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Fat Goh (also known as fa goa, Chinese Prosperity Cake, 发糕) in a steamer basket

Each Lunar New Yr, Mama Lin will steam fats goh (發糕, also called fa gao), calmly candy truffles that open up and blossom as soon as they’re steamed. As a matter of reality, many Chinese language households steam fats goh to have a good time the brand new 12 months due to its auspicious symbolism. In Chinese language tradition, you eat dishes that carry auspicious meanings throughout new 12 months celebrations. Meaning consuming meals with names that sound just like fortunate new 12 months’s greetings. 

By way of fats goh, the phrase fats (發) can imply “prosperity,” “wealth,” or “development.” The phrase goh (糕) additionally sounds just like the pronunciation of the character “高,” which implies “excessive” or “tall.” Whenever you put 發糕 collectively, it might carry the which means of prosperity and wealth getting greater within the new 12 months. Generally, you’ll see fats goh translated as “prosperity cake” or “wealth cake” in English.

Mama Lin's fat goh
Mama Lin’s fats goh. She loves adorning them with a chunk of maraschino cherry for further brightness. She additionally makes use of white granulated sugar to make her truffles, so the colour of the truffles look extra pale.

TWEAKING MAMA LIN’S RECIPE

The fats goh recipe under is predicated on a recipe that Mama Lin shared with me years in the past. Admittedly, I’ve at all times discovered my mother’s fats goh to be somewhat bland, which is why it has taken me some time to check and tweak the recipe. I made a decision so as to add spices to the cake and use brown sugar (as a substitute of plain white sugar) to provide the cake extra malty taste. I’ve known as my mother to inform her what I’ve executed with the recipe, and he or she has given me her approval. She stated, “That’s fantastic! Do no matter you wish to make the truffles fit your style.”

Flour blend and spices

I’ve added ginger and cardamom to the flour mix, however be happy to substitute any of these spices. By the way in which, the Iniya and Baraka Cardamom from Diaspora Co. are the very best I’ve ever used. The cardamom is so contemporary and aromatic that it’s simple to see why they’re so widespread. 

Different stages of grinding cardamom seeds
Grinding cardamom seeds

I’ve additionally halved my mother’s authentic recipe to yield about 8 muffins. That’s the excellent quantity for our family of two folks. Nonetheless, be happy to double up the recipe in case you’re cooking for a bigger social gathering.

LANGUAGE NOTES FOR FAT GOH & FA GAO

Fats goh (發糕) comes from the Cantonese pronunciation. I sometimes transliterate 糕 (which implies cake) as “go” in English. Nonetheless, the phrases “fats go” look somewhat odd collectively in English. A fast Google search of “fats go” led to many outcomes associated to weight reduction, which isn’t what this recipe is about in any respect. Subsequently, I opted to make use of “goh” for the English spelling of 糕 on this recipe. 

This cake is also called fa gao, which comes from the Mandarin pronunciation. If you happen to do a search on-line, you’ll most likely see this cake extra generally known as fa gao.

FLOUR BLEND FOR FAT GOH/FA GAO

To make the batter, my mother makes use of 3 sorts of flours: cake combine, all-purpose flour, and glutinous rice flour.

CAKE MIX

Historically, fats goh are made with glutinous rice or glutinous rice flour. Over time, many Chinese language households began utilizing store-bought cake or pancake mixes for the batter. That’s as a result of the leavening brokers in these mixes do an excellent job of serving to the truffles rise excessive and crack open as soon as steamed. 

Betty Crocker Super Moist White Cake Mix

Whereas some households use Bisquick, my mother has at all times used Betty Crocker cake mixes to make her fats goh. I think my mother discovered concerning the cake combine from her buddies years in the past and has acknowledged the model with the pink spoon ever since.

For the recipe, I like to recommend utilizing the Betty Crocker Tremendous Moist white cake combine as a result of it has the least quantity of synthetic taste and coloring. You too can use white cake mixes from different manufacturers like Pillsbury. (Recipe testing notice: I made a batch of fats goh utilizing Pillsbury’s Moist Supreme yellow cake combine, and the fats goh appeared good. Nonetheless, I used to be postpone by the unreal taste of the cake, which appeared to imitate vanilla.)

