Sunday, November 30, 2014

White Chocolate Gooey Cake

Sometimes it's as much about texture as it is about flavour.

Think about South-East Asian desserts for example.... Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam...

When it comes to sweets, it is all about textures! Most of them are made with very few ingredients. The most important one being boat loads of sugar - coconut sugar, palm sugar or cane sugar. The remaining ingredients contribute pleasant, but subtle flavours. 

Some of my favourites include pandan jelly custard, mango with coconut sticky rice (OMG so good), and sweet black glutinous rice. These flavours are not as loud as chocolate and peanut butter, but they're balanced and satisfying. 

The thing that makes them really stand out is their wonderfully weird consistencies. They can be sticky, gooey, jelly, creamy, bouncy, slimey, crispy or everything at the same time. To put it simply - they are fun. 

This cake plays on the gooey, creamy, sticky parts.

The base is a dense, moist and soft shortcake while the top layer is thick, gooey, fudgy custard. That means you don't need to make frosting (bonus!).

To make the top layer stay gooey, you must first do your best not to over-bake it.

However, some liquid sugar via honey and a relatively high volume of melted white chocolate helps to create this fudginess. It also lends a rich, wonderfully creamy flavour that is prettttttty addictive. 

The brilliant yellow colour of this cake suggests lemon, and I'd have to agree with that! Lemon and white chocolate love each other, so feel free to add the zest of one lemon to the sponge base mixture. 

That yellow colour is a sign of how wonderfully rich it is, owing to the yellow colour of white chocolate and... butter. Gorgeous, golden butter!

I hope you reach out and explore these new textures, and maybe plan a trip to Thailand. Remember to wear a hat because your mind will be blown when you discover the array of imaginative desserts on display everywhere you go.

Life is boring without a bit of change here and there, so challenge yourself and switch it up!


White Chocolate Gooey Cake
Makes 9-12 servings

Cake base:
¾ cup (105g) all-purpose flour
½ tsp baking powder
1/8 tsp salt
1/3 cup (75g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup plus 1 tbsp (75g) sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp (30ml) milk
1 tsp vanilla extract

Gooey layer:
85g (3oz) pure white chocolate
2 tbsp (30ml) honey
2 tbsp (30ml) milk
¼ cup (56g) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/3 cup (65g) sugar
1/8 tsp salt
1 large egg
2/3 cup (95g) all-purpose flour

Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Line an 8x8-inch baking pan with parchment paper, allowing the ends to hang over at least 2 inches. Set aside.

Make the cake base, sift together flour, baking powder and salt and set aside. 

Using an electric mixer or a wide rubber spatula, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy, about 2 minutes. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add flour mixture and mix gently until just moistened, about 10 seconds. Add the milk and vanilla and beat just until incorporated. Spread the thick mixture into an even layer in the prepared pan and set aside.

To make the gooey layer, combine white chocolate, honey and milk in a small saucepan over low heat and stir until melted and smooth. Let cool. In an electric mixer cream butter, sugar and salt until fluffy. Add the egg and beat until combined. Add the flour and white chocolate mixture alternately, mixing each time until all ingredients are incorporated. Pour over the cake base and spread into an even layer.

Bake until evenly golden, the edges have set and the center is still gooey, 20-25 minutes. Do not over-bake. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Lift from pan using the parchment and slice in to squares. This be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for up to 2 days or refrigerated for longer.

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