Sunday, January 09, 2005

Test-Kitchen: The Disasterous Kek Batik

Kek Batik Posted by Hello

After reading the post on kek batik by Renee on, I was very eager to make it myself. Like Renee, I cannot argue against sweetened condensed milk and chocolate. Nobody, in his/her right mind, could go against that divine combination. In fact, right after reading her post, I made a mental note to get the necessary ingredients at the supermarket later that day.

However, the occasion to make the cake did not arise. But one will probably be amused at how it finally came about. Well, I woke up at 5am with a tummyache earlier today and decided I could not go back to bed anymore. What else could better keep me preoccupied other than my favourite hobby, experimenting in the kitchen? So there, an occasion arose due to a tummyache.
Anyway, I proceeded to prep for the recipe accordingly. Everything seemed to go accordingly until I got to the point of cooking the batter in the pot. It was taking a mightly long time to firm up to a soft-dough consistency so I decided to re-read the post. ARGH!! I had forgotten to add in the 60g of white caster sugar! At that point, I frantically searched for the cup measure to portion out that missing ingredient and dumped it into the pot, as it it would definitely make things better. I thought that sugar would melt in the heat anyways so it should not matter too much. Anyways, the cooking time extended to about 1/2 hour before it finally began to thicken a little. I wanted to heed Renee's warning that overcooking could result in a undesirable texture so I took it off the heat as soon as I thought it was slightly thicker. In went the biscuits after that. I thought the proportion of biscuits to batter was too large and made a mental note to lessen the amount accordingly the next time around. The batter still looked a bit too runny when I transferred it into the prepared pan, but again, I thought it would harden in the fridge.

Well, it did not :( Now I have a container full of fudge-like concoction, layered with one-too-many biscuits. However, the recipe passed the taste-test with flying colors! As previously mentioned, how nasty can a combination of sweet condensed milk and chocolate be? The bland biscuits offset the sweetness of the chocolate fudge and I enjoyed every bite of my serving without feeling sick of it. Jeremy and my brother also seemed to like the taste. Ok, I guess that alone is enough justification to give the recipe one more try. But I doubt it will be anytime soon, because I've a whole bunch of other ones to try out ;-), particularly a Nutella tart posted by Emily.

Renee's Kek Batik

- ½ cup (120g) softened unsalted butter
- ¼ cup (35g) loosely packed dark Muscovado sugar-
- ¼ cup (60g) caster sugar
- 5 medium eggs
- 1 396g-can sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup (55g) Milo
- ½ cup (50g) Dutch-process unsweetened cocoa, sifted
- 1½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- approx. 20 pieces (150g) big Marie biscuits

Line an 8” square cake pan with a piece of long rectangular-shaped greaseproof paper, such that the bottom and two sides of the cake pan are lined, and that the two ends of the greaseproof paper extend a few inches beyond the cake pan. These will act as “handles” and help facilitate the easy unmoulding of the cake later.

Combine the sweetened condensed milk, Milo and cocoa powder in a medium bowl. Mix well to get a smooth, thick paste. Set aside.

Break each Marie biscuit into four or five pieces. (If using the smaller Marie biscuits, break into thirds.) Set aside.

Using either an electric mixer or a strong arm (whichever is more readily available), beat the butter and sugars together until the sugars are just about dissolved and the mixture is light and fluffy. If using the machine, scrape down the sides of the bowl once or twice, if necessary.

Add the eggs one at a time, and beat until just fully incorporated. Scrape the sides of the bowl as and when necessary.

Add the vanilla and cocoa-Milo mixture. Mix on low speed until just incorporated. (The batter will be liquidy.)

Transfer batter to a large pot (I find a deep non-stick skillet or even a non-stick wok works very well, as they remove the risk of the batter scorching). Cook on a low flame, stirring constantly, until the batter comes together into a soft dough. [Avoid cooking with too high a heat, as this will give the batter a rather rough, perhaps even clumpy, texture. Also avoid over-cooking the batter, as the dough will then be too hard to mix the biscuits into without them disintegrating into tiny pieces, and it will also be harder to spread the dough into the cake pan.]

Remove from the heat. Put in the broken Marie biscuit pieces and fold until just mixed through. Spoon dough into the prepared cake pan, and level it out, making sure to press the dough into the corners and edges of the cake pan. [I find that the most efficient way to do this is to slip my hand into a plastic bag before using my fingertips to press the dough into shape. The dough will be hot, so be careful ; but this is the best way I’ve found to eliminate the problem of the dough sticking to the spatulas, backs of spoons or fingers.]

Put cake into the refrigerator and leave to chill overnight (yes, this will be extremely difficult to do, but try ; you’ll be glad you did). Once the cake has cooled (a couple of hours after being put into the fridge), cover the top of the cake pan with plastic wrap.

To unmould the cake: simply run a bread knife along the two unlined sides of the cake pan, hold on to the two long ends of greaseproof paper and pull the cake free of the pan. Tear away the greaseproof paper and place the cake on a plate.

The cake is at its fudgy best when served at room temperature; but it is just as lip-smackingly good straight from the fridge.

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