Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Malaysian Honeycomb cake...aka "Ant's Nest Cake"



how cool is this cake?

you might have seen the Vietnamese Pandan Honeycomb Cake i did last month.  this one is similar in texture, but much easier to make.  you'll probably get it right the first try and unlike the finicky Pandan Honeycomb, you most likely have the ingredients at home.

the flavor is a very subtle caramelized sugar...not too sweet.  some of my taste testers considered it a bit plain on it's own, but delicious paired with a Vietnamese coffee or a cool iced latte.  the texture is what's most interesting...moist...a little cakey on the top, but almost chewy.  hard to describe.

if your looking for a "fancy cake"...this isn't it.  it won't compete with a triple layer double chocolate that everyone expects, but it sure is interesting and out of the ordinary with a lot of possibilities.  breakfast treat?...afternoon tea/latte?
dressed up for a unique dessert?

a warm drizzle of salted caramel?...YES please

i liked it so much that i will make it again.  next time i might try a few add-ins like a touch of vanilla or a dash of cardamom?...a splash of espresso?...star anise?

many thanks to "House of Annie" with great step by step instructions

210 g sugar
240g water...just 250ml
80g butter
6 eggs
160g condensed milk
180g all purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking soda

caramelize the sugar until it turns a dark golden brown.  this means the sugar alone goes into the pan.  keep a very close eye so as not to burn it around the edges as i almost did.  don't hurry it and don't worry...it will slowly melt and turn into a dark golden liquid caramel.
SLOWLY and CAREFULLY pour the water into the caramel.  this will spatter and boil and seize up for the first minute or so...not to worry, it will return to a this liquid syrup.  remove from heat.  add the butter and set aside to cool.
preheat the oven to 350F USING BOTTOM ELEMENT ONLY
grease a 9 inch round cake pan
mix the egg and condensed milk in a bowl
sift the flour and baking soda together and add to the egg/milk mixture...mix well.
pour the caramel butter sauce into the batter and mix well.
pour batter into prepared pan.  let sit for 5 minutes for the bubbles to begin developing.
bake at 350F with bottom element only.  no convection for 1 hour or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.
when the cake is cool, turn it out onto a plate.

serve sliced on it's own it has a nice caramelized sugar flavor.  fresh whipped cream and or ice cream would be a nice add...
BUT the honeycomb tunnels are just begging for some delicious sauce.

give it a try and get creative with your presentation.  i'm sure it will be a hit and a definite conversation starter.


Samantha said...

Makes me wish I wasn't alergic to eggs... :( looks SO good

Diane said...

Oh this is spectacular! I have just got to see if I can make an allergy free version! Ty for sharing this one!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Samantha. darn wish you could eat eggs, but thanks for checking it out.

hey Diane...allergy to flour? i wonder if gluten free flour would work?...hmmm, i haven't experimented with the gluten free flours yet. i'll probably get on that soon

Kithseer said...

Question: condensed milk. is that sweetened or liquid evaporated milk in can (not powdered) (for USA/america)

Anonymous said...

Jules - what to do if your oven can't do the bottom element only thing?


Irina @ wandercrush said...

This is beautiful! I've definitely got to try this :) Thanks so much for sharing.

Anonymous said...

I haven't had this for a long long time. I think it is delicious just as it is. A slice of this cake, a cup of hot tea during rainy days. Perfect. Thanks for posting this!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Nata...no bottom element only?...hmmm...that's what the original said, but i bet you could MAYBE move your rack to the lower third of the oven and lightly tent the top of the cake? so the foil is not touching the cake and warm air can still get to it? this is just a guess, but maybe worth a try. you'll have to watch the cake because it might cook differently, time wise. i would love a report if you do decide to give it a try....thanks

Jules and Ruby said...

HI Irina...this uses "sweetened condensed milk" in the can. it's funny how much sweet goes into the cake and it doesn't tastes too sweet at all.

Anonymous...you're right...it IS good on it's own. just right for that afternoon "cuppa" tea. we're having a heat flash here so i suggested an iced latte would be great as well. thanks for the comment

Marina @ Let the Baking Begin Blog! said...

I don't know how Malaysian this cake is, because older ladies from the villages in Ukraine have been making it for at least 2 generations before mine))) that's before the Internet))) this used to be a cake that's served at celebrations, because people were poor and they couldn't afford the kind of desserts we eat today, and this cake uses all ingredients that were available to them at the time :)
Anyway, while I don't know the origins of this cake, I do know that it tastes great and that I love the texture if this cake, as well as the rising bubbles :) I never saw the recipe of this cake online and am very excited to find it, because I will definitely make it. Thanks for a great post!

Anonymous said...

Wow! That looks amazing!

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Marina...that's interesting. what is it called in the Ukraine? is it Honeycomb Cake? thanks so much for sharing the information and i'm glad you found this recipe. i hope it's the same cake you remember. maybe it will bring you good memories. thanks for the comment.

Marina | Let the Baking Begin Blog! said...

It's called "Nachinka" and you would pronounce it as 'nuh-cheen-kuh". It's on my 'to do' list, and I will try to get back to ya when I make it :) Hopefully it will turn out as beautiful as yours :)

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Marina...thanks for getting back with the Ukrainian name. i hope you make it soon and give a report or direct me to you blog and let me know...jules

Nate @ House of Annie said...

Beautifully done! Thanks for the link back.

Jules and Ruby said...

HI Nate ...thank YOU so much for the great recipe

Jayne said...

Hi Jules! Your recipe is a success! I lo used brown sugar to accentuate the caramel flavour. Everyone loved it! Super spongy and bouncy. I posted a picture on www.Instagram.com/Jaynetinkers I'll also be posting it on my blog soon and will link back. Fabulous recipe! ♡

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Jayne...so glad this worked. i really liked it. maybe i'll do it again. thanks for the report AND i'll go check your instagram.

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SYLVIA said...


Anonymous said...

@Marina, I think you got your info wrong. Nachinka is nothing like this cake! It has onions in the recipe.

Marina said...

@ Anonymous - How random is it, that 5 years after my comment, I just searched for this cake and came across this cake again, and found your comment? :D

Believe it or not, I know exactly what I am talking about, as just this thanksgiving a relative that came to visit us from Ukraine (western part), made it and guess what they called it? Yep, you guessed it - nachinka :D

I think her recipe is more similar to the ones posted online under the name "Бабка нягрэ" (google it, to see what I am talking about) though.

Marina | Let the Baking Begin! said...

@ Anonymous - I do wonder if you're thinking of what we here know as "stuffing". Because that is a different kind dish, and its also called "nachinka".

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