The sweet treats at the End of the Chinese Year
“They’re called ‘classics’ for a reason”, goes the saying when it comes to food. Ayi sure believes so. “They just don’t resemble those little white tāngyuán (汤圆) -stuffed glutinous rice balls- we [Chinese people] eat during the Lantern Festival”, she claimed at the sight of the bigger tāngyuán I had prepared. “They are so good though”, she added later while she chewed on one of them.
White they were not, because I slightly roasted the flour which gave it a nutty aroma that paired nicely with the homemade salted caramel and walnuts filling. But the work was no piece of cake. I soon realized that the dough tends to dry out more quickly than the one made out of straight white rice flour, and that the caramel (previously frozen in small balls) melted at an impressive pace, making the sealing process a daunting task. What took me twenty minutes last year (using a dry sugar, walnut and sugar stuffing) took me an hour and a half this time. Testing a new idea has its ups and downs.
A classic it was not, but don’t we all like to be surprised by a unexpected twist?