Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Steamed Chocolate Buns

I remember making steamed buns in the home economics class in elementary school.  We had the class once a week.  We made aprons, or small bags.  we embroidered them.  We cooked simple dishes.  I remember making English style finger sandwiches.  Japanese curry.  Both girls and boys had to take the class.  A few mischievous boys created a new dish of cream and strawberry sandwiches with sprinkles of mountains of salt and pepper.  They nearly froze their fingers off by competing who can tolerate touching ices longer.  The teacher was frustrated, but the cooking part of the class was everybody's favorite.
Chinese style steamed buns were always available in the winter.  It smelled so nice.  I love the aroma of yeast.  But the steamed sweet buns that we cooked in the class didn't require yeast.  The ingredients were more like the ones for muffin or cake.  But instead of baking, we steamed.  I guess it was easy to do so in Japan around 30 years ago because normal household didn't have a oven.  The people might have had the special compartment for grilling fish, but not the oven to bake cake and such.  
So it is more like a steamed cake.  It's popular because it doesn't require much fat, and all you have to do is mixing the ingredients so young children can participate in the kitchen, too.

So remembering the memories, not having enough butter and eggs to spare for sweets today, yet thinking about my daughter coming home starving everyday, and how she loves chocolate and it is almost Valentine's Day, I decided to make steamed chocolate cakes ...or buns.

*Steamed Chocolate Buns*
3/4 cup of all purpose flour
1/4 cup rice flour
1/4 cup cocoa powder
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/3 cup sugar
1table spoon of vegetable oil or melted butter
1/2 cup whole milk

< 1 > Start boiling the water for steaming.
< 2 > Put the all the dry ingredients together in a bowl and mix with a fork.
< 2 > Pour oil and milk in the bowl and mix.
< 3 > Divide the dough to 6 cup cake mold.
< 3 > As soon as the water is boiling, place the buns on the steamer and steam them for 10 minutes.

It's very dense cake but not really rich....  I used less sugar so my daughter can put a spoonful of Nutella on it.  

When I was thinking how some people prefer the steamed cakes since they feel guiltless to have sweets that don't contain much fat nor eggs, my phone rang.  My husband who just had his blood checked out was calling me.  He told me that his cholesterol level came out really great.  He even have high level of good cholesterol.  He is following the diet of omitting gluten as much as possible, but not worrying about eating organic animal fat and coconut oil.  Actually, to conventional eyes, it almost seems like he is consuming excessive fat.  
But he is doing better than the time that he was eating low-fat diet.  So he probably wouldn't touch these buns unless I put a chunk of good cultured butter from Vermont.

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