Evan: Between this cake and the chiffon, the chiffon is nicer. But as I mentioned, my pics didn't turn out well. This steamed cake is easier to make, but texture-wise, the chiffon wins. :)

    Kelly Bolduc: I used a big, deep stock pot. The cake tin was propped up above the water level, with a metal ring stand (those that you use to protect your kitchen tops from pots & pans). My stock pot cover has a vent which allows steam to escape .. which I find very useful because it prevents condensation. You can use a wok too. No fancy equipment required! ;)

    megumi: This cake is for you then! Hahaha!

    Ellie, Monique, Penny, Linda, Trix: Coming from you ladies, it's a huge compliment. Thank you!

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  24. this steamed cake looks so delicate, fluffy and light! Like a fairy :) And beautiful too. how i've missed your blog and homecooking. It's also strange that I blogged about the Okinawan murasaki imo a while ago. Here it is: http://www.sugarbar.org/blog/2010/10/17/the-elusive-purple-fleshed-sweet-potato-murasaki-imo/

    x

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  25. Great thinking out of the box!! The colour of the sweet potato is so vibrant... kind of like the purple congos!

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  26. Wow. I love this idea. The cake looks so delicate jewelled with gems on sweet potato- striking colours. Great job!

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  27. Nice! I like that the bits of sweet potatoes was so evenly distributed into the cake.

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  28. My love at first sight on this steamed cake. A very beautiful creation.

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  29. I love the little bits of purple sweet potato in your cake. Your pictures are amazing.

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  30. i love how you decided to g for the colour and not actual lavender. Look delish

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  31. Oh baby, this is my kind of dessert. Firstly, it has coconut. Secondly, it has purple components. Thirdly, it looks so damn good! I'll stop there :)

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  32. This looks so good! Sorry to hear you don't enjoy lavender, I'm a huge fan. One of my very favorite things is a chocolate bar with lavender and blueberry. Bitter chocolate really helps to balance out the strong flavor, if you ever want to try it.

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  33. Gorgeous JEWEL cake! Soo pretty!

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  34. love steam cake sans coconut milk though.

    i spied ... are those mini fork & spoon from daiso?

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