Fluffy Buns I – HK style Red Bean Buns

Hong Kong style Red bean buns

Based on this recipe. A half quantity of the original recipe made approximately 10 rolls.

The original recipe uses yeast in packs of 11g, the ones I get here are 7g, I just made do and the rolls turned out fine. I also reduced the oven temperature by 20C to 180C as my oven is fan assisted.

Ingredients
1 packet active yeast (7gm)
1 tbsp granulated sugar
100 ml milk (luke warm/ just above room temperature)
250 gm ‘strong’ white flour
75 gm plain ‘all purpose’ flour
35 gm softened butter
40 gm granulated sugar
1 egg
1 pinch of salt
milk or olive oil if needed for dough
milk or egg for glazing buns before baking
approx. 200g red bean paste for filling (if desired)

Method
Sprinkle the yeast and sugar on top of the milk and leave to froth (approx. 10 minutes)
Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large mixing bowl, create a ‘well’ in the middle of the flour, add the yeast mixture, and knead until an elastic dough is formed (approx. 10-15 minutes), adding milk or olive oil if dough is too dry.
Cover the dough (I usually just bung the whole mixing bowl into a plastic bag and tie the top) and leave to prove until doubled in size – 45 minutes to 1.5 hours depending on the warmth of the kitchen etc.
Divide the dough into 50g portions and either shape and leave to rest, or fill with red bean paste (I used 20g for each bun) and then leave to rest, until double again. Second rise will take approx. 20-30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 180C.
Glaze with milk or beaten egg (egg will give a much more shiny finish – the buns in the picture above are glazed with milk) then bake for 20 minutes.
Cool buns on a wire rack before serving

Buns will stay soft for a day or two, or can also be frozen (in which case freeze asap after cooling to maximise softness).

Jagung (Corn) Kuih

Jagung Hoon Kwee

This kuih is made from Hoon Kwee (green or mung bean flour) which absorbs many times its own volume in water to set. It’s most likely the easiest kueh to make.

I used to make a banana version wrapped in banana leaves with family in Penang when I was little, then had the jagung version frequently in Singapore, and, for some reason, on Singapore Airlines flying between the two. These were slices wrapped in plastic wrap but they always had it every year.

Anyways, green bean flour is a bit difficult to come by but Tung Hing in Acton, West London, sells 100g packs for 50p each.

Recipe based on here. I did a half quantity as part of a variety I used to experiment on my family. Feedback was that they were delicious!

Amendments:
Did not use the pandan from the original recipe as I only had pandan paste and due to a big kueh month was a bit over having everything that I cook turn out lurid green.
As I did not have banana leaves, I used a mixture of Hello Kitty moulds and a mini muffin tin, to get small bite sized pieces. (Can use foil instead of banana leaves but this is not filling-friendly)
I added the jagung/ corn at the end as I wanted to avoid the corn breaking up in the mixture.
I cooked the final kueh mixture in a double boiler instead of over direct heat as I’m a pussy.

Ingredients:
Half pack (50g) Hoon Kwee (green bean flour)
250ml coconut cream (I reconstituted from Creamed Coconut)
250ml water
100g granulated sugar
3/8 tspn salt
1 small can corn, drained (use more if you like)

Method
Mix the coconut cream with the water.
Mix half of this with the hoon kwee and salt in a large heatproof bowl; set aside to soak.
Put the other half of the coconut cream/ water mixture in a pot. Add the sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved.
Add this to the coconut cream/ hoon kwee mixture, stirring whilst pouring.
Place this bowl over a pan of hot water and cook, whisking/ stirring pretty much all the time until it thickens. It will be like a thick custard.
Either mix the corn in at this point and pour into moulds or layer with the hoon kwee in the moulds/ fold into parcels using banana leaf/ foil.
Set in fridge (hour or so should be plenty), serve chilled.

Pisang Kuih
Tried to make the banana version but did not steam the bananas before putting in the kueh, just mixed it in. Colour is a very gross brown/ grey, but it was very delicious. So pre-steam the bananas or be patient enough to layer the hoon kwee mixture with the fruit. Otherwise Hello Kitty and her sisters look like they’ve just been in a fight…. init….

Pandan Chi-chi-dango Mochi

Pandan Flavour Chi-chi Dango mochi

Recipe adapted from a Hawaiian style mochi recipe. This was a lazy precursor attempt towards ice cream mochi…

I love chewy soft foods, and I find these super delicious. (disclaimer: I have never been to Hawaii or knowingly consumed chi chi dango mochi, I do just love anything made with sticky rice)

Changes:
Added pandan flavour – just a half a teaspoon.
Made a quarter of the recipe quantity in a 6 inch round sandwich pan
Used cornflour instead of potato starch for dusting.
Cut out the food colouring (the pandan essence has more than enough already).
Reduced sugar slightly

The recipe was super easy but DO NOT line the bottom of the pan with foil as the foil I used pretty much disentegrated which meant I had to surgically remove the foil in teeny tiny pieces from the outside of the mochi.

Recommended serving suggestions:
Am also going to try coating the finished mochi in grated coconut instead of the cornflour as this is very similar to kuih ko swee. Although of course the shelf life would be a lot shorter as coconut does not keep so well.

Awesome chopped up as a topping for ice cream, in particular banana and brown sugar ice cream. Made with coconut milk and brown sugar the flavour is very reminiscent of the far east (as close as can get in London Town anyways)

Ingredients
4 oz mochiko (I used Chinese glutinous rice flour)
4 oz granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
4 fl oz water
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon pandan essence
3.5 fl oz coconut milk (I used a Maggi powder)
corn flour – for dusting

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 9×13 inch pan. Whisk together the rice flour, sugar and baking powder; set aside.
In a medium bowl, mix together the water, vanilla, coconut milk. Blend in the rice flour mixture. Pour into the prepared pan.
Cover the pan with foil, making sure the foil is touching the surface of the mochi and bake for 1 hour. Allow to cool completely.
Chuck a heap of corn flour onto a plate and turn the mochi out onto it. Cut into bite size pieces using a plastic knife. The mochi does not stick as much to plastic knives.

