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Monday, 30 July 2018

Just One Food - Winter Melon Wife Cake

I absolutely love this traditional Hong Kong delicacy they call "Wife or Sweetheart cake" or "Lo Por Paeng". There are many different versions/stories on the origins of these Wife cakes if you google it.

This Wife cake is made up of a thin crust of flaky pastry with a candied wintermelon filling.  I'm not sure what else goes into the making of this filling but may contain white sesame seeds, almond paste, glutinous rice flour, desiccated coconut and/or vanilla.

You can find these sold by some biscuit shops locally, some of which I've tried but they aren't quite as delicious as the ones from Hong Kong.  These soft and flaky pastries are very popular in Hong Kong.

I first ate these Hong Kong ones when by my previous employer brought them back for his staff during his business trips to Hong Kong.  I ate them many times and recall that they had very flaky crusts so much so that the pastry would crumble in your hands as soon as you lift them up.

I thought they were very good then until I was introduced to the ones made by Kee Wah Bakery (also from Hong Kong).  They were even better! ^o^

Of course, they're very good....was there any doubt since they've been churning out these goodies since 1938! O_o

The sweetened wintermelon filling was absolutely gorgeous...not too sweet, just nice....so, so delectable! ^o^

My neighbour's son would gift them to me when he returns to Malaysia for holidays (via Hong Kong enroute to visit his wife's parents)...and he has bought them twice for me thus far.  They have a very short shelf life (usually about 3 - 4 days by the time I receive them) since they're freshly made.

There are 8 pieces in one box....and since I wasn't able to finish them (before expiry date), I had to give some away.

Even then I still couldn't finish them in time (as I limit myself to eating only one a day) and that was when I noticed some instructions on the bottom of the box.  I may not read Chinese but I certainly knew what I could do with it.  So, I stashed the last two pastries in the fridge.

And proceeded to reheat them (the next day) as per instructions.  I didn't put it in the oven to bake at 180°C but just put it in my toaster oven to reheat for about 5 minutes.

Guess what?  They turned out even better.  The flaky pastry, through the reheating process, came out all crisped up and smelling even more fragrant.  Now that I know it can be stored (for an extended period of time) in the fridge and reheated without the taste being compromised, the next time I was gifted these, I wasn't about to share....wuahahahaha! :D

I find that this candied wintermelon isn't very sweet, compared to some of the ones I've eaten before, and that's why I like it so much.  I usually try to stay away from sweet stuff...but this one, I'll make an exception...it's that good! ^.^

If you happen to visit Hong Kong (for pleasure or business) and you want to bring home some 'souvenirs' for family, friends or colleagues, you may want to consider this.  I think it'll be a good choice...and they will surely thank you (I know I would) for giving them a delicious 'souvenir' that they can eat....rather than one of those crappy keychains...wakakakaka! ;D

14 comments:

  1. Ooo, I haven’t cultivated an appreciation for this yet - maybe it’s a combination of the facts that I don’t really love Chinese pastries and I don’t have a major sweet tooth. Hmmm, besides the fact that the HK purveyors have been making them for a longer time, I wonder why our local bakers haven’t been able to make them as nice as the HK ones - whether it has something to do with the ingredients or the technique ;)

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    1. I think it's down to a combination of factors...the vital ingredient (of the wintermelon paste), the recipe and the technique of making these that local pastry makers can't quite replicate. Oh, I don't have a sweet tooth either...but, this not-too-sweet yummy thing, I'll make an exception :)

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  2. We definitely have same tastes for liking this Hong Kong's famous Winter Melon Wife Cake. I have eaten so many brands from all over Hong Kong and Kowloon's bakery shops throughout the decades. I would just stop, buy and eat them on the spot. I found the folks have very varied tastes as they could eat many that I found rather weird, too hard or too sweet. I could not find the same good recommendations from their locals just like Penang folks who swore the best CKT is from all corners of Penang.

    I could see from your photo clearly that I would like that one from its colour, texture and size.

    Others could be rock hard, puffy, brownish and bluek!

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    1. Oh dear, from the sound of that...from weird to rock hard, too sweet, puffy, brownish...and bluek(!), you've eaten quite a few not-so-good ones. Ok then, since you couldn't get a good recommendation from a local, take this one from a non-local then...kekeke! ;) Try this particular bakery in your next trip to HK to see if this one meets your approval.

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    2. I will definitely try this brand when I visit HKG next year. It could be the same good brand from a famous shop near Sheung Wan, Hong Kong Island.

      It is true that some were hard, round like siew bao and tasted something else yet the folks queued everywhere for them. I got deceived so many times from the queues!

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    3. You have eaten more HK wife cakes than me in your many trips to HK, so you'd be a better judge if this one is any good. ^_~

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  3. Ah! I have eaten this before from TK Confectionery. I'm afraid I did not like the taste of the filling. Maybe the Hong Kong one would change my mind, if anyone gives me some to sample hah...hah...

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    1. Ah, the key to a good wife cake is the wintermelon filling itself...and the ones here aren't quite the same. I guess you'll have to wait for someone to get you the ones from HK then. ^_~

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  4. I'm interested in how it gets the wife name. haha.

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    1. There are quite a few stories on the origin of this cake...and they all involve a wife somewhere in the story (that's how it got its name)...haha! :D

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  5. Well, that is a delicious looking sweet. I just had a rose filling with a similar pastry in China. It was yummy.

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    1. Oh, I don't I've seen or eaten a pastry with rose filling before.

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  6. Yah Lou Poh Beng, get to know this biscuit from the Hong Kong drama and I know the place which is famous for this biscuit is Yunlong County. I think I never have the HK version but tried some from our local bakeries, so can't compare the taste :P

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    1. I've only tried two HK versions...and both were very good :)

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