Durian cake

“Singapore’s All-Time-Favourite Durian Cake”

If you have not came 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. However, you might not like to scent when smell it, but love its taste in the palate. I don’t know, it is to me, to find the scent quite disturbing when first got the durian smell, but it yields a complete opposite effect when comes to the palate as the same scent of durian has becoming so fragrant and tasty when eat it!

Texture of good durian flesh should be felt dry on your finger tip when lightly touch/ press on the most outer layer of the flesh, with soft and creamy texture as a whole. Some durians tasted sweet while some are bitter-sweet, all depending on its species. I preferred bitter-sweet durian, if I were to eat it direct, but to use it as cake filling, it’s better to request for pure sweet taste (more yellowish flesh.. *see picture on right..) instead of bitter-sweet type (more pale flesh) when selecting durian from the store, as sweet ones make better flavor as cake filling.

Get a better type of durian since it’s for own consumption. 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 of my recipe. Hence, it ends up much more economical to make your own durian cake, instead of buying from the cake shop where 1kg of durian cake may easily cost you S$40 – 50.

I loved durian, real fresh fruit, especially. So, I used purely fresh durian flesh to make durian cake, without mixing with any sugar, cream or artificial flavouring. Durian from Malaysia tastes much more fragrant and delicious and it has more intensive flavour than those imported from Thailand. Hence, 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-tasted’ Thailand durian.. I am serious (winking).

Hubby and my girl loved durians, too. However, they hardly eat the fresh durian with their bare hand which it should be the usual way, as they worried about leaving strong odour on their hands for quite awhile (a day or so). Hence, making durian into cake is the best alternative for them to enjoy this favourite fruit without what the considered a hassle. And so, I’ll be the one who do all the job, because I love them (smile).

Durian cake

Anyway, it worths all the effort, to see them indulge in such a good sweet savoury. I, too, get to satisfy my sweet tooth, with both my favourites, the durian and cake. This homemade durian cake is very good, indeed! Most of all, it’s the effort that counts.

One more point I would like to bring up here, I did not blend the durian flesh, but merely used a fork to briefly mash it before using it for the filling. I liked its firmer mouthfeel. If you prefer smoother and more creamy mouthfeel, blend the durian before use, then. It will give you more a cream-like consistency, as desired.

Yields 8″/ 9″ cake (about 800 – 900 grams per whole cake)
Ingredients
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

Filling:
6 – 8 seeds of fresh and sweet durian, seeded and mashed into durian paste with a fork (or blender, for smoother cream-like texture)

Creaming:
200ml of whipped cream (get the ready-to-use instant whipped cream or click for my Homemade Whipped Cream Recipe)

Utensil:
Lightly greased (with olive oil or butter) 8″ or 9” round baking pan

Method
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).