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Hetty Lui McKinnon’s Ginger & Coconut Mochi Cake

Makes 8 to 10 servings

Growing up, my favorite Chinese desserts were always the chewy ones. The texture is unique, some say it’s an acquired taste, but for me, these stretchy desserts represent childhood and home. Lo mai chi, the bouncy, coconut-coated balls filled with either peanuts, red bean or black sesame paste, is still my Chinese bakery must-have, while my mother’s nian gao (New Year cake) is not-too-sweet and deliciously wobbly, a family celebration treat that is even better pan-fried. This mochi cake offers all the chew and gooeyness of my childhood treats, confidently accented with ginger and coconut. For those who are new to glutinous rice (mochi) desserts, note that this cake won’t rise like a cake made with wheat flour. When it’s cooked, it will still wobble a bit and will be difficult to slice, so let it cool completely. If you can’t eat the whole cake within three days, I recommend freezing it (see below for instructions). I use Erawan or Mochiko brand of glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour, which can be found at most Chinese or Asian supermarkets.