You haven’t really known cake until you’ve had it steamed. There’s a Chinese restaurant in Sheffield where you can get hulking portions of Malaysian steamed sponge cake: firm, featherweight, cakey and moist, all at once. These milk cakes are a riff on that; raspberry curd adds sharp-sweetness and the granola gives bite. You’ll need silicone muffin cases to make them.
Milk cakes with raspberry and rosewater curd
Prep 15-20 min
Cook 40-45 min
For the granola
25g rolled oats
25g flaked almonds or chopped hazelnuts
1 tbsp runny honey
1 tsp vegetable oil
For the cakes
50g unsalted butter, softened
75g caster sugar
25g milk powder
1 large egg white
100g plain flour
1½ tsp baking powder
1 pinch salt
75ml whole milk
For the raspberry and rose curd
100g frozen raspberries
35g caster sugar
2 tsp cornflour
1 large egg yolk
15g unsalted butter
First, make the granola. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/gas 4 and mix the oats, nuts, honey and oil in a bowl. Scatter the clumpy mixture over a parchment-lined oven tray and bake for 20-25 minutes, stirring once halfway. The granola should be golden and fragrant. It will become crunchy as it cools.
Now prepare the steamer for the cakes: fill a large pan with a couple of inches of water, then set a bamboo steamer stack (or whatever steamer you happen to have) on top and put over a medium-low heat to bring the water to a steady simmer.
Beat the butter and sugar until lightly and fluffy, then add the milk powder and egg white, stirring well, until smooth. Mix in the flour, baking powder and salt, followed by the milk. Divide this smooth, velvet batter between eight lightly greased silicone muffin cases. Distribute the muffin cases between the tiers of the steamer, put on the lid and steam for 20 minutes. They won’t brown as they would in the oven; instead, they’ll remain milky-white, soft and tender, rising to give a rich, firm sponge.
While the cakes steam, make the raspberry and rose curd. Combine the raspberries, sugar and a tablespoon or two of water in a small pan and heat for five minutes or so, until the juice is simmering and the berries have broken down. Press through a sieve to remove the seeds.
Whisk the cornflour with the egg yolk, then slowly stir in the raspberry puree. Once smooth, decant back into the pan and cook, until just beginning to simmer – it should become thicker and glossy. Stir in the butter until melted, add a few drops of rosewater to taste, then take off the heat and leave to cool.
Serve the cakes either warm from the steamer, or cool, dishing them out topped with a dollop of raspberry and rose curd and a scattering of crisp granola.