Tuesday, 16 March 2010

Lapis Legit - Indonesian Layered Cake

This Indonesian layer cake has been baked up by a few of my good friends lately and I was excited to try it. Originally posted by fellow Bread Baking Babe Lien, the recipe makes a dense, moist, not-too-sweet cake with layered complexity.
The baking itself is rather unique. The layers are laminated on by the heat of the broiler in quick succession. You have to be organized and on the ball with this recipe, but as impossible as it seems it really works. In the end the cake looks like layered crepes, and tastes that way too. I am so happy that I have tried this unusual technique and delicious cake.

This is a tool that is traditionally used to make even layers for Lapis Legit. The photo was provided to Baking Soda of Bake My Day, by one of her friends. *I don't own one of these, I just used a small offset spatula. My layers are not as even, I was afraid of losing too much volume by spending time spreading out the layers. I needn't have worried, it turned out just fine.

Lapis Legit
("Spekuk" or Indonesian layered cake)

7 eggs
250 g unsalted butter, softened
200 g light brown (or white) soft sugar
100 g ap-flour
1/4 tsp salt
seeds from one vanilla pod

50 g unsalted butter (for brushing)

Preheat the oven to 175°C/350°F
Grease a springform about 8"/20 cm in diameter with butter.

Divide the eggs in whites and yolks.
Stir the butter with the sugar light and creamy. Stir the yolks in one by one and beat well after each addition. Sift the flour and salt over the mixture, add the scraped out seeds from the vanilla pod and use a spatula to mix it.

Whisk the egg whites to a stiff peak stage, stir in two TB of the egg whites in the batter and use a spatula to fold in the rest. (Mine split a little but that didn't seem to matter a lot) If you want to make the spiced version* follow the instructions below.

Heat the ovengrill, place a roster about 10 cm/4" under the grill. Melt the butter in a small sauce pan.
Scoop a few tablespoons in the form and divide this on the bottom into a thin layer. Bake this under the grill for a few minutes until the top is golden brown. Don't take your eye of it. Take it out and brush with the melted butter all over the top.
Now scoop in another layer, bake, brush and keep repeating the process untill all the batter is gone.

Let the cake cool in the mold.
The Lapis legit tastes even better after it has 'ripened' for a day or two.
Serve in thin slices.

*Variation with spices:

It is said that the Dutch with their 'speculaas'-cookies in december made this variation using lots of spices. This is the way to do it:

Divide the batter in two (one a bit less than the other) and stir the following spices into the lesser batter:
8 tsp ground cinnamon
3 tsp ground cardamom
3 tsp ground nutmeg
2 tsp ground cloves
1 tsp ground anice seeds

Now continue the baking process as described above, just alternating the two batters.

*My dark layer is flavoured with cocoa and espresso powder, by eye

(source: "De complete Indonesische keuken" - Lonny Gerungan)