Can’t believe we’re already one month into 2016. So far I’m doing quite well with consistent uploads. The past week has been quite hectic as everyone at the office is doing as much as they can before the start of our longest national holiday of the year — yes, it’s finally Chinese New Year break. Although I may still have to work from home, I’m blissfully enjoying being back at my parents and getting pampered.
And of course, I have just the perfect dish to share with you for Chinese New Years.
終於放年假啦!! 大家是不是已經回到家準備過年啦? 雪兒從昨天就已經窩在爸媽家，開心的享受假期。忙碌的一年又結束了。真的要趁這個長假好好的放鬆、休息…明年還有很多挑戰等著我阿! (躲)
身邊很多朋友都在辦年貨，不管是上街購買或網路訂購(現在網路訂購也太方便了吧!)，多少都會來問問我說我今年打算買甚麼東西送禮。但雪兒想來想去，也逛了24小時都覺得…就是那幾樣…好像不夠特別。於是我決定還是親手做的伴手禮最貼切。 但要做甚麼呢? 來送個過年一定要吃的年糕好了。
原本已經打定主義要做傳統的紅豆年糕，但這時無意間看到新聞說每年過年大飯店都在搶伴手禮的市場，年年推出新花招，但圓山大飯店的紅豆鬆糕就算帳價還是很多人搶著訂購阿! 搜尋了一下，哇屋! 圓山飯店的御饌紅豆鬆糕禮盒6吋就要六百塊阿! (就因為是宋婦人的最愛?)
Chinese New Year or the Spring Festival, celebrates the start of a new year (according to the lunar calendar). Families and relatives gather together for a week long celebration with a family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve, worships on the first day, filled with firecrackers and red envelopes. It’s a special time for family and friends (much like Christmas in the Western world), all offices will be closed for days.
With the Chinese, FOOD is a big part of their celebration, kitchens everywhere will be cooking up a storm and the most important meal is no other than the family reunion dinner on New Year’s Eve. The venue will usually be in or near the home of the most senior member of the family while the menu features a very large and scrumptious selection of pork, chicken, and fish. Nowadays, many families ditch this tedious prep work and feature a communal hot pot, which is commonly believed to signify the coming together of family members, since everyone will have to gather around a large pot of goodies and take part in cooking and eating the contents together.
Today, however, I’m going to share with you a traditional dessert — this steamed red bean cake is absolutely gorgeous in its color, layers, and fluffy texture. It’s an yearly best-seller at the Yuan Shan Hotel in Taipei, especially during Chinese New Year, when people order boxes of this traditional cake as gifts for family and friends. To my pleasant surprise, it’s not hard to make at all!
My favorite part of this cake is definitely the vibrant colors on top, which, for the longest time, I had no interest in finding out what those colorful ingredients were. Until I wanted to try to make it. Turns out they’re dyed green papayas. Where on earth do you get those? I certainly wasn’t going to make some myself…. Rumors said that some baking shops carried these dyed papayas in small packages, however, I didn’t get lucky. So I had to think of a replacement…which is when I came across…GUMMY BEARS. Not only do gummy bears come in various colors, it also brings the same chewy kind of texture. Quite brilliant isn’t it?
雪兒覺得紅豆鬆糕最討喜的地方就是它上面繽紛的顏色，非常吸精。但一直都不確定是甚麼材料，決定要自己做鬆糕時才知道原來是被染色的木瓜絲。但像我這種很少上菜市場的妹妹…要去哪兒買這東西阿? 聽說有些烘培店會賣…但我找不到…雪兒只好動動腦經決定用…小熊軟糖 嘿嘿 這個idea不錯吧? 非常容易取得的食材而且又有繽紛的效果+QQ的口感。
Now to achieve the fluffy texture takes a bit of patience as you must take the time to strain your mixture through a sieve, having it come out like snow. Then you mix in the sweet red beans. Now to create a layer of red bean paste in the middle. First lay down half of snow, then roll the red bean paste into a long strip to form a circle. Lay it down in the middle and cover it with the rest of the snow. Then it’s time to decorate with more red beans and cut up gummies.
FLUFFY RED BEAN CAKE
115g Rice flour
185g Glutinous rice flour
35g Powder sugar
100g Cooked red beans (sweetened)
100g Red bean paste
3 Gummy bears (green, red, yellow)
- Mix rice flour, glutinous rice flour, and powder sugar together, then add in the milk while mixing continuously.
- Put the mixture through a sieve, straining it into small snow-like texture.
- Prepare your tin, add in half of the snow-like mixture.
- Roll your red bean paste into a long strip then loop it together to form a circle, place it in the center of your tin on top of the snow mixture.
- Cover everything with the rest of the snow-like mixture.
- Decorate the top with more cooked red beans and cut-up gummies.
- Steam the cakes on high heat for 40 minutes.
- 把在來米粉、糯米粉、糖粉拌勻，加入鮮奶，再過篩成細粉末狀 (像雪花)
Happy New Year of the Monkey guys! It’s time to enjoy your cake!
Regardless if you celebrate Chinese New Years or not, you’ve got to try this notorious fluffy cake! I’m simply in love with the vibrant colors, layers, and snow-like texture, and I hope you will too! At the meantime, leave a comment below and tell me what’s your favorite traditional dessert?
大家趁年假要去哪兒玩呢? 有什麼活動嗎? 雪兒等不及想去曬曬太陽啦!