No doubt right about now your social media newsfeed is being inundated with articles warning about the detrimental health effects of indulging in one too many Chinese New Year snacks. But the festive season is not the time to be a buzzkill. Leave your feasting guilt for after the Chinese New Year season and stock up on this year’s most unique snacks and goodies, worth all the extra calories. Your taste buds will thank you for it.
Trust patisserie Antoinette to come up with a creation unlike any other for the festive season. A marriage of sweet and savoury flavours and various textures, the red dragon fruit-infused bread is filled with black sugar mochi and perfumed with fried shallots, lightly candied yam and sweet potato as well as fluffy pork floss and salted egg.
These fun shaped pineapple-not tarts are great for those watching their sugar intake, or without a sweet tooth. While the buttery, crumbly crust is par for the course, its pineapple filling's sweetened with a mix of unrefined, organic sugar and pineapple juice for a CNY treat that's, well, on the tart side of things.
An intriguing (and if you squint hard enough – healthful) alternative to potato chips, these house-made kangkong chips come generously coated with cheese and sour cream powder for the perfect mindless snacking treat as you while away the hours in front of the telly.
The good: The flavours of the popular layered cake is brightened with the addition of candied orange. The great: This Candied Orange Kueh Lapis boasts all the full sweetness of the regular version, but is actually made with less sugar. Buy at Culina Market, Blk 15 Dempsey Road.
Cakes are not usually the highlight during Chinese New Year, but these glorious, over-the-top creations make for perfect visiting gifts. Choose between the Spring Blossom Cake, a moist butter cake layered with French buttercream and topped with peonies, and the Prosperity Marble Cake, a chocolate marble cake with a rich dark chocolate ganache and decorated with an icing print of the 福 (fu) character and pair of auspicious carps.
What would Chinese New Year be without snacks shaped like the year's corresponding zodiac animals? These adorable Golden Rat Pineapple Tarts are filled with housemade pineapple jam, and dusted in gold. Perfect as gifts, or for when snacking on regular pineapple tarts gets too pedestrian.
Old Seng Choong does savoury cookies with finesse, and for the Chinese New Year season, has added two new creations to its repertoire. Their Herbal Chicken Cookies are perfumed with aroma of Chinese angelica, or dang gui, while the black moss-speckled, umami-laden Fatt Choy cookies take inspiration from the traditional Cantonese dish of ‘fa cai’ and the flavour of dried oysters.
Conventional doesn’t have to mean normal. Violet Oon Singapore have taken the traditional pineapple tart and made it their own: hand-formed and baked fresh daily, these buttery treats mix Portuguese and Peranakan influences to create a moreish and inimitable snack that you won’t be able to stop eating – calories be damned.
Buy at Ion Orchard 2 Orchard Road Turn. Tel: 9834-9935 78; Airport Boulevard, #01-205/206 Tel: 9834 -935)
For those who are serious about keeping to their diets, look to Seriously Keto’s range of low-carb and zero-added-sugar treats. Thanks to the use of keto-compliant ingredients and a sugar replacement made from natural ingredients, Seriously Keto’s cashew cookies, cheese crisps and kueh buloh can claim to be truly guilt-free. Whether you believe in the keto diet or not, guilt-free snacks are never a bad idea. – we're particularly fond of the moreish cheese crisps, which are made with a mix of edam, parmesan and cheddar cheese, all produced with non-animal rennet.
Surprise your guests with Violet Oon Singapore’s Sugee Financiers – a traditional Eurasian dessert of semolina and ground almonds. They’re also finished with a variety of toppings including chopped pistachio and dried candied orange. You’ll want to keep these out of reach from your children: not only are the delicious treats laced with brandy, you wouldn’t want to miss the chance to taste any of these Peranakan flavours.