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!
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!)
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: