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Monday, December 12, 2011

Nana Ming's Classic Custard Cake

Nana Ming is my mom's sister who at 83 is still passionate about baking.  On our recent reunion, her daughter Gigi showed us pictures of elegant cakes she created for her grandchildren's weddings and other special occasions. In her sheepish way, she cupped her face with her hands and said, "sometimes I don't believe that I made them."

That of course is an understatement.

Nana Ming has always been a good baker. I still could picture a cake she created that resembled the tiles of mahjong. It was so beautiful I could still vividly visualize it, even if this was many years ago. As a kid, I always looked forward to spending summers and holidays at their house as it was filled with a sweet scent coming from freshly baked goodies. Home made Food for the Gods (dates and nuts bars) covered in bright red and green cellophanes, buttery ensaymada (Filipino brioche)  adorn her kitchen like fixtures (though it would disappear fast haha). This is Nana Ming's endearing way to make you feel a sense of comfort in her home. The scent, the taste and the feel of a freshly baked bread evoked a sense of warmth and love.


When she moved to Canada, we missed her baking a lot.  But her staples such as pan de sal (Filipino bun) and custard cake left an indelible mark in our minds... fortunately we were able to squeeze in some lessons when we had a chance to spend a few days together in Orlando.

Beaming her usual sweet smile she says that she loves teaching family and friends on how to bake. Her love for baking was contagious.  I cannot begin to tell you how thrilled I was when this golden silky flan with chiffon cake was turned upside down.  I myself beamed a wide smile as nothing beats the feeling of seeing a perfectly made cake. Like her, I would be so happy if I will be able to share with you:




Nana Ming's Classic Custard Cake

Ingredients:
For the caramel:
1 cup sugar
1/4 c water

For the custard:
3 egg yolks
1 can condensed milk
1 can evaporated milk

For the cake
5 egg yolks
2 1/4 c cake flour
3/4 c sugar
1 tbsp baking powder
3/4 c of water with any flavoring, mocha or orange juice (I used vanilla)

For the meringue
8 egg whites
1/2 tsp cream of tartar
1/2 c sugar

Procedure:
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.

In a heavy sauce pan, combine sugar  and water. Do not stir.  On medium heat, caramelize sugar  until it turns golden brown.  Immediately pour it over a 9 inch baking pan. Set aside.

For the custard: Mix all ingredient together.  Stir lightly using a whisk.  Strain and pour it over to the caramelized pan. Set aside.

For the cake:
Sift together all the dry ingredients.  Beat the eggs and gradually add the dry ingredients and the flavored water.  Set aside.

For the meringue:  Using a stand mixer , beat the eggs whites until fluffy and add cream of tartar and continue to beat until soft peaks begin to form.  Gradually add sugar and continue beating until it becomes stiff.

Fold the cake mixture into meringue mixture, until it is well blended.  Make sure to eliminate any bubbles in the process.

Slowly pour into the pan.  Bake in a baine marie for about an hour or until firm.  Let it cool.  Run a knife around the pan and turn it upside down.

You will be delighted to see a golden, silky flan cake... enjoy!





45 comments:

  1. Oh Malou, you just answered my prayers! I was thinking of baking this for Christmas, but my current recipe is not so dependable. But you,my friend, I trust all your recipes. And I will surely try this one...it's a favorite here. Thanks for sharing a family recipe that's a real treasure!

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  2. hi! i've been a secret follower for quite some time now but i just can't resist posting a comment today. Custard cake is at the top of my comfort food list and seeing this velvety custard, which probably tastes as delicious as it looks, surely made my (birth)day... Thanks for your posts. You inspire me a lot with the way you nurture loving relationships around you...through food...

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  3. Hi Malou,
    Welcome back. Glad to see you blogging again. This time you are sharing your Nana Ming's classic recipe. I love classic recipes that are handed down from one generation to another.
    Cheers!

    Mary

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  4. Your custard cake look moist and yummy! Man, and all that caramel sauce. Wish I could get a bite :)

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  5. Betty Ann: I could vouch that this is a good recipe... i made it twice since my lesson with my Nana Ming.

    Sandy: I'm tickled pink whenver I read comments such as yours. It's geniune and it comes from the heart. I know I write, I blog because of friends like you.

