Though the recipe for the steamed carrot cake is cake based, it’s actually inspired by Singapore’s carrot cake, or chai tow kway as most call it. In this recipe, Anna utilises the latest technique that she’s picked up: steaming. Instead of baking the carrot cake, she steams it with wonderful results. The addition of ginger and cinnamon in this recipe brings out stronger flavours.
As for the sweet potato ice cream, it’s inspired by Ube, also known as purple yam, that’s used in a variety of desserts in the Philippines. Even if you are not a fan of sweet potatoes, you will like this dessert. It’s not too sweet and has a creamy texture; you might even forget that it’s made from sweet potatoes.
For health nuts, this is a great alternative to ice creams found in grocery stores. If you’re planning to make a larger batch, do note that for every 250ml of whipping cream, add 15ml of skim milk powder.
Grease six 150ml ramekins and place them in a pan with sides that are higher than the ramekins. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
In a large mixing bowl, whisk the carrots , oil, brown sugar, honey, ginger, egg and egg yolk by hand until evenly blended.
In a separate mixing bowl, sift the flour, cinnamon, pepper, baking powder, baking soda and salt. Add this to the carrot mixture and stir by hand until evenly combined (the batter will be very wet). Stir in the fresh crushed pineapple. Divide this between the prepared ramekins.
Pour boiling hot water around the ramekins so that it comes up halfway and cover the pan with foil or a lid. Bake the carrot cakes for 35-40 minutes, until a tester inserted in the centre of a cake comes out clean. Alternatively, use a bamboo steamer to steam the cakes. Remove the ramekins immediately onto a cooling rack, and cool the cakes for at least 30 minutes before serving, or they can be served at room temperature. To serve, run a palette knife around the inside edge of each ramekin and turn the cake out onto a plate.
Sweet potato ice cream
Preheat the oven to 190°C. Pierce the sweet potato with a fork and bake it until tender, about an hour. Cool it completely, peel it and puree the sweet potato until smooth. Measure out 260g of the puree into a large mixing bowl.
Whisk the coconut milk, cream, sugar, corn syrup, milk powder and vanilla into the sweet potato puree until smooth. Pour this into an ice cream make and churn following manufacturer's instructions. Once frozen (but it will still be soft), transfer the ice cream to a non-reactive container and freeze until firm. Alternatively, use liquid nitrogen to freeze the mixture to ice-cream consistency.
Note: The cake can be served on its own, or with a scoop of ice cream, crème fraiche and/or caramel sauce.