*** UPDATE ***
Note from my mother:
I made a birthday cake for my grandmother's 93rd birthday. Here is what was requested:
A) I have dry cleaned the clothes you selected and ready for you to pick up at your nexrt visit.B) Nice pictures and description in your website about the cake.C) There are some corrections needed about the description of the cake in your website:“… so my mom squeezed in just happiness & longevity (left out wealth/career or something like that)” -> The first word is “luck”, not “happiness”, not” left out wealth/career”. You’d better correct it.D) Some reference info for you:The 4 letters are (to see the Chinese characters, click the following from the manual bar: view -> encode -> try Unicode or various Chinese font options (such as Chinese traditional, Chinese simplified, etc.)Fu2 (福): LuckLu4 (祿): careerShou4 (壽): longevityXi3 (囍): double happiness (such as wedding)The 3 letters your grandma requested are: Fu2, Lu4, Shou4.The 2 letters I wrote are: Fu2, Shou4About the taro: Cantonese pronounciation is “vu3-tao2” that is close to the pronouciation of “wealthy beginning”.LoveMommy
- not too sweet, light
- taro (something about longevity I think?)
- walnut exterior
That pretty much equates to a Chinese bakery cake. I ended up making a chiffon cake based on Annie's recipe (thanks!) in 3 layers, with two fillings - a taro cream, and then a vanilla custard with strawberries & kiwi. So this was my first time working with taro, and to make the filling I peeled it, cut it up into smallish pieces, boiled it, then pureed it up in my food processor. It was super gooey and thick, so I added some coconut milk and sugar, where it then became a less sticky paste. It was still pretty dense, so I whipped some cream up and folded it in to lighten the texture.
The cake turned out fairly well... although my grandma's initial reactions were that (1) it was too small, and (2) there were no Chinese characters written on it. After a quick run to the grocery store, the latter was soon fixed. Since my small cake was also covered in fruit, there wasn't much space to write the usual 3 characters, so my mom squeezed in just happiness & longevity (left out wealth/career or something like that). The only pictures I have of the inside of the cake to see the slices are blurry, so I'm not going to post them, sorry. I really need a new camera!
Not bad for my first time. A little taro root goes a long way, and I'll try experimenting with the leftovers. Chinese birthday cakes are a bit restrictive, but maybe next time I'll be able to think of something more creative. I'll also make it square/rectangular (easier to cut) and bigger with thicker layers (the cake rises as it bakes, but sinks significantly as it cools).