    Mary: Thank you. Im glad to be back and grateful that Nana Ming unselfishly shared her classic recipe.

    Munatycooking: thanks for the shoutout and for the blog love. I sincerely appreciate it. Cheers!

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  6. Your Nana Ming is a superstar and she taught you well. This is one of my favourite cakes. Although I make iced cakes, I actually prefer simple cakes, preferrably with flan on top.

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  7. Hi Malou thank you for sharing wonderful recipes. May I please ask the size pan to use for your delicious custard cake? Thank you :)

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  8. adora: Yeah your baking skills are notches higher compared to mine haha... but glad to know that you like simple recipes.

    hello there! the size of the pan that you could use is 9x13. In this picture, I used a tin baking pan so it was bigger. Thanks for asking and good luck lemme know how it goes.

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  9. Malou:
    Thanks for featuring this. I would love to have a slice of this. It's been a long time since I had my last slice of something that I really love. YUM!

    Jenny

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  10. Hi Malou - my sister and I love your blog and look forward to your new posts. Its funny because we were just discussing leche flan with chiffon cake this week. My question is I only want to make half the recipe since my family is only 3 people. What pan size should I use? Should I still cook the same amount of time and temperature? Thanks a lot

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  12. Hi Jenny: You're most welcome. Come over for a slice haha.

    Hello there: Thank you for the kind words. Please extend my gratitude to your sister as well. I truly appreciate it.
    With regards to your question: You could use an 8x8 pan. With 1/2 recipe, 3/4 of the time would be safe but I would recommend for you to watch it after 30 minutes. When the top becomes firm do the toothpick test: Insert the toothpick in the middle of the pan and when it comes clean or with a little crumbs then it's done. Good luck and please let me know if you have other questions. Thank you!

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  13. OMG I can't get this cake out of my mind. I'm carving out space to make this tonight even if I really should be making my embutido!

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  14. Oh my lord. Now, I understand why Pica went straight to her kitchen to bake this! Perfect for the Holidays!! Delicious, Malou!!

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  15. wow this cake is amazing you made her proud now i am opening facebook to link and tweet he he just when I thought i was going to bed !

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  16. Oh my! Malou, this cake looks absolutely divine! Thanks for sharing your story with us.

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  17. This cake looks amazing I can only imagine how fantastic the mahjong cake would look. I always think the tiles are so pretty and in cake form must have been beautiful.

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  18. Nana Ming is amazing! This is so wonderful Malou and you did a beautiful job with it...so creamy and gorgeous!
    Hope you are having a wonderful week

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  19. I love flan but the servings are always too small for me. :P I'll be cutting myself a BIG chunk of that!

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  20. OMG! Malou, I am drooling for the most beautiful custard cake I have ever seen...seriously. I bookmarked the recipe...it's a must make asap!

    The cake is so moist, super custardy, and the caramel topping is amazing, and "out of this world"
    Congratulations for a true "work of art"...and a "labor of love!"

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  21. When you say "custard," I come-a-calling. And that is a beauty - indeed a classic.

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  22. Speechless! Omg this custard cake looks amazing! I bookmarked this recipe and surely I will give it a try! I think anyone about to be served a piece of this cake will be so excited... I'd scream with joy!

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  23. What did I do wrong? The top was firm and looked done after testing with a toothpick but when I transferred from the pan, the custard was too liquidy and just ran all over the place.

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  24. I'm so sorry to hear that your custard cake didn't turn out to be ok The procedure calls for you to use a baine marie to bake it. This consists of placing the baking pan in a large, shallow pan of warm water. This is the reason why the custard mixture didn't settle or became firm.
    If you try to bake it again don't forget to use a baine marie. I made the same mistake the first ime I made it. So as a result, I always put the bath of water as soon as I prepare the ingredients. That way I don't forget it.
    I hope you still try to bake it... good luck. email me at malounievera@gmail.com for any questions. thank you!
    malou

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  25. Thanks for responding Malou. I didnt forget the baine marie but maybe the water I used was not warm enough - could that be it? The cake turned out great though and my little kiddies loved it! I shall try to redo and hope for the best! Thanks again.

