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The Chinese Dessert Topic

Chinese Dessert

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#1 Shiewie

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 12:41 AM

What Chinese sweet pastries, candy and desserts do you like? Are there any that you used to eat as a kid but can no longer find them? (Edited - Just ignore this part if it's not relevant to you. Was just wondering about this.) Do you prefer Western sweet pastries / candy / desserts to Chinese ones?

Edited by Shiewie, 04 November 2003 - 01:06 AM.


#2 Wena

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 02:07 AM

those peanut sweets that just melts in your mouth....

the big sweetened plums wrapped up to look like one big sweet!

big puffballs filled with tao-sa (red bean) paste. coated with crushed pink sugar.

longan jelly.

leng chee kang (hot & cold)

#3 Pan

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 02:30 AM

In 1976, when the first 2-storey department store opened in Kuala Terengganu, so many sweet preserved fruits from China came in. My parents and I loved Pingguofu (sweet preserved apples), cherries, and various other things and bought them regularly. I don't remember ever seeing those sweet preserved apples except in China (I found some with a bit of difficulty in Beijing in 1987) and as imports in that Kuala Terengganu store. It's much easier to find the sweet/salty preserved fruits, which I don't like by themselves, and the sweet red dates, beans, preserved ginger, persimmons, even olives (the best sweet preserved olives I ever had were also in Kuala Terengganu, bought in a small store on the main street in Chinatown).

There are various Chinese sweets I enjoy very much - black bean, lotus seed, mixed nut, and coconut moon cakes (I'm talking about the little moon cakes you can have year-round, not the huge cakes for the Moon Festival, which I've discussed in the moon cake thread); coconut agar agar; coconut custard cakes; sesame balls (preferably not too oily and with plenty of filling); hopia (but I think that's more Filipino, and I prefer ube - purple yam) - but on the whole, I would have to say that I prefer French, Italian, and Viennese/Hungarian pastries to Chinese ones.

Edited by Pan, 04 November 2003 - 11:13 PM.


#4 aprilmei

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 03:57 AM

Does anybody remember those "white rabbit" sweets?? I used to love those. I sometimes see them here (in Hong Kong) at Chinese New Year. And I used to like those thin, red coloured crumbly wafers - can't remember what they were called. They were the diameter of a quarter but much thinner, sold stacked in these waxy paper wrappers.
Oh, and butterflies!!! They were just won ton pei that was twisted into a butterfly shape, deep-fried and then dipped in honey. We used to get them at one bakery in Los Angeles Chinatown (old Chinatown - not Monterey Park). They were really good. But every other version I've tasted since hasn't been nearly as good; maybe it's an age thing.

#5 eatingwitheddie

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 04:51 AM

Favorites include:

Crispy flaky freshly cooked pastries filled with red date.

Steamed Malaysian Roll - a jelly roll of yellow cake and filling - yum

That being said, send me to Wittamer in Brussels anytime!

#6 vampsl22

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 06:12 AM

those thin wafers are called haw flakes. you can still get them in asian markets, along with white rabbits. ahhh, i can finish half the rolls in those bags, and they're only about a dollar apiece, two max.

#7 trillium

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 10:17 AM

Haw flakes are good, like sweet tarts but better. Preserved fruits for sure. And preserved orange peel in those little shiny bags from Taiwan. Do the Chinese diaspora count? If they do, then kueh lapis, pineapple tarts, ABC, chendol, and love letters too.

Some of the sweet soups, like the black sesame or walnut can be good if you're in the right mood. But I'll confess that for a full on dessert attack it usually has to involve dairy fat and chocolate for me.


regards,
trillium

#8 Hest88

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 10:20 AM

My sister's favorites were the White Rabbit candy and the Botan rice candy. I still eat haw flakes often.

My favorite desserts, though, are sesame balls. Not the fried dim sum kind (though I like those as well) but the after-dinner desserts---both the soup kind and the steamed kind that's rolled in peanuts and served at finer restaurants. Oh, and I also love hot taro and tapioca "soup." My sister likes the cold honeydew and tapioca soup.

