Looks pretty good, huh? (If, um, I do say so myself). Well, it tastes bloody awful.
I made this cake for C as a welcome home treat. He'd been gone for two long weeks to Switzerland and his homecoming dish after a long trip is always Hainanese Chicken Rice from either his favourite Boon Tong Kee stall, which he's been going to since he was a child, or made by his mother. I wasn't about to compete with that, so I did the next best thing: I made dessert.
C's pretty partial to plain old-fashioned cakes like Swiss Rolls and Sugee Cake. Since my pal CL left me three bags of semolina before she went back to Costa Rica (her baggage was 13kg overweight and some things just had to go), and there was a recipe I'd been meaning to try for this Eurasian classic, the choice was clear. The recipe for this Sugee Cake, suffice it to say, was a dud. I did exactly what it said, but what I got in the end was a cake that was as dry as a desert sandbag. Dear, dear C kindly declared it: "Not that bad," and proceeded to eat an entire slice. But I know an irretrievably dry cake when I cut into one, so it was back to the kitchen, so determined I was to redeem my culinary welcome-home efforts.
Since I had some fresh raspberries in my fridge begging to be used, I decided to try a take on another of C's favourites: the Swiss Roll from the stalwart bakery on East Coast Road, Chin Mee Chin. It's as old-school as they come: a layer of raspberry jam rolled into a plain sponge cake. Inspired by J's Ispahan, I made sponge drops, cut them into neat rounds and slathered them on one side with raspberry jam. In between, a dollop of unsweetened whipped thickened cream and a couple of fresh raspberries.
Thankfully, these ones turned out successfully. They didn't last longer than a day.