The Art of 떡Decorations~
While browsing around some Korean blogs looking for fun cooking crafts to try out, I found these beautiful Korean cakes decorated with sculpted tteok rice cake! So if you are not familiar it can be a little confusing, but basically Korea has MANY different kinds of things they call tteok aka “rice cake”… some are plain, some are a bit sweet, some are cooked with spicy sauce, and some are more like actual cakes. I will go into that in greater detail within another post, but for now lets enjoy this particular form of extra pretty Korean rice cake!
Korean rice cakes made with pounded rice AND Korean rice cakes made with steamed rice flour
The “cake” base for these is made with steamed rice flour (called Baekseolgi 백설기 ~ which if you translate the Hanja is something like “white snow rice cake“) often used for celebrations, but it is also sold year-round on the streets here. If you are a fan of Korean food you may be familiar with a type of this cake that is rainbow colored called ” Rainbow rice cake or 무지개떡 “ in Korean which means exactly the same thing.
The texture of rice flour cake is hard to explain, it is a bit cake-ish, but also crumbly and chewy at the same time… like a sort of rice, bread, cake combination. Usually the flavors are super subtle and plain for these cakes even though they look very pretty! Like many traditional Asian treats, they are more eye candy vs actual candy, especially for foreign palates~ often anything added in is just for natural coloring vs a taste or flavor… so no, the pink cakes do not taste like cherry or strawberry lol!
Images via lyjdoll
The flowers and decorations are made using a more chewy rice cake, which is made from pounded rice vs rice flower. It ends up being a bit sticky and you can shape and mold it a bit, but is is very tricky to work with sometimes! I often saw flat cookie cutter shapes cut from it as decoration, but sculpted flowers like these are extra pretty!! This is not as pliable as something like fondant, so I am sure it takes a bit of practice and skill to make cakes this pretty!
The result of this is a beautiful traditional Korean rice cake, with the feeling of a western decorated cake! So pretty and amazing considering the materials used! Lets take a look at some more pretty Korean 떡~ ♥
The cakes above are all by “Hansum Cake” in Korea
Two cakes above are by “Jooek8208″
I don’t really like to eat 백설기 cakes since they taste so plain, but these images have inspired me to try making my own Korean flower tteok!! Please look forward to that in a future post~ wish me luck ♥