Another 15th of the month has come and gone which means it’s time to announce our baking group’s fourth challenge. It’s quite an unusual choice from my own experience, but after hearing about it and sifting through several searches, I can say I’m fascinated. I’m especially interested in the history of this multi-layered cake and its versions, made in many places around the world.
I’ll allow the Host Baker for August to introduce herself and explain why this choice is important to her.
Hi! I am Anshie.
I am a chef instructor and a ‘now on and now off’ blogger. I believe that food evokes emotion and bridges cultures. I teach cooking because to me, food is a discovery. When people discover joy by nourishing and healing their bodies, food becomes life.
I blog at Spiceroots.com which started as my personal journey about staying in touch with my roots while exploring and interpreting food from cultures around the world. I love Ramen, have a rather hot affair with Kimchi, am feverish about sourdough and very sentimental about desserts.
My choice for Baking on the 15th is Kek Lapis Sarawak. The procedure is like making a Bebinca/ Baumkuchen/ Schichttorte. But with Kek Lapis you can have a lot of fun in terms of colors and designs.
Kek lapis or “Layer Cake”, is from Indonesia where it is called Spekuk or Kue Lapis Legit. It is Indonesia’s take on Dutch cake. The Dutch call this cake Spekkoek, which translates to Spice Cake, and yup, you guessed it – the cake uses spices.
It is made of many millimeter-thin layers of cake, baked one layer at a time to emphasize the layers. The recipe usually calls for butter, eggs, sugar, flour, and other coloring or flavoring ingredients, but no leavening agents.
Kek Lapis Sarawak – the cake we are baking– is from Sarawak in Malaysia where it is a special occasion cake. It is Malaysia’s take on the Kue Lapis of Indonesia. A Dutch cake that went to Indonesia which then went to Malaysia! Food has a way to bridge cultures!
Why I chose this for our challenge :
This cake is a great example of how food transcends boundaries and how each culture gives a unique touch to food. Also because I have made Baumkucken and Bebinca many times, and a simple Kue Lapis a few times, I have never actually made a Kep Lapis Sarawak because I am afraid of all the cutting and design involved. (gasp!) So it’s time I overcame that!
Here are some videos links to help you see the process.
For this challenge, you have options :
You can make a Kue Lapis Legit (which is the Indonesian one – cake mixed in with spices baked in multiple layers and done) or a Kek Lapis Sarawak (which is the Malaysian one – baked in layers and designed in various styles).
Use flavors of your choice. If you do not want to use colors, you don’t have to. Freeze dried fruit powders are a great substitution for dyes but remember they are subtle.
Nutella? Chocolate? Red velvet? Strawberry? Black and white? Cheesecake ? Anything goes! So hop on over to the recipe and let’s get crackin’. This cake needs a LOT OF EGGS!
I am also including a link to a Baumkucken (Schichttorte) recipe. It is lighter and uses much less eggs. You can color the batter the same way or use a combination of flavors to get the results you want. While not the traditional method of making Kek Lapis, I found this cake yielded delicious results.
Good luck and get set — Bake!