Fortunately, unlike some other establishments I've written about, Sinpopo is still going strong. Although, it looks as though they expanded the menu since I went...
Sinpopo is run by the folks behind Awfully Chocolate but this is completely different in concept, serving "old style" Singaporean food with a twist. I came here with two lady friends and we had a good gossip, over luncheon meat crisps (terribly unhealthy), deep fried wantons (scarcely less so), the crab meat bee hoon (my fave) and for dessert, gula melaka cake and brown butter sugee cake. Washed down with Katong Jelly drink (red agar agar jelly in a 7-Up and soda mix).
Whilst I did feel that the gula melaka cake really brought out that gula melaka flavour, I was not sure that the brown butter flavour was really that prominent in the sugee cake. Rather, the brown butter flavour was more obvious in the thin layer of butter cream icing the cake. I was intrigued however by the whole idea of "updating" sugee cake using brown butter and so I was inspired to make my own version of brown butter sugee cake!
First of all, I had to learn how to brown butter. Fortunately there's a pretty good guide here on Serious Eats. Briefly, butter is melted and then boiled over the stove till the water evaporates. As the melted butter continues to boil, tiny little particles of milk solids emerge and as these brown, they impart a nutty, caramel flavour to the butter. However, you need to watch it carefully to make sure that the little flecks of milk solids don't burn!
|My Brown Butter Sugee Cake|
The verdict? The colour of my sugee cake was a little darker than in the past - not so much a bright sunny yellow but a slightly browner shade. As for flavour - well, I enjoyed the buttery flavour of the cake, but again the brown butter flavour did't really emerge. I suspect that with the traditional marzipan and royal icing, the buttery flavour would be overpowered by the strong almond flavour. It's probably better to take it to a different flavour profile altogether, add brown sugar in place of some of the white, and top with buttercream made with browned butter.. hmmm, seems to be what Sinpopo has done :-)