Ma Lai Go is one of my favorite steamed cakes. I had this very often for breakfast when I lived in Singapore. I stopped by this little shop on my way to work to get this steamed cake. This sponge cake is light and springy almost like angel food cake, but I think angel food cake is much lighter as it has only egg whites and this cake uses whole eggs. You will see this cake at dim sum restaurants as well.
This cake is very easy to make with only 3 ingredients: eggs, sugar and flour. I made this while my 5-month old is taking her 30-minute nap.
The Chinese likes to steam this cake in a round pan. Round is being interpreted as “smooth” – Everything will go smoothly for everyone.
And so here it is… Ma Lai Go.
- 4 eggs
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 cup all-purpose flour/plain flour
- Prepare your steamer. Fill the steamer pan half full of water and bring to a rolling boil over high heat. Reduce the heat to medium until you are ready to steam. Please take a note that the steamer must be ready when the batter is ready. Don't let the batter sits around waiting for the steamer
- In a mixing bowl, beat the eggs and sugar with a mixer until the sugar dissolves. Add the flour gradually and use rubber spatula and beat until fluffy for around 5 minutes. Pour the batter into an 8-inch round glass casserole or souffle dish
- Bring the water in the steamer back to a rolling boil and set the batter in the steamer and steam over medium heat for 25-30 minutes, or until a knife inserted into the center comes out clean. The surface of the cake will be bumpy and that's normal
- The cake will puff up. Turn off the heat and wait for the steam to subside before opening the lid. Be careful with the steam released from the steamer. Remove the cake from the steamer and cool completely before cutting into slices
COMMON MISTAKES WHILE MAKING MA LAI GO:
1. Did not beat the mixture for at least 5 minutes or until slightly light and fluffy. It won’t be as light as angel food cake, however, it should turn pale and slightly light
2. The water in the steamer is not on rolling boil while steaming the cake and the cake won’t rise
3. Greasing the sides of the pan with oil and the cake won’t rise
I’ve already eaten one before taking this photo. Another slice was on the plate and another slice was in the souffle dish. Those two were gone the seconds after I took this photo. Uh-oh!