With Chinese New Year (or the Lunar New Year) around the corner, most Chinese families are busy making their preparations to welcome the Year of the Horse, such as spring cleaning, buying new clothes, or last-minute shopping.
We have sampled various pineapple tarts, cakes with fancy Chinese New Year designs and yusheng (raw fish salad) to know which ones are worth the calories. Here is a round-up of 12 festive snacks and treats that you can serve to impress your visitors, or present as thoughtful gifts to loved ones.
1. Yuzu pineapple tarts from Bakerzin
Make a sweet start to the year with dessert expert Bakerzin‘s selection of pineapple tarts and assorted cookies, each one individually wrapped to preserve maximum freshness.
If your taste buds are tingling for something more than the usual pineapple tarts, the Yuzu Yuan Bao pineapple tarts will be the new thing to try. Shaped like ancient Chinese golden ingots, these auspicious nuggets are filled with slow-cooked pineapple, infused with the complementary bitter-sweetness of refreshing yuzu zest. (S$26.80+ for a box of 20)
2. Gold Coin Crodo from Da Paolo Gastronomia
One of the few places in Singapore where you can enjoy the Cronut, named by TIME Magazine as one of the “25 Best Inventions” of 2013, is Da Paolo Gastronomia, which calls its rendition the crodo. The Italian deli chain has rolled out a Chinese New Year pastry in the form of the Gold Coin crodo. (S$5.80 each)
Made to resemble ancient gold coins, each shiny gold-dusted crodo is characterised by ethereal flaky layers and a rich egg custard filling. Not to be missed! Trust me, this pastry hybrid of croissant and doughnut is one of the best things you will have in your mouth for a long time.
3. Horse stick cookies from Da Paolo Gastronomia
Aptly created for the Year of the Horse, these adorable horse-shaped chocolate chip cookies, also by Da Paolo Gastronomia, will be a runaway hit with families! (S$6.80 each / S$12.80 for a pair)
Relish these treats and reuse the sticks as chopsticks! Da Paolo just has a knack for coming up with delicious snacks that look good and taste even better *nods approvingly*.
4. Cheese pineapple tarts from PrimaDéli
In line with the growing trend of injecting a dash of unconventional ingredients into traditional treats a la mooncakes and rice dumplings, pineapple pastries are also married with new ingredients these days.
Cheese fans will love the cheese pineapple tarts from PrimaDéli. The characteristic sweet-sour tanginess of pineapple pulp is coupled with a subtle salty hint of parmesan cheese for a harmonious flavour.
We also like the snappy metal tin containers that can be reused for storing knick-knacks after the holidays. (S$16.80 for a tin)
5. Prosperity Pony cake from The Icing Room
Here’s another horse-shaped delight to celebrate the zodiac animal for this year – the Prosperity Pony cake from The Icing Room. The pony cake is created in the bakery’s signature vanilla Chantilly cream flavour and will make a divine addition to any dining table (S$22).
If you have been paying attention to our giveaways, you would have noticed that we gave away this impossibly cute cake (and more) just last week!
6. Walnut and longan pineapple pastries from Thye Moh Chan
Singapore’s iconic Teochew confectionery shop Thye Moh Chan presents its signature, melt-in-your-mouth pineapple pastries which now come in two new flavours – walnut and longan. (S$22.80 for a box of 8)
7. Mandarin orange lava cakes from Smoulder
Opt for something a little different with Smoulder‘s intriguing new creation. When east meets west, the result is the artful concoction of the Mandarin orange dark chocolate lava cake.
The bright orange lava cakes ooze molten Belgian chocolate tinged with Mandarin orange. You gotta try this out! (S$2.80 per piece, S$8.20 per 3-piece box, S$24 per 9-piece box)
8. Horseperity bun from BreadTalk
Fancy some cute in your bun? Check out the limited-edition Horseperity bun from BreadTalk. This sweet horse-faced bun is filled with all things good, including savoury bak kwa strips, cheddar cheese and mayonnaise.
9. Prosperity Couple Happy Face cakes from Emicakes
I love cakes with Happy Face designs; they never fail to brighten up someone’s day. For this Lunar New Year, Emicakes has whipped up a duo of Prosperity Couple Happy Face cakes. These cakes look so irresistibly cheery and cute, they simply will melt your heart.
Both the girl and the boy cakes sport cheongsam designs, and are available in the usual Emicakes flavours. Personally, I recommend the chocolate truffle!
10. Chinese New Year cupcakes from Emicakes
If you can’t get enough of the cute, check out even more adorable cupcakes from Emicakes.
The Fortune Boy and Lucky Girl cupcakes are like the miniature versions of the Happy Face cakes. The cute just gets even cuter!
The colourful Gong Xi Fa Cai cupcakes come in familiar festive designs of spring blossoms, lantern, mandarin orange and gold coin in two flavours.
11. Taiwan Songshan pineapple cakes from Din Tai Fung
Air-flown from Taiwan, the pineapple cakes from Din Tai Fung are filled with Taiwan’s Songshan pineapples which are famous for their aroma and low acidity. Free of preservatives and trans-fat, they certainly make a perfect guilt-free snack or gift for friends and family during this prosperous occasion. (S$7.50 for a box of 3 / S$23.80 for a box of 10)
12. Salmon yusheng from Din Tai Fung
And if you think our compilation of Chinese New Year goodies is missing something, you’re right! We’ve saved the best for the last. No celebration is complete without tossing the colourful yusheng.
Din Tai Fung‘s yusheng boasts quality ingredients such as the superior Australian abalone, Norway smoked salmon, roasted chestnuts, fresh natural jellyfish, crispy yam twirls, fresh pomelo pulp and white radish, finished with a drizzle of sweet and tangy plum sauce for a refreshing hit! (S$28.80 for standard salmon yusheng – serves 2 to 3 / S$48.80 for deluxe salmon yusheng – serves 4 to 6 / S$68.80 for abalone deluxe salmon yusheng – serves 4 to 6)
I hope you have found this splendid compilation useful for your festive shopping. May you enjoy good fortune and an abundance of wealth for the New Year!