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Friday, April 5, 2013

Thousand layers

While in California, I encountered one of the few remaining bakers in the USA who make baumkuchen: cakes cooked on a spit, such that when cut across, the browned layers of cake crust look like tree rings (hence, the name - German for "tree cake"). But, in Southeast Asia, they have a version. And it doesn't need a spit.

Kuih lapis, pandan flavor. Singapore.
Kuih lapis is constructed by building thin layers of batter under a broiler, before pouring the next layer, painstakingly built up to earn the name "thousand layer cake". In contrast, the thousand crepe cake is far easier to construct.

The source of heat can be a charcoal broiler, which infuses the cake with a smokey flavor. Variations of the cake can also be built using different flavored batters, though I suspect that the laborious nature of the confection rarely incorporates quite so many flavors. This video should illustrate what it takes to make one layer. Kuih lapis is found in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

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