I have tried making Ma Lai Koh (steamed version of this cake I think) without much success, twice. So I thought, maybe I'll get better result with this baked version which has similar holes in it. I must say, this version needs more work, like caramelising the sugar first before adding into the batter. On the plus side, I do not have to make any starter dough which needs overnight proving and also another 2 hours of proving of the batter and a further wait of 20 minutes before steaming. Glad to say that I managed to pull this through with more success than the steamed version. When you cut through the cake and see lots of holes like its namesake, you know you've got it right!
Got this recipe from this blog....I'll paste the recipe here for my own easy reference.
Makes one 8" round cake
200g caster sugar
160g condensed milk
180g all-purpose flour
2½ tsp baking soda
* sifted together
- Caramelize sugar over low heat in a saucepan until it is golden brown. Keep stirring to prevent burning.
- Add water slowly to the caramel. Be careful as the hot caramel will splash when water is added. Continue to heat until syrup is homogeneous. Remove from heat. Melt butter in the hot syrup. Set aside to cool completely.
- While waiting for syrup to cool, lightly beat the eggs with a hand whisk in a mixing bowl. Add condensed milk and mix well.
- Pour the egg mixture into the sifted flour and mix well.
- Add caramel syrup to the batter and mix well to combine. Pour into the prepared pan and leave to proof for 20 minutes to enable the baking soda to react before baking at 170 deg C for 1 hour with a bottom heat only (alternatively, cover the top of the cake with a piece of aluminium foil). Original recipe said 30-40 minutes which is definitely not enough for my oven. Mine took as long as 1 hour to cook.
- Leave in oven for 5 minutes before taking out to cool completely on rack.
- Last but not least, say a pray and cut your cake to see if it has those desired holes in it! :D