Marble Cake

10 June 2020

Whether it’s on the tiered silver platter of a high class tea place or in oily plastic wrapper tucked among other snacks in a a roadside coffee shop, the marble cake is irresistible to me.

My dad’s adoptive sister was newly married when she learnt to bake her first marble cake at her in-laws’.

When she brought the cake to my grandma’s home she was dressed in a batik sarong kebaya with orange flowers.

Movie legend & song writer, P. Ramlee.

We may not be peranakans, but P.Ramlee’s movies must have had a big impact on my aunt’s sartorial elegance in the 60s.

My aunt’s sarong kebaya and hairstyle closely resembled the lady’s in this illustration.

She was gorgeous in her orange kebaya and dark bouffant hair as she served us her first baking achievement.

Being raised predominantly on a chinese diet, our family, especially my grandma and mom, found the buttery cake a little too rich for their stomach.

But it was heaven to me!

My aunt was so pleased with my response that henceforth she would bring a marble cake each time she visited.

For many years, during Chinese New Year and festive occasions, this cake with its trademark dramatic swirls was solely reserved just for her greatest fan, ME.

My aunt seldom bakes these days. The last time we met, she was recovering from a mild stroke. I mentioned “marble cake,” and a beautiful smile appeared on her face.

Nowadays with the emphasis on “healthy” options, few marble cakes that I’ve tasted come close to my aunt’s standard. But still I eat them, and think of the lovely young bride who introduced me to my first marble cake more than half a century ago. ♥️🙏

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