Side Dish
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Thursday Talk & Pepes Ikan Patin


Morning! ^_^

Before we talk about the food, I want to talk about something else first. Since today is Thursday, I might as well do the Thursday talk in this post.

Today I want to talk about food emulsifier and stabilizers. I’m not talking about the natural food additives here. But the one with weird names (usually with code E—). Just so you know this comment is just from my personal thought. And I don’t have any intentions about insulting anyone who reads this.

The first one is cake emulsifier and stabilizers.

So, I’ve been looking for the perfect sponge cake since forever. I don’t know how many recipes I’ve tried and still not very satisfy with the result. Just like one of my old post, the strawberry short cake. The cake texture is surely nice (not too dense) and taste good too. But it’s still not the one for me (you know, just like when you met someone and he’s very nice and you like him too but for some reason deep in your heart you know he’s not the one). That’s how I felt about sponge cake. While some people like it dry and fluffy or dense and moist. I have my own personal taste too.

In Indonesia, the sponge cake is really light, fluffy and moist at the same time. It’s not easy to make (at least for me). Most of the recipes always include a food emulsifier and stabilizer to keep the cake fluffy and moist. And I never find a single recipe ever since I work in the UK and now live in Sweden that use that certain food additive. For sponge cake is simply egg, sugar, flour and butter / oil. That’s all. But the result of course not as nice as the one we have in Indonesia. And I wonder why…

The common problem I have when baking a sponge cake is usually rising very high in the oven and the moment I take it out, it will just shrink in the middle (like a volcano) and wrinkles all over the place. Another problem is, it doesn’t want to raise at all and the texture will be all gooey and wet. Those things never happened to me when I bake cakes in Indonesia and adding around 1 teaspoon of food emulsifier.

It does bother me a little bit. Since I really like a fluffy and moist sponge cake but can’t find a good recipe without food emulsifier in it. Not easy at all…

So that’s my challenge at the moment. To master and find a perfect sponge cake recipe.

You might think I’m stupid and it’s very weird for someone who has been working in the pastry for around 3 years and still can’t make a good sponge cake. It’s ok. But once you tried the moist and fluffy sponge cake, then you’ll know how tricky it is to get everything right.

Oh, by the way, they put this agent in ice cream too, to make the texture smoother. I don’t really know if it’s real or not, I’ve never tried it my self. Even without it, the ice creams I made are still as smooth as a store bought ice cream.

Another food additive I want to talk about is a cookie cruncher (I really don’t know how to get the English word for this).

But this certain agent is supposed to help the cookies you make to stay crunchy longer. In my opinion, this thing is just silly. In our family, cookies don’t last that long. Why would I need a cookie cruncher agent? Haha..

Last one is a bread improvers.

Again, I’m not sure what does this thing supposed to do. From what I read, it will help to make your breads to stay soft longer even in a room temperature. But come on.. with the right recipe I’m sure you can do that even without the bread improvers. And fortunately I don’t like eating cold bread, I usually reheat it a little bit in the microwave and it will be as soft as when its just baked.


So what about you? Have you ever tried adding unnatural food additives to your baked goods? For me, for now baking powder and baking soda are enough.

For more info you can read more in google about food additives, emulsifier and bread improvers. Apologize if I lack of information here and leaving you confused.


To make up for this boring post, I want to share one of my “treasure” I brought all the way from my hometown, Balikpapan.

Pepes Patin

But no recipe here. I just want to show you one of the famous food from my hometown. This is pepes ikan patin (roasted spiced pangasius).

There are two restaurants that famous for this menu. This one is from my dad’s favourite. He always recommend his friends from other cities to go to this restaurant when they visit Balikpapan. The other one is my mum’s favourite. But unfortunately I couldn’t bring the roasted fish with me from that restaurant. Because of some emergency stuffs in the last minute before our departure. At the end I only have 2 packs of this delicious fish T_T.

This is probably one of the best pepes I’ve ever eaten. Seriously. The. Best.

The fish is so tender. The spices are blend well together.

pepes patin

Awesome spices

And don’t forget the chili sauce. It’s sweet, sour and not too spicy and umami. Perfect! No wonder this place is quite famous and been selling this menu for a long time.

pepes patin


I have to try to recreate this recipe some time. But I’m sure it won’t even come close to this.

Ooh.. I have to hold my self not to eat the other pack yet while writing this post and looking at the photos…

Now excuse me before I’m licking the screen 😛



  1. Vasun says

    I’ve had ikan pepes in ubud, bali. delicious! anything grilled in banana leaves is really tasty.

  2. What a fantastic photo. And what an eye-opening conversation. I have never heard of cookie crunchers, but I’ll have to hunt around to find what we call it here in the southern hemisphere.

A nice comment will make my day ^^

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