The usual questions that I expect during my weekly (if not random) FaceTime calls with my ah bu (hokkien term of endearment for mum) includes “le jia ba buey” (have you eaten)? If I had, the next question will be “jia simi” (what did you eat) .. and if I had’t, “un juah boh jiak” (why haven’t you eaten)… parents.. parents. Like I always tell my girlfriend DL, parent’s unconditional love and patience, is something I will never understand and appreciate until I am a mother myself. Another norm of the call, will be “le kin dit wu zoh cake boh” (did you bake today)? and that will usually lead me into a tour of the kitchen where I showcase my bake of the day, or a quick rundown of the pictures I’d posted on FB.

And so, when I showed her the leopard skin swiss roll I baked, she stopped me immediately, and said “ehh ehh ehh! Wa suka jia zi eh… le dng lai eh si tzun, zou ng diao hor wah… cream zuey zuey ! ah jeh ai lao hu pi dan gao” (meaning hey hey hey! I like this!.. bake me 2 rolls when you return! Lots of cream please.. sister wants a tiger skin cake roll)

Hmmm.. tiger skin cake roll… it brings back one of my very few childhood memories (not that I didn’t enjoy my childhood, but if I haven’t told you, I have memory of a dory fish). My ah bu is the kind of mother who worries about everything… she worries abt my dad, she worries about her daughters, she worries about the daughters’ husbands, she worries about our jobs, she worries what to cook… she worries about her granddaughters and when my sis worries for her daughters, she worries about my sis and the cycle continues with no beginning nor an end… oh ah bu…

I remember when we were young, she will always ensure that there is always food at home. Sometimes, I wonder if she ever remembers she has only 2 and not a battalion of daughters, … we will always be so spoilt for choices with the spread of chow. Pandan kaya cake, chicken rice, kwey chap, wanton noodles, char bee hoon, laksa hum zueh zueh, gor cham bah, otah otah, bubble tea, you zha kwey, beh heh tzhi, UFO… sometimes i wonder if she brought home the entire Chomp Chomp … oh! and not to mention tiger skin cake roll.

The only mistake I made on this bake, was the colour of the tiger skin. I think it could use another minute or 2 of baking to achieve a tanner browning. On hindsight, I think the mistake was a reflection of my kia-si-ism nature ~ I monitored the skin like a hawk as bloggers said the skin browns faster than one expects… oh well, I learnt.. but this was a good bake. I will do this again though…  and oh ~ if I haven’t mentioned, this cake was a combination of recipes from 2 bloggers and a cook book.. the tiger skin, the inner cake roll and the cream… afterall, you only want your dear ones to taste and have the very best?


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Victoria Bakes – Baking into the Ether