Sunday, September 26, 2010

From Scratch: Chai Tow Kway

I love fried carrot cake, but I seldom eat it due to the high fat and sodium content. Whenever my friends and I go to Blk 85 market for junk food dinner, I will definitely look forward to this dish. Last week, my mum and I decided to replicate this popular hawker fare at home. Since we were trying out for the first time, we decided to buy read-made radish cake from NTUC. The outcome was ok, but we think the cake could be better as the ready-made ones are mainly flour and water with meager amounts of radish. This week, we challenge ourselves to making the cake from scratch.

I doubled up the recipe and had to grate 3 radish, which totaled up to about 1.4 kg. It was a great workout for my flabby arms! It sure was tiring to grate those. After that was steaming the radish for about 40 mins for it to be cooked.

I went for my guitar lesson while the radish was cooling. After I prepared the rice flour mixture, the radish was still warm, but I had no time to wait for it to cool further, so I just dumped everything together. The amount of radish is really quite generous. The mixture looks like a watery coleslaw and the smell of radish was overwhelming. To my sister, it smells like fart. The mixture was steamed for almost 1 hour 20 minutes. I wasn't sure when it was cooked because the mixture looks wet and sticky. But I gave up after 1 hour 20 mins and decided to let it cool. The cake starts to harden as it cools. After 5 hours of cooling, the cake is still warm and sticky. I decided to put it into the fridge to cool further.

The next morning, the cake hardened more, but was still sticky. I wonder if this is normal for a cake with so much radish. But we still managed to cut to small pieces.

Out first try was not very sucessful. Too bland, cake pieces too large, chai poh too little. For our second try we chopped the cake to smaller pieces, increased the chai poh and added salt while frying the cake, and added seafood for extra flavour. This was much better!

Perhaps I should add more salt while preparing the cake batter. Overall the texture of the cake is pretty good, softer and more fragrant than read-made ones. There is stil more than half of the cake left in the fridge. Another round of chai tow kway next week, perhaps.

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