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Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Trying To Create The Lana Chocolate Cake

Lana Cake 3

Lana Cake 1

Lana Cake 5

Lana Cake 2

First and foremost, my apologies for the uninspiring photos. We had a flash flood inducing downpour this afternoon complete with menacingly dark sky and heart stopping thunderous sound effects...Dismal lighting conditions kill all traces of enthusiasm.

Those who have grown up in Singapore would probably know about the famous Lana Chocolate Fudge cake. For the longest time, the Lana Chocolate Cake has been considered THE ULTIMATE chocolate cake in Singapore. This was before more modern and popular chocolate cake outlets like Awfully Chocolate started their business. Both establishments sell their signature chocolate cakes only in the big formats. You can't get just a slice - you will have to buy the whole 6" or 8" cake. These are simple no frill chocolate cakes drenched in dark chocolate fudge. I was attending Joycelyn's Ultimate Chocolate Fudge Cake class last weekend when I was reminded of  the old time favourite Lana Cake. ( For those who are curious about the Lana Cake, please see this write up by Indulgence after Workout)
The hands on class provided us with a recipe pack with different fudge frosting options for the cake. However, as we had to frost our cake almost immediately after baking it, we were not able to work with a butter cream or chocolate ganache frosting. (the cake would have been too warm and the frosting would have runneth over) The hands on exercise had us working with a Chocolate icing sugar cream frosting. I chose to skip that as I knew it would have been too sweet for my palate. Instead, I lugged back the plain chocolate cake and decided that I would try to prepare my own frosting at home.

It was then, that I started wondering about Lana's mysterious chocolate frosting. A little springy with a jello like texture, this had become its signature. After a quick search on line, I found an interesting lead for the recipe here. Thickened with corn flour and solidified with gelatine, the formula looks promising. The recipe had called for some strange chocolate coating. I simply replaced that with melted dark chocolate.

I made the mistake of not cooling the fudge enough before frosting and hence had a difficult time applying it over the cake. Joycelyn's chocolate cake was definitely more moist and fluffy compared to Lana's. The frosting was delicious but I am still not too sure if it has quite the same jello-like texture. 

I will probably continue to search for a gelatine based fudge and experiment again with different flavours such as banana or raspberry jelly....

I shall not publish Joycelyn's recipes but if you are interested, I would suggest that you use this recipe as a starting point.

Lana Cake 7(250)

For recipe please refer to this site.

35 comments:

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Coincidentally, I had a slice of Lana's chocolate cake last week. And I asked myself how can I replicate this delicious treat myself....and there you come with this post. :) Thanks for posting Shirley.

Zurin said...

The cake looks good Shirley . I have seen recipes of buttercream that have gelatine and cornflour in them but have never tried. But it sure wont runneth over. :)

I have seen Awfully chocolate website. I wonder if the cakes are as good as they make it sound?

pigpigscorner said...

Chocolatey goodness! Have to try this when I go to Singapore. Heard a lot of good stuff about Awfully chocolate and that's in my list too!

La Table De Nana said...

I have never heard of this..thank you.. You are funny..the photos are lovely!

ICook4Fun said...

I never head of this chocolate cake before. It sounds delicious! I hardly bake with chocolate as Carlos will get a headache eating it.

yummylittlecooks said...

Can see from the photo, it's delicious!

Quay Po Cooks said...

Your Lana chocolate cakes looks very moist and delicious. The photo brings out the "YUMMYLICIOUSNESS" even though you said those are uninspiring photos.

travellingfoodies said...

ah... the delicious yet notorious Lana Cake. I hadnt had it for eons now, but heard from friends that Mrs Kwan has retired and her daughter helms the business. Also, the quality of service seemed to have dipped, plagued with ill-mannered staff who are partial to the customers, bearing smiles for "regulars" (read: tai tais who come chauffeured) while chiding others who are not from the district 10 neighbourhood who nonetheless came in awe of their name.

Kudos to you Shirley, for attempting to re-create this cake. Any part which you feel is particularly tricky for the making of this cake that one needs to note?

