It sure doesn't feel like it, but I've been back in my birth country of Indonesia for a little over a year now. Friends still laugh at my tries at talking in colloquial "Bahasa Indonesia", call me a "tourist" when I get lost on the roads and are always super worried when I eat food from street vendors. Haha! But I think having spent most of my life overseas, has allowed me to appreciate this country a lot more. This is especially true with the kinds of ingredients that I get to experiment with on a daily basis. The common ingredients that are usually taken for granted, I still approach with a mind full of curiosity and questions. I didn't believe it when one of my role models Will Goldfarb (pastry chef of Mejekawi and Room for Dessert in Bali) said a year ago, that Indonesia is the best place to do pastry. But the more I explored the local ingredients, the more I agree with Will. I think he's truly onto something.

Yes, life in the metropolitan city of Jakarta has been pretty fast-paced and hectic. As fellow bloggers would attest to, writing and uploading blog posts can be quite a laborious feat that I sneakily keep putting off! But after receiving an email from the now-London-dwelling-cool-as-Kiwi-chick Natalie Smith about a collaboration between Talita's Kitchen and Baileys Irish Cream, I couldn't possibly turn it down! I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to combine local and Western ingredients into a cake that is truly new, unique and delicious. 

Well this is what I came up with:

Baileys Java Caramel Cake

This cake is comprised of arenga sugar and white chocolate sheets (inspired by pastry guru Goldfarb himself), caramel sponge cake, Baileys mascarpone cream, caramelized "sisir" mini bananas, and some oh-so-French caramel tuiles to top the confection off. Stacked and layered like a Mille-Feuille I feel like this cake is a delicious amalgamation of the east and west.

Watch me make this cake on Episode #11 of Junior Masterchef Indonesia that aired on June 15th 2014

x Tal