Project: Birthday Cake

Xan’s birthday is coming up in less than 2 weeks and I’m planning to bake his cake myself. It may not be a big deal to you but it is to me. So big until I’m breathing, eating, dreaming and seeing pastries all around me.

Daiso is an evil evil place :(

I’ve always wanted to bake his birthday cake myself instead of buying one off the shelf because I feel The Birthday Cake is the highlight of any child’s birthday. I want to be part of that memory for Xan. So vain right?

In the last few months, I have come across so many pictures of proud mummies showcasing their versions of The Birthday Cake. *sob* I also wan to do that!

It’s not that I can’t bake. I can lah but I bake for fun and when I can’t sleep. The Birthday Cake is a completely different story leh. If your cake is damn ugly, the kid is going to hate you. If it tastes horrible, the kid is going to hate you. If it’s both ugly and tastes horrible and worse of all, gives him an allergy reaction… gua gua gua…

I’ve been doing some research online and stumbled upon these amazing looking cakes called Sarawak Kek Lapis. Sure we have similar ones called Kueh Lapis but none of them even come close in terms of looks. How crazy cool would it be to bring these to any parties? I know right? You must be crazy to think I will try making one. Siao ah? In case YOU feel adventurous and think you can handle it, try it. Do remember to email me how it went. I am always available for taste tests. *SLURP*

After thinking about what kind of cake to make, I decided to try my hands at steaming one. Heck, since we’re at it, why not a multi-coloured one? Surely someone out there has already done this before right? I found a relatively simple recipe and tricked the boys into accompanying me to my favourite place, Phoon Huat to gather the supplies.

Phoon Huat and Daiso are 2 places I always dread walking in to. So many things to buy! Resistance is always futile. Sigh… The worst part about these 2 shops is that not every outlet carries the same range of product so I find myself having to stop at every outlet that is within a reasonable distance from where I happen to be at that moment just to ‘make sure’ they don’t carry the same things. Why do I torture myself this way I also don’t know.

While trying to figure out what is the difference between pastes and emulcos, I spotted an instant Huat Kueh Mix. I rationalized it to myself: it is a steamed cake, potential to be colourful, instructions easy enough and best of all, ‘just add water’. I found my winner! Got to give this a try! I quickly scooped up 1 packet, bought other ‘standby ingredients’ and hurried out of the store before I find a reason to buy the expensive Silpat mats.

 

Besides the instant mix, I also bought some food colouring I’m not familiar with. Wah lau.. Emulco sounds like something you put into your car engine… 😛 Not sure what I was going to do with them but they will be used for something somehow.

 

Pardon the ugly surface. I got too excited and kept removing the lid to check on the cake so the surface looked like got 3 boobs and 2 nostril holes. While trying to remove the cake from the steamer, I accidentally scraped the surface lah. I know I’m not supposed to open the lid but that rule only applies when you want the Huat Kueh to have that nice split top, right? I don’t need mah. After I poured in the last layer, I continued to stare at bubbly mass through the glass lid and I found myself muttering to it “don’t split open, please don’t split open, split liao not pretty!” As soon as I heard myself saying that I told myself quite sternly “Hello? This was supposed to be a Huat Kueh mix in the first place. It’s supposed to split open for good luck! Choy!” Ironic isn’t it? Ya, I tend to talk to myself and a little more frequently when I’m sleep deprived.

 

Here we go, the final product. So pretty hor? The four flavours were (from top down): strawberry, orange, mocha and pandan.

 

But when you slice it hor…

 

Taste test? The Husband and The Eldest Sister said it was ‘Nice’. So polite ah my family? I tell you lah. It was dense and bland. Good for folks who are on low sugar, low fat, low taste diet. I’m not even a fan of steamed cakes in the first place. I can hear you ask me now “Then why in the world would you want to make a steamed cake?” Seriously? I also dunno. It seemed like a good idea at the time.

Sigh… Time to make another cake.

 

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