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Usher in the Year of the Tiger with these adventurous creations. Photos (clockwise from left): Old Seng Choong, Marmalade Pantry and Da Paolo Gastronomia

Truffle Bak Kwa, Ang Ku Kueh Cake, Tiger Bread And Other Cool CNY Goodies

Pineapple tarts and almond cookies? So basic. Given that more is more when it comes to the Lunar New Year, why not up the snack stakes and reach instead for the likes of truffle bak kwa, chocolate koi, or ang ku kueh in cake form. Don’t say bojio cos we’re giving you ample notice: these creative options are available for order now.

Photo: Janice Wong

Chocolate Koi from Janice Wong

What do you get the person who has everything (including too many jars of pineapple tarts)? A set of three Chocolate Koi ($48) from Janice Wong, hand-painted in natural colours and enrobed in 76 percent Equateur dark chocolate. Surprises abound within — the chocolate fish are filled with crisp praline feuilletine and popping candy (remember those?). Think fireworks in the mouth!

Photo: Da Paolo Gastronomia

Tiger Bread

Start your Lunar New Year on the right paw with Tiger Bread ($8.80) from Da Paolo Gastronomia. To commemorate the Year of the Tiger, this sourdough rendition of fluffy Asian milk bread is swirled with tiger-esque stripes made by layering two different doughs. The blonde dough is delicately perfumed with mandarin orange and saffron while the dark dough is saturated with the resonant bitterness of cocoa powder. Together, they make a lovely loaf that needs nothing more than a slick of good butter. Available from 7 to 31 January on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays.

Photo: Marmalade Pantry

Ang Ku Kueh Cake from Marmalade Pantry

Sure, you could bring a mountain of ang ku kueh to your family’s CNY shindig, or you can bring this Ang Ku Kueh Cake ($48; 400g) from Marmalade Pantry. Beneath its sheath of auspicious red cocoa butter lie layers of vanilla chiffon sponge, delicate osmanthus mousse and a silky mung bean cremeux flecked with bits of chewy mochi reflecting the texture of ang ku kueh skin. It may take some persuading for Ah Ma to come around to this confection, but hey, it’ll help deflect the conversation from when you’re getting married/having a child/finding a new job.

Photo: Old Seng Choong

Truffle Bak Kwa from Old Seng Choong

Why settle for regular old bak kwa when you can have yours perfumed with truffle oil? Old Seng Choong’s Truffle Bak Kwa ($48.80 for 500g) is pleasingly tender and just sweet enough, suffused with that earthy flavour of black truffle paste and white truffle oil. Deft grilling over charcoal means the slices are smoky with a lovely, burnished char. There’s also Yuzu Bak Kwa ($48.80 for 500g) for a more citrusy lilt to your pork jerky.

Photo: Paul

Mini Mandarin Orange Marmalade Tartlets

These little beauties make for excellent gifts and are elegant petite desserts at the end of a hearty Lunar New Year meal. The crisp short crust pastry cases are filled with a velvety almond cream layered with orange jelly, orange pearls and mandarin orange mousse. Paul’s Mini Pineapple Panna Cotta Tartlets are equally refreshing, filled with an almond cream, pineapple chunks and jelly, and a crown of coconut and pineapple cream. Available in a box of eight ($35) individually flavoured or as an assortment.

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