Xiao-Ly and her team created delightful CNY mini cakes with designs featuring the Ox, Koi fish, tea pot and others. These desserts come in different sizes with various flavours, textures and vibrant colours.

She initially started crafting pastries in her kitchen, before acquiring a degree in pastry arts. Inspired by traditional food and snacks, she decided to create these unique CNY creations at her patisserie, Xiao by Crustz, in Petaling Jaya.

The flavours of the mousse-based mini cakes includes Pandan Cream, Coconut Cream and Cooked Pulut Hitam, along with almond dacquoise, almond croustillant, Bergamot chantily, Bergamut Citrus Confit, Chocolate cremeux, walnut praline, almond streusel base, exotic caramel, lime and yuzu curd and raspberry jaconde.

What inspired you to create CNY-themed petit gateau?

To ring in the Ox-Picious Year, we made petit gateau with CNY-themed colours, which is bright and cheerful. The idea came from my partners Chef Otto Tay and Chef Loi Ming Ai and me after a long discussion.

We wanted to bring something new to the local pastry market, as pastry-making is our expertise and it also helps to differentiate us from others.

We wanted to give consumers a variety of flavours. Most of the cakes have a touch of traditional flavours with walnut, pistachio or citrus and these food items have an auspicious meaning for CNY.

One of our chef-partners introduced a special local flavour, which we think would be well-received. The Jade Pot has pandan and coconut with black glutinous rice, which is a familiar flavour with a modern twist.

How does each of the design represent CNY?

Each cake is a symbol that represents CNY. For instance, the Golden Moo represents the year of the Ox, and the Jade Pot is a symbol of respect to our elders as it’s a Chinese tradition to pour tea for a grandparent or elders in the house during CNY.

Tell us about the design of the cakes.

For each cake, my team and I work hard to handcraft and decorate it individually. It requires pastry knowledge and experience to achieve the chefs’ vision and flavour, and of course, dedication and attention to detail to make sure the quality and taste is maintained for each batch.

What other pastries would you be making this CNY?

The other new offering would be the Fortune Cookie set, consisting of rich butter cookies. We came up with a new concept, which is the chocolate cookie bar. There are two flavours, chocolate cookie bar with caramel chocolate and green tea matcha cookie with strawberry chocolate. We mainly use caramel chocolate (callebaut) and strawberry chocolate (Valrhona) with natural colouring and full flavour. The concept is to make it look like golden bars, to present as a gift.

What are you looking forward to this CNY?

This year, I look forward to a smooth start and I hope my team and my family stay safe and healthy. I hope they are happy and enjoy our craft. To my customers, I hope they have a sweet start, along with a sweet treat to share with their loved ones

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