If you are residing in Singapore or Malaysia, I'm sure you're aware that the cempedak season is here again.... yeah!! I went to Pasar Larkin in JB with my mom last week & among the many things we bought were 2 beautiful cempedaks. I cut open mine on Friday... the nuggets of flesh were big & beautiful & they tasted so sweet! After tasting a few pieces, the remainder was just nice for my baking project.... 2 projects actually..
The first is this gorgeous buttermilk cake.. I just love this cake! I'm telling you, if you're a big fan of cempedak, then you must bake this! Or bake it for someone who loves cempedak! The deep orange cempedak that I used for this cake gives it its beautiful golden colour. The cake turns out very moist with very soft & fine texture. However, if you look at my cake, it looks denser at the bottom. Well, that's because I was impatient... I opened the oven door just after 20 minutes into baking time. I saw the top was already browning, so I thought I should start checking. I even shook the pan & to my horror, the cake was still wiggling. So please don't open the oven door at least for the first 30-40 minutes. Since the cake is moist & soft, when I cut it (less than 1 hour after baking time), I had to be careful because it's quite fragile. I think it would be better if you keep it for a day (if you are patient enough) for easier handling. It'd also be a good idea not to slice too thin. Anyway, this cake definitely tastes better after a day & even better after two days, that I know for sure. When I first tasted it, I found the cake quite sweet. Then the next day, when I took a bite, I was happy that the cake was not as sweet as the day before.... but as I chewed it, I could taste the sweetness again. On the third day, the cake tasted even better & it's not too sweet anymore, even after finishing the whole slice. So keeping the cake before serving is an important step.
I used a buttermilk banana cake recipe to bake this gorgeous cake... Besides replacing the banana with cempedak, I made some minor changes to the ingredients & method of preparing it. To summarise the above ramblings, below are some points you need to take note of before you start baking one.
- The cempedak that I used is quite sweet but I've tasted sweeter ones. So if you think the cempedak you're using is already very sweet, you may reduce the sugar by 20-30g.
- You may replace the buttermilk with fresh / UHT milk. Just add 1 tsp of vinegar or lemon juice to the milk & set aside for a few minutes before using it.
- You may also use a 7x7 inch pan instead of a loaf pan.
- Don't open the oven for at least the first 30-40 minutes. Heed this advice & your cake should turn out better than mine.
- Serve this cake 1-2 days after baking to allow the flavour of the cake to develop further. Wrap the cake in a cling wrap & keep it in the fridge. Serve the cake in room temperature.
150g cempedak flesh
1/2 tsp salt
100g butter, softened
3/4 tsp baking soda
1tsp vanilla paste or essence
190g cake flour
190 ml buttermilk (divided into two parts)
walnuts (chopped) - for topping
- Preheat oven to 180° C.
- Line & grease a 9¼ x 5¼ x 2½ inch loaf pan. Set aside.
- Combine cempedak & 90ml of the buttermilk & puree the mixture using a blender.
- In a medium bowl, mix flour & baking soda & sift. Set aside.
- In a large bowl, cream butter, sugar & salt until light and fluffy.
- Beat in eggs, one at a time, Mix until well blended. Then stir in vanilla paste.
- Reduce speed of mixer to the lowest possible & fold in the flour mixture alternately with the rest of the buttermilk.
- Stir in the cempedak puree.
- Pour batter into prepared pan & sprinkle chopped walnuts over top. Bake in preheated oven for 25 minutes, then reduce oven temperature to 160° C & continue baking for another 25-35 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (Reminder: Do not open the oven for at least the first 30 minutes of baking.)
- Remove from oven & leave the cake in the pan for about 5 minutes. Then remove the cake from the pan & leave it on a cooling rack to cool completely.
- Wrap the cake with cling wrap & leave for 1 or 2 days (keep it in the fridge to play safe) before serving to allow the flavour to develop. Serve at room temperature.