Desserts, you can find them anywhere around the globe. Asian countries, like China, offer great varieties of desserts. From sweet soup to sesame seeds coated cookies, you can taste it. Chinese desserts are one of the popular foods that you might want to try.
Like any other Asian countries, Chinese desserts offer a sweet taste and a combination of different ingredients that provides an interesting flavor. You may find some of them being traditionally eaten, while others are eaten to bring good fortune. Let us check some of the popular Chinese desserts.
Best Chinese Desserts with Recipes
One of the simplest and most popular Chinese delicacies, Almond jelly is very easy to make. You will need:
- 2 cups of water (put in separate cup)
- ¼ (.25) ounce of unflavored gelatin powder
- 2 cups of milk
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 1 ½ teaspoons of almond extract
How to make:
- Pour 1 cup of water in a bowl and add the unflavored gelatin powder. Stir until the powder has been dissolved and set aside.
- Boil another 1 cup of water in a large saucepan.
Once it starts to boil, bring the heat into medium-low. Then pour the gelatin mixture slowly into the pan. Add the milk, sugar and almond extract and stir until all ingredients are dissolved.
- Put the mixture in a large container and refrigerate from 3 to 4 hours. Upon serving, cut into small cubes.
You can serve the sliced almond jelly with a bowl of fruit salad.
This smooth and creamy Chinese dessert is similar to a custard, but with a twist. To make this recipe, you will need:
For the custard filling:
- 4 beaten eggs (2 tablespoon should be reserved for the pastry dough)
- ¾ cup of hot water
- 6 tablespoons of sugar
- ⅛ teaspoon of pinched salt
- ¼ cup of evaporated milk
- vanilla extract (optional)
For the Pastry Dough:
- 2 cups of cake flour (you may need extra for dusting)
- 115 grams of unsalted butter softened in room temperature
- ¼ cup powdered sugar
- 2 tablespoons of beaten egg
- vanilla extract (optional)
How to make (this is good for up to 16 servings):
- To start with the pastry, sieve flour, sugar, and salt in a large bowl. Add the softened butter and bring the mixture together with your hands. Be careful not to knead the pastry dough too much as it will result in a tough pastry.
- Whisk the 2 tablespoons of beaten egg yolks and add it to the flour. Mix them until smooth. If the dough becomes too sticky, put some extra flour on your hands. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and refrigerate it until it is firm (about 30 minutes or more).
- To prepare the custard filling, simply put the hot water on the sugar and salt to melt them. Mix until fully dissolved and set aside to let it cool.
- Add the rest of the beaten egg yolks to the cooled sugar water and stir in evaporated milk and vanilla. Mix everything well.
- To remove lumps on the filling, strain it before putting it inside the refrigerator to chill.
- Start heating the oven up to 200°C or 400°F.
- Take out the dough from the refrigerator and cut it into 16 servings. Spray the tart pan with a little oil until coated. Get a portion of the cut dough and roll it into a ball before putting into the tart shell. Using your fingers, press the shell to fit into the pan. Avoid a thick bottom and try to make the shell thickness sustained or consistent. Repeat this procedure with the remaining dough portions.
- Put the custard filling into the shell until it is about 80% full. Bake them into the pre-heated oven for about 15-20 minutes or until the surface gets a golden brown color. Use a toothpick to test. It should stand on the egg tart to indicate that it is cooked.
- Remove the egg tarts in the oven and let it cool. Remove the tarts from the pan once it gets warm and served.
Chinese Egg Cakes
Chinese egg cakes or Chinese sponge cakes often bring childhood memories to some Chinese and you may want to make this recipe. Here’s what you need:
- 2 middle-sized eggs stored at room temperature
- 60 grams of cake flour
- 40 grams of castor sugar
- 5 grams of vegetable oil (can be olive or any vegetable oil of your choice)
- Warm water
How to prepare:
- Prepare the oven to be heated up to 350°F or 180°C.
- In a large container, pour a half-full of warm water. Place the mixing bowl on the warm water. Add the eggs and castor sugar then whip them at medium speed until they become light and fluffy. If large bubbles appear, use low speed to remove them. It may take 12-15 minutes until the mixture reaches the ribbon stage.
- Put the flour in and use a spatula to mix them well. Add oil and also mix them well.
- Get a 12 paper lined mini muffin tin mold and put the mixture in them.
- In the preheated oven, bake the muffins for 15 to 20 minutes and you see the surface is well colored. Let it cool before serving.
Here are the things that you need to prepare:
- 5 small ripe mangoes
- ½ cup of hot water
- 7 grams of unflavored gelatin powder
- ½ cup of evaporated milk
- ¼ cup of sugar
How to make a mango pudding:
- Peel the 4 mangoes and slice them from the pit. Put the sliced mangoes into a blender and blend it until you get a smooth puree. Set aside.
- Empty the unflavored gelatin powder in a large bowl with the hot water. Stir until fully dissolved and let it set for 3 minutes.
- Mix the evaporated milk and sugar on the gelatin mixture then stir until the sugar is fully dissolved. Slice the remaining mango and combine them well.
- Put this gelatin mixture into small bowls. Pour the mango puree into the bowls and cover it with plastic. Refrigerate it overnight. Enjoy this delectable and one of the highlights for the Chinese desserts.
Chinese Steamed Cake
This French-inspired moist sponge cake and one of the best Chinese desserts can be prepared by using:
- 6 eggs
- 1 ¼ cups of white sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons of water
- 1 ½ cups of cake flour
- ½ teaspoon of baking powder
- 1 ½ teaspoons of almond extract
- ¼ cup of confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Here’s how to make the Chinese Steamed Cake:
- Prepare a large bamboo steamer or vegetable steamer and put it over a simmering water. Make sure that the baking pan fits inside the steamer well. Using waxed paper, line a 9-inch square pan.
- Separate the egg yolks from the egg white and place the yolks inside a large bowl(set aside the egg whites). Then combine the sugar and water together with the egg yolks. Using an electric mixer, beat the mixture on medium speed until it has increased about three times in volume. Combine the flour and the baking powder and whisk them. Strain the mixed flour and baking powder over the egg mixture and fold in gently. You can now add the almond extract.
- Get the egg whites and whip it until it becomes stiff peaks. Fold the whipped egg white into the yolk base and pour the batter into the prepared pan, then smooth out the edges. You can get rid of large air bubbles by wrapping the pan on the counter.
- Place the pan into the prepared steamer. Before you place the lid, cover the top of the steamer with a kitchen towel. This will absorb the steam being collected and prevent it from dropping on the cake.
- Steam the cake for 20 minutes. Insert a toothpick into the center and if it comes out clean, that means it is cooked already. Let it cool on a wire rack and use the confectioner’s sugar to dust the cake.
Soy Milk Pudding
What you will need to create a SoyMilk Pudding:
- 3/4 cup soy beans (pre-soaked until softened)
- 1200 ml of water
- 2 cups of milk or coconut milk
- 1/3 cup of sugar (depending on your taste)
- 6 pieces (around 30g) of gelatin sheets
How to make:
- You can start making the soymilk by soaking the soy beans for 4 hours or until softened. Soaking it overnight is best as long as it is refrigerated.
- Prepare a blender and blend the soaked soybeans by adding water. Once it is blended well, strain the pulp and set aside the drained soymilk.
- To make the pudding, put the gelatin powder into cold water until it is soft. Set aside.
- Get a pot and put the drained soy milk into it then bring to boil while stirring occasionally to prevent lumps at the bottom. Turn off the fire or remove from heat and add the milk or coconut milk. This will allow the temperature to drop and then you can add the sugar and the gelatin mixture. Mix well until the gelatin is fully dissolved.
- You can strain it into containers and put it inside the refrigerator until firm. It may take 2 to 4 hours.
You can drizzle some toasted soybean flour on top and serve it while the soy milk pudding is chilled.
Chinese Fried Dough
Get these things to make a fried dough the Chinese way:
- 2 cups of all-purpose flour
- 1 egg
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 1½ teaspoons of baking powder
- 1 tablespoon of milk
- 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter (softened at room temperature, but not melted)
- about 1/3 cup water (you may need more or less depending on the humidity of the environment)
Steps to make a fried dough:
- Prepare an electric mixer with the dough hook attachment. Using the lowest speed, mix the flour, egg, salt, baking powder, milk, and softened butter. Keeping the same speed, slowly add the water in a few separate batches. Add more or less as the dough should be very soft, but not sticking to the mixing bowl.
- Knead the dough for 15 minutes, making sure that it is not sticking to the bowl. If it does, add some flour on it. Cover it with a plastic wrap and let it set for 30 minutes. If you don’t have a mixer, knead the dough for 5 to 10 minutes more.
