Home / Lifestyle / Food

Sweets for the season

By Pauline D. Loh | China Daily | Updated: 2013-12-02 09:48

Sweets for the season

As the party season draws nearer, it's time to stock up on some sweets that will impress friends, delight your family and draw the compliments. Pauline D. Loh shows you how.

The first snow in Beijing this year is fluttering down and coating the evergreen firs lining our driveway even as I write. It gives our campus a Christmas setting that almost makes us oblivious to the bone-chilling temperatures that have now firmly settled in.

Somehow the snow makes us forget, and we can look forward to the warmth of Christmas and New Year.

I have gingerbread baking in the oven, to be iced later for our tree and to be made into gingerbread boys and girls for the children. But this year, I am also making some sweets for the adults, as well as the kids.

First on my list is a chocolate bark using good chocolate and candied ginger. The cold weather is ideal as it firms up the bark really quickly and it's a cinch to make. Later, as we munch on the bark, the gingery heat will warm our insides.

Using the same melted chocolate, it's also time to make use of the beautifully ripe Sichuan strawberries for some fruit lollies. Chocolate-coated strawberries are always a favorite at parties, especially if you pop them into the freezer beforehand so the fruits taste like sherbets and the coating is crisp and brittle.

Then, I'm making mandarin orange cakes that will make use of the glut of little citrus fruits that now floods the market. I bought a bag the other day for less than 10 yuan ($1.57). They are juicy, sweet and seedless.

You can also make candied peel from the skin, to be scattered over salads or as a topping for the cupcakes.

Because we have many young children among our expatriate staff, I am also making little fairy cupcakes topped with sugar gum flowers.

The cakes themselves are made from a basic batter that has tea-infused raisins added into the mixture. It's lighter than the heavy fruitcakes, and soaking the dried fruit in tea plumps them up and takes away a little of the sugar.

Make a pile of these little cupcakes and they'll create an unforgettable centerpiece, especially appreciated by the younger ones. I made a special batch the other day and sent it to a little girl and in return, I'll probably get a little art masterpiece that I can pin up on my office wall.

But it's things like that which warm the heart and soul, and prepare us for a season of peace, goodwill and understanding.

Previous 1 2 3 4 5 Next

Copyright 1995 - . All rights reserved. The content (including but not limited to text, photo, multimedia information, etc) published in this site belongs to China Daily Information Co (CDIC). Without written authorization from CDIC, such content shall not be republished or used in any form. Note: Browsers with 1024*768 or higher resolution are suggested for this site.
License for publishing multimedia online 0108263

Registration Number: 130349