The Lunar New Year is just about one week away, where the first day of Lunar New Year will be on 25 January. This year is the year of Rat (both my mother and my youngest brother were born in the year of Rat). Certain food and dishes are eaten during the Lunar New Year for their symbolic meaning. For example, fish is a traditional must-have dish on the Lunar New Year menu, as it conveys the meaning of having a surplus at the end of the year. In addition, glutinous rice cake is considered a lucky food. It symbolises the hope of getting higher each year, and therefore your business and career will prosper and life will become better and better.
Another example of auspicious food is the pineapple, or called ong-lai in Hokkien dialect, which means ushering in good fortunes or prosperity. Hence, it is not uncommon to have pineapple tarts or pineapple cookies as one of the Lunar New Year goodies. Instead of making the pineapple tart, I combined two auspicious fruits, i.e. pineapple and coconut, into a delicate roll cake. You may wonder, what is the symbolic meaning of coconut? Coconut signifies family togetherness. It is synonymous with grandfather and son, which implies peace and harmony throughout generations (source: wikipedia).
So, heres my creation to celebrate this years Lunar New Year, with a touch of warm tropical flavour. The cake implies never ending good fortune and family togetherness for years to come.
Happy Lunar New Year!
Ingredients (yield: 8 servings)
(A) Ladyfingers sponge cake
Egg white 120g (~ 3 no.)
Egg yolk 60g (~ 3 no.)
Cake flour 80g
Desiccated coconut 10g (and additional 5g to sprinkle on top)
Whipping cream 200g
Rum 1 Tbsp
Canned pineapple 150g
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
- Prepare a 10 X 12 baking tray, lined with parchment paper.
- To make the ladyfinger sponge cake: In a clean, dry, grease-free mixing bowl, whip the egg white until frothy. Add in half of the sugar, and whip until the sugar has dissolved. Then, add the remaining half of the sugar, and continue to whip the meringue.
- Whip the meringue until it is stiff.
- Mix in the egg yolk and whip until well combined.
- Fold in the sifted cake flour and desiccated coconut.
- Transfer the cake batter to a piping bag, fitted with a round piping nozzle (about 1 cm).
- Pipe the cake batter horizontally starting from the narrow end, and fill the whole tray.
- Sprinkle desiccated coconut on top.
- Bake at 200 degrees for 10 minutes, until the sponge cake is cooked and golden brown.
- Remove out of the baking tray immediately, and place on a cooling rack to cool down completely.
- To prepare the filling: Remove excess syrup on the pineapples by using a kitchen towel. Cut pineapples into smaller pieces.
- Whip the cream, sugar and rum until it is stiff. Keep chilled if not using immediately.
- To assemble: Flip the ladyfinger sponge cake over, and peel off the bottom parchment paper.
- Spread whipped cream on the sponge cake, followed by the pineapples.
- Roll the cake up, starting from the narrow end.
- Wrap it with parchment paper and freeze for 30 minutes.
- Trim off both ends of the rollcake. Then, cut into 8 slices and serve.