Do you know your mochi from your matcha?

9 July, 2020

Exploring the wonderful world of Asian desserts

If you’ve grown up on a diet of chocolate cake, apple pie and vanilla ice-cream for your after- dinner treat, then Asian desserts are going to blow your mind. Using ingredients like red bean paste, sweet potato, matcha green tea and so many more options, Asian desserts can really push the limits. They’re sweet, but frequently not too sweet. And of course, across Chatswood there’s examples of homestyle favourites and artfully created patisserie blending Euro- technique with Asian flair.

Let’s take a look at some of the most popular Asian desserts, what they are made from, and where you can enjoy them in the Chatswood dining precincts.

The matcha to your dessert cravings

Matcha is a type of green tea that’s typically ground into a fine powder. It can be used in latte- style drinks and is commonly used as a flavouring in many Asian desserts. This includes the pancakes at Gram Café at Chatswood Interchange. Since opening earlier this year, Gram Café has been delighting Chatswood diners with its super-fluffy souffle pancakes, joining the number of Gram Café outlets worldwide that have grown from the original six-year- old Osaka outlet.

Also popular at the Interchange is Pishon Patisserie, with the green tea chiffon cake a stand out! Tea Journal also sells their take on the matcha green tea chiffon cake, as well as a range of premium teas.

Nuts for coconut

Instead of dairy, many Asian desserts use coconut milk instead. Think pandan-infused black sticky rice cooked in coconut milk, coconut milk jellies and so much more. Perfectly paired with fresh fruit and you can enjoy a slice of tropical heaven right here in Chatswood.

Taro, taro, can you grab me an iced tea to go?

Hugely popular over recent years is the massive range of iced teas, milk teas and bubble teas, like those from Chatime and Sharetea. Options like taro frozen tea are different to what you’d find at a typical smoothie bar, and pearl teas with little balls of tapioca add texture taking iced tea into more substantial treat territory.

Taro is a root vegetable that’s native to southeast Asia. The leaves can also be eaten, but when it comes to desserts, it’s usually the root that’s being used. Similar to sweet potato in shape and texture, with a nutty flavour. Tapioca, similarly also comes from another root, the cassava. It’s high in starch and is naturally gluten-free. It’s prepared by squeezing starchy liquid out of the ground cassava root, and once the water is evaporated, ground to a fine powder. This powder is then commonly made into the pearls that you’ll find in bubble tea, like that sold at Chatime.

We love dessert very mochi

Mochi are Japanese steamed glutinous rice cakes are made by steaming and pounding rice to a paste (or using powdered rice) before shaping into round balls. They’re then often filled with nuts, seeds or sweet bean mixtures – red adzuki beans are common. Want to have a go at making your own? Grab what you need at Asian City on your way through Chatswood Interchange.