Nian Gao (Baked Sweet Potato Sticky Rice Cakes) Recipe

Nian gao is a homonym for the Chinese phrase “nian nian gao sheng,” which means increasing prosperity year after year. It is a dish indigenous to southern China in sweet and savory forms, and traveled with the diaspora to southeast Asia. This modern spin on classic nian gao comes from the food writer Christopher Tan, who wrote a book on Singaporean pastries titled “The Way of Kueh.” He incorporates coconut milk, butter and mashed sweet potato into this nian gao for richness. The rice cake is usually steamed, but Mr. Tan bakes the batter in small molds for the contrast of a fudgy inside and crisp outside. The key to a smooth texture that stays soft after baking is resting the wet glutinous rice dough overnight. —Clarissa Wei

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