A Promise of Balapis

Balapis. Sound familiar to you? Well, if you are Manadonese or indonesian traditional cake-lover, you know what it is.

Have no idea about it? Balapis means berlapis-lapis. It’s Manado layer cake. Balapis is made of a mixture of wheat flour, coconut milk, sugar, vanilli, and salt. 

Like chocolate? Add in some chocolate paste/powder.

Wanna another flavour? Have some suji leaves as additional ingredients. Indonesian folks use the greeny leaves as natural food coloring.

Patience and Endurance
It is definitely much easier to eat Balapis than to make it. The thicker is the cake, the more layers it has.

I haven’t ever cooked Balapis. But according to references I read, the layering process takes quite much time. 10 minutes to cool down a layer. If not, you will only get a colormixed steamed cake instead of Balapis. Cooking Balapis teaches you patience and endurance.

The Balapis Lover’s Order
On last Thursday my friend and I had lunch at a small Manadonese canteen. After paying the bill, my friend started a chit chat with one of  the owners, the golden sisters.

“Tante, don’t you make Balapis, too?”

“Emm, we do seldom sell Balapis. The making is quite complicated. And it’s not bestseller. So we cook it by order. But I think, tomorrow my sis will cook some. Someone ordered 3 pans.”

“Do spare some pieces for me, please, please, please ....”

“Why don’t we order a pan and we divide it?” I came with a suggestion.

My friend agreed. 

My friend made a deal with the cook. We would pick up the Balapis on the next day, before 5 PM.

Promise!/Dok. Pribadi

The Incident of Balapis
15 minutes to 5 PM. We arrived at the cook’s house.

“Wait 5 minutes, please. The Balapis is still in the steamer.

What???! it should be in the refrigrator now, not in the steamer!

“It does take much time to cook Balapis.”

You know it. Why didn’t you prepare it earlier?

“Can we divide it then?” asked my friend politely.

“No. You have to wait until it cools down.”

“Then how we take it home?”

“I’ll lend you the pan. We put it in a cake box.” Absolutely no feeling guilty.

“Celaka. What are we going to do?” my friend whispered when the cook was away.

“The best solution is that one of us buy the whole cake.”

The Balapis was still very hot. It was heavy. Not to mention that the box was so big. How could I bring it home by bus? I made my internal monologue.

“Let me buy it. Your problem with it would be bigger than mine.” Daily my friend goes home with her husband by motorbike. 

“I’m so sorry.”

“It’s okay.”

So the story ended.

Are you going to sell Balapis or anything else? Make sure you are well-prepared. Don’t disappoint your customers. 

Made any promises to anyone? Keep them.

Wanna make Balapis? You may try this recipe.

Beautiful stripes/Foto: www.sajiansedap.com

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