Sunday, 2 August 2015


If you love traveling and eating, I am sure this question has crossed your mind. Why does the same food in one place taste different in another? And I’m not talking about variation of one food, but the exact same food. Having lived in Vancouver for several years, which is arguably one of the most multi-cultural city in the world, I often hear my friends complain, “Nah, the Korean food here is nothing compared to the Korean food in Korea” or something along those lines.
Spekkeok Lapis
Now of course, there could be many reasons for that, to name a few: The cooks’ expertise, taste assimilation, alterations made intentionally to cater to the locals, accessibility to certain ingredients etc.
I always attributed the main reason to be the competency of a chef… until my one-month stay in Jakarta with Grandma just this past month (I’m half Indonesian.. and half Singaporean). Since I began baking, the supermarkets and grocery stores have become my “Happy Place”. Visiting the Indonesian grocery stores made me realize one thing. Everything is so drastically different! The flour is different, the butter is different, and even the EGGS are different! But come to think of it, I would probably find it more bizarre if they were the same. After all, if people from one place differ so much from another, I’m sure chicken and eggs would too! Perhaps this factor contributes to why some things will never taste the same in other places.


    • 225 gr butter, softened.
    • 230 gr sugar.
    • 10 large eggs, separated.
    • pinch of salt.
    • 150 gr flour.
    • 2 tablespoons icing sugar.

Spice mixture:

    • 2 teaspoons cinnamon.
    • 1 teaspoon ginger.
    • 1 teaspoon aniseed.
    • ½ teaspoon nutmeg.
    • ½ teaspoon cardamon.
    • ¼ teaspoon cloves.
( all spices are ground )


Cream butter and sugar together with an electric mixer. Beat in eggs yolks a few at a time.
In another bowl, using clean beaters, beat the egg whites with the salt until stiff. Fold into yolk mixture. Fold in sieved flour.
Divide batter between two bowls. Add the spice mixture to one bowl and mix in well. Line the bottom of a buttered 9″ (25 cm) round cake pan (or springform pan) with wax paper and butter the wax paper. Pour about ½ cup of the spiced batter into the pan, spreading to form a thin (about pancake thickness) layer.
Place pan under a preheated broiler (oven grill) for 2 minutes, or until the layer is firm and very lightly browned. Spread ½ cup of the plain batter over the top and broil until firm. Repeat layering and broiling until all batter is used. Leave cake to cool, then remove from pan. Sprinkle top with icing (confectioners) sugar. Serve in thin slices.

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