Just like the popular fortune cookies, the Chinese Steamed Rice Flour Cake popularly known as Haut Keuh, is a quick meal you should never miss while on a visit to China and its environs. Huat’ literally means ‘rise’ or ‘bloom’ in Chinese. Usually, this is in reference to prosperity, luck, and fortune. Therefore it is often referred to as ‘prosperity cake’ which is often made for special occasions such as Chinese New Year or as offering for prayers. As huat kueh signifies good luck and fortune, it is important to achieve the split top which resembles abundance. In the olden days, there were a lot of taboos associated with the preparation of this cake which includes no quarrelling in the kitchen, no unlucky words mentioned, no peeping into the steamers and so on. Here is how Haut Keuh is prepared:
200g rice flour
100g icing sugar
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp baking powder
food colouring (optional, pink is most commonly used)
6 cupcake-sized bowls (as steaming moulds)
Cling wrap or waterproof baking paper (for steaming)
- Prepare a steamer by bringing water to boil on high heat.
- Line each bowl with cling wrap or a piece of baking paper. Make sure the lining is as close to the sides as possible.
- In a mixing bowl, sift rice flour, baking powder, and icing sugar. Add water and food colouring, and mix well.
- Just before filling the moulds with the batter add baking soda and mix well.
- Fill each mould with ¾ full and steam on high heat for 15-20 mins. Insert a skewer into the middle of the cake. If the skewer comes out clean, the huat kueh is ready.
- Remove from steamer then take the huat kueh out from the moulds to cool.
- Serve plain or with any breakfast spread. When it becomes dry and hard the next day, steam the cakes again before eating.