#9 jo-mel

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 10:44 AM

Flaky pastry with winter melon filling. Anything with nuts --- especially the chewy nut squares.

If I had to make a choice between these and NY Cheesecake, I'd have to have some of each. (Along with a cup of coffee and a cup of tea.

#10 herbacidal

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 11:46 AM

wow, haven't had haw flakes in the longest time.

not candy or anything like that, but how about that sorta sour white drink, came in packages of 4, tops sealed in green foil, about 2-3 oz each.

hmm, gonna hafta get me some of those tomorrow. both.
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#11 Hest88

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 02:03 PM

not candy or anything like that, but how about that sorta sour white drink, came in packages of 4, tops sealed in green foil, about 2-3 oz each.


Oh yes, the Milgurt stuff! I no longer buy them, though, but go for the Yogloo brand. Same taste, but without the hassle of opening a dozen teeny plastic bottles (risking chipping your nail polish each time) in order to be satisfied.

I was told by HK friends that the reason they come in such small containers is that they believe it's not good to down too much acidophilus in one sitting so you're only supposed to drink one tiny container at a time. (Yeah right!)

#12 herbacidal

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 03:19 PM

I was told by HK friends that the reason they come in such small containers is that they believe it's not good to down too much acidophilus in one sitting so you're only supposed to drink one tiny container at a time. (Yeah right!)

i'll hafta look for the yogloo.

I'm guessing the only times i drank less than 2 containers
at once were the times when i was sharing the 4-pak with others.
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#13 Shiewie

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 08:05 PM

My favourite Chinese dessert would be tong sui (sweet soup)
- gingko nut, barley and soy sheets
- red bean soup (with some glutinous rice balls in them)
- dried longan with snow fungus and lotus seeds.

Also like
- steamed custard buns
- steamed sponge cake
- wife biscuits (can't get good ones in KL though - pastry is not flaky enough and filling is not sufficiently chew and is way too sweet. So they're usually a request if anyone goes to Hong Kong. Herbacidal - what are the ones in Philadelphia like?)
- the mochi like glutinous rice balls with crushed peanuts and sugar (lor mai chee)
- the eggy dough stuff coated with treacle (sutt kay mah)
- various preserved plums

I used eat loads of the haw flake stuff as well - remember my mum saying that they're good for giving you a good appetite but I sure don't need any help there.

Does anyone else remember the white rock candy - a tray of hard white candy that would be chipped off with a little chisel and hammer?

That said, think I too prefer a Western dessert over a Chinese one.

#14 aprilmei

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 08:17 PM

In Hong Kong, they have some wonderful sweets that you can only get as street food - and sadly, the government is trying to get rid of street vendors so it's difficult to find them anymore. There's dragons beard candy - really fine, delicate sweet threads that the seller fills with sugar, nuts and sesame seeds. You have to eat them immediately or it becomes hard and chewy in the humidity. Also, a thin, rice paper pancake that the vendor wraps around a crunchy wafer and sugar, nuts and sesame seeds. Again, it must be eaten immediately.
And the other day near work, there was a vendor selling those candied fruits on a long, white stick - haven't seen that in ages. Almost bought some for nostalgia's sake but then I remembered they don't really taste that good, although they look pretty. I wish I had bought some anyway, if only to support the elderly vendor.

#15 BettyK

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 08:27 PM

the eggy dough stuff coated with treacle (sutt kay mah)


Is it cut into big cubes? There's one we called 'macaroni cake'. Don't know the chinese name. It looks like lots of small broken pieces of dough coated with caramel and sesame seeds. Wish I could have the recipe for this.


I also like sesame balls with red bean paste. Then there's also this flat cake with red bean paste inside a very thin puff pastry. Haw flakes and preserved plums are good too.

Edited by BettyK, 04 November 2003 - 08:38 PM.


