When I was young, my dad would often make this simple steamed white cake. It had a touch of sweetness, and was light and fluffy. In it's simplicity, there was something special about it.
I remember watching my dad make it once. And it seemed really simple. A cup of this. A cup of that. That was it. (Well, it wasn't actually a cup. It was a rice bowl. The recipe just called for equal parts of a few key ingredients, and in our household, the rice bowl was the measurement tool.)
I woke up in the middle of the night one of the first nights I returned from Hong Kong. Jet lag. I couldn't sleep. I was tossing and turning. And some how my mind started thinking about this steamed white cake. I hadn't thought about it in years, and last tasted it even longer ago. I wanted this steamed white cake. I could taste it on my tongue. I couldn't take it anymore. I had to get up and try to make it.
I thought I remembered the recipe. But as I was making it, it didn't seem quite right. Something was missing.
I called my dad the next day. He filled me in on the missing ingredient. Pancake batter. Good old Bisquick. Yikes. I would have never remembered that. I had managed to have forgotten one of the key ingredients (there are after all, only four ingredients.)
I finally made the steamed white cake a few days ago. And it was even better than I remembered it. The simple simple SIMPLE cake had hit the spot. And took me back to my childhood. Right back into the kitchen, standing around the counter picking at the cake as it was still hot. Right there with my sister, dad and mom.
It never ceases to amaze me how food can take you back to a specific moment in time. A moment in your life, in your past. How so many feelings can be conjured up just by the scent or taste of food.
Dad's Steamed White Cake
1 cup cake flour
1 cup pancake mix
1 cup sugar
1 cup water
In large bowl, combine ingredients. Stir well and make sure to get rid of all of the lumps. Pour mixture into shallow dish (even a pie tin would work.) Gently tap to get rid of the bubbles on the top. Steam for 30 min on medium heat. Let cool and enjoy!