This old-fashioned Steamed Black Glutinous Rice Cake is gluten-free and dairy-free, made with black glutinous rice flour as its main ingredient.
This Steamed Black Glutinous Rice Cake totally brings back my childhood memories. My mom always brought back one or two traditional desserts bought from peddlers around my elementary school whenever she took me and my brother home. This cake was one of them. I had a very fond memory of it since I thought it was a chocolate cake that does not taste anything like chocolate. I mean, The young and ignorant me could only assume it was chocolate since the color of the cake was almost black.
And if you thought this cake has anything chocolate in it, you are wrong. The color comes from black glutinous rice flour. It was similar to the white glutinous rice flour that we commonly use for making Japanese mochi or Chinese tang yuan, but black in color. The black glutinous rice flour is not as commonly used as its white counterpart. In Indonesia, we usually use it mainly for making cakes or brownies.
If you wonder how Steamed Black Glutinous Rice Cake tastes like, it tastes exactly like sweetened black glutinous rice with a hint of coconut. It tastes rich with a nutty flavor that is distinctly different from the more subtle delicateness of white glutinous rice. The texture itself is soft, fluffy, and moist with tender crumbs despite using gluten-free flour. In addition, the dessert is a healthier option for you since black glutinous rice is packed with nutrients and comes with lots of health benefits.
About Black Glutinous Rice and Its Health Benefits
Black glutinous rice is naturally sweet, dark rice that is more of a dark purple than black. This shows that it is rich in antioxidants thanks to its anthocyanin content. The antioxidant content in rice is claimed to be higher compared to other types of rice. Research says that anthocyanins as antioxidants contained in black glutinous rice are believed to have abilities such as: maintaining heart health, preventing cancer caused by free radicals, improving brain function, helping to reduce inflammation, and much more. Not only that, but black glutinous rice also contains other important antioxidants such as vitamin E, which can also help maintain eye health, skin, and body immunity.
Black glutinous rice is rich in food fiber. Even the food fiber content is higher than other types of rice. The fiber content is what serves to help maintain the digestive tract because it can help prevent constipation, flatulence, and even absorb toxins in the drain. Not only helps the body’s metabolic processes, but food fiber in black glutinous rice can also help you be full longer. This is suitable for you who want to lose weight!
Like other types of rice, although sticky, black glutinous rice does not contain gluten. As different as sticky wheat flour because of its gluten content, the sticky nature of black sticky rice comes from starch which is naturally found in all types of rice. For people who are allergic to gluten, consuming black glutinous rice can be an alternative option for their carbohydrate intake.
How to Make Black Glutinous Rice Flour
Black glutinous rice flour is obviously the main ingredient needed to make this Steamed Black Glutinous Rice Flour. The flour is pretty common here in Indonesia, but probably can hardly be found in other parts of the world. Fortunately, you can actually make black glutinous rice flour by yourself at home.
Just like making white glutinous rice flour, you can get the black glutinous rice grain and pulverize it into powder using a food processor or coffee grinder. Make sure to sift the ground powder. If any rice pieces are still too big to sift, grind them again until they can be sifted.
About Ovalette and How to Substitute It
Ovalette is a gluten-free stabilizer and emulsifier which is used for beverages and confectionaries. It is widely used in baking sponge cakes. It is responsible for raising the eggs and deliver the stiff structure. As it is acidic it also helps the beaten eggs to remain stable and not lose the airy and voluminous texture. As a result, ovalette leads to smooth and soft cakes with raised structure.
Although you can completely omit it, the cake will not rise correctly without it especially when we steam the cake. Without it, the whipped eggs tend to deflate when you leave the batter too long at the counter. When using ovalette, the cake batter will be sturdier and not deflate easily.
For making this recipe, I use Koepoe-Koepoe Ovalett Emulsifiers. You can click the link buy it online on Amazon. However, if you are unable to find ovalette, you can check out the substitutes on the link here.
More Steamed Cake Recipes
While you are here, don’t forget to check out more steamed cake recipes from my blog!