Yusheng in a chocolate egg, 'cheese tea' cake and other bizarre CNY treats
Definitely not your grandma's Chinese New Year snack basket. Local bakery Antoinette whips up whimsical (or just plain odd) festive creations.
The name "Antoinette" might conjure images of colourful macaron stacked high on gold dishes, multi-tiered confections slick with pastel-hued buttercream, and buttery bundt cakes drenched in boozy syrup. But this stalwart homegrown bakery also makes some spectacular pastries steeped in unique Singaporean spirit.
Like these CNY delights dreamed up by chef-owner Pang Kok Keong. The whimsical and Instagram-worthy confections combine French-style pastry techniques with classic Chinese ingredients, and are just so much fun to tuck into.
AN AUSPICIOUS SLUMP
Pull up the transparent collar holding this confection together and it’ll release a lush torrent of sweet-salty cream cheese frosting that slumps deliciously upon the airy, purple sweet potato chiffon cake beneath it.
The frosting – made with cream cheese, cream and milk – was inspired by cheese tea foam, so it’s apt that its sweet toppings include black and golden tapioca pearls (yes, like a cheese tea cake!), candied cubes of sweet potato and yam, and gold-dusted chocolate coins, ingots and fish. Abundantly – that’s the cake’s name – sells for S$38.
A LOAF OF TREASURES
An ode to the hongbao, these loaves are a little crusty and dense, and dyed a soft shade of red using red dragonfruit. Cut into them and you’ll find them packed with a filling of mochi-like black sugar nian gao, candied yam and sweet potatoes, a flurry of pork floss, and salted egg yolk.
With every bite, there’s chewy bread, even chewier nian gao, creamy root veggies, the savouriness of salted egg yolk, and – the thing that really gives its flavour magic – fried shallot oil. These Hong Bao buns are sold at S$10 for a small and S$25 for a large.
A SMASHINGLY SWEET YUSHENG
Now a classic CNY offering at Antoinette, the Queen's Yusheng is the perfect yusheng when you’re dining with kids (or the, ahem, young at heart) who scoff at the sight of a large plate of vegetables.
Smash open the golden chocolate egg with a mallet and toss its colourful insides – a mixture of diced and shredded pineapple, Thai green mango, red dragonfruit and pomelo – with all the other good stuff that comes with it, namely almonds, cashews, yam and sweet potato chips, and a whole bunch of chocolate ingots and coins.
You’ll all be bouncing off the walls on a sugar high after, but hey, it’s a celebration. Queen’s Yusheng sells for S$88.