My mum told me that Nian Gao is traditionally fed to the Chinese Kitchen God, so that he will give a favorable report on the family's behavior throughout the previous year when he returns to heaven.
A lot of recipes out there required very minimum steaming time(less than an hour), adding brown sugar to make the nice colour. But my mum'recipe will test your patient, because it requires 5 hours steaming time, the process of caramelization makes the Nian Gao with nice brown colour and full of glutinuous rice fragrant. The best part is this Nian Gao can be kept in the fridge up to 6 months even no preservative is added..
Nian Gao (Chinese steamed New Year sticky cake)-makes 3 cakes
Glutinous Rice flour 500g
Cooking oil 2tbsp
Banana leaves - soften it by blanched in hot water
steaming bowls- I can't find the right bowl, thus I use empty can from pineapple cans.
1. Line banana leaves on the steaming bowl.
2. Place the glutinous rice flour in a large bowl, mix in sugar (500g), oil and water. Stir the mixture till sugar dissolved.
3. In another pot, cook the balance sugar (100g) till became golden syrup.
4. Pour golden syrup into flour mixture, and the syrup will form into curd, don’t worry, continue stir until syrup dissolved in the mixture (Be careful when you pour the syrup, it will spill !)
5. Strain the mixture and pour the mixture in steaming bowl.
6. Steam cake over high flame for 1 hour, and turn to low flame for 4 hours. Make sure the water does not dry up, refill hot water from time to time.
Thanks to Bakeling helping me to translate this recipe in Chinese.
糯米粉 500 克（g）
水 500 毫升（ml）
糖 600 克（ 分开 500克 , 100克）
食油 2 汤匙
2. 在糯米粉放进一个大碗内 ，然后加500 克的糖，食油和水搅拌均匀，直到所有糖溶解。
With this lovely bite of Nian Gao, I wish you all "年年高升" (symbolism of raising oneself higher in each coming year ) !!