Chinese Bakery Cake // Fruit and Custard Cake

Today, May 18, 2013, is my sister's eighth birthday, and so in celebration I made a cake based on a classic cake you would find at Sheng Kee or L'epi Dor or any good Chinese bakery.
do excuse the poor lighting, as this was taken indoors, 8 pm, with only candlelight.
This cake has three components. The cake holds up to all the cream and fruit very well. The frosting is not very sweet, but is outrageously light and fluffy. The filling is a great balance of fruit with creamy custard/pudding.

Although our family only has four people, half of the cake was gone in ten minutes. It doesn't look as professional, but it certainly tasted like it!

This recipe does have four parts to it, but don't be scared! It's really fun, especially if you're doing it with the birthday girl ;) She claimed this was the best cake she'd ever had.
Chinese Bakery Cake
adapted from My Edible Memories
makes 1 9" two-layered cake

part 1, The Cake

0.8 cups granulated sugar
6 large eggs, separated into yolks and whites
1 tsp vanilla
1.5 tbsp melted butter
1.5 tbsp milk
0.7 cups all-purpose flour

Preheat oven to 320 degrees Fahrenheit. Cut out a parchment paper circle to place on a 9" cake pan, then do so. Grease and flour the pan.
Combine the egg yolks, vanilla extract, and half of the sugar until pale yellow.
Make a meringue by beating the egg whites in a separate bowl until soft peaks form when the beaters are lifted from the bowl. Add in the rest of the sugar and beat until stiff peaks form.
Fold the meringue into the egg yolk mixture, taking special care not to destroy too much of the volume from the meringue. Mix in the butter, milk and sugar.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean.

part 2, The Pudding Filling

1/3 cup Jell-O Cook to Serve Vanilla Pudding
1 1/2 cup milk

Cook as instructed on package. Cool in refrigerator for at least two hours.

part 3, The Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting

2 tbsp cold water
1 tsp unflavored gelatin
2 cups (1 pint) chilled heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla extract
2.5 tbsp powdered sugar

Sprinkle the gelatin into the water. Let sit for five minutes, then place over a small saucepan of simmering water to let the gelatin dissolve. Let cool.
Meanwhile, let's make the rest of this stuff! First, put your beaters and bowl into the freezer for a little bit, just so everything is nice and cold. Start beating the whipped cream. Do it in small spurts at low speed at the beginning, as it may splutter out. Gradually work your way up to the high speed on your hand mixer, until it is soft and you really want to sink your hand into it. Beat in the vanilla and sugar. When it is starting to become stiff, incorporate the cooled gelatin until very thick, stiff and dry.

part 4, The Assembly

The Cake
The Pudding Filling
The Stabilized Whipped Cream Frosting
Fresh Fruit(I used peaches, raspberries, and strawberries)

Using a knife and dental floss, split the cake into two horizontal, even layers. Use the knife to make a cut from the side and use the floss to cut all the way through the cake.
On one cake layer, spread half of the pudding, leaving a one-inch border. Place your choice of fresh fruit on top of the pudding, covering all of the pudding, but still leaving the one-inch margin. Spoon the remaining pudding on top and spread it out.
Place the second layer of cake on top. Doing this will squish the filling, so it will spread to the edges.
Now it's time for the fun part- frosting the cake!
I'm not too good at this but this is what I did. Feel free to consult other resources to learn how to properly frost a cake.
Make a crumb coat by using a rubber spatula to spread frosting evenly on the sides and the top. Add more frosting to the top, making a thick layer. Use a piping bag + decorating tip to pipe adornments such as roses, shell borders, words, etc.
Refrigerate for a few hours to let the frosting yet, then serve with pride!

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