Crazy Rich Asian Desserts!
The movie Crazy Rich Asians has taken Hollywood, and Singapore, by storm. It is the first Hollywood movie in 25 years since Joy Luck Club to feature an all-Asian cast and it has just broken records to become the highest-grossing romantic comedy in a decade! The film is based on a Kevin Kwan novel of the same name and the love story between Nick Young (played by Henry Golding) and Rachel Chu (played by Constance Wu) is mostly set in Singapore. No wonder then that the movie which features the landscape and food of our Little Red Dot prominently has been the talk of the town. The debate over the “best Satay on the island” aside, did you notice the Asian desserts that appeared in the movie? Well, here’s a list of local desserts that made their appearance on the silver screen and how to make them. Whether you’ve watched the movie or not, you can try your hand at one of these Crazy Rich Asian Desserts!
1. KUEH LAPIS
One of the first scenes that featured local desserts was the Bible Study scene in which Eleanor Young (played by Michelle Yeoh) was reading the Bible with several ladies. On the table was an array of local treats known as Nonya Kueh and amongst the spread we spotted one of our childhood favourites – kueh lapis. In Malay, kueh means cake and lapis means layer, hence the name for this multi-layered colourful treat. This pretty dessert is made by steaming one layer at a time and is soft, chewy, and fun to eat, especially if you are one of those who likes to peel off the layers one by one. If you would like to see how the traditional steamed Kueh Lapis is made, check out this 9 layer cake recipe.
And if you want to take it up a notch and try your hand at a baked version, here’s our ever popular Rainbow Kueh Lapis recipe!
2. ONDEH ONDEH
Also spotted in the same Bible Study scene is another local favourite, Ondeh Ondeh – a chewy glutinous ball made from sweet potato and covered with freshly grated desiccated coconut. The highlight however, is the filling inside. Once you bite into it, molten gula melaka (palm sugar) bursts out of the ball, causing an explosion of flavour in your mouth. To recreate it, try this Sweet Potato Ondeh Ondeh recipe.
Or if you want to take a modern fusion approach of as embodied by East-meets-West Rachel Chu, try these Ondeh Ondeh Cupcakes with a gula melaka caramel filling.
When Rachel arrives in Singapore, she is immediately whisked off to a hawker centre to begin her orientation of Nick’s hometown. What better way to get to know a place than through its food? While they may have given dessert a miss that night, we sure didn’t miss the shots of DURIAN in the introductory shots of Singapore!
Love it or hate it, durian is definitely a fruit unique to our part of the world. Which is why we have created numerous durian recipes like durian pancakes, durian cream puffs and durian ice-cream. Just make sure you don’t eat them just before meeting your potential future mother-in-law!
4. SNOWSKIN MOONCAKE
When Rachel arrives at the Young mansion, Nick brings her to meet his mum Eleanor, who is in the kitchen preparing for the party. Like a commander inspecting her troops, she is in control of everything that happens in that massive kitchen.
One of the things that caught our eye in this scene was a soft pink dough that was knocked out of a wooden mould with intricate patterns. We’re not sure what exactly it is, but it reminded us of snow skin mooncake traditionally eaten once a year at Mid-Autumn Festival. For an easy modern version, check out our Oreo Snowskin Mooncake
5. GOLDEN LAVA FRENCH TOAST
Rachel’s best friend Goh Peik Lin (played by Awkwafina) lives in an outlandishly gold-gilded mansion with her family. They invite Rachel to an extravagant meal and while we did not spot any dessert at that table, we spotted Peik Lin snacking on humble sliced bread while helping Rachel pick the perfect outfit for Colin and Amarinta’s wedding.
Not exactly the most lux mid-day snack for the nouveau rich we say, give that girl an ultra-decadent Golden Lava French Toast that will match her nail colour and blend right into her surroundings