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Taiwan sun cakes (tai yang bing)

rworange May 9, 2007 07:37 PM

A local bakery sells them, but by the box and I don't want to commit to a large quantity till I know more.

Here’s a little info about sun cakes with pictures …

It says …

“Using century-old baking skills, flaky pastry is rolled into multiple layers and formed into the shape of a butter-colored sun. The wheat-germ filling is sweet, and the fragrance of the traditional pig lard wafts towards you”

However this site has a different story …

“Sun Cake was first baked by Cing-Hai Wei … It was initially a tea dessert … Sun Cake has now become a saucer-shaped puff stuffed with caramel … during the Japanese Colonial Period of Taiwan, Japanese named it as Sun Cake due to its shape and color being similar to Sun, representing Japan.

That's all I know.

Are they common in the US? Is any pastry with that red dot in the center a sun cake? I see those a lot in Chinese bakeries.

  1. ipsedixit May 10, 2007 10:22 AM

    I think they are disgusting.

    They are right up there with Chinese Moon Cakes for the ignominious title of "The Chinese equivalent of American Fruit Cake"

    2 Replies
    1. re: ipsedixit
      justagthing May 10, 2007 11:06 AM

      there are many different types of moon cakes and they are not only eaten for pleasure, but for cultural reasons as well. Please be a bit considerate when commenting. There are some that I do not care for (like the ones w/egg yolk in the center), but there are some that are quite pleasing (mung bean filling).

      1. re: ipsedixit
        cimui May 10, 2007 11:37 AM

        Give it another try, ipsedixit! Try to find the ones made with honey. They're vaguely reminiscent of baklava except way the heck better, with lovely, light, flakey layers of pastry, just enough honey so it's sweet, but not cloyingly sweet. They are breath-takingly good. Maybe you just had one with a yucky filling or one that was poorly made?

        [I have to confess that I do like fruit cake, as well, though. Hopefully that doesn't damage my credibility too much. =)]

      2. h
        Humbucker May 9, 2007 08:46 PM

        Are these life wife cakes (lo po bang)?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Humbucker
          sweetie May 10, 2007 01:46 PM

          Lo po bang are stuffed with winter melon filling.

        2. c
          cimui May 9, 2007 08:28 PM

          They're not common in Manhattan. I've been looking for them for years. My mother makes amazing ones. Never had mine with caramel, either. My family always made them with honey.

          1. j
            justagthing May 9, 2007 07:59 PM

            I've never had one with caramel before....interesting articles in regards to how they differ.

            1. chica May 9, 2007 07:56 PM

              I see them all the time. I've been able to get singles, too. Most Asian bakeries will sell them to you per "bing"...if it's not on the shelf, ask. Places like Taipan bakery will sell them.

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