Saturday, September 25, 2010

Char Siew Pau/叉烧包

This is my 3rd attempt of making char siew pau in a week.
I'm so happy! Finally I got the texture that I want. I think adding baking powder play the trick, that made the pau soft and light texture.
The long slow fermentation of the yeast dough, that help the pau stay soft even when it turn cold.

Here is my new recipe.


Yeast Dough Ingredient:
300 g Hong Kong flour
1 tsp instant yeast
150 ml water
1/2 tsp of salt

To make Yeast Dough
Mix flour, yeast, water and salt together. Just like the No Knead Method. Transfer it into a plastic bag and keep it in the fridge and leave it to rest for at least 15 hours.

Filling Ingredients:
4 chicken drum sticks, cut to small pieces
1 tbsp minced garlic
4 to 5 shallots sliced
1 tbsp of hosin sauce
1/2 tbsp soya sauce
2 3/4 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp dark thick soya sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp tapioca flour diluted with 2 tbsp water
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro/ spring onion
1 tsp sesame oil


To make Filling:
Cut chicken into tiny dices, mix with hosin sauce, soya sauce, sugar, oyster sauce and dark sauce.

Heat wok with a little oil and add in the minced garlic, sliced shallot. Saute until fragrant and add the chicken meat, continue to cook until chicken is well done. Add the tapioca flour and water mixture. Cook until sauce comes back to the boil and thicken.

Add in chopped cilantro or spring onion and drizzle with sesame oil.

Leave to cool.

To make Pau Dough Ingredients:
150 g Hong Kong flour
1 tsp double action baking powder
3 tbsp sugar
1/2 tbsp shortening
1 tbsp water
1 tsp ammonium bicarbonate
2 tiny drops kan sui(akaline water/potassium carbonate & sodium bi-carbonate solution)

To make Pau Dough after 15 hours:

Sieve the baking powder with the flour.

Mix ammonium bicarbonate, kan sui(akaline water) and water and mix until ammonium bicarbonate is dissolved.

Tear up the yeasted dough into small pieces and place in a bowl, add in the sugar, shortening and the ammonium bicarbonate solution. Knead until well mixed, Add in flour and knead the dough until it is smooth.

Divide dough into portions. Line the divided dough up. Start from the first portion, cup the dough portion with your palm and round it. Repeat with the rest of the portions, lining them up in order.

While making the paus, fill steamer pot with water and bring to the boil.

Roll the first rolled portion dough out into a circle and fill with a tablespoon of cooled filling. Pleat the circle up and seal well. Roll the circle bigger, so that you can have more dough on top of pau. Put a piece of paper at the base of pau and leave in a steamer rack, covered with a damp cloth while you prepare another paus.

Make sure water is in a rolling boil before putting the steamer rack with the prepared paus to steam for 10 minutes, if you are making bigger paus, then steaming time will be longer.

Continue to wrap paus with the char siew filling and steam.

These paus cannot be consumed yet as they stink from the ammonium bicarbonate. A second steaming of 10 minutes is required to allow the ammonium to dissipate.

Enjoy the paus warm.

Please see Lilyng Blog, if you like the original smiling Char Siew Pau

Monday, September 13, 2010

Making Shortcrust Pastry Apple Pie

Crisp, light and easy to prepare, shortcrust is the most frequently used of all pie and tart pastries.

Shortcrust dough is made from flour, butter, water and a little salt-usually, half the amount of butter to flour.

The dough takes very little time to make. Indeed, to achieve perfect tender shortcrust pastry, speed is essential, overworking would only strengthen the gluten in the dough and make the butter oily- resulting in a mixture that will become hard and tough on baking.

To help keep the dough cool, chill the water and butter. Chilling any dough before use relaxes the gluten, making the dough less elastic and softer and easier to roll out.

For extra insurance, you can brush the bottom layer of pastry dough lightly with whisked egg white before adding the filling. In the oven the egg white will cook to a thin glaze that will prevent the filling's moisture from seeping into the dough.

Pastry Ingredients:

250g cold butter, cut to pieces
500g flour
pinch of salt
5-8 tablespoons iced water


1).Rubbing the butter into the flour. add the salt to the flour and sift them into a large mixing bowl. Add all the butter cubes to the flour. Using the tips of your fingers and thumbs, pick up a small amount of butter and flour. Lightly rub them and together and let the mixture fall back into the bowl. Continue for 2 to 3 minutes, until all of the butter is incorporated and the mixture resembles very coarse breadcrumbs.

2).Adding water. Use a spoon to make a shallow well in the mixture, spoon in a little iced water. Because some flours absorb more water than others, the quantity of water you need may vary, always start with a minimum amount in order to avoid soggy result. Then, use your hands to lightly gather the dough together. Add a little more water if necessary, the mixture should cling together without being damp.

3). Finishing the dough. Lightly press the dough together and form it into a ball. Wrap the dough in cling wrap film, to prevent drying out, and chill the dough for about 15 minutes before use.

For Double-crust Apple Pie filling Ingredients:

1 kg apple (8 medium size)
2 tablespoons flour
pinch of salt
About 2/3 to1 cup of brown sugar ( if green apple use more sugar and less for red apple)
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
30g butter
1/2 lemon

1).Mixing the apple filling. Place the flour, salt, sugar and spices in a mixing bowl. Peel, core and slice the apples, and add them to the bowl. With your hands, toss the apples until they are evenly coated with the dry ingredients.

2). Preparing the dough. Divide the dough into halves, one for the top of the pie and one for the base.

3). To make the base, roll the dough into a round about 5mm thick. Lining the tin. To ensure that the round of dough is big enough to cover the base and overlap the side of the pan, the pastry should be slightly wider than the pan.

