Mad About Sucre
by Qian Leung
@ 17 Nov 2017
It was the memories of badly made commercial fruitcakes that inspired a better version. “They were heavy and tasted like medicine, with weird fruits that leach their green and red colouring onto the cake,” says Eric Chan, 46, of Mad About Sucre.
For a new take, apricots, cranberries, cherries, and pecan nuts are first dried, then rehydrated in aged Cognac. When warmed up, the crumb is moist, light, and gently sweet, with bursts of tanginess and crunchy nuttiness – it’s a moment when angels sing, chasing away those unspeakable past experiences with fruitcake. The earl grey tea served alongside brings notes of French bergamot and lavender to each bite.
“As kids, we used to make snowflake-shaped biscuits at home for Christmas,” says Chan. Thus, gingerbread cookies that offer the warmth of spices join the celebration. Dark chocolate mousse, Caribbean plantain and Caribbean rum are presented in the likeness of a Christmas bauble. “The artisanal produce here come from old friends in Europe, whose families have their own farms, vineyards, and plantations,” says Chan.
During a Christmas trip to the south of Spain, the family came across Spanish ginger. Along with cardamom, star anise, and Cambodian pepper, this ginger is today candied and made into a cake with toasted walnuts, almonds, and pistachios. “We had also played with the idea of turning Italian panettone into a cake, but decided upon German stollen in the end.” African almonds are toasted and hand-milled for the cake, which is topped with bitter chocolate, chestnuts, and a dusting of snow powder.
Lena Chan of Mad About Sucre