From what I've gathered so far about this luscious cake is that some recipes use egg yolks or egg whites only, some use whole eggs and others use yolks and part whites. It is important to know the basics of baking especially when you are thinking of making adjustments in a particular recipe.You will also be able to tell right of the bat whether a given recipe will work or not just by looking at the listed amount of each ingredient.
The ingredients used are usually divided into 2 categories that will affect the cake batter; tougheners and tenderisers.Flour, whole eggs, egg whites, water and milk are tougheners. Products that tenderises the cake are sugar, fat(butter, margarine,etc),egg yolk and acid. Basically if you want to decrease the amount of an ingredient in one category, you will have to increase the amount of one ingredient in the other category. For example, if you want to decrease the amount of butter (tenderiser) in your recipe, you will have to add on to one of the tougheners in your recipe. You can't add flour or egg white because that would make your cake drier. So, the best choice is adding another whole egg to balance back the cake. So, choose wisely, when you are making adjustments, okay?!
Anyway, back to the topic at hand, i.e tips in making the Lapis Cake:-
1) Use an oven with a top and bottom grill function.
2) If you have a small oven, you can close the oven lid/door during grilling.
3) If you have a big oven, then it is best to leave the door open. Closing the oven door will cause the top layer to burn or over cook while the inside remain uncooked.
4) Some recipes tell you to lightly butter each layer to make the cake more moist. Use your own judgement whether to implement this step. The cake I made did not require me to do this.
5) You have to know your oven well. Some ovens need a slightly lower or higher temperature than in the stated recipe to bake well. As a rule of thumb when baking any cakes, always check the cake atleast 15 minutes before it's done. Example; if the recipe says bake for an hour, check it after 45 minutes.
6) For my oven, I did not turn the bottom grill on. I used the top grill throughout. I did not even turn the bottom grill on at the last layer because all my layers were cooked well. Once, I tried baking the overall cake after finishing all the layers. Lo and behold, the sides and bottom went dry and burnt! One way to know whether your cake is cooked, is to separate the cake from the pan by running a knife through the sides. If the knife comes out clean, you are safe. If there is wet batter sticking to the knife, then cover the top of the cake with foil and bake the cake again for another 10 to 15 minutes, using top and bottom heat.
7) To avoid your layers from being uncooked, when grilling the first layer and building up to the middle of the pan, place the pan in the middle rung. After that or once you have finished atleast two thirds of the batter, place the pan at the bottom rung and continue grilling till you finish.
8) A good Lapis cake has atleast 12 layers and more, yah!
9) In my opinion, a good Lapis also has alot of eggs, whether you like it or not. I would go for a recipe having atleast 20 eggs (Hey, I am not a doctor. I am a baker). An exception is when I am having a go at a Lapis Sarawak cake. Some of the recipes only needs 10 eggs BUT because it has Sekaya(egg jam) added to make the cake moist and delish.
10) If you are wondering how long to grill each layer, it is until the top is nicely browned. Some ovens take 4 or 5 or even 7 minutes each time.So time yourself and see how long each layer of your cake takes to grill.
11) You can't use a normal oven setting. Only grill function because unlike other cakes you need to bake each layer till the top is brown and keep on adding layers on top of each other so you have beautiful lines once your cake is done.The top grill function will cook your top most layer without affecting the already cooked layers underneath.Alot of work. That's why it is not so cheap to buy.
12) Mixing the ingredients properly is most important. The butter, condensed milk, flavoring and cheese(if you're adding cheese in your lapis) must be beaten until it is fluffy and light in color.
13) The egg yolks, sugar and emulsifier must be beaten till it is thick and light in colour. One way to know is to lift the beater and the batter is thick and slow to fall back into the mixing bowl.If you want a good tasting cake, please take note of step 12, 13 and below.
14) Add flavouring into your butter instead of the eggs. Flavourings such as vanilla extract/ essence or brandy. This is another added ooomph to your Lapis.This step is similar to making a sugee cake.
Kalau ada masalah dengan bahasa Inggeris, bagi tau saya akan "translate"kan...