Every birthday and anniversary of my grandparents meant two things: 1) a three hour journey back to Ipoh with non-stop Tom Jones. Why, why, why Delilah indeed! 2) butter cake with pink and yellow piped icing. Twenty years ago, on my grandparent's 50th anniversary, there was a magnificent 5-tiered butter cake. It stood on the stage at the Chinese Assembly Hall where the grand dinner was held. I remember thinking it was the most beautiful cake I had ever seen. It was sight to behold back then. After the party ended, Cuz and I quickly volunteered to carry parts of the cake to the car so that we could dig our grubby little fingers into the icing. We were scared shitless we were going to be caned by Grandma but we just couldn't stop until half the cake was pockmarked with excavated icing. We were never found out, the adults were too drunk and hungover the next day to care. I think rats were blamed. Until this day we still eat the same cake made from the same lady whenever we are in Ipoh.
Remember when La Manilla was the bakery to buy your cakes from? If you don't remember, that means you were born in the 90s and you better not call me Aunty when you see me! It was a cute corner shop in Ampang Jaya and they were most famous for their chocolate and banana cake. It was the talk of the town (okay maybe just among my parent's friends). No one had heard of such a thing! Until La Manilla came along, we were still eating black forest cakes from Angel Cake House. Not that theres anything wrong with Angel Cake House. Their star has faded into light as more and more bakeries popped up over the years offering cakes that were not just decorated with butter cream and wafer roses. They still makes the best sponge cakes. I loved the crazy assortment of waxy buttercream coated cakes. I especially liked those with colourful jam-filled tops. We would go quite regularly when I was a child. Mum would always let me pick a few, we always bought nine because it fit into the box perfectly. I always ate the chocolate one with a solid chocolate top and chocolate sprinkles all along the side. Hmmm, looking back, my mum really, really loved me!
Then there came Alexis in the 90's. Who knew that it would be the start of cafe society in KL? A little trivia about Alexis. It was almost named Culture Vulture but was thankfully changed to Alexis after the salacious character Alexis Carrington/Colby from Dynasty. Anyway, I think my friends and I spent almost every other night of our summer holidays eating cake and drinking lattes at Alexis. The pivotal cake of course being the most unauthentic tiramisu ever. Okay, so it originated from Suchan but Alexis elevated this fake into what it is today and that is, still the best faux tiramisu cake ever! The only thing that is remotely close to tiramisu is the mascarpone cream they use to sandwich the sponge layers together.