edible yet questionable

So that mystery batter was for a steamed cake! I got the recipe from my friend Michiko. It is supposed to be a copy of the steamed cake from the esteemed Kimura-ya Bakery of Japan.


Click to see a slice! (I can’t figure out how to do those mouseover images in MT, so you’re just going to have to click)
It was a fun cake to make, but I can’t decide if it tastes good or gross. I had a small piece, and Peter had a small piece, and now the thing is sitting on the counter. I am pretty sure the texture is not optimal. I imagine the Kimura-ya cake to be featherlight, with a very fine crumb. Mine was rather rubbery with big holes. Well, if you want to try it, the recipe follows.
I also spent some time today beading. I am occasionally overcome by an urgency to bead, even though I know squat about it. I also can’t make an eye hook to save my life. I made all of these today:
ears copy.jpg
They are gifts, but I decided to keep the green earrings.
I’ll be out of town for the next few days, so no blogging. I am going to see some knitbloggers, though, so hopefully I’ll have some fun things to share when I return!


Steamed Cake ala Kimura-ya Bakery (this was translated from the Japanese then converted from grams and other Japanese measurements, so it’s like a game of telephone gone awry. No wonder my cake was rubbery)
5 eggs
250g light brown sugar (sanbon-to) [1 1/8 c packed brown sugar]
180g cake flour [1 1/4 c]
3 1/3 tablespoons dry powdered milk
1 teaspoon soy sauce (yes, that really says soy sauce)
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 teaspoons water
120 ml vegetable oil [1/2 c]
Break the eggs into a large mixing bowl and beat until thick. This will take a few minutes. Add the brown sugar and beat until well mixed. Sift the cake flour over the batter, add the powdered milk and soy sauce, and beat until well mixed and smooth. Cover well with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Next day: combine the baking powder, soda, water, and oil. Add to the batter and mix well. Set up your steamer, lining it completely with a damp cloth. When the water is boiling, pour in the batter and steam over high heat for 10 minutes. Reduce the heat to medium then steam for an additional 20 minutes. The cake should have twice the volume of the batter. Remove from steamer and cool.

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15 Responses to edible yet questionable

  1. Reid says:

    Hi Mariko,
    I’ve never seen that type of cake at the Kimura-ya Bakery that we have here in Hawaii. I’ll ask the staff about it. If they do plan on offering this cake, I’ll let you know how it tastes once I try it. =)

  2. jill says:

    Hi Mariko,
    A sporadic knitter, I have been dipping into your blog for about 9 months now, and you have recently got me feasting on other food blogs too. If you wouldn’t mind posting the original recipe in Japanese, I’d be happy to try it out here and report back and we’ll see if that makes a difference.
    cheers, jill in tsukuba, japan

  3. chris says:

    For what it’s worth, your cake looks almost exactly like the steamed cake that I eat at my favorite Vietnamese restaurant . . . theirs is kind of rubbery, too. I think it might be made with rice flour, though — not sure.

  4. kathi says:

    hi mariko-
    my mom makes the very same thing…and i have exactly the same issues with it…not my favorite thing but it is edible!

  5. Anonymous says:

    yummy! i love that stuff. Brings back childhood memories. Why is it brown? I rememeber it being white.

  6. Jenny says:

    I love the blue ones with orange polka-dots! So funky :)

  7. froggy says:

    great gifts. and that steamed cake sounds really interesting.

  8. Lisa says:

    Love them! I love beaded earings.

  9. Jennifer says:

    Mariko, don’t know if this is up your alley, but for some reason I thought of you when I found this:
    http://www.yamaha-motor.co.jp/global/entertainment/papercraft/animal/japan/index.html
    Dare ya to make one! (And even more rare animals on a previous page). I’m partial to the macaque myself.
    Jennifer in Tokyo

  10. Becky says:

    I *love* steamed cake. The ones I’ve tried are spongy, but rather compact.

  11. Estelle says:

    The earings are really pretty, congratulations.

  12. melissa says:

    My mom and grandma used to make steamed cake when I was a kid. It was really good. I bet it’s similar to what you made. The beading you did looks fantastic! Way to go!

  13. Marie says:

    Love the jewellery! I have difficulties with eye hooks too, I find that round nosed pliers are useful though.

  14. Melanie says:

    Where on Earth did you find that cupcake charm??? Im desperate for one now. PLEASE e-mail me!!

  15. Michiko says:

    The cake *looks* wonderful, I wish it had better texture! The beading is terrific. We’re going to be in Portland for most of August. If you just happen to be in town, get my parents’ telephone number from your mom! We’ll be spending part of the time chasing Akiko down at horse shows in Canada so that we can at least set eyes on her, but we’ll be around.

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