#16 Shiewie

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 08:47 PM

the eggy dough stuff coated with treacle (sutt kay mah)

Is it cut into big cubes? There's one we called 'macaroni cake'. Don't know the chinese name. It looks like lots of small broken pieces of dough coated with caramel and sesame seeds. Wish I could have the recipe for this.

Yes - think they're the same - strips of curly-wurly deep fried eggy dough placed on a deep tray, coated with treacle / caramel and cut into big squares, right? No recipe though :sad: - will browse at the chinese cookery books section the next time I go to the bookstore and see if any of the HK / Taiwanese books have a recipe. (It'll have to be a bi-lingual book though.)

I also like sesame balls with red bean paste. Then there's also this flat cake with red bean paste inside a very thin puff pastry. Haw flakes and preserved plums are good too.

Are the sesame balls the deep-fried ones coated with sesame seeds? Think they're called 'jeen dui'.

The flat puff pastry like cake with red bean filling - think it's called 'wor paeng'. They call it Chinese pancake here in Malaysia and it's usually one of the desserts at a Chinese banquet (together with a sweet soup). It also comes with a lotus paste filling.

#17 Shiewie

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 09:01 PM

In Hong Kong, they have some wonderful sweets that you can only get as street food - and sadly, the government is trying to get rid of street vendors so it's difficult to find them anymore. There's dragons beard candy - really fine, delicate sweet threads that the seller fills with sugar, nuts and sesame seeds. You have to eat them immediately or it becomes hard and chewy in the humidity.

I love to see the dragon's beard candy maker at work - sort of like making fresh noodles when they stretch and fold the candy into the fine strands.

And the other day near work, there was a vendor selling those candied fruits on a long, white stick - haven't seen that in ages. Almost bought some for nostalgia's sake but then I remembered they don't really taste that good, although they look pretty. I wish I had bought some anyway, if only to support the elderly vendor.

Are these like the candied apples that always shown in documentaries on Beijing?

#18 jo-mel

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 09:19 PM

Are these like the candied apples that always shown in documentaries on Beijing?

Like the fruit in this link? I believe they are 'haw fruit' and if I remember correctly, they were sour.

http://members.aol.c...2000/hawboy.jpg

#19 Gary Soup

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 10:13 PM

. And I used to like those thin, red coloured crumbly wafers - can't remember what they were called. They were the diameter of a quarter but much thinner, sold stacked in these waxy paper wrappers.

Haw flakes have been used to feed pre-digital parking meters here in SF. If you turn the crank carefully, they will work as quarters. If they break, they will jam the meter (also effective, as long as you are not caught in the act).

#20 herbacidal

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 10:45 PM

My favourite Chinese dessert would be tong sui (sweet soup)
- gingko nut, barley and soy sheets
- red bean soup (with some glutinous rice balls in them)
- dried longan with snow fungus and lotus seeds.


- wife biscuits (can't get good ones in KL though - pastry is not flaky enough and filling is not sufficiently chew and is way too sweet. So they're usually a request if anyone goes to Hong Kong. Herbacidal - what are the ones in Philadelphia like?)
- the mochi like glutinous rice balls with crushed peanuts and sugar (lor mai chee)
- the eggy dough stuff coated with treacle (sutt kay mah)
- various preserved plums

I used eat loads of the haw flake stuff as well - remember my mum saying that they're good for giving you a good appetite but I sure don't need any help there.

Does anyone else remember the white rock candy - a tray of hard white candy that would be chipped off with a little chisel and hammer?

That said, think I too prefer a Western dessert over a Chinese one.

wife cakes suck here. too flaky, filling doesn't taste right.
that's why i never eat them here.
can only compare them to Yuen Long in HK which no one i've known disputes as having the best.
i've only had them once there, and that was back in 1997.

never really eaten a lot of haw flakes. no more than 4-5 packages.
(that seems like a lot, until you've see that 1 package is about
80% as large as the smallest shot glass you've ever seen)

never had sutt kay mah that i can recall.
they may be around, i'm not sure.

just figured out what nor mai chee is. here they don't have peanuts that i can recall (been about 6 months since i've had one, luckily a relative makes them for all the local shops).

