This is a fun way to celebrate the new year and share with the neighbours! I like to use a square cake mold if you can find one and once the cake has cooled slightly, cut it into bite size rectangles.
• 3 1/4 cups glutinous
• 2/3 cup brown sugar
• 7 ounces boiling water
• 1/2 cup Chinese dates, softened in water, cut in half, pits removed, or 1/2 cup other dried fruit or 1/4 cup dates and 1/4 cup whole almonds
• 1 tbsp milk
• Water, as needed
• 1 tbsp white sesame seeds
• 1 tbsp vegetable oil
1. Prepare the wok for steaming by placing a bamboo basket in the wok over hot water. The steam rising will cook the cake.
2. In a bowl, mix the boiling water and the sugar, stirring to dissolve. Soak the Chinese dates in hot water for at least 30 minutes to soften. Cut the dates in half and remove the pits.
3. Place the glutinous rice flour in a large bowl. Make a well in the middle and stir in the sugar and water mixture. Add the milk and begin shaping the dough. Add 1 tbsp of water to the dough at a time, until you have smooth dough. Incorporate 1/2–3/4 of the Chinese dates and almonds.
4. Grease a 6-inch cake pan with the vegetable oil. Place the dough in the cake pan and spread it out to the edges. Decorate with the remaining dates, lightly pushing them into the dough. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on top.
5. Steam the cake over medium-high to high heat for 30 minutes, or until the edges of the cake pull away from the pan. Remove the cake from the heat and cool.