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30 September : Kek Lapis: Must Try

Picture: Credit to http://asianitinerary.com/kek-lapis-layer-cakes/

There are 3 layers when it comes to skin, 5 layers of the earth and seven layers of colour on a rainbow. When it comes to desserts, the layers could be more and more. Such can be found in the like of Baumkuchen from German and Millecrepes from French for example. When the layers of these desserts provided texture that contributes to the taste, a Malaysian variant of layered desserts, offer just a bit more.

The ‘Kek Lapis Sarawak’ (Sarawak layer cake) is a layered cake, traditionally served in Sarawak. Sarawakian modern layered cakes can be divided into two categories: cakes with ordinary layers and cakes with patterns, motifs, or shapes. All must have at least two colours. The cake can be baked in an oven or microwave. The batter uses butter or vegetable oil, milk and eggs, and requires a strong arm or electric mixer to be properly prepared. The baked cake has a high, firm texture and the layers are fastened together with jam or a similarly sticky sweet substance. More detailed cakes often require special moulds to maintain the perfect layer thickness.

According to history, layer cakes have been made in Jakarta, Indonesia since the 1970s and 1980s. During the time, Betawi people came to Sarawak and taught the people there how to make the spiced Betawi cake. The Sarawak people then added new ingredients, flavour and colour that resulted in a new version of the layer cake being introduced and named as Sarawak layer cake. In addition, modern Sarawak layered cakes were inspired by Western cake-making in the early 1980s. In 2011, cake maker Kek lapis Qalas Qalas introduced modern design to the traditional layer cake, along with new flavours.

More than just texture, the layers on Kek Lapis Sarawak provides its unique identity. Bake layers by layers, this layers carefully stacked together to form design. Different colours are stacked together to come out with a vibrant outcome. Different layers than is piece together carefully to make a beautiful geometric pattern.

In Malaysia, kek lapis Sarawak (Sarawak layer cake) has been a protected geographical indication since 2010. This means that any product may only be called "kek lapis Sarawak/Sarawak layer cake" if it is manufactured in Sarawak according to the specifications of the Sarawak Layer Cake Manufacturers Association. It is illegal to label a similarly-manufactured cake "kek lapis Sarawak/Sarawak layer cake" if it is not actually made in Sarawak, and strictly speaking, producers outside the state may only legally name their products "Sarawak-style" layer cake.

The layered cake is traditionally served on special occasions. They are often baked for religious or cultural celebrations such as Eid ul-Fitr, Christmas, Deepavali, birthdays and weddings. People in Malaysia practice an open house on festival day. A unique feature of Sarawak's open houses is the modern layered cakes.


Date of Input: 07/10/2018 | Updated: 08/10/2018 | azlida_jamil


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