When You Just Crave Cake…

Although I enjoy cooking, I don’t particularly enjoy baking. That’s why I used to weasel my way out of making cookies as a child. Maybe I don’t have patience. I don’t enjoy waiting for batches of cookies to bake, or waiting for them to cool, before I could consider it all done and over with.
And I don’t really like cookies or biscuits either.
But cakes.
Now cakes are heavenly, in my book, and I love my Aunt’s Philadephia cheesecakes. (She does everything by hand, even creaming the cheese.) She does not make them very often now as everyone in the family is either on a perpetual diet (hence, no fattening cheese, please) or have become health freaks (cheese = cholesterol = clogs up your arteries). These people are the sort to eat chicken without skin. Now tell me, what sort of enjoyment is THAT?
I’m very partial to cakes. Banana cake, cheesecake, Indonesian layer cake, butter cake, I am game. Cake-making is simpler than biscuit-making too. You just need to whip everything into a tasty batter, plop batter into pan and bake it in the oven. In less than an hour, the aroma of baking cake will seduce your senses. And it goes well with tea and coffee.
A Sunday ago, I made a steamed cake using a cake premix. I know, I know, the purists out there will shake their heads. It’s not right to use cake premix. It’s a short cut only lazy people succumb to. As I said before, I am not much of a baker. I don’t know my flours, I don’t know my butters but I do know I want to eat cake!

This cake was so easy to make, it’s almost like Pillsbury. Pillsbury tastes ‘fake’. I used Pillsbury to make an orange cake during CNY in Kuching because I was too bored in the kitchen plus that was the only available brand in the local supermarket. Nic and I ended up finishing the whole cake as the elderly folks thought the cake was too sweet. (Sigh… never make cake when you have health freaks around. You’ll be sorely disappointed because no one will eat your cake.)
Unlike Pillsbury, this cream cracker cake premix is less sweet. All I did was cream a whole block of butter (by hand, no less) and added in one egg at a time (all this while watching Akademi Fantasia). The recipe calls for 6 medium-sized eggs. Once the eggs are well-mixed, stir in the cream cracker premix. Pour the batter into a greased cake tin and steam over high heat for 30 minutes. And that’s it, folks.

It tastes like ‘ma lai koh’ a bit. It has a lovely moistness and a buttery texture due to all the butter and eggs. If you’re like me, a novice at cake-making, this cake premix makes you look like a winner.
You can get the cream cracker premix at my friend’s shop located at 11, Jalan Tanjung Tokong (Tel: 04 898 1390) for RM4 per pack. Let Erina know that the Soup Queen sent ya (it’s a personal joke between us both!).
Erina suggests that the cake batter can be divided into half whereby you can mix cocoa powder into one and mix both to create a marble cake. Or, if you have exceptional patience, steam it layer by layer so you get a layer cake like the Indonesian kek lapis. And my Aunt says, you can steam it with haw flakes between the layers to get the kek lapis taste too. It just depends on how creative you are with the original batter.

When you pop by Erina’s shop, Cooking Island (one of shops tucked on your left along the way to Tanjung Tokong, near the Sunrise Tower roundabout), be sure to check out her other interesting cake mixes, bread mixes, ready-to-eat French soups and sauces. Erina herself conducts cooking and baking for kids and adults too.

13 thoughts on “When You Just Crave Cake…”

  1. Yeah, I actually watch Akademi Fantasia. It’s crass and it’s commercial, yeah, yeah. It’s also mindless fun! Don’t diss it before you try it. I don’t vote via SMS though. I am still a practical Chinese! Hehe.

  2. Wah! I’m a cake-lover too! Funny, this is also the only cake I know how to bake! Haha. I got the recipe from my aunty and it was really easy. I did it about twice, so far.
    I did the first one with only the kiam piah (cream crackers). Grinding the kiam piah with the the batu tumbuk and literally, blending it to turn it into powder. It turned out pretty well after I steamed it. There was no oven in my grandma’s house then… so we had to steam it with the wok. Well, my grandma helped out alot. =P
    I tried the second one with cocoa powder. Patiently layering it. It’s not that easy. We had to steam it layer by layer. Steam the first layer, take it out, apply another layer and steam it again. I only managed to make 7 layers, as it was really tiring. In the end, it turned out all mushy and sticky.
    I wondered then, if it was my sweat that got into the cake!
    Btw, are you a fan of akademi fantasia?

  3. Not your sweat. It’s the water from the wok cover. Everytime you open, you got to be careful and do it fast. Do not allow water to drop on the cake. Wipe the cover dry before you put it back. Instead of chocolate powder, you can also used chocolate or coffee emulco. Tiramisu emulco will be great too.

  4. I was going to add something really gross about ‘the only type of cake i know how to make’ but i dont think it’s right for this entry. 🙂
    but Maya, er….can order for July or not? Courier to my house, ok? I will email you my address later….hee hee hee…
    sorry, not drunk but kind of in a nice mood today….

  5. The cake indeed looks like ma lai koh and looks very scrumptious too. I haven’t baked a cake in aeons, the last one I made was brownies which turned out too dry. After reading this, I feel like getting out the baking pan again!

  6. The cake indeed looks like ma lai koh and looks very scrumptious too. I haven’t baked a cake in aeons, the last one I made was brownies which turned out too dry. After reading this, I feel like getting out the baking pan again.
    Marsha, I know what you mean without you spelling it out!

  7. So to get Malaysian readers in – write about food! I see 7 comments in this section already (compared to 3 in the last post and so on). It is a lesson you must share with the students next time you do a talk at a college!
    Anyway was going to ask you your opinion re: Jenny (P.Tikus) and Secret Recipe’s cakes but I fear you will simply direct me to the cake place near Sunrise Tower that you mentioned.
    BTW your office isn’t near Sunrise Tower, is it? I saw a Red Box thing outside a shop, coming out of pizza hut last night, and it has a bit spotlight shining from it (to draw attention to itself). Well I know it definitely wasn’t the kareoke place so is it yours…?

  8. Hi Matthew: I didn’t know you could make cakes! Good for you. But cake-making needs patience. A lot of it in fact. Yes, I am a fan of Akademi Fantasia. I was rooting for Karen and Farhan. Well, I think Farhan ought to win but then again, the voting masses always go for the guys.
    Hi Marsha: Can! Give me your address. And don’t be gross 😉
    Hi Lydia: It’s one of the mood thing. If you get the mood, cake-baking is fun. Otherwise, I’d be thinking of ‘ooooh, I have to wash this, and that’ which kind of spoils my mood in the end. But there is no better satisfaction than eating a cake one made, right?
    Hi D: Well, we are Malaysians after all. That’s why food gets top votes all the time. Ha, you guessed wrong. I would say go to Jenny’s. Our family loves her tiramisu cake (her other cakes are equally scrumptious too!) and her fruit flan is good, not too sweet. No dear, that’s Redbox the Karaoke. Sigh. Another case of mistaken identity… you’re not the first. Redbox the Karaoke is like you – from HK, while Redbox Studio is 100% Malaysian and here since 1998.

  9. Baking is fun!!! Don’t think of the cleaning and washing. Think who you are going to cook for. Actually, if you plan your baking properly, not much are to be washed unless you start to take out a lot of things to used. I am also one of them who dislike washing so everytime when i cook or bake, I try my best to minimize my utensil so I don’t have to wash so many things. One more tip for cleaning oily trays or bowl used during baking – always boil a pot of hot water before cleaning. Help to wash things easily. Happy Baking & Cooking!!!


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