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  26. This looks absolutely adorable! I'd love to try it! No wasted egg whites! perfect!

    I have a few questions though,
    1. What is Baine Marie?
    2. I do not have a mixer, will beating the eggs by had with a whisk/fork work?

    I'm a novice when it comes to baking. I've baked a few cakes, cookies and muffins, but haven't tried stuff like this!

    Kudos to you and Nana Ming!

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    Replies
    1. Hello! thank you for dropping by. Here are the answers to your questions.
      baine marie is basically a double pan - one solid pan which sits over a second pan of boiling/simmering water.
      if you don't have a mixer it could be done however it's a lot of hand-work beating the eggs. The eggs should be beaten and should be stiff so it may take some time to do this.

      Thanks for the kind words and I hope to see you around Skip to Malou. You could also join us in my FB page so we could have more exchanges.
      xo,
      Malou

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  27. How Long is the baking time. This look so yummyyyy...

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  28. what do u mean fold the cake mixture into meringue mixture??

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    1. Hi there, thank you for dropping by. To answer your question, if you notice on the procedure and on the ingredients I specified "For the cake" and "for the meringue" right? So when I say fold the cake mixture into meringue is the process wherein you simply mixing ("fold" technique) both the mixtures together.
      I hope this helps.
      Thanks,
      Malou

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  29. i'd really love to try this. may i ask how big of a can did you use for the condense and evaporated milk? i love your blog by the way. i bookmarked it because of all the recipes.

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    1. Hello there. Sorry for the late reply, it's one of those holidays where your schedule get crazy.
      Thank you for stopping by and for the kind words. For your question: the condensed milk is 14oz whiile the evaporated milk is 12 oz. Thanks and I hope you will be able to make it soon. Happy cooking,
      Malou

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    2. thank you for the reply, i gave it a try and everybody went crazy for this. a great big thanks for sharing this recipe, it's now my family's favorite. God bless.

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  30. it sounds great ,it looks good! do you know of a cake made from devil's food ,baked with a custard .its baked up - side down.when the cake is baked,turned over it has custard on top.really a moist cake ,I would like the recipe .

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  31. Hi MAlou,
    thanks for the recipe, just tried it last week and it was great...best recipe for custard cake and the outcome was the same as your pics...really happy :)
    God Bless and will try more of your recipes now

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    1. thank you for the kind words. they get me going!

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  32. Hi Malou,
    I would really love to try this recipe! May I know how deep your 9-inch baking pan is? And how deep the pan of boiling/simmering water is? Thanks!

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    1. Hi there,
      I used a 2 inch tray and filled it with water 3/4 full. Thank you for asking and good luck!

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  33. hi malou.... thx for the recipe... i did try ... but the custard is too sweet... any other way to reduce the sweetness ... thx

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  36. Hi! Miss Malou warm or hot ba ang water na ilalagay sa baine marie? Kailangan bang palamigin muna sa ref bago isalin para buo cya? I tried several recipes of custard cake and all is failed,kapag sinalin ko na ay masyadong malambot ang custard at mamasa-masa ang mamon kaya bumabagsak cyang parang tunaw.Hindi ko alam kung saan ako nagkakamali pero sinusunod ko ang lahat ng instructions.Gusto ko talagang makagawa ng custard cake gaya ng nasa pic mo kaya sana matulungan mo ako.thank you!

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  37. hi, ive been looking for a good recipe of custard cake and i think i found the perfect one. though i have some things to clarify before i bake it... 1. did you use the big can for both the evaporated and condensed milk? 2. did you use boiling water for the baine marie? thanks so much...

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  38. My daughter and I tried this recipe the other week. It was simply awesome. We'd used a 9" round pan in a 9" square pan as baine marie. As you can guess, the round pan was too small. I had to transfer some of the batter into another pan but even then the cake was literally over the top. Before we started I looked at your pictures to try to determine the best sized pan to use. I decided on the round pan since my 9" square pan is somewhat shallow. Can you please advise dimensions (l x w x h) is best to use to ensure that all the batter goes into one pan. The family is eager for us to give it a second try.

    Thanks for sharing!!

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Thank you for stopping by and oh I would be thrilled even more if you could leave a comment... :) Cheers!

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