Today I made (or tried to make) a spice cake - or spekkoek - a Dutch-Indonesian recipe from Gaitri Pagrach-Chandra's book, Warm Bread and Honey Cake. It was not entirely successful, but I'm not going to throw it out just yet. :-) I'm still testing it to try and decide whether I like it or not!
It's a cake where you make a mixture and add the spices to just half of it. You then spread alternating layers into a cake tin, grilling each one in turn. The big problem for me was that the book doesn't tell you what temperature to heat the grill to. I closed my eyes and picked a number - 180 degrees, which I thought was fairly moderate - but I had lots of problems with it, and looking back, 180 was probably far too high.
It was difficult to know when each layer was cooked - I just waited until it started to brown on top. Each time, the mixture would begin to melt as soon as it hit the hot layer below. Then when I came to remove the cake from the tin, it all started to ooze out of one side - the layers hadn't cooked properly. And it tasted a bit like scrambled egg - which, again, must be heat thing(?)
I left it to cool and then tried another bit (albeit from the dry side) and it does taste much better. It is a very, very soft, fine textured cake. And very very sweet. Half the amount of sugar next time, and maybe 100-110 degrees temperature. Oh yes, and it took a whole pack of butter so reducing that would be good too.
Looks nice though!
If you did the same sort of thing in the oven, would it not end up a bit drier? (But structurally sound!)
Yes, maybe - but it would be more difficult to see what was going on, and when the layers were cooked. I'd have to clean the glass in the oven door(!)
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