Saturday 2 April 2011

Steamed Egg Cake (Ji Dan Gao) and Red Bean Soup

Steamed Egg Cake or also known as Ji Dan Gao (雞蛋糕) is one of the tradition steamed cake, which is commonly used for praying purpose during festive occasion such as Chinese Lunar New Year. I still remember vividly when I was a child, I used to help my mum using those old fashion handheld egg eater to beat 8 or 10 eggs together with sugar. Although the process was tiring but I always look forwards to enjoy my favourite teacake after the praying. And to me that was the most delicious homemade cake compared to those fancy varieties that we have nowadays.

So when I read the steamed egg cake post on Ju's blog, my heart was filled with joy and I immediately shares the post with my mum where it brings back a lot of our Kampong days memories. During the chat she still mentioned we used to beat the cake batter manually using hand beater for at least 20 minutes and while beating she would get ready the steamer over the charcoal stove.

Although there are many ways of making this traditional cake such as using leavening agent like baking powder or fizzy drinks like cream soda or 7-Up. But no matter which is your preference I am sure it will still brings out the old time flavour. (Here I am a bit upset that my cake did not "Smile" (open up) at the end of steaming process)

(adapted from Ju, TheLittleTeochew HERE)
Ingredients: (make 7" round cake)
4 Large Egg
210g Caster Sugar
230g Cake Flour, sifted 2 - 3 times
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Essence
120ml Cream Soda

~ For my mum's version she added 1 tablespoon of freshly pound pandan juice instead of vanilla essence to enhance the fragrance of this steamed egg cake.

1. Whisk eggs in a large mixing bowl till frothy, add in sugar in 3 - 4 batches to ensure it is well incorporated.

2. Add vanilla essence and continue beating until the batter becomes very pale, thick and creamy. Meanwhile, heat up wok, pot or steamer until you get a gentle boil. (Do make sure the pot/steamer is large enough to fit the cake tin and has ample space for the batter to rise and steam to circulate.)

3. Fold in the sifted flour in thirds, alternating with the soda and ending with flour.

4. Pour the cake mixture into prepared baking tin or bamboo steam that is lined with greaseproof paper.

5. Pop it into the pot/steamer, cover and steam on high heat for about 30 minutes or when skewer insert and comes out clean.

6. Once done, remove the cake from tin, place it on a rack and allow to cool before cutting.

Red Bean Soup (红豆汤) is one of the popular dessert served during Chinese New Year, wedding and etc and you can easily grab a bowl or two at any local dessert stall range from S$0.70 to $2.20 each depending on the stalls and location. We love both the red and green bean soup so I usually would rotate these two dessert in our menu at least once or twice a month.

Ingredients: (serves 2 - 4)
200g Red Bean
1.8 Litres of Water
1/2 Pieces of Candied Tangerine
A few Pieces of Pandan Leave, tied into knots
Cane Sugar to Taste

1. Rinse the red beans with in a large bowl, remove any dirt or spoilt beans. Drain and set aside.

2. Bring 1.8 Litre of water to boil in a medium saucepan (I used my small Endo, thermal magic cooker), add in red beans and when the water comes to boil again, lower the heat and simmer for about 10 minutes.

3. Remove the pot from stove and place it into the magic cooker, cover and let the bean continue to cook through using the heat from the pot.

4. After 30 minutes, remove the pot and simmer it on low heat for another 10 minutes together with the candied tangerine and pandan leaves.

5. When done, place the pot back into the magic cooker, cover and let it cook for another 20 minutes till the beans became soften.

6. Remove the pandan leave and add in cane sugar/caster sugar to taste while simmer the pot on stove over low heat.

*7. If using normal pot, just simmer the red bean together with pandan leaves and candied tangerine for about 30 - 40 minutes till the bean soften before adding sugar to taste.

The inner pot of this magic cooker can be used on any stoves as well as on induction cookers which then helps to save time, gas or electricity and at the same time achieve perfect cooking too.

Here we have a very simple old school types of afternoon tea snack such as homecook Red Bean Soup served with slices of freshly Steamed Egg Cake. Love the nutty flavour from the red bean soup that pairs well with hint of tangerine fragrance from candied tangerine. There is another way which I love to eat my steamed egg cake is to dip it slowly in either Coffee or Milo. So what's your favourite way of eating these lovely steamed egg cake?


  1. This is an old time fav in our household. It is the only cake my mom know how to make ha ha..we like to spread kaya on it or dip in into kopi-o.

  2. Parsley Sage2/4/11 11:41 pm

    Two desserts I'd never heard of before! Thanks so much for sharing :)

  3. this is my family's favorite. no matter how much we make, it's always gone within a day.

  4. Hey I think your cake looks light and soft. I like it without any rising agent added. One of my childhood favorite snack I grew up with. Yum yum!

  5. I love red bean and this soup looks so yummy. I am not familiar with pandan leaves might be a secret ingredient. Looks so good.....

  6. Wow Ellena, your ji dan gao looks so fluffy!! my mum and my fav! I love your basket and i wonder where you get them :( quite hard to get them here in Aussie.

  7. Meee tooo I love to dip it in coffee or tea :)

  8. Pandan Leaves are just like natural vanilla essence which act as flavouring to the cake or dessert :) Mb u can try your luck at those asian stall in Chinatown town area :)

  9. Weng, I am not sure which part of Aussie you are in. But during my stay in Toowoomba, I used to stock up whatever i need in Brisbane Chinatown or a town b4 brisbane where they have a lot of asian stalls. One of it is known as "YUAN supermarket". U might be able to find there. Or mb try Silly Solly or some asian shop. I still using my dim sum steamer from there till nw..... (10yrs le) lolz

  10. Carineyee124/4/11 9:15 am

    my grandma love steamed egg cake. so soft and tender. maybe i should make this for her!

  11. Hi, the steam cake is my favourite...the cream soda is it a drink?

  12. Cream soda is a fizzy drink. U can replace it by 7-Up or Sprite too :)

  13. mycookinghut12/4/11 3:37 am

    I think I need to make some red bean soup soon.. miss eating this simple dessert!

  14. I´m just sayg ha the best breakfast i´ve ever had was during my time in Argentina. Next to the buenos aires apartment I was living in, there was a bakery place which had the most delicious croassants.

  15. hello, made steamed egg cake today but a bit different from your recipe. read somewhere about making the cake smile and thought i'll share with you.

    --> sprinkle sugar across the mixture before putting into the steamer

  16. Hi Ellena, been looking for this recipe for a long time...thanks for sharing it. My favorite childhood snack. My mom misplaced the recipe and I was devastated. Now I'm elated, will try to make it soon and surprise my mom. Hooray thanks again.

    1. Thanks :) hope to hear from your feedback soon :)

  17. the candy dried the one which sell in market ?

  18. Can use multi purpose all flour?

  19. Hi Ellena, Just received a La Gourment 7L Thermal Cooker gift from my brother in-law. Was wondering whether you have other recipes that you have tried using this gadget? Hope I can make good use of this cooker. TQ

    1. Hi Kimmy,

      Thermal Cooker is a great gift to add on to the kitchen pantry. You can use it too boil soup, stew, congee and dessert.

      For example, I often used my 2L pot to cook congee as lunch for my boy. Pre-soak the uncooked rice at least an hour or two.

      Bring 1.5L stock or water to boil, add carrot, corn, pork ribs and etc. Add in rice (drain well) then cook on medium low heat for 10 minutes and stand in pot to continue cooking. I usually reheat it an hour b4 eating and let it stand in pot to continue cooking so that by the time my boy reached home he gets to enjoy a bowl of yummy congee. HTH


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