From the title above, you can see that this post will not be a very happy one. Lots of hiccups went along the making of this cake. Lots.
Let me gripe, bear with me or just skip the next couple of paragraphs.
Hiccup #1 – After successfully separating 6 eggs, i broke ONE egg yolk over my pool of egg whites and contaminated the whole batch.. Great. Now i gotta re-crack another 6 eggs. No biggie right? Except i dont have 6 extra eggs on hands.
Hiccup #2- After all the egg white drama and a short trip to the grocery store, i finally have my pristine batch of egg whites in my mixing bowl.
Next step, add a tsp of Cream of Tartar. Okays, easy enuff, i thought dumping the white stuff into my egg whites.
Except it wasn’t cream of tartar in my hands. It was baking powder. I suppose i could have fished the baking powder out while still salvaging my egg whites, but i knew for a fact that egg whites have to be squeaky clean and uncontaminated when it is to be beaten to peaks.
And i wasn’t in the mood to experiment the effect of baking powder on the beating of egg whites. at least not today
BACK TO square ONE. I re- cracked my eggs again for the third time, feeling super frustrated at the amount of eggs i wasted. Damn, this cake better be worth all these effort!
Hiccup #3- fast forward to the point where i was popping the cake batter into the oven. By this time, I was so glad that all active part in the making of the cake was done. Now it’s up to the oven to do its thing while i take my deserved break.
I was so eager to leave my sweltering kitchen. Too eager in fact that i forgot to set the little timer. And it turns out, i am not so hot in judging whether a cake is done or not. I guess i might have removed the cake from the oven a tad too early, resulting in a soggy cake with a sticky top.
At this stage, i am SO not gonna go back to stage one and re-crack my eggs again all over again! Onwards i proceeded with my less than perfect cake with the frosting stage. No crazy mishaps thankfully. The baking fairy must have finally taken sympathy at my sorry state..
or at the remaining eggs that are at the mercy of being cracked into unfunctional states. Just like their predecessors.
I frosted like a madwoman, chocolate fudge in my hands, arms, hands and face. I held my breath and steadied my fingers as i attempted to write the chinese wordings on it. The wordings didnt turn out perfect. But at least they were the right words and they were legible. Now that was over with, came the less nervewrecking stage of decorating the top of the cake with strawberries and oranges.
Now now, The cake was not set to be delivered till the next day. Which means, it gets to stay overnight. The question is where?? In a hot and humid room? or in a cool, temperature controlled refrigerator?
Hot and humid room doesnt sound like such a good idea for my soggy, slightly underbaked spongecake. In fact, it sounds like a perfect bacterial playground.
Yet, a cool refrigerator will definitely cause a sweaty chocolate finish after it has been removed from its controlled cool climate.
I chose the second option. For i care about the well beings of the people who eat this cake more than its presentation.
Love it or hate it. Durian cake
Many of you will probably cringe from the smell of the fruit that made up this cake. Yes, i am talking about none other than the king of fruits, durian.
The people i know usually belong to either end of the spectrum when it comes to liking durians. They either like it, or hate it. As for me, i think like it. 🙂
I was inspired to bake this cake after tasting a very delish durian cake baked by my baker aunt.The cake was made up of a soft sponge that was layered with soft durian custard. It was a winner that had me thinking about it for days after,
and the urge to replicate.
I came across a recipe a few days later from a local baker. I attempted, and failed miserably. Instead of a nice firm custard, i was faced with a pool of durian goo that refused to firm up. There was so much waste that it was almost heartbreaking. Durians are not exactly the cheapest fruits around.
But, on the bright side, i did salvage enough of the remaining fruit that wasnt used for the durian goo, to make a nice decent butter cake! Aromatic (at least to me), soft, moist and deeeelish. Not the winner i set out to do, but definitely a winner in its own way!
250 gm. Butter
220 gm. sugar
120 gm. Durian flesh
60 ml. milk
40 gm. cake flour
200 gm. cake flour
50 gm. custard powder
1/2 tsp. Baking powder
1/4 tsp. Bicarbonate of Soda
1/4 tsp. salt
(1) Blend durian flesh with milk and mix in the 40 gm. of flour. Leave aside.
(2) Sieve flour with baking powder and bicarbonate of soda.
(3) Cream butter and sugar till light and fluffy.
(4) Add in eggs one at a time till well combined before the next addition.
(5) Add in durian and milk mixture and mix well.
(6) Fold in flour mixture and custard powder and mix till well blended.
(7) Pour into tube pan and bake at 175C for about 50 mins.
(8) Remove from cake pan and leave on cooling pan till cool before slicing.
I didnt take the shortcut making these. I learnt my lesson and went about making these breads the old, traditional way.
I got home late in the evening, and painstakingly took out my kitchen weighing scale, bread flour, and instant yeast (i am a morning baker. i am not a big fan of being in the kitchen in the evenings). I then proceeded to make my scalded and sponge dough, recipe below.
Thereafter, i let the whole party of ingredients in the refrigerator and wait for the instant yeasts to do their thang. I like yeast. They kind of remind me of the little elves who helped the shoemaker at night.
This A.M, i took out the said sponge dough from the refrigerator. I mixed, kneaded, proofed, baked as according to instructions. And i must say, the end results are a far cry from the previous baguette i made without the sponge.
I guess when the bakers gave instructions to make a sponge, they weren’t actually just trying to make life difficult for others. These garlic bread are way more flavourful than the previous baguette. They are also chewy and moist within. Double points!
Recipe: From Alex Goh’s Magic Bread
60 gr Bread Flour
45 gr Boiling water
240 gr Bread Flour
6 gr Sugar
6 gr Salt
4 gr Instant Yeast
135 gr Cold Water
75 gr Overnight Sponge *
15 gr Butter
1. Add the boiling water from I into the flour, mix until well blended to form dough. Cover and set aside to cool. Refrigerate for 12 hours before using.
2. Mix II until well blended. Add in III. Knead to form rough dough. Add in I. Knead until well blended.
3. Add in IV to form elastic dough. Let proof for 45 minutes.
4. Divide the dough into 85 gr. Mold it round. Let rest for 10 minutes.
5. Flatten the dough and roll into oblong shapes. Let proof for 45 minutes
6. Egg wash the surface and cut the centre with a sharp knife. Place some garlic butter** onto it.
7. Bake at 220 degree celcius for 18 minutes
* Overnight sponge
100 gr Bread flour
60 gr water at room temp.
1/4 tsp instant yeast
Mix water and yeast until well blended. Add flour, mix to form dough. Proof for 30 mins, wrap and refrigerate overnight.
** Garlic butter
10 cloves garlic
100 gr butter
Salt (not in recipe, but i added it anyways)
Sliced Garlic Bread
Remember the bleaarrgh baguette i made? The one that didn’t call for a sponge? Well, rather than leaving it around in the hope of someone will eat it, i decided to jazz it up by slicing it into pieces and slathering it butter that has been preseasoned with chopped garlic and salt.
Reheat these babies at 220 degree celcius with the buttered sides up for about 7-8 mins. Transform drab to Deelish!