4). Filling and covering the pie. Filling the base with the apples and dot them with butter. If the apple are sweet, sprinkle them with lemon juice. Roll the remaining dough to the thickness of 5mm and place it over the filling.

5). Finishing the edges. Use a knife to trim away the excess dough. Using your thumb and index finger, pinch the dough firmly to seal the base and top. With knife, pierce the top in several places to allow steam to escape as the pie bakes. If you like, glaze it before baking by brushing the top with a lightly whisked egg.

6). Bake the pie in an oven preheated to 220C for 10 to 15 minutes, then at 180C for 40 to 45minutes, or until the pastry is firm and golden-brown.

7). Hot pastry crumble easily. Let it cool for a few minutes before cutting. Serve the pie warm or cold..:)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

White Snow Skin Mooncake/冰皮月饼

To make Snow Skin Mooncake is so Easy....

For mooncake skin:

90g Kou Fen (Fried glutinous rice flour)
10g Tang Mien Flour ( Steamed)
30g shortening
About 180g-200g cold water
100g Sugar


250g Lotus Paste or Red Bean Paste
2 tablespoon of toasted melon seeds


1).For skin: Mix water and sugar together until sugar dissolved. Cool in the fridge.

2).Mix Kou Fen, Tang Mien flour and shortening together by rubbing-in method and then pour all the cold syrup and mix till you get a soft dough. Do not over mix.

3).Divide dough into 50g each, my mould is 100g. I'm using 50%.

4).Divide filling into 50g each and roll it into a ball.

5). Flatten the dough and wrap in the filling. Put it into the mould and press it out.

6). Serve chilled.

Here is my video showing you how to wrap a snow skin mooncake.:)

Friday, September 3, 2010

Traditional Mooncake/莲蓉月饼

Mooncake festival is coming soon hehe... I'm going to make mooncake again:). This will be my second year of making homemade mooncake from the scratch. All my recipes are mainly from Aunty Yochana blog. Last week, I have already use 1 kg of lotus seeds to make the lotus paste. The process of making the lotus paste is really tiring. It take hours of remove the skin of the lotus seeds, but the end result is really worth it.

Ingredients of making lotus paste
500g lotus seeds
450g of sugar
350g to 400g of groundnut oil
11/4 tbsp of alkaline water (need it when soaking of the seeds for removing of the skin)
2 tbsp of maltose
1 tbsp of condense milk
1/2 tsp of salt
for the caramel 4 tbsp of sugar

1. Mix lotus seeds with 11/4 tbsp of alkaline water and 3 tbsp of water, rest for 20 mins. Then pour in the hot boiling water and cover it for about 20-30 mins. Wash away the lotus seeds skin, then add water to the seeds and cook until lotus seeds are soft.

2. Blend the lotus seeds until very fine.

3. Heat the wok and fry the 4 tbsp of sugar with some oil till sugar turns caramel in colour. Pour in the blended lotus seeds, sugar, salt and oil and fry till water dries up.

4. Add in the maltose and condense milk, mix well. cool and keep.

For the Mooncake pastry

350g of Hong kong flour ( I used top flour)
90g of groundnut oil. ( I used cock brand 100percent groundnut oil)
200g of moon cake syrup ( This was made about a year ago, the recipe is from Aunty Yochana blog)
11/4 tsp of alkaline water
1 tsp of molasses (optional to make the pastry darker in colour only)

Mix all the liquid ingredients together, sift in the flour and mixing it into a soft dough and cover it to rest. Let the dough rest for at least 1 hour, but not more than 18 hours in the room temperature.

Lighty toasted some nut or seed ( walnut, pinenut, olive seeds or melon seeds about 100g) Mix it into the lotus paste. Divide lotus paste into 68g each.

Wrap with 32g of pastry and press into mooncake mould press out from the mould and bake for 10mins, cool slightly then brush with egg glaze( 1 egg + 1 tbsp water + 1tsp of groundnut oil), Then rebake again for another 10mins or till golden brown.


This is the Madeleine mould pan that cost $2 from Daiso.

Madeleines are very small sponge cakes with a distinctive shell-like shape acquired from being baked in pans with shell-shaped depressions. Aside from the traditional moulded pan, commonly found in stores specialising in kitchen equipment and even hardware stores, no special tools are required to make madeleines. My madeleine mould pan was bought from the 2 dollars shop Daiso.

Madeleines Recipes

3/4 cup of self raising flour or (3/4 cup of plain flour with 1 tsp baking powder and a pinch of salt)

1/4 cup + 2 tbs granulated sugar or castor sugar
2 large eggs
1 tbs honey
1 tbs packed brown sugar
finely grated zest of a lemon
6 tbs of butter melted and keep warm


1. In a small bowl, sift self raising flour. Or sift together the plain flour, baking powder and salt if your are using the plain flour and set a side.

2. In a medium bowl, using a wire whisk, mix the eggs, sugar, honey , brown sugar and lemon zest together over a hot water pot, until the sugar dissolved. Remove from the hot water pot, continue to whisk till the mixture is light and fluffy.

3. Add the flour mixture step (1) and whisk just until combined.

4. Add the warm melted butter, stirring just until incorporated.

5. Pour it into a plastic piping bag and refrigerate for 1 hour.

6. Generously grease madeleine mould pan with butter, dust it with some flour. Pipe in some madeleine cold batter into the mould pan. Bake them for 13 to 15 minutes, at preheated oven 175C until they are puffed and turn golden brown. Invert the pans onto wire racks and give them a hard tap to remove the cookies from the moulds. Serve them warm dusted with a bit of confectioners’ sugar for the best flavour.

I have found this video from the youtube that show how to make this madeleine.