I grew up in small town in Central Java, I learned to bake from the age of 7, not just because I loved to do it, but it was my mother’s idea of child Labour. However as I was the youngest of five kids I could get away from the hardest jobs of baking cakes.
Before she bought a hand electric mixer, she used to make cakes with a traditional hand mixer that looks like a metal spiral that we must dry up properly or it would go rusty.
I bet you would say that I was a lazy boy when my mother asked for a little help.
If it was only one cake, that would have been easy for us, but once I remembered she agreed to bake more than 100 plates of cakes for “nyewu” a Javanese tradition, when a family celebrates a thousand days after someone has passed away.
So with five kids as soldiers my mother was a strong leader to make sure 120 marble cakes (25cm x25 cm) was delivered.
Thinking she was lucky because my grandmother owned a battery hen farm, because for one marble cake recipe she would need 8 egg yolks and 4 egg whites, so at that time she needed more than 100 kg of eggs.
8 eggs yolk
4 eggs whites
250g butter, room temperature
200g plain flour
300g caster sugar
2 tsp. cocoa powder
Heat the oven to 180C, line the base and sides of a 25 cm square tin with parchment paper.
Whisk the butter and the sugar until white and fluffy.
In clean bowls whisk the egg white until glossy and thick.
Add the flour and mix the butter and sugar slowly with a spatula, mix gently making sure you get right down to the bottom of the bowl.
Add the egg whites and gently mix.
Put 3tbs. of the cake mixture into a small bowl and mix in the cocoa powder.
Spoon the batter into a baking tin and spread evenly, add the chocolate mixture on top.
With a fork or chopsticks, slowly marble the batter and bake for about 40 minutes, poke with a skewer and if it pulls out clean the cake is ready.
Remove the cake from the tin and leave to cool on a wire rack.
When I bake with this recipe I always have an excess of 4 eggs whites, I recently followed Nigel Slater’s Classic Meringue Recipe to make the most of them.