August 5, 2006

Slimming with durian cake

Extracted from The Star

PENANG: For the womenfolk in the Chow family, durian cake making is not only a time for bonding but also a way to lose weight.

It takes at least seven hours of laborious work to produce the fragrant durian cake dubbed the “King of Cakes”, which is cooked over a slow fire.

FAMILY AFFAIR: Pauline and Tan stirring the durian paste to make durian cake at Julia’s home in Pantai Jerejak, Penang.

Housewife Pauline Chow Siew Kim, 33, said: “We love eating durians but instead of putting on weight, we shed 2kg to 3kg each durian season.

“Making durian cake is better than any slimming centre or yoga class. We use a lot of muscle and strength.”

Pauline described her mother Clara Tan Saw Kee, 65, as their “supervisor” while she and her sister Julia Chow Siew Sim, 38, play multiple roles such as kitchen help, marketing executive, driver and coordinator.

“We hope to inspire other housewives that they too can accomplish something if they set their mind to it,” she said.

“It may be physically draining, but it gives us a good night’s sleep and some pocket money,” she said, adding that they sold each 500gm cake at RM12.

Tan said the family business started 40 years ago when her mother-in-law taught her mother the art of making durian cake.

“We have a 1.2ha durian estate in Balik Pulau and after selling the fruits to wholesalers, many are still left,” she said.

“Rather than let them rot away, we thought it’d be a good idea to make durian cake. Initially, we made them as gifts for relatives and friends but it soon grew into a business.”

She added that orders currently came from as far Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and even South Korea.

Julia said they were considering selling “durian kaya.”

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