Sunday, January 18, 2015

Durian Cake

blogger widgets The world's smelliest fruit banned in some hotels and public transportation, the durian is definitely a blessing in disguise. It is a native fruit to South east Asian countries of Malaysia, Thailand and Philippines.
Photo courtesy of Noracarr123
While most people can't get past the smell to taste it, millions can't get enough of it, including me! Quality durian is a delicacy and can get very expensive if you are outside of southeast Asia and if you just buy the meat of the fruit. It takes a lot of work to get to the inside of a durian similar to what it takes to get to the edible part of a coconut.

Many many years ago when the fruit had just gained some popularity among the Chinese families in the US, my mother bought one to see what the hype was about. Boy, did the smell fill up the house. In mandarin the world for durian is liu(2) lian(2) (榴莲)my Dad nicknamed it chou(4)lian(2) 臭莲, 臭= stinky and that name has stuck ever since. My first thought was that this is most disgusting thing ever! Why would anyone eat this? But I gave it another go and realized that past the smell, durian is delicious and addicting! It has a sweet creamy texture sort of like ice cream, it's hard to describe as there's no other fruit out there like the durian so you must try it for yourself.

A milder version for people out there who want to taste test durian is to try a durian cake.
Durian layer cake from Musang King.
Excuse the half eaten picture, I was so excited I only remembered to take a picture half way through :)
A popular dessert place in Asia for durian specialties is Musang King, I believe it's a chain from Malaysia (not certain) and is very popular in Hong Kong and mainland China. Even before you open the door to the store, the smell of durian hits you. Some people say it smells like stinky socks... but if you are a durian lover like me, you'll start salivating as soon as you smell it! Musang King has every sort of dessert and cafe snacks you can imagine all made with fresh durian, just to list a few: durian shake, durian yogurt, durian chocolate cake, durian coffee. The menu list is very long, they are known for the durian layer cake (in the picture above) which is a perfect combination of cake, cream and a generous amount of fresh durian. The cake is pretty heavy and sweet, eating it with a warm cup of tea (I made some pomegranate bamboo tea) creates the perfect balance. I saw other customers at the store order the cake and durian shake, they must have had a durian overdose for sure!

Another place worth mentioning is Secret Recipe (a chain from Singapore), their durian cheesecake is light, flavorful and highlights the sweetness of the durian. Another great try for newbies.

I actually just found out that Malaysia's musang king is one of the most expensive and sought after variety of durian and as of last year is being sold in the UK for the first time. If you are interested in learning more and keeping up to date with news about this beloved fruit, be sure to check out: Year of the Durian. I'm craving some durian just by writing this post!

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