Chinese New Year's Cake


Cracked Sticks of Chinese New Year's Cake

Happy (super belated) Chinese New Year! We all now how the Chinese LOVE to eat. No joke, where you find Chinese people, you will find a bustling plaza with an asian supermarket and a dozen restaurants. The new year symbolizes renewal, rebirth, and generally celebrating the year that has past and the one that is to come. Every dish traditionally eaten during these celebrations have a unique history.

All you need are 6-7 ingredients! For the flours and slab sugar, they're readily available in Asian supermarkets.

Melting the sticks of slab brown sugar.

Chinese New Year’s Cake, or “leen go” in Cantonese. It is a sort of sticky cake. It’s traditionally eaten during the new year festivities for luck in the new year. 

Glutinous rice flour gives it its stickiness and the light brown colour comes from the brown slab sugar that’s been melted in boiling water. The heat of the water also helps to activate the gluten in the flour. 

I normally use 2 sticks. They come in a pack of four to six so that means more sticky cake! YAY!

The dry ingredients (on the left). Whisking in the dry into the wet (on the right).

Traditionally, Chinese new year cake is steamed but I like to bake mine (with a hot water bath underneath to prevent cracking) for two reasons: it’s much quicker and much easier to lift off the pan. You can eat it just out of the oven.  
Unfortunately, the oven in my condo only has one rack so I was forced to forego the hot water bath. So many cracks!

For an extra treat, let it cool, slice it into 1-inch by 3-inch sticks then fry them in a little bit of butter. The crispiness and caramelized sugar is heavenly whereas the middle is gooey and hot. Unfortunately, this time the cake didn’t last until I had a chance to fry up some sticks. For me, making this cake is a family tradition and there have been some amazing memories formed around it.

Personally, I like to enjoy my Chinese New Year's cake fried in a touch of butter with a tall glass of milk.

5 out of 5 NOMs


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