for everyone else, they're shaped like if you sliced off the end of an hard boiled egg, all white, with a indentation in the middle.

my favorite sweet soup always have been:
tapioca with cantaloupe and honeydew
peanut
sesame

the last 2 usually are just made from the powder, though.
i'd be interested in trying them made fresh.
Herb aka "herbacidal"

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#21 herbacidal

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 10:52 PM

Oh, and butterflies!!! They were just won ton pei that was twisted into a butterfly shape, deep-fried and then dipped in honey. We used to get them at one bakery in Los Angeles Chinatown (old Chinatown - not Monterey Park). They were really good. But every other version I've tasted since hasn't been nearly as good; maybe it's an age thing.

don't know who came up with them first, chinese bakeries or someone else.

Whole Foods, which may have got them from Chinese bakeries, or maybe from somewhere else, sells something called elephant ears.
they're exactly the same as butterfly wings.

I've seen 2 versions of butterfly wings locally, 1 with wonton skins
(now that makes sense), and 1 with what i think is phyllo dough.
haven't seen the wonton skin version in a while.
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#22 herbacidal

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 10:53 PM

And preserved orange peel in those little shiny bags from Taiwan.  Do the Chinese diaspora count?  If they do, then kueh lapis, pineapple tarts, ABC, chendol, and love letters too.


no peel for me. ginger candy is good though.

what are kueh lapis, ABC, chendol, and love letters?
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#23 herbacidal

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 10:57 PM

[quote name='Gary Soup' date='Nov 5 2003, 01:13 AM']
[/QUOTE]
Haw flakes have been used to feed pre-digital parking meters here in SF. If you turn the crank carefully, they will work as quarters. If they break, they will jam the meter (also effective, as long as you are not caught in the act). [/quote]
really? they do? i'll have to remember that.

to scold others when i see it, silly. :rolleyes: :rolleyes:


i remember a friend of mine using soda can tops.
i was never able to get it to work, though.
Herb aka "herbacidal"

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#24 herbacidal

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 10:58 PM



Are these like the candied apples that always shown in documentaries on Beijing?

Like the fruit in this link? I believe they are 'haw fruit' and if I remember correctly, they were sour.

http://members.aol.c...2000/hawboy.jpg

is that what they were?
i remember seeing them when i was in china,
but never bothered to try or ask what they were.
Herb aka "herbacidal"

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#25 Pan

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 11:17 PM

I love haw (short for hawthorne) fruit rollups, but I eat them more often as snacks than desserts.

#26 BettyK

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 11:42 PM

the eggy dough stuff coated with treacle (sutt kay mah)

Is it cut into big cubes? There's one we called 'macaroni cake'. Don't know the chinese name. It looks like lots of small broken pieces of dough coated with caramel and sesame seeds. Wish I could have the recipe for this.

Yes - think they're the same - strips of curly-wurly deep fried eggy dough placed on a deep tray, coated with treacle / caramel and cut into big squares, right? No recipe though :sad: - will browse at the chinese cookery books section the next time I go to the bookstore and see if any of the HK / Taiwanese books have a recipe. (It'll have to be a bi-lingual book though.)


Right. Would be great if you could find the recipe. Thanks for looking.

I also like sesame balls with red bean paste. Then there's also this flat cake with red bean paste inside a very thin puff pastry. Haw flakes and preserved plums are good too.

Are the sesame balls the deep-fried ones coated with sesame seeds? Think they're called 'jeen dui'.


That's also correct.

The flat puff pastry like cake with red bean filling - think it's called 'wor paeng'. They call it Chinese pancake here in Malaysia and it's usually one of the desserts at a Chinese banquet (together with a sweet soup). It also comes with a lotus paste filling.


Actually it's not that flat - more like 3/4" thick. I just found out it's simply called Red Bean Cake.

