Today, I’m excited to share with you one of my favorite snacks during my childhood days in the Philippines. It’s neither pizza nor burgers and fries… it’s a cake! I just love cakes when I was little. I can eat it anytime of the day without complaint. My mom’s banana, chocolate, orange and vanilla flavored chiffon cakes were among my favorites that time. She has baked lots of them using her wonder oven. But there is this other cake that I really love. It’s what’s known as Filipino Custard Cake. It’s a 2-layer upside down cake, with chiffon cake at the bottom and custard (or what’s popularly known as leche flan in the Philippines) on top. We actually didn’t have a real oven that time…and the wonder oven is not capable of making this cake, so my mom has never made this at home. Luckily, there’s this bakery in town which sells the best tasting custard cake…and guess what, it is owned by a good friend’s family! Every time my mom goes to the market, she would buy 6 slices of custard cake from the bakery…and on special occasions, a whole cake. Sometimes, my friend would bring a slice or two for me in school, and that would make me really happy. As a young girl, every bite of a custard cake was like a piece of heaven, and my mom was really disappointed that she couldn’t make it for me. I remember she tried experimenting a few times combining her vanilla chiffon cake and leche flan recipes, but none of those experiments turned out successful all because she was using a wonder oven. When I got married and started baking, the Filipino Custard Cake is the first cake I tried…of course using my mom’s chiffon cake and leche flan recipes. Well, it wasn’t perfect at first. The very first time I baked it, the caramel was kinda bitter and the cake wasn’t soft enough. But practice makes perfect. After making it several times, I can say it’s as good as the one I used to enjoy in Mindoro. The cake and the custard have the right texture and there’s no more burnt sugar taste. This is what I want to share with you here…
…a special version of it actually! I made two custard cakes and put them together…making it two-layers! Double treat hah! I’m sure my mom is looking down from heaven with a proud mother smile! The ingredients for the custard part of this cake is basically the same as the leche flan ingredients you’ll find on my blog, but I used less eggs for this, and included 2 egg whites so the custard will be firm enough to hold its shape. For the chiffon cake, the only difference from my mom’s recipe is I used olive oil instead of vegetable oil. I find it such a healthy substitute so that’s what I use nowadays for any recipe requiring vegetable oil.
This is a really good cake, and I hope you’ll get to try it. It’s so perfect for tea time and even for dessert!
- For the caramel:
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 2 Tbsp water
- For the custard:
- 6 egg yolks
- 2 egg whites
- 1 (12oz.) can evaporated milk
- 1 (14oz.) can condensed milk
- 2 tsp. grated lemon rinds
- For the Chiffon Cake:
- 2 1/2 cups cake flour
- 1 1/2 cups sugar
- 3 tsp baking powder
- 1 tsp salt
- 8 eggs (yolk and white separated)
- 3/4 cup fresh milk
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp cream of tartar
- Slightly grease two 9" round baking pans. Combine caramel ingredients in a small saucepan. (Don't use a non-stick pan because sugar won't melt well on it.) Caramelize over low heat until sugar is all melted. Be patient. Do not stir at all. Just swirl the pan gently once some color begins to appear. Do not overcook the sugar or you will end with a bitter taste on your flan. Pour into prepared baking pans and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, gently whisk 6 egg yolks and 2 egg whites until well incorporated. Add evaporated milk and condensed milk and continue whisking until smooth and well combined. Do it gently so as not to agitate the mixture too much and add bubbles to the custard. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve (or cloth), and then pour into the baking pan with hardened caramel. Set aside.
- In another bowl, mix flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Make a well in the middle and add the egg yolks, milk, olive oil and vanilla. Whisk until smooth. In another bowl, combine 8 egg whites and cream of tartar. Using a mixer on low speed, mix until soft peaks begin to form. Gradually add the remaining 1/2 cup of sugar and continue mixing on high speed until the mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Preheat oven to 350F. Fold in the meringue (egg white mixture) into the flour-yolk mixture until well combined. Pour mixture over the custard mixture in the baking pans. Pour about 4 cups of hot water into a roasting pan with rack then place the cake pans on top of the rack. Place the roasting pan in the middle rack of the oven and bake for about 1hour or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean. Start checking your cake after 50 minutes to be sure that you won't over bake.
- Remove from oven and allow to completely cool down. Carefully invert the first cake onto a plate or cake stand, and then carefully invert the second cake on top of the first cake. Slice and serve.
© 2012, Tina a.k.a. PinayInTexas. All rights reserved.