Happy Chinese New Year!
The new year has been ushered in amid celebration and confusion.
You see, the yang, the eighth animal in the Chinese Zodiac, refers more to the entire Caprinae subfamily of Bovidae rather than a single animal. So, the yang could in fact be a goat, a sheep, a ram (but apparently not a ewe) or even a Mongolian gazelle.
In French, it has been translated into the Year of the Goat; in English, the Year of Sheep, although there is still no consistency to speak of. Even across Asia, most prefer to have the goat as a visual representation, especially in the zodiac representations, but are purchasing sheep souvenirs, mascots and toys, probably because sheep are seen as the more friendly of the pair.
No matter what animal is represented by the yang, it is bound to be an auspicious year.
So end your Chinese New Year feast with these Chinese custard tarts, the kind that you can find in most Asian bakeries or for dessert after yum cha.
Meanwhile, I will enjoy one of these tarts while I wait for the weekend to arrive, when I know there will be many colourful and lively celebrations and dragon dances across the city. Do you think the sheep or goat dances too?
I’m sure that Angie @ The Novice Gardener and her two co-hosts this week, Tina @Mademoiselle Gourmande and Juju @cookingwithauntjuju! will help us all celebrate the lunar new year with Fiesta Friday #56!
Chinese Custard Tarts
- 6 egg yolks
- 150ml pure (thin) cream
- 125ml milk
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2 sheets ready-rolled frozen puff pastry (25cm x 25xm, thawed)
- Butter for greasing
- Icing sugar to decorate
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Grease a 12-hole muffin pan.
- Combine yolks, sugar, cream, milk and vanilla in a jug, mix well and set aside.
- Cut one pastry sheet in half. Sit one half on top of the other and roll up from the shortest end to form a log. Repeat with the other pastry sheet.
- Cut each log into 6 rounds. Roll out each round on a floured surface to make a 10cm circle.
- Press each pastry circle into a greased hole of the muffin pan.
- Fill the pastry shells with the custard and bake for 18-20 minutes until puffed at the edges and pale golden on top. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly. Sprinkle with icing sugar and serve warm or at room temperature.
Recipe by Vali Little as found in the delicious. magazine in June 2014.