Monday, 19 January 2015

Osmanthus Wolfberry Water Chestnut Cake Roses (桂花枸杞子马蹄糕)

Lots of yummy but heaty food are available during the Chinese New Year period. Why not try this simple refreshing dessert that is healthy and cooling :). Presenting my auspicious looking gold-and-red osmanthus wolfberry water chestnut cakes dressed up as roses!

Don't be deceived by our looks. We are very easy to make!

I made osmanthus water chestnut cake with whole wolfberries inside some time back. This is another lovely variation of the dessert. You may double or triple the recipe but it would involve using 2 or more steaming plates for each flavour of water chestnut cake. You may adjust the amount and type of sugar (white, brown or rock sugar) according to your preference too. My version is mildly sweet.

Osmanthus water chestnut cake
25g water chestnut powder/flour (Available at large TCM shops and some supermarkets in the agar powder section.)
60g (1/4 cup) cool water
120g (1/2 cup) osmanthus tea (Boil water and steep 2 tbs of dried osmanthus flowers in 140ml of water for 5 minutes. Strain out the flowers.)
15g brown sugar
10g white sugar (Alternatively, you may replace all sugar with rock sugar)

1. Mix well A) and sieve to remove/break up undissolved bits. Set aside.

2. Bring osmanthus tea to boil with sugars. Turn off heat once boiled and sugar is dissolved.

3. Stir A) again and slowly pour into B) while stirring B) continuously.

4. Pour into large heat-proof plate that is greased with a bit of cooking oil. Make sure the depth of the mixture is 5mm or less in the plate. The thinner it is, the more rose-like your end product will be but it may be trickier to handle.

5. Steam at medium high heat for 10 minutes. Cool completely at room temperature.

Wolfberry water chestnut cake
25g water chestnut powder/flour
60g cool water
65g wolfberry puree/juice (Rinse and soak 2 tbs of dried wolfberries in about 100ml of hot water until soft. Blend and strain. You can choose not to strain if you prefer more bite.)
55g water or osmanthus tea
25g brown sugar
Tiny drop of liquid red food colouring (optional)

Same as the above. Just place all ingredients in B) in a small saucepan to boil,  turn off heat before adding in A) gradually.

Here comes the fun part...Assembly!

1. Use a round cutter to cut out circles and cut each circle in half. Use a non-stick mat or baking sheet as your work surface.

2. Line the semi-circles up over-lapping each other. You may alternate the flavours of "petals" for a nice balance of osmanthus and wolfberry flavors.

3. Roll up and you have a pretty rose! As the cake is sticky and very bendy, the petals will naturally roll and stick well.

I have used this technique for creating steamed rose mantous, rose bread loaf and chiffon cake roses!

Chill the roses in the fridge before serving for a cool and refreshing dessert!

With love,
Phay Shing

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