S. Tamarai Chelvi reported that Pastry chef Xiao-Ly Koh has undertaken the creation of exquisite petit gateaux for the festive season. Setting her creations apart is her focus on combining attractive designs with captivating flavors, a principle dear to Xiao-Ly's heart.
At the helm of the culinary team at Xiao by Crustz cafe, Xiao-Ly and her crew have unveiled the Prosperity set – a collection of four mousse-based cakes, each distinguished by its unique design, flavor profile, and texture. With meticulous attention, she has assigned an appropriate theme to each design, carefully matching lucky colors that embody the spirit of Chinese New Year. In honor of the zodiac animal of the year, the tiger, Xiao-Ly crafted a gateau named 'Roaring Tiger,' featuring a charming tiger's head adorned with yellow and black stripes. This playful creation springs forth from an orange-flavored cake, presenting a delightful visual and gustatory experience.
Explaining her artistic process, Xiao-Ly shared, "The decoration and designs are inspired by the Year of the Tiger. We have also included fish and florals. The Koi fish represents abundance while the Bao represents longevity for the elderly." The Jade Koi, a fish-shaped dessert, boasts a yogurt mousse in white hue, embellished with red, orange, and black accents, showcasing the pastry chef's remarkable craftsmanship. Each petit gateau design is imbued with a symbol that resonates with the essence of Chinese New Year. For instance, the house-shaped creation features the word 'prosperity,' symbolizing a wish for household prosperity during the Year of the Tiger. In addition to the aforementioned offerings, Xiao-Ly has also conceived the Blossom, Reunion, and Blessing sets, each comprising four elegantly crafted pieces. This range caters to a spectrum of flavor preferences cherished by cake enthusiasts.
With over a dozen years of experience in her role as a pastry chef, Xiao-Ly has gained a reputation not only for her visually appealing pastries but also for the delectable fillings nestled within them. The integration of flavors seamlessly aligns with the design and color palette of each petit gateau. As Xiao-Ly elaborated, "Most flavors match with the design and the color of the petit gateau."
For example, the Longevity Bao boasts raspberry and pistachio notes with an essence of orange blossom, as reflected in its pink and green hues. Similarly, the giant pineapple tart's orange hue symbolizes its pineapple filling, complemented by gold chocolate representing the base.
Xiao-Ly's creations are cleverly intertwined with Chinese New Year symbolism, particularly focusing on the use of citrus and pineapple, which hold auspicious meanings. These fruits are closely associated with fortune, and their names phonetically evoke concepts of luck and wealth in the Chinese language.