Friday, July 24, 2009

Durian Cream Cake

Love it or loathe it, the durian is the undisputed King of Fruits ... at least in Southeast Asia, where I live. People willingly fork out good money to eat this enigmatic, thorny fruit, which appears to be recession-proof. Such is its allure.

I saw 2 durian cream cakes this week: one from Terri, the other from Elin. They both looked so tantalising, I went out and made it the next day. Well, for a good reason too.

My mother-in-law, who is passionate about durians, turned 84 yesterday. Being a diabetic for years, we have had to watch her diet (because she doesn't!) and durians being very high in sugar, are a big no-no. But since it is not everyday that you turn 84, I figured just a slice would not hurt. Yes, when you're 84, you can have your (durian) cake and eat it too!

Count them - 84 years old!

As with all durian vendors, mine tried to get me to buy the premium hybrids, which I steered clear of, since I was gonna turn them into cream! After doing the "poke-poke" test on a few durians, I chose 3 for $10 and had a hunch they would be good, from the way the seller raised her eyebrows and gave a knowing nod each time I chose a durian. And indeed they were! Velvety sweet cream. So good. So good.

Once home, I made my usual sponge cake first. As it was baking, I prepared the durians by removing the seeds and putting the flesh through a sieve so that there would be no fibres in my cream. I guess I am fussy that way :P I don't like stringy fibres being dragged out each time I slice the cake.

Anyhow, I was a little apprehensive with the frosting since I had only frosted a grand total of ONE cake in my life. The last time I frosted a cake, I managed to get it done by the skin of my teeth. Today, the stakes were higher - the cake being light coloured meant less room for error. Argh, I soldiered on and did my best. And it didn't turn out too bad, if I may say so myself. Not perfect, but still ... OK.

The pureed durian was so sweet I didn't even need to add any sugar to the whipping cream (I whipped up a 200g packet but only used a third of it). And by jove, the cake tasted absolutely divine! The birthday girl haggled for an extra slice, and I relented ;) Now, if you love durians, this cake is a must.


Sponge cake (6-inch tin)
- 4 eggs
- 100g cake flour
- 100g castor sugar
- 12g spongecake stabiliser
- 25g milk
- 90g melted butter
After cake has cooled, slice into 2 or 3 layers, depending on how tall you want your cake to be.

Durian cream
(adapted from here)
- 3 durians
- 1 packet whipped cream (200g)
- Sugar (optional - depending on sweetness of the durians)

1. Put the durian flesh through a sieve to remove the fibres.

2. Whip the cream.

3. Add proportion of whipped cream to durian puree according to preference. I added 1/3 of the cream to the puree of 3 durians. Work quickly with the frosting - it melts fast! Ensure your cake is thoroughly chilled before serving.

Saying it with flowers! My first durian cake ... and it was a good one, thankfully! :)


  1. Well, that's a lot of effort and details to make this durian cake. Wow!

  2. Pretty as a picture..the blossoms are perfect.I hope someone makes me as nice a cake when I am 84:) Maybe Lulu by then..:)

    I had to Google Durians..what an interestingly different fruit~ Nay I ask what the stabiliser is?
    I have no clue~
    Thank you for the lesson~
    I love birthday candles..To me they are the birthdays exclamation points~

  3. Haha..can't resist after all...great job and I am sure your grandma must be very pleased with the cake. You really did a good job...heehee a slice please :))))

  4. That you made this cake for your mom-in-law is so touching :) I love the frosting- I'm still trying to get the hang of it. Looks elegant and yummy!

  5. Hi Little Teochew,
    Sorry...I type wrongly...your mother-inlaw I meant...haha I am getting old :p

  6. It looks lovely, awesome pictures too.

  7. tigerfish: Thank you! :)

    La Table De Nana: I hope you'll continue blogging even when you're 84! Spongecake stabiliser is also known as ovalette. It not only prevents the air in the beaten eggs from losing their volume, it also keeps the cake soft. It looks like marmalade. Hmmm ... you're not the only one who has never heard of it ... it seems to me that ovalette is unknown outside of southeast asia. I wonder why ... Anyway, I like the way you put it: candles are the birthday's exclamation points! That is so true :)

    Elin: You're very cute! LOL. And yes, I couldn't tahan after seeing the cakes you and Terri made!

    Ann: Welcome, and thanks :)

  8. Miakoda: Thanks :) Frosting is fun but not an easy thing to do. But persevere we will :)

  9. all the durian goodness! Your mother-in-law must be really happy with the treat!

  10. I think it is near impossible to get retail-sized Ovalette in North America. I remember reading about some 'hounds looking for it in

  11. pigpigscorner: Yes, she was ;)

    Tum Jiak: Seems that way. Only people from this part of the world seem to know what it is.

  12. I've never heard about durian before. I had to Google it to find out what it is.
    The cake looks lovely! I'm sure your mother-in-law was very happy. Yeah, I'd say by age 84 we should be able to do whatever we want...

  13. That cake looks amazing, so elegant!

  14. I never heard of Ovalette before. Durian smells like a sewer as you know. Did you have the windows open when you were preparing it? Someone I know brought durian to work for lunch, and it set off the alarms. The whole building was evacuated. It's good they didn't know the source or this person could be jobless thanks to durian!

  15. Nurit: I agree!

    Chocolate Shavings: Thank you. You have some pretty amazing and elegant creations yourself, I see!

    Ninette: LOL! Do you know durians are not allowed on public buses and trains? ;)

  16. I too have been meaning to do some durian desserts i.e. puffs but after seeing your cake, might do a switch-a-rooo. I think the $10 for 3 packs is good enough for this, no point getting the D24 or XXO as these are best eaten "as is"

  17. This looks amazing! The little flowers look sweet and dainty ^^

  18. Jo: I am thinking of making durian puffs now, actually! LOL. And yes, I agree the expensive types should be eaten in their original form ;)

    noobcook: Thanks, I did it out necessity! Didn't know how else to decorate.

  19. Hi, thanks for stopping by my blog and alerting me that I was missing the link to the Daring Bakers mallows and milanos challenge. Here it is:

  20. Hi there, my first time here and I loved reading u and enjoyed ur escapade in making this durian cake. I have tasted durian but once in my life yet,(when I was in HK), this seems delectable.

    One question what is spongecake stabiliser?

  21. The cake looks lovely; how nice of you to indulge in your MIL's sweet tooth for her birthday :) My mister would totally run off if he sees this (durian's his kryptonite), but my mother would definitely love this!

  22. omg i love durian cake!
    got to try this recipe out soon.
    looks awesome and good job :)

  23. COuld you tell me the weight of the durian meat that you used. Its difficult to estimate how much is equal to 3 durians!

  24. Anon: I can't. I only remember the durian meat filled up 1 large soup bowl. It's all an approximate anyway. Doesn't matter if you used 2 durians or 3 durians, actually.