Saturday, May 7, 2011

For a Change: Matcha Chocolate Steamed Cakes

I have to admit, I've neglected my oven in favour of GE news. In fact, I have neglected almost everything, included sleep and thesis writing (my boss won't be too happy to hear about this), in favour of GE news and rally videos. After 2 weeks of hiatus, I'm still neglecting my oven, because I've decided to go for a change: steamed cakes.

The only other steamed cakes I've made were the traditional huat kueh. But I have always wanted to try out some steamed cakes recipe as I'm actually quite fond of the mango steamed cake from Four Leaves bakery. I saw this lovely cake from Ellena's blog and Nami's blog and decided to tweak Nami's recipe to a matcha chocolate swirl cupcake.

I'm not very satisfied with the outcome and will make a few changes the next time I make this: I'll try using cake flour instead; I'll add in more sugar; I'll add in more milk as well as the batter is quite dry.

Ingredients (makes 7 muffin sized cakes):

Matcha batter:
75 g plain flour (will try cake flour next time)
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp matcha powder
1 egg
2 tbsp milk (will add more next time)
2 tbsp sugar (will add more next time)
1 tbsp vegetable oil

Chocolate batter:
75 g plain flour (will try cake flour next time)
1 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tbsp cocoa powder
1 egg
3 tbsp milk
2 tbsp sugar (will add more next time)
2 tbsp vegetable oil

  1. Prepare 7 muffin cups and line them with paper liners. Prepare steamer.
  2. Sift flour, baking powder and matcha powder together.
  3. Whisk together egg, milk, sugar and oil.
  4. Add wet ingredients from 2 to dry ingredients from 1 and mix.
  5. Repeat above steps for chocolate mixture.
  6. Spoon matcha and chocolate batter aternately into cups. Swirl using a toothpick.
  7. Steam on high for 10-12 mins.
Adapted from Nami's Steamed Cake.

How receptive are you to changes? I have to admit, I'm not very receptive to changes, so much so that I am always reluctant to step out of my comfort zone. However, when I realize that things are not going in the right direction, I know that change is needed.

We have all been eating at the bak chor mee stall (in reference to mrbrown's brillant podcast) for 51-52 years. To be honest, I'm sick of bak chor mee. The stall uncle is arrogant, the quality of the noodles is dropping, the price keeps going up and the stall is getting too crowded. When the uncle realized that he may be losing customers, he started to threaten us and called us "daft" and "noisy" and tried to "bribe" us by promising to add more ingredients into the bak chor mee . On top of all these, he started bad-mouthing other stalls, calling their stalls "slums" and even launched personal attacks on the other stall owners. When he realized that all these may not work, he started apologizing to customers in a bid to win them back. I know this bak chor mee stall has what he calls "track record", because they have been around for many decades. But so what? 50 years ago, this bak chor mee stall also did not have any track record to start with!

This year, we the customers are pretty lucky. Other that the bak chor mee stall, we have other choices. For my area, it's the peranakan stall (although the chio-bu helper is not in this area). I'm more than willing to give them a chance, just like I did 5 years ago. Of course, I don't know if their nonya kueh tastes good because I've never eaten at their stall before. But I would like to give it a try, only then can I compare it with the bak chor mee. Too bad my area doesn't have Teochew muay, but I do hope people in areas with Teochew muay stalls will patronize them.

Everyone is entitled to his opinions, but I feel sad when I see my friends who complain about the bak chor mee stall but yet cannot be bothered to check out what other stalls there are. I guess they are probaby those who do not want change or are afraid of change, or even worse, afraid that the bak chor mee uncle will come after them. I can understand, for some areas, other stalls looks like they will bound to cause you to "lao sai", so for those areas, I have to agree that the bak chor mee stall is the better choice, but for the other stalls with promising cooks, I wish customers will give them a chance. Of course change can proceed in 2 directions: for the better, which of course is good; or for the worse, which I think will let customers realize what is good for them, and emerge stronger than before. Another group of customers are those who sing praises of the bak chor mee uncle and insist on patronising his stall. I have no comments on this group as they are entitled to their own preference.

Today is the day where we all make our choice. I really really hope that there will be a variety of stalls all over Singapore. My worst fear is for the bak chor mee stall to dominate every single corner of this country. If that is so, I cannot foresee any bright future for this place, for future generations of Singaporeans, for my family, and for myself.


  1. nice steamed cakes. Chocolate and matcha do make a nice combination from my experience.

    That's an interesting Bak Chor Mee theory. If the bak chor mee standard drops and never heed feedbacks from customers, I am less inclined to visit the store. I don't really like to be told which stall I should frequent. I make my own informed choice.

  2. Hi ZY,
    Matcha and chocolate do make a nice combi, but unfortunately the texture of the cakes was too hard.

    The bak chor mee theory was from mrbrown ( I can't stop laughing after I heard this podcast.

  3. This is so cool... I don't have an oven... and I think it is cheaper to invest to a steamer. I am trying to look for making bread or cake without using an over and your post is a great help... I love macha too...

    ill be following you