Chinese Bakery-Style Fruit + Cream Cake

This is a belated Mother’s Day post.  Since I started baking more regularly, my mom has been my primary taste-tester and honest critiquer.  What especially touches me about her support is that she is actually quite vigilant about her dietary habits and sugar intake.  Despite this, she still gets excited about the things I make and always finds a way to fit in an enthusiastic nibble of whatever mess I’ve made.

Yup, she has always enthusiastically partaken in the things my sister and I have concocted – at times bravely so, with the courage that springs only from a mother’s deep love for her well-meaning but hopelessly inept children.  The kind of love that makes you not only eat an entire ham and cheese sandwich presented to you in bed that was kind of soft upon removal from the microwave and then cooled into an impenetrable block of  bread and deli fixings, but also reassuringly declare that you love it.

Hopefully this cake begins to make up for all the questionable things ingested over the years.

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It’s light, fluffy and moist.

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With lots of fresh fruit inside…

Apricots.

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…and out.

Kiwi, mango, and papaya forlornly strewn about.  There should have been more fruit, but *someone* ate it all right before the cake was assembled.

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And just a touch of sweetness.

Our family in turtle form, courtesy of Hobbit and her mad Mother’s Day crocheting skillz. So sweet.

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Yes, a chinese bakery-style cake was perfect.

Turtles like cake too.


Some notes:
1.  Sugar content.   I cut the sugar from the original recipe even more for my mom’s sake.  We didn’t miss it flavor or texture-wise.  A simple syrup is poured over the cake anyways, which compensates for any lost moisture.

2.  Pudding vs. whipped cream middle layer.   For the middle layer, I substituted a vanilla custard pudding recipe in place of the custard filling recipe in the original recipe (I felt like I could still taste the flour in the original custard despite cooking it to a brief boil).  All the chinese bakery cakes I’ve had have used whipped cream in the middle layer;  not sure which I like better.  Pudding provides moisture and structure, whipped cream keeps the cake lighter and fluffier.

3.  Whipped Cream.  Volume:  The ingredient volumes for the whipped cream frosting are enough for a lightly frosted cake (see second picture).  If you prefer a thicker layer of whipped cream, increase the volumes (the original recipe doubles everything).  Stabilization:  I’m not convinced adding gelatin to the whipped cream does much (Maybe it would be more noticeable on a hot, humid day?).  The texture didn’t seem much different from that of unstabilized whipped cream either the day of or several days after, and so far, the gelatin has solidified into tiny bits each time I’ve used it.  If anyone has any insight or tips on adding gelatin, do share!

4.  Shelf life:  I would eat this on the day of assembly.  The cake is very airy from the eggs and has very little structure to it (less than 1 cup of flour), so the bottom layer in particular compresses quite a bit from the weight of the cake itself if left overnight (see second picture again).  The cake also becomes a bit soggier overnight.  Still tasty, just not as fluffy and delicate as it would be if you were to eat it the same day.  I’d say it’s edible up to 2 days after assembling.  3 days is pushing it.

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RECIPE adapted from Eva Bakes
(Click to enlarge)

chinese bakery-style cake blog

chinese bakery-style cake JPG 2

Seconds? Why yes, please!

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