Saturday, February 9, 2008

Lapis Legit/Traditional Kue Lapis

I've always wanted to make this traditional Indonesian cake for a long time. What keeps me from doing it? Like most people would say, it is VERY time consuming. You have to literally sit or stand in front of your oven for hours to monitor the cake, to add another layer, etc.. Not to mention the amount of egg yolks and butter involved in here. It's beyond your imagination!

Last Thursday is Chinese New Year, and I just found out that this cake is one of the traditional cakes during this Chinese celebration. So, I thought I would give this cake a try. I browsed through some Asian food blogs (I think only Asian people know/make this cake, considering the amount of fat and the cholesterol). There are some recipes using less amount of egg yolks (only 10), but I believe the real traditional Kue Lapis, in Indonesia at least, using at least 20 egg yolks for a standard loaf pan.

So I settled on one recipe that's using 20 egg yolks for half of the recipe. I made some adjustments based on my liking, but nothing major though. I used the best quality ingredients for this cake, although I hesitated a little since this is the first time I try making this cake. But then I thought if I want to go through all the process of making it, might as well give it a best shot. I can always learn something if something goes wrong.

So after hours patiently waiting and adding layers, it's finally done. I couldn't wait to cut through the cake to see if I did it right and if the layers really show. Well, as expected (not wanted), it was not perfect, especially the first couple of layers (as you can see in the picture). I might have burnt one or two layers and I think for the last layer, I baked it for too long since the texture is a little dryer than what I expected it to be.

Also, it's not easy baking this cake in the US standard oven. In Asia (most of them), we can set the fire/the heat of the oven, whether we want it to be from the bottom or from the top of the oven and we can also set the temperature just like normal baking. In the US, bottom heat is called bake and top heat is called broil. we can't really set the temperature in broil since it is not normally used for baking. Luckily, my oven has two temperature settings for broil, high and low. I used low broil so that the cake won't burnt after 5 minutes.

All in all, it was a great experience making it and I am so looking forward making it again with the lesson learned and modifications :). Now, I just have to figure out what I'm going to do with all those leftover egg whites.

Here's the recipe that I used:

Classic Lapis Legit

20 egg yolks
150 g confectioners sugar
350 g butter, at room temperature
2 Tbs. sweetened condensed milk
1/4 tsp. bumbu Spekoek (All Spice powder)
1/2 tsp vanila powder
35 g all purpose flour
10 g powdered milk
  • Beat the butter and the sweetened condensed milk until white and fluffy using paddle attachment, set aside.
  • Meanwhile, sift together all the dry ingredients (flour, bumbu Spekoek, vanili powder, and powdered milk) and set aside.
  • Beat the egg yolks and the sugar using the balloon whisk attachment until very thick.
  • Add the sifted dry ingredients and continue whisking until well incorporated.
  • Add the beaten butter to the egg mixture and mix well using the paddle attachment or fold gently using spatula. Make sure that there's no streak of butter left, or else you will have a rubber like layer in the bottom of your cake. The batter would be very thick with spreadable consistency.
  • Preheat the oven to 350 F
  • Grease and lined a standard loaf pan with a parchment paper.
  • Spread about 2-3 tablespoons of batter into the prepared pan and spread the batter evenly using the back of a spoon. Bake for about 10 minutes until the top is golden brown. The time will vary depending on different oven and how much batter you put in the pan.
  • Remove the pan from the oven and change the oven setting to low broil (if you're in the US). Press the top of the cake using anything that's flat (I even use the back of a spoon). Then, add another couple of tablespoons of batter and spread it evenly. the heat from the pan will help soften the butter to make it easier to even out.
  • Put the pan back in the oven and cook for about 6-10 minutes until the top is brown (not burnt!).
  • Repeat this step until all of the batter is used up.
  • Remove from the oven, let cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes, then unmold.
  • Cut the four sides of the cake to make it neat and so that all of the layers are shown.

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