Coffee, Tiramisu and Kakes with Keith
At Perk, we always love hearing about how our customers drink coffee and, ever so often, we find a unique individual who uses our coffee in their recipes. Coffee used in food is not new. Just have a look at one of the simplest ways for edible coffee glory in our Affogato recipe. We were so excited to discover Keith Wong from @kakes_with_keith in Singapore whose mouthwatering tiramisu captured our hungry, coffee-loving eyes. Keith’s creations beg to be eaten! At the same time, his story inspires us because we started as a small business too and wherever we can share the love, we will. Here’s our recent e-conversation with Keith.
Tell us about yourself and your background
I’m Keith, a third-culture individual who’s often hungry at all hours of the day. Part of my full-time work involves reading through a lot of documents and legend has it that my early introduction to all this was through the various recipe books lying around my childhood home. What better place to develop a sense of attention to detail?
My fascination with food is with the sensory experience that it brings about. If you’ve read Samin Nosrat’s “Salt Fat Acid Heat” or caught an episode of it on Netflix, you know exactly what I’m alluding to. I’m also continuously inspired by my family and friends who are wild about coffee and live and breathe anything to do with good food. Their collective enthusiasm is positively infectious!
Why did you start Kakes with Keith?
The idea for Kakes with Keith started with a first bite. During the Covid-19 pandemic, social gatherings in Singapore were kept to a minimum as restaurants shifted to a takeaway-only model. This was a reasonable opportunity to sample different restaurant offerings while also expressing support for the local food and beverage scene. At the time, I noticed that tiramisu wasn’t readily available on many delivery platforms.
For the limited tiramisu options that I did come across, I struggled to land on something that would have me clicking on “add to cart” again. In my opinion, something was always missing which inspired me to come up with a version that I myself could truly enjoy. As the Covid-19 situation began to stabilise, dinner invitations to homes of family and friends began to trickle in, creating an organic opportunity to gather feedback on my product.
What inspires you and keeps you going?
I believe there’s always room for improvement and I welcome constructive feedback. After all, many of us have different life experiences and taste preferences which shape the way we interpret or perceive a particular dish.
Encouragingly, feedback after the first bite was outstanding. Perhaps the spark came when each group who had sampled the tiramisu asked if it would be available for purchase in the future. If not now, then when?
Throughout this process, it’s been great getting to hone my craft and get to know each person behind every order. This has in no small part, also helped to keep the social extrovert in me very much alive during these trying times. While Kakes with Keith operates on a small batch process to maintain consistency and quality, the option of offering additional items is always on the cards and I’m excited to see where this passion project goes!
How do you use coffee as an ingredient?
Coffee is an essential ingredient in every tiramisu. Quality coffee makes for a more pleasant aromatic experience and elevates the overall flavour profile. At the time of writing, I recently rotated to Perk’s Cerrado blend for a nuttier flavour which complements the richness associated with dairy. At Kakes with Keith, every tiramisu uses freshly ground beans filtered through a V60 drip.
Between Perk and Kakes with Keith, it’s safe to say we share at least one thing in common, being an unwavering commitment to quality without any compromise.
Thanks, Keith! We can’t wait to see where you go from here. You can view Keith’s tiramisu and contact him for orders via Instagram @kakes_with_keith.
@kakes_with_keith currently uses our Cerrado coffee from Brazil! It has tasting notes of milk chocolate, caramel and toasted hazelnut. The roast is medium-dark and will brew you a full-bodied cup of coffee. Get it HERE.
Do you use or have a small business that uses Perk coffee as an ingredient? We’d love to hear from you and share your story or recipe! Email us at [email protected] and tell us all about yourself!
All images have been kindly supplied by @kakes_with_keith.