I know it is not Chinese New Year yet but my three-year-old son and I have made some Nian Gao (sticky rice cake) yesterday. My little boy was the chef and handled all the stirring and mixing and pouring for me. What I did was to measure the ingredients, melt the sugar in the milk and take the pan in and out of the oven for him… okay okay let’s not talk about the clean up part. My son was really proud of himself as the rice cake tasted so good. The top crust has always been my favorite (that’s why I like baked nian gao more than the steamed ones). This time I baked them in mini silicon pans so every piece was an edge piece!
Baked Red Bean and Coconut Sticky Rice Cake (Nian Gao)
makes an 8 by 8 inch cake or 9 2.25 by 3.5 inch mini cakes
320 g glutinous rice flour
80 g rice flour
1 tsp baking powder
120 g demerara sugar
240 g coconut milk
240 g milk
60 g canola or vegetable oil
2 large eggs
1 cup cooked red beans
Notes: The eggs I use are about 50 g each without shells
Preheat oven to 350ºF/180ºC. Grease baking pan and place a parchment paper on the bottom of pan (skip this step if silicon mold is used). Set aside.
Combine sugar and milk in a large bowl then heat in the microwave until sugar is dissolved (or place the sugar and milk in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat until sugar is dissolved). Stir in coconut milk, oil and eggs. Whisk until combined. This is your wet ingredients.
Combine and sift the flours and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and make a well in the center. Pour the wet ingredients into the well. Whisk until smooth and thoroughly combined. Strain batter to get rid of any lumps if needed.
Fill pan with half of the batter (I used mini silicon molds). Sprinkle a layer of cooked red beans on top, adding as little or as much as you wish. Then pour remaining batter evenly over the top. Tap pan against the table top several times to get rid of any large bubbles.
Bake until a wooden skewer inserted into the center of rice cake comes out clean, about 35 to 40 minutes in my oven. Broil for a few minutes until golden brown.on top.
Transfer pan to wire rack to cool slightly before unmolding. Slice into pieces and serve warm. If the top crust becomes soft the next day, simply toast the rice cake in the oven for 5 minutes to regain crunchiness..