Follow on from the Taiwanese Mooncake, this sun cake is another popular dessert in Taiwan. This cake isn’t related to a particular festival, but more so linked to Tai-Chung, a city in the central West of Taiwan (3rd biggest city).
The pastry remains the same, but brushed with egg wash to give it a glossy look, and unlike the mooncake where it’s white and round, this one is golden and flat – like the sun!
The filling is maltose (malt sugar), which has a caramel-like texture, this is one of my favourite Taiwanese treats, after making a batch of these, I ended up making another 2 batches all for myself (which my husband would admit he managed to secretly nick almost half of the batches I made – and he’s never had it before!)
Slightly different post today, a while ago was the Moon Festival (when the moon is supposed to be the roundest of the year, the 9th full moon of the year)
Traditionally mooncakes are eaten, and in Taiwan where I came from, we had our own version of mooncakes. It’s not as (sickly) sweet as the Cantonese ones usually seen on the market, and the Cantonese ones usually uses red bean paste or lotus paste, the Taiwanese ones use mung bean.
The skin is not cake-like, is more like flaky pastry without the greasy after-taste, layers of powder-white pastry, flakes and crumbles in your mouth when you bite into it. Just to balance out the sweetness of the mung bean paste, the centre has a little Taiwanese-stewed pork mince (which has fried shallot cooked into it), I know it sounds weird and even make you pull a face, but trust me, the flavour sets off really well and everyone who doesn’t mind the mung bean paste have raved about this cake.
I got an order from Michelle who’s originally from Taiwan, she’s missed this, and asked if I could make these. At first she ordered 6, and ordered another 10 a week later. Next time you see this, give it a try, you’d be surprised!
Continued from last time’s Peko Cake, they seemed to like it so much that they’ve placed another order, this time for their son’s birthday, and have asked for exactly the same cake (strawberry filling with vanilla chiffon cake) but replacing Peko with Doraemon instead.
Consistency becomes the key! Had to make another cake that tasted just like the last one and it’s not mass produced, I had to trace back to see what I did?
The filling was filled with strawberries that I bought and soaked in syrup until they’re tender and juicy, then laid them all evenly between the slices. I wish there’s a photo of the cut-up cake to see the strawberries inside!
Nonetheless, they had provided a picture of Doraemon for me to use, so this isn’t exactly the same as the previous Doraemon cake I’ve made.
and….here it is!
Had a very different and “current” order a few weeks back for a cake with Peko, a character from the new Japanese Doraemon movie, on the top of a strawberry chiffon cake.
She’s probably one of the very few people in NZ who actually KNOWS of this character, and after further discussion, I found out that the birthday girl Abby has recently returned from Japan, so this explained why!
They ordered a 7″ round cake, and we discussed to have defrosted strawberries as the filling (as middle of winter isn’t exactly strawberry season in New Zealand) which turned out quite well! Although next time I will change the colour of the writing…
Here’s their feedback:
Just perfect! Great experience dealing with this gifted person. The kids loved your cake, absolutely recommended.
So I’ve made some Asian fruit cakes (ie. soft springy vanilla cake with fresh fruits on top) and although my 1st attempt was pretty good (see here) my second attempt was way below my own standard and I felt quite bad for the customers I made it for, I thought I should rectify my album with this 3rd attempt!
Tony has been a loyal customer who’s ordered a couple of times from me now, and this time it’s for his mother in law’s birthday. She wants something colourful, fruits with lots of flowers coming down to the sides (his exact words) so I made an attempt to have flowers coming down to the sides! I played around with a popular decoration technique specifically in the Taiwanese Taro cake, although it’s not as pretty as I had hoped (purely technical problem) but hey, it’s not too bad right?
I’m glad I made it so colourful, it really wasn’t as busy as I thought it would, and it was well received yet again, thanks Tony! (The Chinese characters reads “Happy birthday”, which was also requested by the birthday girl!)
If you don’t recognise this cartoon character, you’re probably not Asian!
Doraemon is as popular as Hello Kitty, except it never really made it outside of Asia. He was a robot cat sent back from the 22nd century to help a school boy with his life in general.
Anyway, he’s super cool, haha, and it seems Bella and Norah liked him too! (good choice, girls!)
The mother e-mailed me for this cake, with custard pudding filling, made with original chiffon and to be 7″ round.
This was for her twin girls who were turning one, still waiting to hear back how it went!
I think this is something that most South-East Asians would recognise (and even love!)
This was a request from my brother-in-law, as I was invited to his birthday dinner, I thought I should offer to bring something.
For those of you who are not familiar with Pandan (pronounced “pun done”), it’s a very common type of plant found everywhere in South East Asian countries. (English name is Screwpine leaf).
What they do is take the leave, chop it up into small pieces, chuck into the food processor with some water, then filtered out to get the juice, which is a vibrant green colour.
Of course, in NZ, where the climate is very different, it’s hard to find these leaves, so some have imported them as frozen leaves and they can be found at many South East Asian food stores.
Another way of making these is with a simple addition of “Pandan Paste”, which is a very thick pandan extract that comes in a small essence bottle, and with only 1 table spoon of this thick extract gives the cake an extremely bright colour already!
Here’s the well-received Pandan Cake, my first attempt, too! Very proud 🙂
As the cake itself came out beautifully, I thought it best not to overwhelm it with decorations, so I only did a simple whipped-cream border.
When the word “fruit cake” is mentioned, I am sure most western people would think of the dense, rich, cinnamon + brandy/rum infused cake that’s filled with nuts and dried fruits all the way through the cake and you can eat it for 2 years without it going bad.
When the word “fruit cake” is mentioned in Asian society, one would automatically think of a light, fluffy chiffon cake filled with whipped cream/cream custard topped with fresh fruits galore, then coated with a shiny glossy coat.
A friend of my parents’ was celebrating their wedding anniversary, and she called to ask for a “fruit cake, the traditional Taiwanese styled ones”, so here was what I produced:
Honey cake is a very popular type of cake in Taiwan, where I was born, and it has a very soft texture, usually eaten by itself and sometimes dusted with icing sugar as anything else may over-power the distinctive honey flavour.
Here I made it into cupcakes and decorated with strawberry whipped cream and strawberries.