Monday, December 23, 2013

Grandma's cake gets a Chinese makeover

My mom’s mom used to bake a persimmon cake every year for Christmas dinner. 

On the big day, mouthwatering aromas of spice and fruit would mingle with the scent of roasted meat and Grandpa’s pipe, semi-materializing as perfumed tendrils of steam that shimmied their way out of the windows of her little Craftsman cottage in San Jose’s Rose Garden district. 

They made me so ravenously hungry that I would rocket up the few short steps to her front door.

The kitchen was Grandma’s personal fiefdom, and she brooked no nonsense from anyone, shooing me in particular out of the way as she pulled the steaming confection from her ancient white Wedgeworth stove

This was one of her annual masterpieces, and I learned to watch quietly from the sidelines as she pulled together yet another perfect dinner replete with a luscious homemade dessert.
Grandma's recipe card

Now fast-forward a couple of decades, after living in Hawai’i and Taiwan, where the concept of a mochi cake hijacked my fantasies into a totally different direction. 

Slightly chewy, considerably less sweet and more texturally interesting than Western gâteaux, this dessert has become my pet project. 

Over the years, I have devised numerous takes on it, trying to blur the line between East and West to the nth degree....

[read the rest here on Zester Daily]

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