We never realize how time flies until we are fully grown and look back on those carefree childhood days with fondness. More often than not, happy memories related to all kinds of snacks and street food linger in our mind and are most representative of our early years. This autumn, Dang Wen Li by Dominique Ansel is unveiling its Classic Childhood Memories Collection, with brand new desserts and cakes inspired by nostalgic local Hong Kong snacks and street foods, allowing us to reconnect with our early memories.
– Chef Dominique and Dang Wen Li have created a series of pastries for your inner kid-at-heart, with an elegant and sophisticated twist. From fluffy cha chaan teng “French Toast” transformed into vanilla riz au lait and lemon curd, to adorable “Bear Cookie” with a milk chocolate ganache and hazelnut sponge cake center, and even a stack of “Haw Flakes” with hawthorn raspberry mousse and Japanese soufflé cheesecake – these creative takes on the classics are sure to stir up your appetites and memories.
“Desserts – and the nostalgic memories they create for people – are universal, no matter where you are in the world,” says Chef Dominique Ansel. “Whether you grew up visiting a cha chaan teng for French toast, snacking on street food sweets, baking at home with your grandmother, or celebrating birthdays with a slice of cake, these are moments we all cherish. Here at Dang Wen Li, we wanted to create a collection that reminded people of childhood memories with friends and family and showcasing the unique culture and cuisine that’s signature to Hong Kong.
Bear Cookie – Chocolate Hazelnut Mousse Cake
The adorable bear and tasty chocolate filling make this cookie a favorite among school children. Dang Wen Li revisits this snack with a twist. The result is an irresistible nutty dessert, with gooey milk chocolate ganache and hazelnut sponge cake surrounded by silky-smooth hazelnut mousse, topped with a white chocolate bear holding a croissant in the spirit of the popular snack.
Haw Flakes – Hawthorn Soufflé Cheesecake
Haw flakes might be one of the most distinctive local snacks from the bygone days; so much so that people debate over how to eat it “properly” – some like enjoying them piece by piece, while others prefer crunching on a small stack. Our adaptation mimics a traditional haw flake roll, with fragrant and tart hawthorn and raspberry mousse, set atop airy Japanese soufflé cheesecake, contrasted by sweet lychee gelée and fresh lychee pieces at the center.
Mango Cone – Mango & Passion Fruit Shortcake
Soft-serve ice cream is a long-time fixture of Hong Kong convenience stores. Our non-frozen version is made of whipped mascarpone and vanilla, with a center of mango and passion fruit gelée and génoise, topped with fresh diced mango, all in a crispy white chocolate “cone”.
French Toast – Lemon & Rice Pudding Mousse Cake
One of the most iconic guilty pleasures at cha chaan teng is a classic stack of French toast. To recreate this culinary staple, slices of “toast” are made of crispy feuilletine, one filled with vanilla riz au lait (rice pudding) and the other with lemon curd, complete with mascarpone mousse, a pat of mascarpone cream “butter” and honey gelée “maple syrup” to finish.
Dominique’s Cup Noodle – Caramel Coffee & Milk Tea Cake
Japanese cup noodles are the ultimate midnight comfort food. Meanwhile, Chef Dominique’s Cup Noodle can be enjoyed at any time of the day! Its many layers include homemade cold brew coffee gelée, Hong Kong Milk Tea Mousse, caramelized crispy rice, caramel milk tea gelée “noodles” and even a white chocolate “fish cake”.