I love a good everyday cake, and this is the Asian equivalent of that. I love it with good lashings of salted butter while still warm from the steamer. Unlike Western cakes that are eaten at room temperature, this cake is really best eaten freshly steamed.
Malay Cake (Ma Lai Gou)
160g evaporated milk
10g pandan leaves
150g black sugar (you can use powdered jaggery or coconut sugar, but the darker the better)
1 teaspoon dry yeast
180g self-raising flour, sifted
Pinch of salt
1 teaspoon baking soda
50g butter, melted
8-9” pan with holes or steamer, lined
1. Blend eggs, evaporated milk, black sugar, and pandan leaves until homogenized and foamy.
2. Strain and discard pandan leaf pulp.
3. Whisk in yeast and flour.
4. Ferment covered, until the surface is populated like small bubbles (it will look like foam), about 2 hours.
5. When the batter is almost ready, prepare a wok of steaming water for steaming, and a lid wrapped in cloth (or use a bamboo steamer). Make sure that there is enough water in the steamer so that the wok does not dry up halfway through the steaming. Grease and line an 8 or 9” round cake pan with parchment.
6. Meanwhile, whisk together the salt, baking soda, melted butter and about ¼ cup batter in a small bowl.
7. Fold it into the rest of the batter.
8. Transfer to the pan and tap the pan firmly on the bench.
9. Steam high heat for 25-30min (don’t overcook!). Once a toothpick emerges clean and the cake springs back to the touch, it is ready.
10. Eat while hot. Refresh cake slices by steaming briefly if eating when the cake has cooled down.