Calamansi Cake

Calamansi Cake

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By Rebecca Lynne Tan

The Straits Times

Wednesday, Aug 07, 2013

  • Singapore turns 48 on Friday and Sunday-Life! is celebrating the occasion with cake, 20 of them.

    It asked 20 bakers and pastry chefs to create Singapore-inspired cakes with local ingredients.

    Some drew inspiration from local desserts - think chendol, pulut hitam and bubor cha cha in cake form, while others took their cue from popular flavours of pandan and coconut, as well as widely available tropical fruit such as durian, mangosteen and jackfruit.

    One chef turned up with two cake creations - he could not decide between a ginger flower, raspberry and lychee cake and one with mangosteen, cassis and sago. Both were luscious and elegant.

    Coconut, in the form of a mousse or in a frosting, or simply toasted and sprinkled atop cakes for texture and aesthetics, featured in many of the cakes.

    To sweeten them, chefs also opted for gula melaka in addition to sugar, giving their creations a familiar molasses note.

    But aside from the intriguing marriage of flavours, the decorations were what truly stood out.

    Dainty, handcrafted chocolate and sugar paste flowers such as a Vanda Miss Joaquim orchid, delicate chocolate spheres, and cakes masterfully decorated with fondant, were some of the highlights.

    Shapes of cakes included one that was made to resemble the skyscrapers of Singapore, while another, made of pandan semolina and durian mousse, was decorated with domes piped with cream to look like The Esplanade, fondly known as Singapore's "durians".

    Below is one of the recipes.

    Calamansi Cake

    Who: Executive chef Fabrizio Aceti, 39 (below), and pastry chef Florent Castagnos, 30, of Hilton Singapore.

    Chef Aceti: "Singapore is known to be a clean and green country. The greencoloured cake represents a green Singapore and the unique combination of pandan, coconut and calamansi symbolises Singapore's multiracial society."

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  • Calamansi sponge
  • 8 eggs
  • 7 egg yolks
  • 270g sugar
  • 180g cake flour
  • 75g corn flour
  • 140g melted butter
  • 200g calamansi juice
  • Crispy white chocolate layer
  • 200g white chocolate
  • 25g cooking oil
  • 50g fine biscuit crumbs
  • Coconut mousse
  • 20g gelatin sheets
  • 500g whipping cream
  • 100g sugar
  • 500g coconut milk
  • Pandan mousse
  • 20g gelatin sheets
  • 20 pandan leaves
  • 200ml water
  • 50g coconut milk
  • 150ml milk
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 120g sugar
  • 500g whipping cream
  • Calamansi glaze
  • 8g gelatin sheets
  • 220g calamansi juice
  • Juice of three large limes
  • 150g whipping cream
  • 50g white chocolate
  • 2 Tbs coconut milk
  • Calamansi sponge
  • 1. Preheat oven to 180 deg C. Grease and line a rectangular tray that is 48cm long, 30cm wide and about 2.5cm deep.
  • 2. With an electric mixer on high speed, whisk eggs, egg yolks and sugar until the mixture is light and fluffy.
  • 3. Sift cake flour and corn flour into a clean bowl. Fold the flour mixture into the egg mixture in two batches.
  • 4. Add the melted butter and calamansi juice into the mixture and fold in.
  • 5. Pour the batter into the tray. The batter should reach about 0.5cm in height. Bake for 12 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the cake comes out clean. The cake should rise to about 1cm in height.
  • Crispy white chocolate layer
  • 1. In a pot over low heat, melt white chocolate together with oil. Add in biscuit crumbs and mix well. Set aside.
  • Coconut mousse
  • 1. Soak gelatin sheets in ice water for about 10 minutes.
  • 2. With an electric mixer, whip the cream and sugar until it is stiff and fluffy. Set aside.
  • 3. Drain gelatin sheets and place in a pot on low heat with 2 Tbs of the coconut milk. Heat until the gelatin sheets have dissolved. Remove from heat.
  • 4. Mix the melted gelatin mixture into the remaining coconut milk.
  • 5. Add the coconut milk mixture into the whipped cream. Whip until well combined. Set aside.
  • Pandan mousse
  • 1. Soak gelatin sheets in ice water for about 10 minutes.
  • 2. Wash pandan leaves and place into a pot with water and simmer over low heat.
  • 3. Meanwhile, drain gelatin sheets and place in a pot over low heat with 2 Tbs of the coconut milk. Heat until gelatin sheets dissolve. Set aside.
  • 4. Remove the pandan leaves and mix the pandan-flavoured water with the coconut milk, milk and melted gelatin mixture. Stir well. Remove from heat. Set aside to cool.
  • 5. With an electric mixer on high speed, beat egg yolks and sugar until light and fluffy. Set aside.
  • 6. In a clean mixing bowl, whip the whipping cream with an electric mixer until it is fluffy, then mix in the egg yolk and sugar mixture.
  • 7. Add the pandan and coconut milk mixture to the whipping cream. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
  • Calamansi glaze
  • 1. Soak gelatin sheets in ice water for about 10 minutes.
  • 2. Pour calamansi juice, lime juice and whipping cream into a pot and set over moderate heat. When it is hot but not boiling, add white chocolate. Continue to simmer until white chocolate dissolves. Remove from the heat.
  • 3. Drain gelatin sheets. Then, in a pot over low heat, melt the gelatin sheets with the coconut milk. Heat until the gelatin sheets dissolve. Remove from heat.
  • 4. Add the melted gelatin into the white chocolate mixture. Set aside.
  • Assembly
  • 1. Cut the sponge to fit a 25cm by 11cm cake ring.
  • 2. On top of this sponge layer, add a thin layer, about 1cm thick or a desired amount, of crispy white chocolate. Leave to set in the fridge for 10 minutes.
  • 3. Next, evenly spread a 1cm-thick layer of coconut mousse over the crispy white chocolate. Set in the fridge for another 10 minutes.
  • 4. Cut another piece of sponge cake to fit the cake ring, and place it on top of the coconut mousse layer. Add a 1cm-thick layer of pandan mousse. Leave to set in the freezer for a few hours.
  • 5. When ready to glaze, melt the calamansi glaze over low heat. Remove from heat when it is smooth. Spread enough glaze over the cake so that it is evenly covered. Leave to set in the refrigerator for 15 minutes before serving.
  • Makes one 700g cake.