Many chinese cakes are steamed rather than baked. Another characteristic of many chinese cakes is that the cupcake and muffins will have a split open top. You will often see this in cakes served at dim sum or in chinese bakeries. I love the split open top look. It makes the cake look so soft and fluffy as if it is bursting open. The bursting open also shows the tender crumb of the inside of the cake which isn’t apparent in a cake that hasn’t opened.
Recently I stumbled on a series of pumpkin desserts made by “Table for 2 … or more.” I will definitely be revisiting these desserts come next October. However, I couldn’t resist trying a few of them out now.
One entry was for some beautiful pumpkin muffins and I thought that I could try making them but with purple sweet potatoes as I have been on a mission to make as many different kinds of desserts as possible with purple sweet potatoes now that I have finally discovered how to get them to retain their purple color rather than turning gray or green. You can read about my discovery here.
I love the color purple and being able to create purple desserts without food coloring has been so exciting. I modded the recipe slightly since I was using purple sweet potatoes. The cakes came out beautifully. They split open quite nicely and were a pretty pinkish purple.
The texture of the cake is definitely more muffin than cupcake. It is a little bit dense as the result of using a small amount rice flour. I think I may attempt this again without any rice flour. I recently looked back at the original recipe which Table for 2 or more adapted from and it does not use rice flour so I think I might be able to get a fluffier texture without the rice flour.
4. Prepare large pot of boiling water and place steamer on top. You can also use a rice cooker steamer.
5. Spoon batter into cupcake liners. Place the cupcake liners in a firm mold such as ramekins so that the cupcakes hold their form while cooking. Fill cupcake liners about 3/4 full and steam on high heat for 15 minutes.