Thursday, July 16, 2009

Water Chestnut Cake

Yesterday was a very hot day, the sun was shining and there wasn't a cloud in the sky. In the sweltering heat, I decided to take a break from baking and wanted to make a more refreshingly cool dessert. I had this package of water-chestnut flour in my pantry and decided that this would be the perfect moment to experiment with making one of my mom's favorite chilled desserts... water chestnut cake. I had never used this chestnut flour before, so I wasn't quite sure what to expect upon opening the box. The flour was a bit different than rice flour, potato flour and tapioca flour... instead of the powdery texture, this chestnut flour was a bit more clumpy and in little crystals.

I used the recipe on the back of the chestnut flour box, and the dessert came out very nicely. The recipe uses very few ingredients, and is almost no effort at all. It just takes time to have to steam the dessert, and then chill it in the fridge... so if you want to eat it for dessert, it's best that you make and steam it well ahead of time so that you have adequate time to get the cake to it's perfect chilled temperature before serving.

Water Chestnut Cake
Yields 1- 8inch round cake

- 250g water chestnut flour (half of the box)
- 500ml water
- 1 can of water chestnuts, drained and chopped
- 750ml water
- 1 1/4 cup - 2 cups rock sugar/golden rock sugar (depending on how sweet you like your cake)

1. Combine the flour with the 500ml water, mixing thoroughly until all clumps are dissolved.
2. In a large sauce-pan, dissolve the sugar with 750ml of water over medium heat.
3. Once boiling, add in the flour mixture to the sugar mixture and stir until the mixture begins to thicken and bubble. Add in the chopped water chestnuts, stirring until they are evenly distributed.
4. Pour the thicken cake "batter" into a greased 8-inch pan, and steam on high for 30minutes.
5. Once cooked, allow to cool to room temperature. Then place cake in the fridge until firmed and cold throughout. Slice and serve.

My mom was so excited that I had prepared this dish. She's a fan of the "not-so-sweet" chestnut cake, and so I didn't add too much sugar. With so few ingredients needed, this recipe is a breeze to make and yet has such a wonderful flavor to it. Water chestnut itself is quite refreshing, but in this cake form it was divine!

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