01: Antoinette – Castella Cake
Inspired by the iconic cake from the Nagasaki region of Japan (brought to Japan by the Portuguese in the 16th century), Antoinette’s Queen’s Castella Cake Collection is a modernised interpretation of this humble sponge cake. Chef Pang Kok Keong puts his own spin on this centuries-old classic by skipping the baking powder and instead lifting the cake with a meringue. He then bakes them on low heat in a water bath for an extended period of time. While traditional Castella cakes are dense and sweet, this technique makes Antoinette’s much more delicate as the painstakingly whipped egg whites are able to hold their airiness through the gentle cooking. Besides the classic vanilla, Pang has up the ante with the vanilla cheese cake topped with a savoury cheddar and parmesan glaze. He has also created other varieties, such as infusing aromatic Earl Grey tea into the product or topping the cake with a luscious Nutella glaze. A crowd-pleaser is the locally-inspired ondeh ondeh flavour, made using fresh pandan leaves, coconut and gula melaka. The castella cakes are available now at 30 Penhas Road, and at Mandarin Gallery from 22 July 2017.
02: Old Seng Choong – Butter Cake
Chef Daniel Tay, who’s behind the Old Seng Choong brand, uses a time-honoured recipe for the popular nostalgic teatime treat of butter cake. His Gu You Gek (Original Butter Cake) also serves as the base to inventive pairings like the Long-an Gu You Gek (longan butter cake), Ang Zou Hup Toh Gu You Gek (red dates and walnut butter cake) and Mui Qui Loh Gi Zi Gu You Gek (wolfberries and rose wine butter cake), where familiar Asian ingredients give the bakes an unusual twist. The use of Hokkien names is another playful throwback to the good old days. Another oldie on the menu is Uncle Seng’s Apple Pie with buttery pastry, tender Granny Smith apples, raisins, and cinnamon.
03: Shangri-La – Durian Cheesecake Tart
Using his immaculate French culinary training and vast dessert-making experience to transform Singapore’s beloved tropical fruit, Shangri-La Hotel, Singapore’s executive pastry chef Hervé Potus has gifted the ever-popular Mao Shan Wang durian a well-deserved dash of elegance. The dainty tarts are created using a traditional European cheesecake recipe that incorporates aromatic cream cheese with a brittle shortbread base. Known for its bittersweet taste and creamy texture, the treasured Mao Shan Wang durian is blended into the filling and imparts a depth of flavour that balances the sweetness of each forkful while preserving the rich, velvety consistency. Created in celebration of the reopening of the hotel’s Tower Wing, the tarts are available until September 10, at Shophouse by Shangri-La and The Lobby Lounge.
04: Tarte by Cheryl Koh – Black Forest Tart
The celebrated German cake is dolled up into an artisanal tart in an adaptation that exudes the style and creativity of Chef Cheryl Koh of the eponymous Tarte by Cheryl Koh. All the components that make a traditional Black Forest Cake are still visible, but have now been encapsulated in a delicate chocolate tart with a few new twists. A layer of chocolate cake made with 66% Mexique dark chocolate offers a sophisticated alternative to the classic sponge, while additions of cream, chocolate mousse, kirsch-marinated Morello cherries, and a cherry jelly core make up the rest of the decadent dessert. Created in collaboration with Shangri-La Hotel, the tarts are available for a limited time until September 10 at the hotel and Tarte by Cheryl Koh (Shaw Centre). Koh’s other new tart flavours available at her store at Shaw Centre are the apricot almond tart, and pistachio tart.