ALL-PURPOSE FLOUR

My mother additionally makes use of all-purpose flour in her fats goh. Her reasoning is that all-purpose flour tends to be cheaper than boxed cake mixes. In an effort to preserve the dearer cake combine, my mother began including all-purpose flour to her flour mix. 

Personally, I choose including cake flour as a substitute of all-purpose flour. By cake flour, I’m not referring to formulated cake mixes. As a substitute, I imply the plain, unflavored lower-protein flour that one makes use of to make truffles. The decrease protein content material in cake flour means much less gluten growth if you make the batter. In consequence, the cake has a softer, much less chewy texture. You could find cake flour in grocery shops or confer with this tutorial on easy methods to make a cake flour substitute at house. 

Glutinous Rice Flour

GLUTINOUS RICE FLOUR

My mother additionally makes use of a small quantity of glutinous rice flour in her flour mix to provide the truffles a lightweight sticky texture. Sometimes, she makes use of the glutinous rice flour made by Erawan (they arrive in baggage with inexperienced labels). You could find them in Asian grocers or on Amazon (affiliate hyperlink). You will need to notice that glutinous rice flour will not be the identical as white rice flour. The previous has a stickier high quality as soon as it’s heated up with liquid. If you happen to should not have glutinous rice flour, be happy to make use of candy rice flour, just like the one by Bob’s Purple Mill or Mochiko.

USING WATER VS MILK FOR BATTER

Comparing fat goh made with water vs milk
The truffles on the left had been made with water; the truffles on the fitting had been made with milk

Mama Lin’s authentic recipe makes use of water for the batter. When testing this fats goh recipe, I discovered that the truffles made with milk had higher taste. The massive draw back is that the truffles don’t crack and blossom as properly after they’re made with milk (see photographs above). I don’t know why this occurs, however in case you do, please let me know!

Fat goh/fa gao in a bamboo steamer

HOW TO ENSURE CAKES BLOSSOM NICELY

Everybody desires their truffles to blossom into a fairly 3-petaled or 4-petaled cake. To encourage the cake to crack open on this method, it is advisable to draw a big plus signal or a cross over the batter earlier than steaming the truffles (see photograph under).

Preparing the batter before steaming

The batter must be thick sufficient so that when you draw the plus signal on the cake, these strains don’t flood over instantly. The photograph under exhibits what the plus indicators will seem like if the batter isn’t thick sufficient. Discover how the strains are much less outlined on this second batch.

The batter in this batch of cakes is slightly too thin
The batter on this batch is barely too skinny as a result of the plus indicators fade away simply

The query then turns into, how do you take a look at thickness of the batter earlier than it’s too late? Proper after you combine the batter, use a toothpick or skewer to attract a line into the batter. If the road floods over in a short time, it means your batter isn’t thick sufficient, and you need to add 2 tablespoons of flour (the cake combine or all-purpose flour) into the batter. If the road stays properly outlined after 15 seconds (such as you see within the photograph under), the batter is thick sufficient.

Testing thickness of batter

STEAMING METHODS

I sometimes steam the fats goh in a 6-muffin pan lined with paper liners. I discover the feel of the cake comes out the very best when it’s steamed this fashion. The draw back to this steaming methodology is that you would be able to solely steam 6 truffles directly.

Pan lined with silicone muffin cups

Alternatively, you possibly can steam the cake in silicone muffin cups. Merely line silicone cups over a big plate or pan, pour batter into the silicone cups, draw the plus indicators, and steam. This methodology lets you steam extra truffles at a time, and the fats goh releases from the silicone cups very simply. Furthermore, these cups are reusable, so that you received’t producing as a lot waste as you’d with paper liners.

The draw back of utilizing silicone muffin cups is the feel of the fats goh. I discovered that the truffles have a barely chewier high quality after I steam them within the silicone cups, which I don’t like. I might simply be overly choosy, as my husband doesn’t appear to note or thoughts the distinction. 

Lastly, you possibly can most likely steam these truffles in calmly greased ramekins, however I’ve not examined this methodology but.

MY RECIPE TESTING BLUNDER

Once I first examined the fats goh, I positioned paper liners on a plate and poured the batter into them earlier than steaming. As a result of there was no pan to carry up the construction of the paper liners, the batter merely spilled out, and I used to be left with flat truffles.

