Mid-Semester Bake #1

Sunday 20th September 2020:

It’s the weekend marking the start of mid-semester break! (finally). Two whole weeks of not having to deal with lectures, tutorials, presentations etc…BUT there are still major assignments to plow through. Still, it’s a bit of a reprieve from the usual school routine and for that I am extremely thankful.

And that is why I decided to just let go and not do any schoolwork this weekend. There were brief moments where I’d be itching to hit the books because I’d feel a little guilty about not studying / working on assignments, but nope, I need to learn how to take a break sometimes.

Last night, I was scrolling through Insta like the teen I wish I still was, and chanced across a friend’s story showcasing her brilliant baking skills. She was attempting to make taro/yam mooncakes because tis’ the season for Mid-Autumn Festival shenanigans, and those looked so amazing. She happened to tag the recipe she followed, so I did some more digging and eventually found this blog account run by 2 Singaporean pastry makers specialising in vegan desserts. There were so many interesting options and best of all, they had the recipes to go along with them.

I was initially toying with the idea of making a good rich chocolate cake, but after poring through the recipes on the blog (https://www.deliav.com/blog) I finally settled on making the vanilla sponge cake with taro filling!

My first time dealing with taro and it was a messy affair trying to clean and slice her up.

I had to steam the taro pieces and it was my first time bringing out the big pots + metal racks and setting everything up by myself. It’s not much I know, but my previous attempts to steam other foodstuff failed (I tried to use smaller makeshift equipment which did not work), so being able to successfully steam the taro felt like such a big milestone in my cooking journey. Life lesson 1: Progress is progress, no matter how big or small.

Proceeded to mash the steamed taro which was a good arm workout indeed. A splash of coconut milk and a generous sprinkle of sugar later, the taro filling is complete and ready to slather onto the vanilla sponge!

I have never learnt how to slather/pipe/layer cakes before, which is probably why the end product turned out less visually appealing than I imagined. The taro paste was quite firm, more so than usual cream frosting, so it was a tad hard to ‘mould’ it into shape. But I tried my best and the resulting product ended up being pretty THICCC – I didn’t think my taro paste was that much when I was mashing, but it turned out rather substantial indeed.

Doesn’t this resemble a really huge ice cream sandwich? Because that’s what crossed my mind when I was taking this picture

My chunky sturdy cake is currently all wrapped up in foil and chilling in the fridge. She is a heavy one I must say and I can’t wait to give her a try! I did swipe some taro paste earlier while slathering onto the cake, and boy was it yumz! I usually don’t bake such indulgent cakes like this (my standard bakes are really low in oil and sugar and no coconut cream used) but I figured since it’s the holidays, I should go all out and make a decadent dessert for the family to enjoy! Cross my fingers and hope they’ll like it!

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