Do you know what else is huge about China? Their dessert game.
1. Dragon's Beard Candy
Once a royal delicacy 2,000 years ago and now a popular hawker candy, this "Chinese cotton candy" is made out of sugar and maltose syrup to make extremely fine strands that looks like a fine dragon beard, hence the name. Nowadays you can see street vendors making a living out creating a theatrical scene of candy-making.
2. Egg Tart
One of the more well-known Chinese desserts, egg tart is often seen throughout the dim sum restaurants around the world. Surprisingly, it doesn't exactly taste like eggs as a whole, it tastes more like sweet custard, similar to Portuguese custard tarts. The best part of these tarts is when you bite into the perfectly crafted crust and filling. So. Good.
This soft tofu dessert is extremely popular throughout Southeast Asia and different regions of China. Each region has its own style—Northern China mixes it with soy sauce, Hubei province adds sugar to it while in parts where Cantonese people live, they eat it with sweet ginger or clear syrup. Regardless, this versatile dessert is almost perfect for any time of the year.
Look at these soft and fluffy buns, aren't they so adorable? I love baos. They can be eaten plain or with fillings such as red bean, lotus paste, minced roasted pork, custard, yam, etc. It's often seen at dimsum restaurants for desserts but to be honest, I sometimes eat this for breakfast. Just thinking about it reminds me, I need to stock up on some baos from Chinatown.
Tired of the typical cold desserts? Well, try out some hot tong sui/sweet soup dessert. Tong sui is basically a general term for a bunch of sweet soup dessert that can range in flavours and ingredients including herbal spices such as ginseng, black sesame, red bean, sago, snow fungus and many more. Based on these ingredients, you can tell that's not just any typical dessert but a healthy dessert, giving you more reason to #treatyoself.
6. Laopo bing/Sweetheart Cake
Seen more often Guangzhou and Hong Kong, this pastry with a thin crust of flaky pastry, and made with winter melon filling, white sesame seeds and glutinous rice flour. The origin of its name is complicated as there are many legends attempting to explain this pastry's origin. One of them was that a husband made this cake in attempt to sell it and earn enough money to buy back his wife who became a slave. Isn't that story sweet, just like this pastry?
This baked pastry is a popular treat during the Mid-Autumn Festival. It's made out of a rich, thick lotus seed paste filling that’s surrounded by a really thin crust and one/two egg yolks. The mooncake's traditional form is the plain lotus paste but now it comes in all sorts of flavours to cater different palettes. So far, I've seen green tea, durian, coffee and snow mooncakes.
Do you want to move to China yet? You don't have travel too far to get these unique desserts. Try finding a local Chinese market in your town and see if you can get some of these crazy treats.