Fat goh recipe testing failures
The truffles on the fitting was a part of the primary batch I made, those on the left had been the second

After all, after the blundered first batch, I blamed the paper liners I used and never my flawed logic. So I made a decision to check the recipe once more with thicker paper liners this time (the batch you see within the left). Sadly, the outcomes the place the identical, so I made a decision to dig up previous photographs I took of my mother making fats goh.

Mama Lin making fat goh/fa gao

When I discovered this photograph of the muffin liners and batter within the muffin pan, I began laughing. I didn’t assume that my mother owned a 6-muffin pan, so I didn’t trouble utilizing one the primary 2 instances I attempted the recipe. I confirmed a photograph of my mistake to my mom and he or she laughed and stated, “after all that wouldn’t work!” Lesson discovered.

Fat goh mistake with brightly colored paper liners

By the way in which, I found throughout my blundered first makes an attempt that you simply shouldn’t use colourful paper liners for this recipe. The colour of the paper cups will switch to the cake.

HOW LONG DO THE FAT GOH KEEP?

You possibly can retailer the fats goh in a good container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days. If you happen to reside in a moist local weather, you need to most likely refrigerate the fats goh after a day. The truffles will maintain in a container within the fridge for about 4 to five days. You possibly can warmth up the truffles within the microwave for 15 to 30 seconds. 

The truffles additionally freeze properly. To reheat frozen fats goh, steam the truffles at medium-high warmth for 9 to 10 minutes. 

MORE LUNAR NEW YEAR RECIPES

Fat Goh


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Servings: 8 truffles

Creator: Lisa Lin

Fats Goh (Fa Gao, 發糕, Chinese language Prosperity Cake)

Fats goh (發糕), also called fa gao, is a Chinese language steamed cake that individuals typically make to have a good time Lunar New Yr. Loosely translated as “prosperity cake,” fats goh blossom as soon as they’re steamed, forming a flower-like high on the cake. This recipe makes about 8 truffles, however you possibly can simply double the recipe to make a bigger batch. I’ve added ginger and cardamom to provide the fats goh extra taste, however be happy to make use of no matter spice mix you favor. See notice 1 for quantity measurements of the flours.

Prep Time40 minutes

Cook dinner Time40 minutes

Substances

  • 4 oz (113g) Betty Crocker white cake combine, (see notice 2)
  • 4 oz (113g) all-purpose or cake flour, (see notice 3)
  • 1 oz (28g) glutinous rice flour, (see notice 4)
  • 1 teaspoon floor ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon floor cardamom, ideally freshly floor
  • 1 giant egg
  • 3/4 cup (175mL/175g) water, can sub with entire milk (see notice 5)
  • 5 tablespoons (62g) darkish brown sugar, can sub with mild brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon sunflower, coconut, or vegetable oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Tools

  • giant wok
  • steaming rack
  • 6-muffin pan, (see notice 6 for various steaming setup)
  • muffin liner cups, (see notice 7)
  • toothpick or bamboo skewer

Directions

Make Batter

  • In a bowl, whisk collectively the cake combine, all-purpose flour (or cake flour), glutinous flour, ginger, and cardamom. Set the bowl apart.

  • In one other bowl, calmly whisk the egg. Add the water (or milk) and provides all the things a fast whisk. Subsequent, add the brown sugar and whisk till the sugar dissolves. Lastly, add the oil and vanilla and whisk once more.

  • Add the flour combination to the moist elements in two additions. Utilizing a picket spoon, combine the moist and dry elements collectively, till you now not see any streaks of dry flour and also you get a comparatively clean batter. It’s okay if there are small lumps within the batter, however break aside any huge ones.

  • To ensure that your fats goh to blossom properly as soon as it’s steamed, the batter must be comparatively thick. To check in case your batter is thick sufficient, use a toothpick or a skewer to attract a line on the batter. If the road floods over in a short time, it means your batter isn’t thick sufficient, and you need to add about 2 tablespoons of flour (the cake combine or all-purpose flour). If the road stays properly outlined after 15 seconds, the batter is thick sufficient.

