Cakes with all premium ingredients seem to be big hits of the town. Special ingredients such as selected flour, healthy food, rich chocolate, various spreads, and many kinds of additional agents often added into cakes in order to make them one-of-a-kind and stand out.
The demands for those cakes are getting higher. As big cities are predicted to have increasing number of middle class consumers (means more sweet-tooth are going to rave to the most unique products they can afford), high-end cake shop and bakery strive to be the number one in taste, look, and creativity.
One factor that often has to be fulfilled is brand-minded characteristic of customers. More customers tend to associate the type of products with the number one brand in the market. Hazelnut chocolate spread must be Nutella, cookies and cream must be Oreo, crunchy chocolate spread must be Ovomaltine.
However, what can make a cake shop special now that almost every cake shops incorporating these ingredients to their cake?
Sometimes we need to embrace the essential of creating, which is making extravagant work from even simplest material we can find. Elevating cheap and usual ingredients we took for granted into a cake that taste as delicious as the premium cake takes a great effort and creativity as well.
If we are willing to think outside the box, there are actually many ingredients to explore. Dwiyanto, Pastry Sous Chef of Colette and Lola, choose Marie Regal Biscuit and Milo Breakfast Cereal for his cake.
“The reason behind choosing those ingredients is because we try to bring back childhood experience through my cake. Those ingredients, especially Marie Regal biscuits, are snack we often munch in our early years. Until now, this biscuit is still popular as snack for kids,” said Dwiyanto.
Their characteristics make them easily combined with other ingredients. Marie Regal biscuits are dense and have slightly sweet starchy flavour. The mild taste makes this biscuit easily absorbs other taste. Meanwhile, Milo cereal is already packed with malt and chocolate flavour. The light and crunchy texture balances the soft texture of the cake.
There are still many snacks that wait to be turned into delicious cake. The question is; how to bring the best of everyday food in the cake?
Dwiyanto explained that the trick of incorporating everyday food in cake is pairing it with selected ingredients. Think about the ingredients that complete your choice of everyday food the most. Then, choose the best version of it and combine them in one package.
“For the example, Marie Regal biscuit is associated with tea. That’s why we choose Earl Grey tea as aromatic ingredients in Colette and Lola Marie cake. We dip Marie Regal biscuit in Earl Grey tea in order to obtain the flavour and aroma. After that, Marie Regal biscuits are ready to process into cake,” said Dwiyanto.
Milo cereal with it crunchy texture makes a solid base layer for cake. However, it needs a binding agent to form a solid base layer. Dwiyanto choose melted dark coverture chocolate to avoid overwhelming sweet taste in the cake.
Before choosing these additional ingredients, we also have to understand the characteristic of our chosen ingredients. By knowing these characteristic, we will then know how to prepare them.
“For the example, Marie Regal can absorb liquid in high amount quickly. It can turn mushy, even falls apart into porridge. That’s why we only dip Marie Regal in Earl Grey tea for seconds instead of soaking it. We also wait for the melted chocolate to cool down a bit before making Milo Cereal base layer. It is important because cereal will lose its crispiness if exposed to hot liquid,” said Dwiyanto.
These cakes will be more excellent if the cake constructed with unique design. Every layer has to be balanced and the frosting or glaze should be smooth and applied thoroughly.
“At the end of the day, what matters in cake-making is creativity. Think about the value of those ingredients, as for us, it is the nostalgic and comforting value of the ingredients. What we do is we try to bring those values into our cake,” said Dwiyanto.
Exploring more ingredients to bake and right technique to apply to those ingredients are surely the first step you have to do if you decide to make a unique cake from everyday ingredients. Be innovative and surprise your customers with the results.