PETALING JAYA, Oct 16 — When we read about Malaysia's moment of glory when Patrick Siau, Tan Wei Loon, Otto Tay and Loi Ming Ai won the World Pastry Cup, we all felt really proud.
But deep down, we also wanted a taste of their winning desserts.
Here's your chance, as Xiao by Crustz is featuring three cakes, made from recipes by Tan.
This is the second part of a series that Xiao by Crustz and their sister shop, Tanuki by Crustz are running to let people experience the competition desserts.
The first edition debuted Loi's ice cream desserts at Tanuki by Crustz. Later in the year, Tay's work will be showcased.
Headlining the special promotion is La Nature, the chocolate honey cake that captured the judges' hearts (and tummies) to win the coveted World Pastry Cup.
For this year's competition, the contestants had to incorporate honey in their chocolate dessert. Tan is a stickler for details, a trait much needed to reach world class standards. For this cake, he tested it up to 50 times!
Xiao-Ly Koh who owns Xiao by Crustz tells us that this chocolate honey sponge cake is her personal favourite.
"This is the kind you can't stop eating as it's very moist from the use of honey." Even the cake scraps are quickly snapped up in their kitchen.
The multiple layers in the cake give you different tastes and textures. You also get a lightness to the whole ensemble as the mousse uses a meringue base, which is a new technique.
As you cut the cake, discover refreshing yuzu mango jelly layer, dark chocolate mousse, chocolate honey sponge cake and a hazelnut streusel base.
The tiniest of details matter; in between the sponge cake and the streusel base, there's a thin layer of chocolate honey ganache which Tan insists is what makes the difference.
For the unusual and strong taste of honey, Tan used a combination of chestnut and forest honey.
For this version, the honey liqueur blended with whisky that was used for the competition has been omitted since Xiao by Crustz doesn't serve any alcohol in their items.
And of course, the cake is incredibly Instagram-worthy with its blown sugar butterfly. The delicate piece is only placed at the last minute since the sugar can crystallise in our hot, humid weather.
Look closely at the top of the cake and you will see swirls of gold. Koh explained that they brush the mould with coloured cocoa butter and gold powder, then a glaze is added.
She enlightened us that this method is similar to how chocolate bon bons are made except a glaze needs to be added for the cake.
As an added sweet bonus, there are two more cakes: Orange Blossom and Bao. These cakes are taught by Tan in his master class at the Academy of Pastry Arts Malaysia. He also teaches them in his overseas classes.
The Orange Blossom features a more fruity taste. The pretty pink cake combines the rare orange blossom flavour with strawberry.
Baking enthusiasts should also try this one since the inverted roll cake is made using an "in trend" method known as choux pastry biscuit sponge.
The mixture is cooked like a choux pastry before it is baked. This yields a finer texture cake with a slight bounce.
Cut into the cake to find perfectly balanced layers of strawberry jam with cream inside. "It may seem simple but it took the longest to get right," explained Koh.
For a fun cake, there is the Bao. Originally called Steamer by Tan, his fans gave it the bao nickname, since it bears a close resemblance to steamed buns in a bamboo steamer.
Caramel lovers will swoon over this one as there's caramel chocolate mousse, caramel sponge cake, caramel crémeux and an almond nougatine base.
You may think it'll be too sweet since there's so many caramel components but Koh explained that they caramelise the sugar longer just before the point of burning it to temper down the sweetness. Even the nuts in the nougatine are toasted longer.
With these desserts, ratios are incredibly important as each component works together to create a unified taste. Don't tear the layers apart but enjoy them together, advised Koh. She added, "What you eat is balance and you get the flavour notes."
La Nature is available for RM22, while Bao is RM18 and Orange Blossom is RM19. Limited quantities of the cakes are available daily.
Koh expects to run the promotion until Christmas starts.
Xiao by Crustz, BG-6, Block B, Happy Mansion, Jalan 17/13, Section 17, Petaling Jaya. Open: 1pm to 10pm (Wednesday to Friday), 12pm to 10pm (Saturday), 12pm to 6pm (Sunday). https://www.facebook.com/xiaobycrustz/