Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Engkalak: The Jurassic fruit of Borneo:)

I was tested by an old friend, aPayne, today, on having Engkalak as a my breakfast drink while having an online conversation. I would take that even though I have never tasted it in a form of a drink. It might taste good. Like avocado in a smoothie?:) mmmm:)

Engkala or Engkalak is a fruit that most in Borneo eat for lunch and only found on that island, as far as I know of. Its scientific name: Litsea garciae. It has a hint of sweetness to it when its ripe. The texture and taste of this fruit is very much like avocado, maybe a bit more softer. Green, when its still on trees and when ripe, it turns to this pretty shade of blush pink! Eaten when its totally ripe or to speed up for consumption, pour warm water on the pink, cap off, fruit. Cover it for a few minutes. It will soften in no time. Drain, sprinkle with salt and you're good to go. I would eat this alone or best with hot white rice. Just that. Nothing else and I am a happy camper!

The taste is like having creamy avocado sprinkle with salt and eaten with hot rice. The sprinkled salt enhanced the the overall flavor. A hint of sweetness and lots of creaminess. You do not eat the skin, just the fleshy part of the fruit. It does have a pit that just pops right out when you squeeze it.

Many may not dare to eat this fruit, even locals, because of its appearance when you take off the cap:) or maybe the elderly may just want to have it to themselves and not let the kids have them, so they tell you weird stories! But, like some jungle or tropical fruit, looks can be pretty deceiving. Try it, once, you may like it. Payne, I dare you!:)

Saturday, May 16, 2009

My very own first recipe: Coconut Tea Cake

I missed my Mom and her delicious Coconut Cake that she bakes in one of her Brass Dutch Oven. ~ ooh, the crust!!! I don't have a dutch oven but I do have a regular one as in many households nowadays. My cake version was not even close to my Mom's whose cake is so authentically classic. Shredded Coconut with lots of Eggs, sugar, butter and flour but, at least the flavor is there. I was thinking, a Light cake for tea.

This cake was first made on a recent Mother's Day, created for a very good friend, Naomi on her 1st Mother's Day. I was out of the regular ingredient for my favorite French-Style Lemon Yogurt Cake and since I am making her a Malaysian Home cooked lunch, I thought its time to brave myself in a new cake creation based on that Yogurt Cake recipe. I always have coconut milk in my pantry anyways. So here goes:)!

Sharing with all the bakers out there who has been hit by the baking bug:)
Coconut Tea Cakelook at the close up shot, I can't resist but peel of that corner crusty top layer when the cake just got out of the oven. a habit of mine. oooh..:)

Coconut Tea cake - by yours Truly:) first made on May 10, 2009

Heat your oven to 325ºF

Ingredient A:
4 eggs
1 can coconut milk ( 400 gm/13.5oz)
2 cups sugar** ( see notes below)
1 cup* canola oil

Ingredient B:
3 cups* of flour
4 tsp of baking powder

( Time for all this prep is only about 15 mins)

Mix ingredient A well till nice and smooth but not over mixing. Then, add in Ingredient B. Pour in a greased and floured 8x8 pan.

Bake in 325ºF for about 1 hr or till skewer comes clean.

**NOTE: My sister, the first tester on the other side of the globe, said its a bit sweet with 2 cups of sugar, you may want to reduce it to 1 1/2 if you like:)

1 all-purpose flour - Cup US = 125 gram - g
1 cup oil = 8 fluid ounces( fl oz)

Happy Baking, Bakers!:) these are really good with plain unsweetened hot tea or coffee.