What is so special about this cake? First, this cake is steamed, not baked. And instead of using plain flour or cake flour, digestive biscuits is used for making this cake. Huh?? Digestive biscuits for making cake??? Yes, you heard me right.
I first saw pictures of steamed biscuit cake over at my Facebook, where cream crackers is used instead of digestive biscuits. Method of preparation is similar to making a butter cake, where you first need to cream the butter and sugar till fluffy, followed with the addition of whole eggs. Finally, mix in the finely ground biscuits and the cake batter is ready for steaming (instead of baking).
For this steamed cake, I modified the recipe from my earlier Light and Spongy Chocolate Butter Cake. This method uses the egg separation method for butter cake, i.e. eggs are first separated into yolks and whites. The yolks are added to the butter mixture, while the egg whites are whisked till peak before folding into the final batter. To create the layering effect, the cake batter is divided into 3 portions. Add milo or cocoa powder (mixed with a little water to form a paste) to one portion to give a darker tone batter. Then, the batter is steamed layer by layer, and alternate with the light and darker tone layers.
If you are like me, who have not heard of steamed biscuit cake before, you would probably want to know how's the texture and taste of this cake. Thumbs up! This cake is very fragrant and the texture is light and soft. You will not taste any biscuit crumbs at all! (well.... unless you purposely leave big biscuit chunks in the batter). If you love the flavour of digestive biscuits, this cake has it all! I usually have my digestive biscuits with a cup of coffee, so I added a packet of 3-in-1 coffee mix into the cake batter. How I love the coffee aroma in this cake!
(7" or 8" square pan)
200g unsalted butter
70g fine sugar
50g plain yoghurt
250g digestive biscuits (finely grounded) - place in a clear plastic bag and roll with a rolling pin
1/2 tsp baking powder
1 packet 3-in-1 coffee mix (20g)
4 whites + 30g fine sugar
1/8 tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp milo powder + 2 tbsp water (mix into a paste)
1) Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy. Add in the egg yolks, one at a time. Finally, add in the plain yoghurt and mix in the grounded digestive biscuits, baking powder and coffee powder.
2) In another clean bowl, whisk the egg whites, sugar and cream of tartar till peak. Fold the whites into the cake batter till well combined.
3) Divide the batter into 3 equal portions. Mix the milo paste (or you can use cocoa powder) into one portion to give a darker tone batter.
4) Pour one lighter tone batter into a greased and line cake pan. Steam on high for about 12 minutes. Test with a toothpick to ensure the first layer is done, before pouring in the second layer (the darker tone layer). Steam for another 12 minutes and finally the third layer.
5) Remove the cake from the steamer. Flip over, remove greased paper and let the cake cool completely on rack.
[This cake is inspired by the lovely photography at 鲸鱼]
I shall try this steamed cake again! But, I would like to reduce the amount of butter used, and probably replaced it with more yoghurt. While the digestive biscuit crumbs really add to the lovely aroma of this cake, I am thinking of using part flour and part biscuit crumbs. Just my afterthoughts.