Steam Desserts

  • Place a tall steaming rack inside a big wok. Fill the wok with water, till there’s a couple of 1/2 to three/4-inch hole between the highest of the steaming rack and the water line. Carry the water to boil on excessive warmth.

  • Whereas the water is boiling, line the muffin pan with paper muffin liners. Fill every muffin cup till it’s about 80% stuffed with batter. I like utilizing a big ice cream scoop for this (you’ll want about 1 stage scoop of batter).

  • Utilizing a toothpick or a bamboo skewer, draw a big plus signal inside the middle of the batter for every cake. Once more, in case your batter is thick sufficient, the strains that you simply draw into the batter ought to stay properly outlined for not less than a couple of minutes.

  • As soon as the water boils, scale back the warmth to medium excessive. Fastidiously place the muffin pan over the steaming rack, cowl the wok with the lid, and steam the fats goh for 20 minutes.

  • Take away the muffin pan from the wok. Let the fats goh cool within the pan for five minutes earlier than transferring to a cooling rack.

  • The water within the wok seemingly can have evaporated barely. Pour extra water into the wok and steam the remaining fats goh.

  • Serve the fats goh barely heat or at room temperature

Storage

  • You possibly can retailer the fats goh in a good container at room temperature for 1 to 2 days. If you happen to reside in a moist local weather, you need to most likely refrigerate the fats goh after a day. The truffles will maintain in a container within the fridge for about 4 to five days. You possibly can eat up the truffles within the microwave.

  • The truffles additionally freeze properly. To reheat the fats goh, steam the truffles at medium-high warmth for 9 to 10 minutes.

Notes

  1. Quantity Measurements for Flours (use spoon-and-sweep methodology to measure flour into measuring cups): Betty Crocker cake combine: 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon; all-purpose flour: 1 cup minus 1 tablespoon; and glutinous rice flour: 1/4 cup minus 1 teaspoon
  2. Cake Combine: My mother usually makes use of Betty Crocker cake combine to make her fats goh. She makes use of no matter taste she will discover, however I choose utilizing the white cake combine, because it has the least artificial taste within the cake combine. You too can attempt utilizing cake mixes from different manufacturers, corresponding to Pillsbury.
  3. Utilizing All-Goal or Cake Flour: My mother’s authentic recipe, and lots of fats goh recipes I’ve seen, use all-purpose flour within the flour mix. I really choose fats goh made with cake flour as a result of the crumb is much less chewy. By cake flour, I’m not referring to formulated cake mixes. As a substitute, I imply the plain, unflavored lower-protein flour that one makes use of to make truffles. Throughout recipe testing, I used King Arthur cake flour.Glutinous Rice Flour
  4. Glutinous Rice Flour will not be the identical as white rice flour–the previous turns sticky as soon as it’s combined with sizzling liquid. I exploit the Erawan model that is available in plastic see-through baggage with the inexperienced label. You possibly can most likely change it with candy rice flour (Bob’s Purple Mill or Mochiko).
  5. Water vs Milk: Mama Lin’s authentic recipe makes use of water for the batter. When testing this fats goh recipe, I discovered that the truffles made with milk had higher taste. The massive draw back is that the truffles don’t crack and blossom as properly when it’s made with milk (the batch on the fitting within the photograph above).
  6. Alternate Steaming Instructions: You possibly can steam the fats goh in silicone muffin cups! Merely line a big pan, plate, or bamboo steamer with silicone cups and and pour batter into the the cups. I observed that the truffles had been barely chewier after I steamed the truffles in silicone muffin cups. I choose a extra cakey texture, which is why I go for steaming the truffles in paper liners with a muffin tin. You possibly can most likely steam the cake in ramekins too, however I’ve not examined that methodology.
  7. Muffin Liners: Don’t use coloured paper liners as a result of the colour can switch to the cake through the steaming course of.

Vitamin

Serving: 1cake | Energy: 178kcal | Carbohydrates: 33g | Protein: 3g | Fats: 3.6g | Saturated Fats: 0.8g | Ldl cholesterol: 23mg | Sodium: 105mg | Fiber: 0.5g | Sugar: 13.8g

Did you make this recipe?Tag @hellolisalin or depart a star ranking and touch upon the weblog!



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