Going to the Chinese grocery store with my mom used to be a weekly excursion. After she had gotten all of her produce, meats, noodles, sauces and such, we would usually make a stop at the bakery right before heading to checkout. We would marvel at the enormous variety of beautiful baked goods but ultimately, every time we would end up with the same few pastries. My favorite was always the paper wrapped sponge cake. When we got home with our haul, I would quickly rip off the plastic film, peel off the paper, and shove the soft, fluffy, springy, and just ever so slightly sweet cake in my mouth so fast that most of the time I skipped right over that pesky step of eating called chewing. Satisfaction attained. Repeat next weekend.
Today's post is the brainchild of my friend Donny, who wants to make Chinese pastries the next big thing. Move over western baked goods, the east is coming. This post could not be more appropriate because 1. Today is the Lunar New Year (happy new year everyone!), and 2. I'm actually typing these words from China, where I'll be for the next three weeks. Both Donny and this long awaited trip have inspired me to get back to my roots. So for the next month, I'll be writing about my travels and also presenting you guys some recipes honoring the upbringing I had in a Chinese family, starting with these sponge cakes.