“Singapore’s All-Time-Favourite Durian Cake”
If you have not come across durian, let me tell you briefly about it.
Durian is a seasonal tropical fruit in Southeast Asia which we regard it as the “King of Fruit“. Durian has this very distinctive and penetrating scent which you either love it, or disgust by it. Though you might not like its scent, but tasting it in the palate could be entirely different experience and feeling to you. I don’t know.. Perhaps it was just me, finding it rather disturbing to smell, but irresistibly delicious to taste! You know what I mean….
Texture of a good quality durian flesh should be felt dry on your finger tip when lightly pressed, with soft and creamy texture as a whole. Some durians taste completely sweet and some are sweet but with a hint of bitterness in it, all depending on its species. I preferred the later. If it is to use for cake filling, it’s better to choose the complete sweet taste (more yellowish flesh.. *see picture on the right..) instead of bitter-sweet (more pale flesh) as sweet flesh makes better flavored durian filling for your cake, in my opinion.
Different species of durian in different pricing could be found at the durian stores. Get the better ones since it’s for own consumption pleasure. I got the mid-level kind which is D24, imported from Malaysia, it costs about S$10 per kilogramme. You need only about 1 kg of durian (total weight includes husk) for the cake filling in my recipe.
It is surely much more economical to make your own durian cake, than a store-bought. If it’s not wrong, I think 1kg of store bought durian cake probably costs S$40 – S$70.
I loved durian, real fresh fruit, especially. So, only pure durian flesh would be used in my durian cake. No adding of extra sugar, cream or artificial flavoring at all.
Durian from Malaysia taste more aromatic and delicious with more intensive flavour than those from Thailand. I recommend using Malaysia durian as the cake filling, because I am not too sure if you need an addition of artificial flavour or sugar to enhance the taste of your cake filling, if you are getting the ‘subtle-taste’ Thailand durian.. I am serious (winking).
Hubby and my girl loved durians, too, but they hardly eat fresh durian with their bare hand which should be the way, worrying of the strong odour on their hands afterwards. Hence, making durian into cake is the best alternative for them to enjoy this favourite fruit without what they considered a hassle. And so, I’ll be the one who does all the job, because I love them (smile).
Anyway, it’s worth all the effort, to see them indulge in such a Sweet treat. I, too, get to satisfy my sweet tooth, for both my favourites, the durian and cake.
This homemade durian cake was deceivingly good even though it might not looked as good as it does in the pictures. Anyway, it’s the effort that counts.
One more point I would like to bring up here, I did not blend the durian flesh. Simply use a fork to mash it. I liked my cake filling to be with more texture. Well if you prefer smoother and more creamy mouthfeel, blend the durian flesh, then. It would give you a more cream-like consistency, as desired.
Yields 8″/ 9″ cake (about 800 – 900 grams per whole cake)
250 grams of sponge cake premix (Optima Ready Mix from Bake King brand)
3 medium eggs (about 200gram)
50ml water (about 1/4 small cup)
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence
6 – 8 seeds of fresh and sweet durian, seeded and mashed into durian paste with a fork (or blender, for smoother cream-like texture)
200ml of whipped cream (get the ready-to-use instant whipped cream or click for my Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe)
Lightly greased (with olive oil or butter) 8″ or 9” round baking pan
1) Extract durian flesh and place in a medium container. Use a fork to briefly mash and stir it till paste-like texture. Cover durian paste and keep refrigerator, reserve for later.
2) Pre-heat oven for 15 minutes, set temperature to 180°C (top and bottom heat on).
3) Break eggs into large mixing bowl. Then, add in cake premix flour, water and vanilla essence. Beat mixture with electrical mixer at medium speed (No. 2 or 3), for 10 minutes. Texture of the end-result of mixture (after beaten) should look light fluffy and creamy with some resistance.
3) Pour cake batter into the greased baking pan. Place baking pan at middle rack. Bake for 40 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the middle of the cake comes out completely clean. The top of the cake baked should appear slightly bloated/ rounded instead of flat surfaced.
4) Allow cake to completely cool in the pan on wire rack, for about an hour, before removing from pan.
5) In the meantime, you may whip the fresh cream. Store whipped cream in the refrigerator before use.
6) When cake is cooled, gently slice it into 3 layers, horizontally. For easy spreading of whipped cream on the sponge cake, you may also remove the very top brown (baked) layer of the cake, with knife or gently peel with bare hand. Then, place the bottom layer of cake gently on a flat surface/ flat cake board, spread a thick layer of durian filling evenly on the layer of cake. Leave some space around the edges. Repeat the same for second layer. Then, top the most top (slightly rounded surfaced) layer of cake on the second layer cake. Lightly press the layers for a better hold of the cake in 3 tiers.
7) Creaming: Spread whipped cream on the entire cake, and decorate cake with some poky and sharp edgy patterns, resembling the durian thorns, all over the cake.
And, the purpose of baking the sponge cake slightly rounded on top is also to create a better shaping of durian husk design (You may even find green food coloring to mix into whipped cream for making even real-looking durian designed cake.).
Chill decorated cake in the refrigerator till ready to serve.
Actually, I thought my sponge cake was slightly too thick as I used a 7.5″ round pan, even though I didn’t mind to have thick layers as I loved the softness of my sponge cake which goes so well with its durian filling, but what I’ll suggest, if you do prefer thinner layers, is to use a bigger baking pan to bake the sponge cake, for instances, a 9″ or 10″ baking pan, so that you cake will be baked wider but thinner (in term of height) in whole. Alternatively, use a smaller, 7″ pan, to bake a thick cake, and then, slice it into 4 layers, to make two separate 2-tier cakes instead. You should have enough durian flesh for its fillings. Otherwise, remain as how my recipe does.
And, I hope you don’t mind, frankly speaking, I am no expert in cake creaming. Perhaps, this durian cake is not pretty to you at all. Well, you know, I emphasize mainly on the quality and taste of my food, cake as well. My baking is purely for own consumption, and sometimes, as a treat to close friends. So, they won’t mind if my cake does not look so pretty, as long as it’s still appealing and taste genuinely delicious (laughing)!
A thick slice of creamy durian cake counts about 450kcal. I have already used only pure durian and reduced sugar amount in the sponge cake. Anyway, do enjoy the durian cake, if you are one of the durian lovers, like us (smile).
Though durian is delicious and too hard to resist, but eat durian (or durian cake) moderately. It is not only about keeping your waistline in shape (as durian is high GI fruit), it’s to also avoid increasing of body heat, as Chinese believes that durian is a ‘heaty‘ fruit which may cause heatiness in our body after taking too much of durian. So, to balance up body coolness, drink more water, herbal tea or eat some mangosteens (which it’s, on contrary, regards as cooling fruit.. *See picture on left), after eating durians. I believed in drinking some salted water right after eating, for more effective cooling result.
P/S: My durian cake was ended up a big hit to my family, and even colleagues.. Brought to work today to share with some close colleagues, and we rushed to eat it so that the office pantry would not smelt too strong (laughing).. They were pretty impressed and well-commented the cake.. Oishi! :D
Tips: Smaller baking pan used will make the top part of the bake ‘pops up’ slightly, it was for me to create semi durian husk-like cake design. It’s OK if you sponge cake turns out flat on top, if you are using larger pan for a thinner cake, simply cream and decorate it with your some fresh ideas of your own. You have all freedom on your own cake (smile).
* This is an express & hassle free cake baking. So, go get the sponge cake pre-mix off the shelves. I’ve gotten it from NTUC Fairprice Extra (at their baking section).