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@travelingfoodies: yes, that's what I have heard about the shop as well. The cake is straight forward- I think there are enough good chocolate recipes out there. The frosting is the tricky one. As it is thickened with corn flour, I wasn't sure when I should stop cooking it... Obviously it thickens as you cook it...

Jean said...

my closest encounter with Lana was during its off days. I stood outside the shop, disappointed. haha yours looks really similar to theirs, if not better!

DG said...

Tempting looking of chocolate cake! It's delicious!

Juliana said...

Oh! I never heard of Lana cake...and now I feel that I've been missing a lot. The cake looks delicious, how interesting buttercream and gelatine...have a good one :-)

Memória said...

The photos look pretty inspiring to me! Wow.

Jo said...

Shirley, your cake looks gorgeous and absolutely moist. When I first came down to Singapore about 20 years ago, Lana cakes were the rave. They are actually run by sisters who happen to be cousins of my GF's ex boss. I agree Lana cakes were the rav. I had ordered them a couple of years ago and have been somewhat disappointed. I think the standards have dropped a bit and coupled with the fact that there are so many good choc cakes around, Lana has somewhat diminished. BTW I love Jocelyn's recipes ... they have all worked for me even when I tried them out the very first time. I should watch out for her next dessert class.

Anonymous said...

Hi Shirley,

your cake looks delectable! I hope you will share the receipe with you when you perfect it. I like Jocelyn's fudge cake but always find the frosting a little too sweet.

>Jo I love Jocelyn's classes too! I have been to almost all except the upcoming sinless dessert and nostalgic favourites class. :)

christine

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Christine/Jo: I like Joycelyn's recipes- the interesting pairing of the flavours. My long standing complain is the sweetness. I always have to tweak the recipe again to get the sweetness level that is suitable for me. That's why I had chosen not to frost the cake at her class- otherwise my whole cake would have to be thrown away.

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Never heard of this cake before, just curious the taste, wish you can Fedex me a slice for me to try out, hehehe, just kidding..

Anonymous said...

Ooo I see! My family members love the cake. Maybe I should attempt to recreate it again for Mothers' Day. ;p

Just a side note: did you get your canele moulds in Paris? Hee..

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@anonymous, yes, I got my molds from Paris. However I think now in Singapore , you can also get them from Shermays or Pantry Magic- but they are more expensive.

NEL, the batter baker said...

I agree with Jo. 20 years ago, Lana cakes were amazing. These days, it's just downright disappointing. Not to mention the obnoxious 'service' you get. Your cake looks delish, by the way. And the frosting so nice and shiny.

j3ss kitch3n said...

hmmm had not tried the cake b4 in my life... shall try this one day thanks Shirley for sharing!

noobcook said...

your cake looks really rich and made me crave for a bite.

Maria said...

I've never heard of this cake but it sure looks rich and scrumptious!

daphne said...

oh the ultimate classic! It's gorgeous lena-despite what u said. It is worth the calories.

Mei Teng said...

Chocolate cakes are classic favourites. I prefer mine without any frosting.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shirley,

thanks for the tip. Shall check them out when I'm in Paris. :)

christine

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Christine, if you go to Paris, check out here : http://kokken69.blogspot.com/2009/11/postcard-from-paris-part-1.html

tigerfish said...

The photos are just as good! Would not have known it was raining.

I remember Lana Chocolate Cake. I like that cake as well.

Anonymous said...

Dear Shirley,

thanks! I hope I can find the shop. Lol..

:) christine

Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella said...

Oooh I wish I had known about the Lana chocolate cake! I think it necessitates another trip back to Singapore :P

Torviewtoronto said...

neat and delicious looking cake beautiful

Kristen said...

I don't think they are uninspiring photos, in fact, the picture of the cut cake looks so delicious, I want to reach right into my screen and take a bite! Wonderful cake!

Cooking Gallery said...

This cake looks stunning! So chocolaty and moist inside, I really envy your baking skill...!

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

What an interesting sounding frosting to a delicious cake! This looks great to me but I also look forward to when you're happy with the recipe =).

thecoffeesnob said...

I grew up eating Lana's chocolate cake and loved it then but am now finding the cake dry and frosting tasting artificial.

The one chocolate cake I would love to be able to replicate's the one from Awfully Chocolate- it's so incredibly delicious!

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