Taiwanese Wedding Cake 台式喜餅

People tend to think that I’m an “Earl grey financier, Jeju matcha entremet, raspberry lemon glaze eclair” kind of person though I look nothing like it. Maybe it’s that manufactured aloofness and confidence I hobble around with that dissipates the second I glide back into my comfort zone. In actuality, the kind of desserts I devour and enjoy the most are the unadulterated traditional variety, the kind that my grandmother used to bury at the back of her closet under clothes she hadn’t worn in 10 years, away from the prying fingers of my mother and her siblings.

Among these are the traditional Taiwanese wedding cakes. I believe it’s most frequently given as wedding gifts from newly wedded couples to their guests. Nowadays, they are found in plenty of local bakeries for the semi-occasional indulgence. There are an assortment of varieties from the basic pineapple, walnut red bean (another personal favourite) to the more millennial-friendly red bean pork floss mochi but this eclectic amalgamation of salty and sweet makes my tastebuds sing a different tune.

This recipe turned out perfect for me, authentic and delicious. Perhaps an odd combination— meat floss, salted eggs, sesame, winter melon sugar, honey— but it’s none too surprising that it turns out great.

The original recipe uses maltose which is less sweet than honey. I don’t know about you but I rarely use maltose at all so the fuss over 450g of leftover maltose was not worth the trouble. Since I’m using honey, I reduced the powdered sugar to better mimic the level of sweetness.

Feel free to add other ingredients to suit your liking. I highly recommend adding a touch of chopped walnuts or pine nuts just to elevate that textural oomph.


Taiwanese Wedding Cake 台式喜餅

Adapted from Carol 自在生活

Pastry
140g all purpose flour
70g unsalted butter
25g powdered sugar
15g full fat milk powder
10g finely grated parmesan
50g water

  1. Slice the butter into small cubes and set aside to soften.
  2. Sift the flour and sugar into a mixing bowl.
  3. Add the milk powder and parmesan. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  4. Add the butter and lightly knead to form a rough dough.
  5. Add the water and knead into a smooth dough.
  6. Divide it into two portions.

Filling
4 salted egg yolks
50g all purpose flour
20g toasted sesame seeds
25g chopped raisins
45g chopped winter melon sugar
45g powdered sugar
20g meat floss (pork/chicken)
50g unsalted butter
15g finely grated parmesan
40g honey

  1. Slice the butter into small cubes and set aside to soften.
  2. Bake flour and salted egg yolks in the oven at 150C for 15 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, sift the powdered sugar and chop the raisins and winter melon sugar. Put the sesame seeds into a ziplock bag and run them over a few times with a rolling pin till mashed.
  4. When cooled, chop the salted egg yolks.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together and knead till evenly mixed.
  6. Split into two portions.

Pre-baking
– About half a whole egg, whisked thoroughly
– 100g of toasted sesame seeds (or less depending on desired coverage) placed into a shallow bowl

  1. Preheat oven to 200C.
  2. Flatten a portion of dough with a rolling pin. Enclose the filling within.
  3. Flatten again into a 1.5cm thick, 15cm disc.
  4. Brush one side with egg and plunge it egg side down into the sesame seed-filled bowl.
  5. Place the disc sesame-side down onto a parchment-lined baking pan.
  6. Prick exposed surface with a fork, just penetrating the skin to form holes dispersed throughout the surface.
  7. Bake for 12 minutes at 200C.
  8. Flip the cakes and continue baking for another 15 minutes at 170C or till golden brown.
  9. Slice when cooled. I find that a slicing with a cleaver makes cleaner slices compared with a measly fruit knife.

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