Filipino cuisine is widely inspired by Spanish cooking and when it comes to custard cake, Filipino's took an amazing flan and made it even better. Three layers of delicious caramel, custard and fluffy cake combined to the ultimate dessert.
In a heavy sauce pan, combine the 1 cup of granulated sugar with the ¼ Cup of water and set over medium heat. Once the heat is on do not disturb the sugar or it will crystallise and set. If you need to get rid of the sugar crystals forming on the edge, use a wet kitchen brush to lightly push the crystals into the mixture. Cook until the caramel has turned to an amber brown. If you are using a sugar thermometer then you should be aiming at a temperature between 355 to 360 Fahrenheit or 180 to 182 Celsius. When the caramel is ready, pour it into your baking form and swirl it to distribute evenly. Set aside and let it cool completely.
1 cup Crystal Sugar
This custard is a little different from our standard custard, combine all the ingredients in a bowl and whisk together until smooth and no egg yolk clumps are left. Pour over the cooled caramel layer and set aside.
1/4 cup Water, ¾ cup Evaporated Milk, ⅔ cup Condensed Milk, 4 large Eggs Yolks, 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
In a small bowl combine 1 1/2 cups of cake flour, baking powder and salt, set aside. In a large bowl, add the remaining 4 egg yolks and 1/2 cup of sugar and whisk with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Whisk in the vegetable oil and orange juice and lemon juice.While whisking add the flour 2-3 table spoons a time to avoid clumping until all the cake flour is used and you have a smooth batter. Set aside.
Before we start the meringue, its now time to preheat the oven. Set it to 340 Fahrenheit or 170 Celsius.In a spotless clean bowl and using a hand mixer, whisk the 4 large egg whites until soft and fluffy (not stiff peaks). Add in the cream of tartar and whisk to soft peaks. Keep whisking and add the granulated sugar one table spoon at a time until you have stiff peaks. Using a rubber or silicon spatula, carefully fold the meringue into the cake batter until combined. Pour over the set custard.
We need to bake this cake in a water bath to avoid overcooking or burning any of the ingredients. Add hot water to a roasting dish, you need enough water to cover just over 1/2 of your baking form. Depending on the size of your roasting dish, this should be around the half level of the dish. Set the filled baking form in the centre of the roasting dish and place it on the centre rack of your oven. This will take around 50 to 60 minutes. Do a wooden skewer test, if it comes out clean, your custard cake is done.
To get a clean edge cake, ensure its completely cooled before you take it out of the form.