It’s green and aromatic, a herb that instantly adds flavour to many Asian dishes. Most Indian dishes, I feel, would be incomplete without a garnish of freshly chopped coriander leaves. However, who would have thought that a bakery in Singapore would take it a step further and use it in a cake.
Recently, when the picture of coriander cake was shared on social media, I could not comprehend what the taste would be like.
Speaking to Food by Gulf News, the Singapore based bakery – bakersbrew that came up this unique flavour said: “Imagine the taste of two layers of lemon coriander cake filled with passionfruit curd and coriander crumble. The fresh crunchiness of coriander meets the citrus zest of lemon, dances with the tart flavour of passionfruit, with a burst of tangy-sweet combination that’s just divine.”
People apparently like it for its fresh fragrance and sharpness. However, Emma Ling, marketing manager at the bakery said: “There are two camps when it comes to eating coriander – it’s either people really love it or they hate it.” Their cake definitely garnered many mixed responses, both good and bad. Most people are thinking of presenting it to their friends and some would order it for their enemies. Yes, you read that right. A twitter post read: “You can now order coriander cakes in Singapore for your friends and enemies.”
A flavorful accident
Celebrating their colleague, Eunice’s birthday, who happens to be a huge fan of this herb, the bakery’s team thought of this recipe. Ling said, “She is someone who loves to throw a whole bunch of coriander in her hot pot.” Taking cue from her love for coriander, they decided to use it on her birthday cake. At first, they only used the sprigs to decorate her birthday cake and it was only much later that they used it in the cake mix.
According to Ling, “It was more of an accidental discovery.” Only time and in this case social media will tell if coriander cake is a fortunate stroke of serendipity.
The picture that went viral had a three tier vanilla cake, laced with sprigs of fresh green coriander. It was the contrast of green on white that looked unique, just like the flavour.
This, one of its kind herb cake has gained popularity among cake lovers and baking enthusiasts in the South Asian Island city. Ling said: “We have had a number of orders already and some of our customers have already picked up their cakes of this flavour.”
Both old and new customers of this six-year-old bakery came in big numbers to see what social media was talking about. In addition, because the bakery has been popular for baking traditional flavours like Ondeh Ondeh, which is cake made with rice flour, palm sugar and grated coconut.
How are netizens reacting?
“We have had a lot of shocked reactions and everyone was genuinely interested in whether it was a real coriander cake,” Ling said. It comes as no surprise, because the first time you come across the picture you will need a second look to make sure if you read it right. “When we launched the cake, the coriander was just for aesthetic purposes and our customers could choose the sponge and icing from over 10 flavours.” It was only after seeing the overwhelming response that they officially launched the cake and flavour on October 1, 2021.
The bakery was not ready to release the recipe, but we did some research and found one version that sounded quite yum.
Chiffon coriander cake recipe by The Sugar Crumble:
1 bunch of fresh coriander
3 eggs (yolks and white separated)
1 tsp oil
50 ml water
60 ml coconut milk
50 gms cake flour (all-purpose flour)
1/8th teaspoon salt
½ tsp baking powder
To make meringue:
3 egg whites
¼ tsp cream of tartar
50 gms sugar
1. Wash and chop 15 gms coriander. Chop of the stem and only keep the leafy part.
2. In a blender, add coriander, water and coconut milk. Blitz to a paste.
3. Empty it in a bowl and keep aside.
4. Whisk three egg yolks and add oil to it.
5. Add the coriander paste into the whisked egg yolk mix.
6. In a bowl mix flour, salt and baking powder together.
7. Add this dry ingredient to the coriander paste and whisk it well.
8. To make the meringue add egg yolks, cream of tartar and whisk until it becomes foamy and white in colour. Gradually add sugar to it.
9. Whisk on high speed until sharp peaks are achieved.
10. Add 1/3rd of the meringue to the coriander mix until incorporated. Gently please.
11. Add the coriander mixture to the remaining meringue.
12. Empty the mixture In a 6-inch tube pan (Bundt pan). Tap firmly a couple of times to release any air bubbles formed.
13. In an oven, bake for 30 minutes at 165C and then switch to 150C for 15 minutes.
14. Use a skewer to check if the cake is baked, it should come out clean.
15. Remove the pan from the oven, turn it over and let it cool.
16. Once cool, run a knife through the side and remove it onto a cake plate. Spongy coriander cake is ready to be served.
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