About this recipe:This is a different interpretation of the traditional steamed Chinese sponge cake. It's light, fluffy and totally moreish. You can also make this recipe in smaller tins for individual servings.
Makes: 1 23cm round cake
2 teaspoons dried active baking yeast
125ml warm water
75ml melted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
215g cake flour
70g polenta or fine cornmeal
65g caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
40g raisins (optional)
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Sprinkle the yeast over 125ml of warm water in a small bowl. The water should be no more than 40 degrees C. Let stand for 5 minutes until the yeast softens and begins to form a creamy foam.
Beat egg, melted butter, vanilla extract and milk together in a large bowl, until smooth. Sieve cake flour, polenta/cornmeal, sugar and salt together in a small bowl, then stir the flour mixture into the egg mixture, mixing until just combined. Stir in the yeast mixture until smooth. Cover with a tea towel and let rise in a warm place (27 to 35 degrees C) until doubled in volume, 1 to 2 hours. Pour mixture into a 23cm round tin lined with baking parchment. Sprinkle with raisins.
Place a steamer insert into a saucepan and fill with water to just below the bottom of the steamer. Cover and bring the water to the boil over high heat. Add the cake, recover and steam until a cocktail stick inserted into the centre comes out clean, about 25 minutes. Cool in the tin for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack.
Has a low protein content compared to plain flour.
It makes light and tender cakes. To make your own, sieve together 125g plain flour with 2 tablespoons of cornflour.