My cake eating resolve remains undiminished.
However, as previously highlighted… even with afternoon tea EVERY week, I won’t manage the 80.
So I have been eating cakes at other times.
Last month’s catch up, the Russian Round Up, had a catchy title but this month’s edition isn’t nearly as neat… Mongolia, China and Hong Kong. Alliteration proved tricky.
As it’s my last day in China, I thought I’d review the recent offerings. How do I know I wouldn’t be having more cake today?
I have afternoon tea reserved for tomorrow. I’m saving myself for that. So, a look back at this last few weeks…
I ate Spartak Cake in Mongolia and while it was delicious it did not warrant an entire post dedicated to it.
China initially proved disappointing on the cake front but soon recovered and then there were the Hong Kong bakeries I chomped my way through.
It has been a tough month, I can tell you. So without further ado…
Oh, and please note that with many venues having their names in Chinese, I can’t always give place names.
Spartak Cake, Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia
After an overnight journey from Ulan-Ude with some pitched battles to wrest control of my bunk from the two old ladies who were trying to colonise… I needed cake.
Spartak is actually a Russian cake – layers of chocolate sponge sandwiches with cream. It was delicious and a far cry from the Russian cake that my mother used to eat in 1960s Sunderland.
That delicacy was apparently the leftovers of other bits of cake, thrown into a container together, soaked in water together, then compressed and dried to form a new cake. Personally, I’m not convinced.
Caffe Bene at the State Department Store Verdict: 10/10
Chocolate Cheesecake, Beijing, China
It was chocolate, it was cheesecake AND it was on a biscuit base. I also enjoy the added flakes of white chocolate. Marvellous.
I believe there are people who dislike white chocolate. Their loss.
However, it wasn’t a very large slice.
One of the cafes in Art zone 798 Verdict: 7/10 – Marks deducted for being a bit steep in price, a shock after Ulaanbaatar
Sticky Rice in Honey, Xi’an, China
Not actually a cake but included here as a way of showing that in the quest for cake, you sometimes have to think outside the box and be pleasantly surprised.
What is it? It is a dessert that does what it says on the tin. Compressed, sticky rice skewered and you pick up the stick to smear the rice in hot, melted honey. It is really very tasty but it isn’t cake… by any stretch of the imagination.
Muslim Street Market
Cinnamon Roll, Suzhou, China
It was my birthday. I was determined to find cake. The Finland Home Cafe may not seem to be a traditional Chinese venue but with the owners having lived here for twenty years, I felt that was local enough.
Cinnamon buns or rolls are a very traditional Scandinavian pastry. Yes, more of a pastry than a cake but with the required sponge consistency to meet my requirements.
Finland Home Cafe, Suzhou
Rainbow Cake, Hangzhou, China
There may well be more E numbers in here that the average jellied sweet but this was delicious. Described as a mousse cake so I thought I’d be eating cream, the fine brightly coloured layers were actually cake and tasted of different fruits.
The tomato was a novel addition.
One of the cafes around West Lake Verdict: 9/10
Chocolate Seeded Muffin, Hangzhou, China
Yes, I know, more chocolate. It also had seeds and grains, so not only chocolate. The fact that it was served hot to the chocolate filling melted into a sauce to eat with the cake in no way won it any extra appreciation from me whatsoever.
One of the cafes around West Lake Verdict: 9/10
Snow White Sago, Hong Kong
This was utterly delightful. Again, like the rice, it’s NOT cake, it’s a dessert. Included here because this brought back childhood memories – I love sago – and on a very hot day, after walking around the Big Buddha site this was sweetly refreshing.
Here we have fresh (mango and banana) and dried (mango) fruit, with a delicately flavoured jelly and sago on a bed of vanilla icecream.
Honeymoon Desserts, Lantau Island, Hong Kong Verdict: 12/10
Custard Fillled Bun, Hong Kong
Macau is just across the water from Hong Kong and the Portuguese influence has crept into the city via custard. This is no bad thing.
As well as variations of the pastels de nata, every bakery sells buns filled with custard. They’re not doughnuts though they are a soft sponge and the custard is smooth and creamy. Absolutely perfect.
Various bakeries across the city – and especially at the Metro stations: you could put on a stone in weight travelling by Metro here.
Verdict: 15/10. I like custard.
Chocolate Cake, Nanning
I ended up at Starbucks. I knew I’d get the type of cake I had a craving for here. After being told by the hotel I was staying in that they couldn’t find the train ticket to my next destination, I decided comfort eating was in order.
Starbucks is ubiquitous in China with Costa Coffee hot on their heels.
This was an excellent piece of Triple Dark Chocolate Cake. It satisfied the need for chocolate… though it was heavier on the mousse than the actual cake. Still, in the middle of missing ticket stress, it did hit the spot.
Starbucks, Chaoyang Square