Tuesday 8 April 2014

Spice Cake

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.


Naomi said...

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!)

Ruth said...

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(!)