Dessert in Any Language

The other day Jason took me to get a local treat that he thought I would enjoy.  It’s called “martabak” and I’ll try to describe it for you.  It’s kind of like a combination thick pancake and a sponge cake rolled into one.  The vendor pours batter into a skillet mold and lets it fry up into a “crispy on the outside but soft on the inside” cake mold.  Then he puts a variety of things in it, depending on what you ordered.  Some of the options available are shredded cheese, chopped nuts, sweetened condensed milk, and dark chocolate chips. 

Jason and I ordered one from the Martabak vendor who sets up his stand outside of the Catholic university in town in the evenings.  We ordered a Martabak with sweetened condensed milk, chopped nuts, and chocolate chips.  The young man set to work making our Martabak to order.  While he worked, he graciously pulled out two small plastic stools for us to sit on as we waited.

When the cake (for want of a better term) came out of the pan, the vendor set it on his tiny counter and then poured the condensed milk over the top, sprinkled it with the nuts and then sprinkled the chocolate chips over it.  He then cut it in half and placed one half on top of the other. 

By this time, the chips were melting into a gooey delight and the condensed milk was seeping into the buttery cake.  The vendor then cut the half into smaller sections and put it in a box for us to take home.  Once we were home, Jason assured me that Martabak isn’t very good eaten as a leftover the next day so we dug in and polished off as much as we could.  It was good….not too sweet (I DO miss my frosting fix) but sweet enough to qualify as dessert in any language for this lady with a huge sweet tooth.

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Hot Flashed Funk

  • Hi Dee,
    Tonight I took time to read all your posts about your trip and I enjoyed it so much! I’m so happy that you made the trip and are staying a while and had such a happy reunion with your family.
    love to you,
    Diane Stortz

  • Ah, yes. The old “it isn’t very good eaten as a leftover the next day” excuse. I use that one on the key lime pies made in our local publix. I hope we get to hear more about Indonesian food.

  • Sounds very yummy to me. (similar to a recipe someone gave me for “Better than sex cake”–known as BTS in my recipe file (: ) Sounds like you are having a great time! jan

  • Yummy!


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