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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Hong Kong Cakes

With Chinese New Years around the corner, I thought this would be a good time to try to make some hong kong cakes.  Growing up, I would get these little pancakes every time I would visit my cousins in New Jersey.  Luckily, they lived only 20 minutes from New York.  My Aunt and Uncle would pile all of us in a van (5 kids and 4 adults) to take a trip to Chinatown to eat.  As a snack, we would get a bag of little pancakes sold by a little old lady's push cart on the streets of Chinatown.  The steaming bag still reminds me of my childhood. 

The flavors of the cake is hard to describe.  It isn't like a regular pancake.  It is sweeter but light and spongy.  I could probably eat it all day, everyday.  About two years ago, I started my hunt for the recipe.  The first step was to find the exact name of it.  I knew it as little pancakes and it took a while to find it.  I started to give up and began to believe that the recipe was created by the little old lady with the cart.  Then there it was right there on my screen -  HONG KONG CAKES or Egg Waffles.  Now narrowing down the different recipes.  I found a few that recipes that asked for custard powder.  I had no idea what was custard powder.  After even more research, I came to realize it was vanilla pudding.  Before I was able to test the different recipes, I had to find the right pan.  The shape is not a regular flat pancake but it is kinda a foot ball.  I first got an Ebelskiver Pancake Pan.  It kinda worked but not exactly right.  I was not happy with the taste.  I tried every recipe I was able to find but it wasn't right.

Over the summer I was doing some window shopping at Williams-Sonoma, they had the exact pan I was looking for.  The pan even came with a recipe but I was a little hesitant to try it.  I thought it would taste more pancake like but I was so wrong.  It tasted exactly how I remembered it.  I was so excited.

Hong Kong Cakes
(Adapted from Williams-Sonoma)
4 Egg Yolks
6 Egg Whites
1 Cup (180 ml) of Milk
1 Tbs of Vanilla Extract
6 Tbs of Butter (unsalted and soften)
185g of Sugar
1 Cup of Cake Flour
1 Tsp of Baking Powder
Pinch of Nutmeg
1 Tsp of Salt
Vegetable Oil for cooking

  1. Start whipping the egg whites until they reach a medium peak - glossy but a little stiff.
  2. Mix together the egg yolks, milk, vanilla, butter, and sugar until it is well combined.
  3. Sift in the dry ingredients - flour, baking powder, nutmeg, and salt.
  4. Mix well until everything is well incorporated.
  5. Fold in the whipped egg whites a 1/3 at a time.  Make sure to keep it light.
  6. Take the pan and preheat the both sides of the pan on the stove at a medium heat.  
  7. Brush the pan with the vegetable oil and pour 3/4 cup of the batter on one side of the pan in the center.
  8. Place the other side ontop of the batter and flip.  Cook for 2 minutes than flip again and cook fro another 2 minutes.
  9. Open the pan and flip the pancake on a wire rack.
  10. Let it cool and than serve.
This is the Daughters favorite pancake recipe and she asks for it every week.  The Husband used the rest of my batter in our waffle maker and it was as good.  Now I'm craving for some.  I guess I know what I'm making this weekend.

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  1. I've never seen anything like this, but they look like such a wonderful treat! Glad you were able to find the recipe =)

  2. Those are so cool, never heard of them before.

  3. I never saw these before! Look delicious.

  4. That looks really delicious! Love that cute shape and the soft, moist look. Like you, I think I can eat them all day....hehe. I need to check out that pan. Must be so fun to make :D Thanks very much for sharing. I'm booking this to try one day. take care and hope you have a great day!

  5. Thanks everybody, it took me a while to find the recipe and it just took Williams Sonoma to sell the pan to get the right one.

  6. I know these! They are so fluffy to eat.

  7. They look super cute....I could gobble up the entire bag!!

  8. This is my favourite street food growing up in Hong Kong. They are nice when it's hot! I've to get a waffle pan to make these yummy treats.

  9. I never saw these in Hong Kong when we lived there for 3 years. The cakes are so cute and look so so yummy.

  10. Joy:
    Just drop by to say Happy Chinese new Year to you. gong Xi Fa Cai.
    Have not try this pancake before, thanks for sharing.