Tuesday, July 7, 2009
Bika Ambon (Indonesian Yeast Cake)
Yes, I'm making everyone overwhelmed with this amount of sugary treats! As a result of trying this and that, including the not-so-successful ones, we have to give those away to practically everyone. My dad would give one piece or two to any of his friends coming to our house. Even our carpenters (my dad produces and trades old wooden furniture, so please expect my photos to be a bit more beautiful while I'm here, with all the woody tones!) get some share lately - not something that happens everyday.
The only thing I hate here is the sun. I love sunny days and warm, humid tropical weather, but the only time I have to take photos are early mornings or late afternoons. Oh, one more thing. Food here is consumed straight after they come out of the kitchen! *sigh* Fortunately we don't make everything in a supersmall batch as I am used to do in Melbourne, thus leaving me with some leftovers I can play around with later.
Okay, enough babbling.. This "bika ambon" thingy doesn't have any official English name, I guess. The name is confusing even to us Indonesians: "Ambon" is a name of an island and also a city in Indonesia, but this cake is said to originate from Medan, another city in another island. And those cities are not close at all to each other! I wonder how people came up with such name. Oh well, basically it's a very rich yeast cake, with a honeycomb-y texture. That's what make this cake unique.
Traditionally this cake is baked using oven on lower heat setting. I once tried baking this cake in regular convection oven and it couldn't yield nice honeycomb-y texture. Many people succeeded doing so, though, and I will try it again when I get back in Melbourne. This time I cooked this cake using a stovetop pancake maker (similar to this in appearance).
2 tsp powdered sugar
2 tsp plain flour
1 tsp instant dry yeast
3 tbsp water
4 egg yolks
75 gr caster sugar
35 gr sago flour
75 ml coconut cream
3 kaffir lime leaves, shredded
1. Bring coconut cream and kaffir lime leaves to boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, strain the shredded leaves and let cool.
2. Make the sponge: combine all ingredients and set aside for 15 minutes.
3. Whisk egg yolks and caster sugar in a medium bowl until thick and pale.
4. Whisking slowly, fold in sponge mixture, sago flour, and cooled coconut cream. Whisk until combined, ensuring there is no lumps. Batter will be runny.
5. Cover and set aside for 3 hours. The batter will be runny and bubbly. Stir once or twice, just to mix any lumps in the bottom of the bowl.
6. Grease and preheat pan (or oven to 170C). Cook for 15 minutes if you are making 10-cm diameter mini cakes like me, or 1 hour if you cook them in the oven using standard baking pan.
If using convection oven, leave the door ajar and preheat the baking pan first before pouring the batter. People say this is the trick (the last time I tried baking this in my convection oven, I didn't preheat the baking pan. I believe that's why my bika ambon was unsuccessful)
This post is also for YeastSpotting.