Heavenly indulgence with cakes and pastries from The Durian Bakery.
Ask any Singaporean and chances are, you’d be told the durian is the favourite fruit of the country, and somewhat of a national obsession.
My relationship with the “king of fruit” is weird, however. When young, I absolutely adored the creamy, intense taste. In my teenage years, though, I developed a strange dislike for the signature fragrance, following which I stayed away for over 20 years.
That abruptly changed again a couple of years ago. After nibbling a slice of durian cake out of courtesy, my love for the unique taste returned with a vengeance. All of a sudden, I’m deeply in love all over. I can’t stop eating once I’ve started too, an experience I’m sure all SG durian lovers are well-familiar with.
I was thus thrilled, positively exhilarated when invited to review the cakes and pastries of The Durian Bakery, a home-grown Singaporean patisserie. I was also particularly keen because after all that weird adventure, I find myself preferring durian pastries and desserts over the goodness straight from the fruit. Would what I receive satisfy my rather quirky expectations?
Well, they certainly did! But read on to find out more!
The Durian Bakery: Providing the Richest Durian Experience
Some information about this homegrown durian patisserie before I get to the review proper.
Established in 2020 with the vision of “providing the best durian culinary experience in Singapore,” the online shop of The Durian Bakery offers an impressive range of durian cakes, pastries, and desserts. The artisanal cakes, notably, from the traditional to fusion creations like Mao Shan Wang Durian Mille Crepe. While pastries and desserts include mochi and puddings.
In keeping with the times, the bakery also devotes significant efforts to being a “healthier choice,” because, you know, liu lian aren’t exactly health food. In a nutshell, these efforts include strict ingredients selection, using nutrient-rich flour, heavily reduced sugar usage, and the use of no-calorie sugar only.
What’s more, goodies from The Durian Bakery use a trademarked “SilkyGold” puree. Blended from superior quality Mao Shan Wang or D24 durians, this puree is described as “astoundingly smooth” yet “authentic.”
Lastly, the portal offers Singaporean islandwide delivery, with free shipping for orders SGD 90/- and above. There is also an option to self-collect at their address in Tai Seng, as well as a 2-hour express delivery service. The latter, I suppose, is a great option when your craving is yelling for immediate attention.
The delivery process for The Durian Bakery goes by 4-hour timeslots. I opted for 12 noon to 4 pm and you know what, my goodies came at 12.05 pm.
12.05! Caught me a little off-guard, it did. And just right for post-lunch indulgence!
By the way, the boxes were still chilly when they reached my place. I take it that meant they came straight from the bakery.
Classic Mao Shan Wang Durian Cake 6”
This was the delight that I looked forward to most, but allow me to first elaborate on what I earlier wrote.
While I still enjoy durian straight from the husk, I find myself nowadays preferring durian creations like cakes because they are, well, easier to enjoy. Buy from a reputable shop and you can be assured the puree used is top quality. No need to pick and taste and haggle at a stall. It’s far less messy to eat too, with no big thorny husks to fuss over later.
That said, I think it can also be hard to find a bakery capable of making a durian cake that retains the rich taste we fans look for, but without creating the question of “why don’t I just eat the actual …” By this, I mean durian cakes that seems just a matter of stuffing the insides with as much puree as possible, without any consideration of how the overall taste is. Or how exceedingly sweet everything gets.
The Durian Bakery, I’m happy to say, understands the importance of these balances. To me, their splendid Mao Shan Wang “People’s Choice” Cake pays attention to all aspects. It’s superbly fragrant. The vanilla sponge cake portions are soft and fluffy. The topmost cream layer is light in both texture and sweetness too.
And the heart of … Such a thick, sinfully thick layer of creamy Meow Shan Wang goodness. I mean Mao Shan Wang.
Best of all, it’s as the bakery’s website promised. The cake is not as richly sweet as I thought it would be; all that effort to be healthier is obvious. Personally, I wouldn’t have minded either way but my older family members much appreciated this.
Long story short, my folks and I finished half of this heavenly durian cake right after lunch, and “whacked” the rest in the evening.
The gentler taste of the cake also provided an interesting contrast to the puffs we received. Which brings me to …
Super Burst MSW Giant Puff
Allow me to put up a bigger version of this picture first.
These puffs were part of the “dessert bundle” I received. Let me just say too that the puffs are as exciting to eat as they are good to look at.
Positively bursting with decadent Mao Shan Wang puree, these well-baked choux puff pastries offer an experience that I think would appeal more to purists. Simply put, it’s like eating an actual durian without the seeds and husk, but with pastry. Compared to the cake, the taste is also noticeably more “original,” the signature bittersweet taste of durian is completely preserved.
And like the MSW cake, it’s not at all too sweet. These super puffs stand on the natural sweetness of durian alone.
I … discovered they are a wonderful dessert 2nd course too. As in, the dessert to move on to after enjoying a thick slice of durian cake.
Snowy D24 Durian Mochi
These gave me quite a bit of work during photography! Because they were so soft and tough to neatly cut.
In hopes of easy slicing, I left my tray of 6 in the fridge beforehand for a few hours. Despite that, they remain utterly soft and moist. They even stayed that way till the next day.
Which, photography aside, is how any proper mocha should be. The glutinous rice skin was also sticky and chewy throughout.
Coming to the D24 durian filling, I feel it’s especially great when eating chilled; it’s like buttery ice cream. The bite-size, of course, makes a tray great for snacking during movies too. (At home, I mean. The smell is strong!)
I ought to highlight, though, that these chewy morsels are on the lighter side, as far as taste is concerned. Fans who like their durian fixes loud and strong would probably prefer the above choux puff.
Dark Choco Musang King Mousse
Again, this was part of the dessert bundle and something new for me.
I’ve seen such durian-inspired chocolate creations at hotel patisseries but have never tried any. Truth be told, my family members weren’t too enthusiastic about it too; they are the sort who feel chocolates are no partners of the king of fruits.
Turns out, this was the dessert item that I enjoyed most. In fact, I had to slow myself when scooping, so as not to finish everything within two minutes.
How to put it? The entire inside of the dome is filled with a hearty, silky mix of Mao Shan Wang mousse and The Durian Bakery’s SilkyGold puree. The messier I got with my scooping, the better everything tasted. Somehow, each scoop was a little different too.
I had expected the dark chocolate shell to be a distraction. But the bitterness of it was a moderator to the custard-like filling. Subtly adding to the overall sophistication of each scoop.
It was just, oh, utterly wonderful. A little pricey perhaps, at SGD 20/- (before discount) for one. But if you’re looking for some private indulgence, some feel-good moments, trust me, this mousse completely does the trick.