Atwo-ton cake will be served to revellers at Angkor Wat this Khmer New Year. Created by chefs at Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa, the cake is a super-size version of the traditional num ansom, the savoury sticky rice cake made during Pchum Ben and other special occasions.
“Last year the government organized the Sangkram event to celebrate Khmer New Year in front of Angkor Wat, and this year it’s happening again,” says Chan Sophea, Victoria’s food and beverage manager and general administrator of Cambodia Chef Association.
“We really wanted to do something different. We’re making a very big cake –it’s about 1,500 - 2000kg.”
Victoria general manager Hanno Stamm adds, “It’s the biggest one anybody’s made – the idea is actually to get an entry in the Guinness Book of World Records.”
The five-metre long and one-metre-high cake will take a week to make, with 41 chefs working on it. A whopping great 800kg of rice, 333kg of coconut cream and 333kg of banana leaves will be go into it, while the cake will contain 250kg of pork belly and 180kg of mung beans.
Chan says the cooking will be done on a specially built steaming device.
“We could not use a traditional steamer or pot to boil it, so we made a metal base, eight metres long, three metres wide and then we put char-grill on it,” he says.
The big cake will then be transported to Angkor Wat on a truck, where will it be displayed in a traditional Khmer royal boat. And people shouldn’t be worried about missing out on getting a bite to eat, because the giant cake should feed around 20,000 people.
Cake-making aside, the Victoria is certainly making its mark on Temple Town. Last night it celebrated its ten year anniversary with a cocktail reception and gala dinner, and this week sees the opening of a new garden café, attached to Le Bistrot restaurant.
Open to the public as well as hotel guests, the café is open from 10am to 5pm, and will serve a selection of light bites and refreshments.
“The idea is we wanted create something for the local community,” says Chan. “They don’t just have to go to a small coffee-shop, they can relax at a five-star place with a nice garden at the front and a good atmosphere. Plus free WiFi, and coffee and teas that are priced very reasonably.”
A tea, coffee or smoothie will cost $2 plus tax, while for the same price customers can choose from the sweet treat selection including fruit tart, pumpkin cheesecake or chocolate éclair.