Vietnamese people usually ring in the Lunar New Year by making various kinds of cakes, some of which they then wrap in colorful paper and offer as a worship to their ancestors and to entertain their guests during Tet.
Hoang Anh, living in HCMC, makes In Cake for Tet (Photo: Thanh Nien)
The main ingredient to make the In Cake is sticky rice powder which is sometimes mixed with peeled green bean powder and kneaded into dough. The dough is then mixed with refined sugar and then poured into the moulds and compressed tightly.
After the In Cake is pressed into the mould it takes on the shape of the mould. It is taken out of the mould and put on a large and flat basket covered with newspaper.
The basket is then placed to bake in a moderately hot charcoal fire. This helps to melt the refined sugar and harden the cakes.
When the In Cakes are baked they are wrapped in colorful pieces of paper which are cut to size. The paper stays in place with glue made from sticky rice powder. In some places the In Cakes are wrapped in paper pieces made from shining nylon which is then glued by a burning incense to press on the papers edges.