“How much would you pay for a cake?”
That was the question the home minister asked on Thursday as she was busy whipping up another batch of kek lapis Sarawak (Sarawak layer cake).
I was the wrong person to ask, as I know how much time and effort goes into making one – her special steamed Sarawak Christmas fruitcake takes 12 hours! (Which is why she does not make it every year).
Layer cakes take about four hours or more for one, as she has to do it, as the name suggests, layer by layer.
Moreover, prices of all the ingredients are constantly going up. One recipe calls for 30 egg yolks, and we all know how difficult it is, at times, to find eggs.
The reason for her query was that she had received two orders for this weekend. She was afraid of scaring off potential customers if they thought it was too expensive.
Luckily, those who ordered were friends who had tasted her cakes, so they knew the quality they were getting – although one of them did comment it was pricey – before she got her hands on it a few months ago. Since then, she has been a true believer.
The problem is that the home minister has to make a 2kg cake, which she then cuts into 250-300g slices. It is impossible to make them smaller due to the time and effort, so if and when she “opens orders”, it is usually for one or two types of cake per weekend, although she has numerous recipes.
She calculated the cost for a 2kg layer cake, and came up with an estimate of RM150 for the ingredients alone. That did not factor in the preparation, time, and effort, not to mention the gas.
That pales in comparison with the Sarawak fruitcake, as she estimates the ingredients alone cost close to RM200. The cake really is rich, in more ways than one!
Earlier this week, she delivered a ‘300g loaf’ to a friend for Deepavali. He did not balk at the price, as his mother is also a baker.
“My mum bakes cakes, so I know the cost. Plus, it is not easy to get a good layer cake. Many use margarine instead of butter. That ruins the taste,” said Alfred.
“My mum only uses butter for cakes and tarts, so I know the cost. She tried making a layer cake once, but it did not come out right.
“I do not mind paying extra as long as I get a good quality product,” added Alfred, as he placed orders for the middle of December and for Christmas.
I sent him a WhatsApp on Friday, asking him the same question the home minister asked me, and his reply was: “If the quality is good, people will pay the price. That is why I have made repeat orders”.
With that, the home minister felt better.
As the countdown to Dec 25 begins – we are less than six weeks away – how much would you pay for your favourite cake?
SINGING KNIGHTS COMING TO TOWN
Sir Thomas Jones Woodward and Sir Roderick David Stewart, better known as Tom Jones and Rod Stewart, are coming to Malaysia next year.
CHARITY SALE NEXT SUNDAY
Facebook-based charity group We Love We Care We Share, which has worked with the Women’s Aid Organisation, orphanages, and old folks’ homes, will host its annual Christmas sale next Sunday, Nov 26, at No 6, Jalan 21/11, SEA Park, Petaling Jaya, Selangor.
There will be delicious Christmas cakes and goodies, festive decorations, Sarawakian delicacies, gardening tools and plants, Henna drawing, jewellery, tote bags and more, on sale.
The event is from 10am-5pm.
IDEAS INTERNATIONAL’S BIG PLANS
Ideas International, Malaysia’s first inclusive education social impact enterprise school, has announced a collaboration with Dreams Asia to transform education, and empower communities.
The idea is to combine =DREAMS Asia’s dedication to philanthropy in supporting social innovation to break the cycle of poverty, with the educational prowess of Ideas International. This collaboration is poised to pave the way for positive, lasting change.
Ideas International is also breaking boundaries by championing affordability, inclusivity, accessibility, and global education through a profound emphasis on nurturing humanity – compassion, kindness, and empathy, and incorporating technology as part of its core syllabus.
Are you ready to embark on a ginger-filled adventure with a burst of flavour? Discover a world of enticing ginger recipes that will tantalise your taste buds.
YOU’RE IN MY HEART (THE FINAL ACCLAIM)
To prepare for Rod Stewart’s tour, here is the London-born crooner with one of my favourite songs of his – ‘You’re in My Heart’ (The Final Acclaim).
It is an easy-listening track described as “slow, (and) introspective, the story of a relationship many should recognise”.
Although he was born in England, Stewart supports Scottish Premier League club Celtic and has a soft spot for Manchester United.
He mentions both clubs in the song with the lines – You’re Celtic, United, but baby I’ve decided you’re the best team I’ve ever seen.
‘You’re in My Heart’ was released on Oct 7, 1977. It reached No. 1 on the Australian and Canadian charts. It peaked at No. 2 in New Zealand and No. 4 on the United States Billboard Hot 100.
Until next week, stay safe.