I did it! I did it! yaaayy.............
This is my second attempt making this kind of cake and the first one was nothing but failure :(. I was determined to make it again until I succeeded and here it is my friend, I proudly present my Lapis Cake :D.
This is another traditional Indonesian delicacy, although Singaporean and Malaysian also have this same cake too. This cake is best known for its ridiculous quantity of butter and egg yolks, making it the number one cake that has the highest cholesterol level :D, not to mention the time it needs to make layer by layer. It needs a great patience and determination. But it's not like you eat it everyday, or you eat the whole thing, so moderation is the key.
Still being traumatic with the failure I had last time, I don't want to waste another 20+ egg yolks and a pound of good quality butter. This is one of the most expensive and labor-intensive cake in Indonesia. To get the best taste, you have to use the best quality ingredients. The freshest eggs, the best quality butter. I would say butter is the key to this cake. We usually use Australian butter that has higher fat content than American butter, and it also has "milky" taste to it that I love so much. The only draw back is that this kind of butter is so darn expensive, about $5 for less than 1/2lb.
I tried a new recipe this time, which uses cream cheese in the batter. You know I love anything cheesy and I still have a little cream cheese left in the fridge. And it only uses less than 20 egg yolks for 7x7in pan. So, it's perfect for another try. 16 egg yolks are not much at all if you're thinking of making this cake. I have a recipe that calls for 60 egg yolks. Yes, you read it right, it's the whole 5 dozens egg yolks and 1.5lbs butter. I'm not that crazy yet, so I'll save it for another time :), but I would be very curious to know how it would turn like.
I used a recipe from auntyyochana site, but I completely change the method. The usual method is you beat the butter and the egg yolk separately until they both bleached, then you combine them together, but the recipe doesn't suggest this. Somehow, I follow my instinct and use the method that I'm familiar with. I also added condensed milk when beating the butter (it's usually added for emulsifier I think? no?) and substitute the rum with Indonesian vanilla powder. It doesn't call for "bumbu spekoek" or mixed spice that's usually make lapis legit its distinct flavor. Some people like it and some don't. I'm okay with it as long as it's not too strong. A little of this spice goes a long way. But I would think it would completely overpower the cheese flavor if it was added. I would prefer it to be added in a regular flavor lapis cake.
I layered it one by one, taking the pan out once every 5 minutes or so, press the cake with fondant smoother, prick the air bubbles if there are any, and layer it with another batter. You need to weigh the batter or use the same amount for each layer to ensure the even finish layers. It took me more than 2 hours I think to finish layering (not counting the batter preparation itself) and all that time, I patiently waiting and sticking my nose to the oven window, watching it carefully like eagle's eyes :D. But seriously, you need to watch it carefully to prevent burning (at least for amateur like me), since you need to use broil setting to brown the layer.
I felt pretty confident when I was halfway through. The cake felt very moist and soft, unlike the first one I made. And I was filled with joy after I cut the four sides and see the pretty layers showing. The very top part was a little too brown than what I would have expected. I was holding a baby and then remembered about the cake!! (I didn't time it). Good thing I didn't burn it or else the last 3-4 hours would have been gone straight to drain :(.
It tasted very moist and soft when I tried it. I was really satisfied with the result, and it completely made my day even though now I'm left with this pain on my feet and my back, hehehe...The cheese flavor is not that strong, I can barely taste it. I think it's predictable, considering the amount of the cream cheese compared to the butter. I would make some adjustment to the recipe to make the ultimate "Lapis Legit Keju". I'm thinking adding more cream cheese, sprinkling each layer with shredded cheese, adding a little more egg yolk to have the usual yellow color in this cake. Some people added yellow coloring to it, but I think it's just fake. This cake is not as yellow as the ones sold in upscale bakery in Indonesia since this doesn't use as many egg yolks. And since I'm a big fan of "milky" flavor, I will substitute some of the flour with powdered milk. Now, it would really be "the ultimate" :D. But don't expect me to make it anytime soon. After this one, we need to work hard to lose that extra calories and cholesterol, not to mention the labor-intensive and time-consuming part. But I gues a multi-component cake would take much longer to make than this.