Coincidentally, Teacher\u2019s Day on May 16 will fall on the same period as Raya this year. Dayang Khairunissa Mastura binti Abang Abdul Rahman or simply Cikgu Dayang as she is called in school, will have double the joy when it comes to celebrations in May. Dayang is a school teacher who teaches Bahasa Melayu and Visual Arts to Standards 4 and 6 in Shah Alam. Originally from Betong, Sarawak, she was transferred to West Malaysia in 2012 where she has remained until today. All has been well until the pandemic brought upheavals to the schooling timetable last year but with Primary School having reopened in March, teachers are now back to in-person teaching using supplementation by a variety of online methods whenever necessary. This must have brought some relief to working parents now that school has reopened but are teachers and students coping with the new norm? Blended Learning Dayang is an educator who hails from Sarawak but now teaches in Shah Alam. She is also a mum who has a passion for making cakes, especially the traditional Sarawak favourite \u2500 layered cake or Kek Lapis. \u201cWe can\u2019t deny that this new norm is quite challenging especially for those from less fortunate families,\u201d says Dayang referring to the use of the internet for teaching. \u00a0\u201cThe good news is, kids can now go back to school and be exposed to the natural way of learning which is through two-way communication and interaction.\u201d While being a teacher, Dayang is also a mum and has a 4-year-old son by the name of Dayyan Khayr Ghadafi whom she has been sending to playschool from as early as the age of two. \u201cI actually like it better when Dayyan can go back to school,\u201d she says, reasoning that, \u201che can meet his friends, play, have face-to-face communication, participate in hands-on activities and socialise. So I am very happy.\u201d Teacher\u2019s Day & Teacher\u2019s Tips Dayang makes her lessons lively as she believes that interaction, movement and participation in class makes learning fun and memorable. With Teacher\u2019s Day around the corner and outdoor events in school being prohibited until further notice, Teacher\u2019s Day will probably not be celebrated in the usual way this year. However, Dayang has a wish for Teacher\u2019s Day. \u201cI hope all the teachers will continue striving to teach in whatever situation the year may bring and of course, remain flexible by teaching through a variety of methods such as Google Classroom, Google Meet and even through videos via YouTube and so on.\u201d She has a few methods of teaching young kids. One of the ways she uses to harness their attention is by combining two ways of learning. \u201cNormally children can only focus in the first 20 minutes of learning. Beyond that time, they will be bored. So one of the ways I teach is to combine two ways of learning. For example, reading and singing, playing and speaking and we make movements while learning so the learning becomes fun!\u201d \u201cI love teaching,\u201d says this dedicated teacher, \u201cI want to see all my students fulfil their dreams one day. Their achievement is my main concern.\u201d Dayang\u2019s Other Love \u2500 Baking The exciting variety of flavours and colours of Kek Lapis Sarawak. \u201cI love baking too,\u201d she says of her other passion, \u201cespecially baking Kek Lapis because it\u2019s hard for me to find authentic Kek Lapis Sarawak here in the peninsular. That\u2019s why I decided to bake the cake by myself. Surprisingly my in-law family really loves all the cakes that I bake.\u201d Dayang learnt to bake from her mother and sister. \u201cThese recipes were all originally shared by my mum and I learned my baking skills from my sister since we usually bake the cake together every year for Hari Raya.\u201d Kek Lapis Sarawak for Hari Raya Unusual patterns formed by the different layers of the cake (Image Credit: Pinterest) In Sarawak, it is the tradition to serve Kek Lapis for all festive occasions, informs Dayang. \u201cIt is the main attraction found on the tables of every house celebrating Hari Raya. It\u2019s very special because every layer has a different taste and different colour. Some of the cakes are unusual because the different layers of the cake make unique patterns when sliced. Each cake takes about 7 to 8 hours to bake. \u201cThe most challenging part in baking Kek Lapis is finding the right ingredients in the peninsular. I usually need to get several of these ingredients like Tepung Biscuit Marie and browning sugar from Sarawak so I have to ask my sister to buy and mail to me. That\u2019s why an authentic Kek Lapis Sarawak is so hard to get here.\u201d The second challenge she faces is the time required to bake and get the cake ready to be served. \u201cAfter the cake is done, we need to place it in the refrigerator for approximately 12 hours or more before it can be set enough to be cut. We need to make sure every layer is aligned perfectly and will look nice when served.\u201d Dayang with her husband and son during last Hari Raya and Dayang with her mum. This year, Dayang will be unable to fly back to her home town for Hari Raya due to the current travel restrictions. \u201cSo I will only be celebrating Hari Raya with my in-law family and of course I will be preparing them my Kek Lapis Sarawak.\u201d Recipe for Dayang\u2019s Kek Lapis Sarawak \u2018Holiday Inn\u2019 Kek Lapis Sarawak \u2018Holiday Inn\u2019 Dayang will be presenting Kek Lapis Sarawak \u2018Holiday Inn\u2019 for Motherhood readers. Asked why it is called \u2018Holiday Inn\u2019, she laughs and says her mother told her that when they created the recipe, Holiday Inn hotel had just opened in Kuching, Sarawak. The colours of the cake were inspired by the colour of the building. \u201cAnd we use real Milo and not other chocolate powders because quality ingredients are symbolic of a quality hotel.\u201d\u00a0Ah! And that's the story behind the unusual name of this Kek Lapis! Ingredients \t450 pure butter \t180gm sugar (less sweet) \t10 A size egg \t1 tsp essence vanilla \t300gm Condensed Milk \t200gm Marie Biscuit flour- ground \t200gm Horlicks \t200gm Milo \t1 tablespoon browning sugar \tYellow colouring \u2500 a few drops It\u2019s kid-approved too! That\u2019s Dayyan enjoying the yummy cake. Method \tBeat butter with sugar until fluffy. \tAdd the eggs one by one and mix together. \tAdd vanilla essence, milk, biscuit flour and mix well. \tSeparately into two: (A) - \u00a0Add Milo and browning sugar. (B) -\u00a0 Add Horlicks mixed with yellow colour. \tPreheat oven 170\u00b0 C and start to bake the cake layer by layer. Start with Milo layer, followed by Horlicks layer. 1 cup of cake batter per layer. One layer will take about 8 minutes to cook. \tAs each layer is cooked, press the layer with a spoon (plastic is best) gently before adding another new layer. \tRepeat the process until the cake is completed. Suggestion: 10 layers. \tCool the cake thoroughly before cutting. *All images courtesy of Dayang except where indicated. For more Raya Recipes, watch this space in Motherhood Story.