#27 Shiewie

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 11:51 PM

And preserved orange peel in those little shiny bags from Taiwan.  Do the Chinese diaspora count?  If they do, then kueh lapis, pineapple tarts, ABC, chendol, and love letters too.


no peel for me. ginger candy is good though.

what are kueh lapis, ABC, chendol, and love letters?

I like the preserved orange peel too - shiny black foil packages - they help keep me awake when I'm really bored and sleepy.

Ginger candy - the preserved ginger that's coloured red?

Kueh / kuih lapis - a Nyonya / Straits Chinese / Malay (or does it exist in Southern Chinese cuisine, I get confused between what's Nyona and what's Chinese at times) cake of rice flour, green bean flour and coconut milk. It's called Kaou Chung Gou in Cantonese meaningNine Layer Cake. I used to like eating it really slowly layer by layer as a kid.
Posted Image

ABC - an acronym for "Air Batu Campur" which translates to Mixed Ice or "Chap Shuet" in Cantonese. Also known as Ice Kacang. It's a Malaysian/ Singaporean shaved ice dessert with boiled sweetened red beans, grass jelly ("leong fun"), creamed corn, chendol (green wormy looking jelly made from green bean flour), bits of agar-agar and some peanuts (don't like them in this though) and covered with shaved ice topped with syrup (usually rose or sometimes palm sugar syrup), evaporated milk and topped with a scoop of ice-cream. It's similar to the Hawaiian shaved ice or one those Vietnamese ice desserts.

Chendol / cendol - short green wormy looking jelly made from green bean flour (the green colouring is from crushed pandan leaves) served with crushed ice, palm sugar syrup (gula melaka) and coconut milk. Some add boiled sweetened red/kidney beans to it. There's even one in Melaka with dollops of gooey caramelised durian paste. Again, am confused by its origins - think its Straits Chinese but it's also commonly sold by Indians (typically next to a rojak stall) and Malays too.

Love letters - these are basically egg rolls but localised in Malaysia and Singapore to include coconut milk in the batter. Also known as 'kuih kapit' meaning pressed cake as the moulds are 2 flat metal rounds each attached to a long metal handle. It's thinner than egg rolls (the ideal kuih kapit should be wafer thin, crisp and as light as possible) and the moulds traditionally have pretty flowery designs on them. They're baked over a charcoal fire, immediately removed from the mould once cooked and quickly folded into quarters (some are rolled) and packed into air-tight tins. It's a must-have for Chinese New Year over in Malaysia and Singapore.

Edited by Shiewie, 05 November 2003 - 12:34 AM.


#28 Shiewie

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Posted 04 November 2003 - 11:58 PM

my favorite sweet soup always have been:
tapioca with cantaloupe and honeydew
peanut
sesame

the last 2 usually are just made from the powder, though.
i'd be interested in trying them made fresh.

Here are links to recipes for sweet peanut paste/soup and sweet seasme paste/soup. Hmmm - the recipes have milk in them though - bit strange, perhaps it was added for a richer tasting soup.

#29 Shiewie

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 12:05 AM



Are these like the candied apples that always shown in documentaries on Beijing?

Like the fruit in this link? I believe they are 'haw fruit' and if I remember correctly, they were sour.

http://members.aol.c...2000/hawboy.jpg

Ahhh - that's what fresh haw looks like. Have always wondered about that. Thought the fruit things on the sticks were little apples like crab apples.

#30 aprilmei

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Posted 05 November 2003 - 12:39 AM



Are these like the candied apples that always shown in documentaries on Beijing?

Like the fruit in this link? I believe they are 'haw fruit' and if I remember correctly, they were sour.

http://members.aol.c...2000/hawboy.jpg

Yes, that's it!! You could buy these in big bags in Shanghai. But like I said, they don't really taste all that good; they just look pretty. Like Shiewei, I also thought they were crabapples.

Shiewei, one of my friends goes to Malaysia every Chinese New Year and always brings me back love letters. I love them. They make a big mess when you try to eat them though, because they're so crumbly and delicate - don't eat them over your computer keyboard!! It gets the keys stuck and the IT guys have to come and clean it out, which doesn't make them happy.





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