I did my first Nian Gao yesterday using Gina's recipe.
The first batch I did wasn't really successful. I didn't oil the mould enough so it was a challenge to remove the fishes! End up the fishes don't look very defined due to the "wear and tear". The brown (instead of white) you see is because I was being adventurous and added coffee emulco (instead of rose water).
This is me experimenting different ways to create the fish eye. End up looking like Nemo, very cartoon like...hahaha....
The second batch was slightly better, having the experience from my first batch. I oil the mould with quite a bit of oil, wait till the Nian Gao is really cold (in the fridge) before I attempt to remove them. This time it was very easy removing them, so the fishes look more defined. I also experimented with colors, but too dark apparently. My favourite is the yellow and orange mix, which I thought give a very natural effect. The 3 super dark ones are created with the remaining red and orange left (don't want to waste the liquid dough). I used black sesame seeds for the fishes this time round (a tip from Karina's teacher, Pauline).
It was really fun doing this, like an art & craft lesson. Will be doing some more the next round. I've bought rose essence to experiment with it. ;)