- Put some flour on a clean table and form the dough into a long flat loaf shape. It can be 1/4-inch thick and 4 inches wide. Do your best to make the sizes uniform. Once done, place them at the center of a large piece of plastic wrap that is on a baking sheet. Tuck the two ends of the plastic under the loaf while wrapping the dough. This ensures that the dough is fully covered. Put it inside the refrigerator overnight.
- Remove it from the refrigerator early in the morning. While still wrapped, let it sit on the counter for 1-3 hours until the dough is completely back to room temperature and the texture is very soft. Make sure that the dough’s temperature is back at room temperature before frying it.
- Get a large pan and heat the oil using medium heat. The goal is to slowly bring the oil up to 400-425°F or 205-220°C temperature.
- While waiting for the oil to reach the desired temperature, start unwrapping the dough. Put some flour on a flat surface, like a clean table, then gently flip the dough and peel the plastic wrap. Once it is unwrapped, cut the dough into 1-inch wide strips. Stack them two by two and using a chopstick, press the center in a lengthwise manner. Hold both ends of each piece and gently stretch the dough to create a 9-inch long rope.
- Once you get the desired oil temperature, put the stretched dough carefully into the oil. It should get back into the surface right away if the oil temperature is right. Using tongs or chopsticks, roll the dough continuously at least one minute each. You can put two doughs at a time to expedite the frying process.
- Once they turn light golden brown, that’s the indication that your Chinese fried dough is cooked.
Eight Treasure Rice Pudding
Have you tried some sticky rice dessert yet? If not, then the eight treasure rice pudding might satisfy you. Get these things first and let’s start cooking:
For the Rice:
- 1 ½ cups of glutinous rice
- 2 tablespoons of cooking oil
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 4 tablespoons of red bean paste
- For the Toppings:
- 3 jujubes
- 1 tablespoon of golden raisins
- 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds
- ½ tablespoon of goji berries
- 1 walnut cut into half
You can buy an Osmanthus syrup at store or prepare your own syrup:
- 1 cup water
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 heaping tablespoon of dried chrysanthemum buds
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
Steps to create an eight treasure rice pudding:
- Soak the glutinous rice for at least 3 hours or do it overnight. Make sure that the rice is soaked well and is covered by 5 cm of cold water.
- After soaking it, drain the water and rinse the rice a few times.
- Prepare your steamer and bring the water to a boil.
- Get a heat-proof bowl and put the rice into it. Place the bowl on the steamer For overnight-soaked rice, 30 minutes should be good. For 3-hours of soaked rice, 40 minutes will do. The rice might still be quite tough but that is already good.
- Arrange the rice toppings into a wide heat-proof bowl. This will serve as the base.
- On the steamed rice, add the coconut oil and sugar. Stir it well until the rice is coated with the oil evenly and the sugar has been dissolved.
- On the bowl with arranged toppings, put the steamed rice and press it. You can put up to two-thirds of the bowl, making sure that the toppings are not disturbed. Make sure to put a dent at the center to put your red bean paste.
- Add the red bean paste in the middle and using the back of the spoon, flatten it into a thin layer.
- Place the assembled steamed rice into the steamer and steam it again for 30 minutes.
- While steaming it, start preparing your own syrup if you haven’t bought one from the store by combining the dried chrysanthemum buds, water and sugar. Use a small sauce-pan and put it over a medium heat until boiling. Once it boils, turn the heat into medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.
- On the other hand, mix the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water until it has been dissolved completely.
- Once the chrysanthemum mixture is cooked, pour the dissolved cornstarch. Keep on cooking while stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Once the syrup thickens, use a strainer to remove the buds and separate the syrup.
- When the steamed rice is done, drizzle some of the syrup on top and let it sit for 10 minutes.
- Get a clean plate and put the bowl with the steamed rice on it, flipping in a swift motion and remove the bowl to reveal the toppings. You can add more syrup on it and enjoy!
Aside from these recipes, there are other varieties of Chinese desserts that you can find out there. That includes mung bean cake, red bean popsicles, fried ice cream, Chinese almond cookies, fortune cake, snowflake cake, Chinese egg cake, coconut pudding, bubble tea, dragon’s beard candy and some candied fruits.
Zongzi or sticky rice dumplings are also popular dessert as they are eaten during the “Dragon Boat Festival”.