The recipe says it will keep for a month in an airtight container in the fridge – I like it fresh as it is super soft so make a small quantity and eat it quickly :)

Snowskin Custard Mooncake

Snowskin custard mooncakes

This post is a submission for Aspiring Bakers #11: Mid-Autumn Treats (September 2011) hosted by Happy Home Baking.

First ever attempt at mooncakes…. chose snowskin mooncake as I love anything with glutinous rice/ flour and the custard filling because my ma loves custard filled things :) I also left out the lotus paste/ red bean paste for these as was aiming for something a bit lighter (apparently the large mooncakes available in Asia come in at around 1600 calories a piece….)

The first batch in a weekend of mooncake making and these are definitely the easiest to do. And the most yummy as voted by my friends and family. The custard has a slight coconutty flavour from the coconut milk which went down very well.

Once made, keep in an airtight container in the fridge, they will last a couple of days.

I adapted this recipe. Used a half quantity of the snowskin (no colouring/ flavouring and a touch less sugar) and combined with the full recipe for the custard which made about 20 mooncakes. Custard can be made in advance – I made mine the day before.

Equipment
The amount of mooncakes made will depend on the size of mould used (**doh**). I used a small mooncake mould bought off of ebay from these lovely people. They are based in Penang, Malaysia which is not only the best place for food IN THE ENTIRE WORLD but also my family’s hometown (both my mother’s and father’s side) and therefore an official source of global awesomeness. They are also really friendly and were very patient with me when I asked a heap of questions :)

Digital scales – if you have these, use the most accurate that you have. This will ensure that all the mooncakes are a nice even size. As I used a small mould, I found that even slight overfilling – an extra 5g or 10g, resulted in mooncakes that did not hold their shape well.

    Ingredients

Snowskin
70g cooked glutinous rice flour
25ml milk
50g icing sugar
22g butter
85ml ice water

Custard
20g custard powder
1 egg yolk
55ml coconut milk
80ml milk
100g sugar (recipe says superfine, I just used granulated)
30g melted butter
25g all-purpose/ plain flour
25g cornflour

Method for Custard
Combine all ingredients except for butter in a mixing bowl and mix well.
Stir in melted butter.
Place the bowl over a pan of water (i.e. double boiler).
Gently heat the mixture, whisking frequently, until cooked.
The custard should be fairly thick – thick enough to be moulded into balls.
Sieve custard if lumpy – as I whisked a lot, this was not necessary for me.
Keep in fridge covered until ready for use.

Method for Snowskin
Rub the butter into the cooked glutinous rice flour and icing sugar (similar to crumble technique).
Mix in the milk and iced water and knead lightly until smooth dough is formed.
Add more glutinous rice flour if dough is too wet/ liquid if dough is too dry (exact recipe will vary according to humidity).

Assembly
If you know your mould, weigh out and shape into balls, the filling/ snowskin, using a ratio of anywhere between 1:1 to 1:4. Apparently 1:4 is the expert ratio. The higher the ratio of filling to dough, the harder it will be to wrap.

For my mould, I used 15g snowskin to 25g custard.

Flatten a ball of snowskin, place a ball of custard in the middle and wrap the custard, carefully tearing off excess if there is much. The aim is to have the snowskin very thin and as even as possible.

Use cooked glutinous rice flour to make handling easier as using other flours may give the mooncake a raw flour taste as these mooncakes will not be cooked.

Repeat until all the snowskin/ custard is used up. (If you are using your mould for the first time, just make one and test the mould to see if you like the ratio/ size).

Here many recipes recommend dusting the mooncake with cooked glutinous rice flour to help prevent sticking. I found this wasn’t really necessary, and in practice found that dusting the mooncake with a very light dusting of flour was more effective. When I dusted the mould, flour seemed to congregate in the imprints which then got onto the mooncake, which still stuck to the sides of the mould.

Push the ball firmly into the mooncake mould.

Unmould (you may have to whack it out… don’t be scared!).

Refrigerate for half an hour.

Serve cold…. and Bengawan Solo won’t seem so far away :)

Bastard Ramly Burger

The Ramly Burger has been very famous in Malaysia for many years now and, unlikely I’m going to make it back to try the real thing, I decided to attempt to recreate it at home. Just the thought of this concoction was too tempting….

As far as I can gather, the selling points for this burger are

1) the meat, which should and could be spiced with any number of things, including worcester sauce or curry powder;
2) the condiments, which should be plenty – bbq sauce, black pepper sauce, mayonnaise
3) egg – the whole patty is wrapped in a thin egg omelette

The Method I followed was:

1) Cook burger
2) Cook egg
3) Add burger to egg in pan, top with condiments etc and fold
4) Insert into bun and eat

Areas of inauthenticity:

The authentic version has cabbage/ carrot etc. I used jalapenos and edam cheese (neither authentic in any burger theme)
I did not fry the burger or egg in margarine (just sunflower oil)
For bun, I used potato rolls as outlined in this post.

Cooking was actually pretty easy – just used one frying pan

Ramily Burger in progress

One thing I’ll change next time (didn’t want to do another test right away as I was super full and these are way too yummy to waste) is I’ll make the egg bigger in relation to the burger as it was difficult to fold up. But not impossible….

Ramily Burger completed

It was really, really, really delicious…

Ramily Burger cross section