Monday, March 30, 2009

Before March end..

I must record this before March end.... so that I remember I made this very first cake with so called "frosting" for my elder boy's birthday, his 8th birthday on 12 March. I had asked him in advance whether he wants a chocolate cake or something else. He wanted a chocolate cake. :)

I have collected a few chocolate cakes recipes in my file. However, since I have no confident in sponge cake, I opted for this "Steam Moist Chocolate Cake". Look easy and straight forward to me. Best of all, steam one! This cake recipe has been around quite sometimes ago. It received many good reviews from many blogger.

True enough, this was the best chocolate cake! It was very soft and "super super moist"! :) Everyone who tried it gave their thumbs-up! :)

I'd "frost" the cake with "chocolate fudge topping". As it was my very first time using chocolate, I didn't know whether the consistency is correct or not. I spent nearly an hour "cooking/stirring" the chocolate. Occasionally, I cheated a bit, using medium/big fire to speed up the process! :(

I tried to slice the cake into half, but with my clumsy and lousy skill, the cake became lopsided...! After that I tried to drizzle the cake with the "chocolate fudge", but the chocolate kept dripping down the cake board! Now, how to transfer the cake to another clean cake board? Any suggestion from you?

However, due to the high oil content, I'll only make this once a year or even longer. You see, originally recipe uses 250gm + 125gm butter or corn oil in a 9 inch baking pan or 2 x 9" sandwich pan!! I made a half recipe using an 8" cake pan and I chose corn oil. But still the oil content is on a high side. I felt guilty after making this cake..... :( Guess, ONCE a while is fine....

Recipe is available at Yochana's Cake Delight.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Dim Sum Bao - 2nd Attempt

I made another attempt to make this bao the other day. This time round I omitted the "ammonia powder" entirely. I read around the web and came to know that this ammonia powder actually made the baos "split or smile". Once the baos are steamed, the ammonia smell will evaporate.

In my first attempt, all my steamed baos came out very well and without any trace of ammonia smell. However, a few bloggers encountered the presence of ammonia smell in their steamed baos, strange!

Back to my second attempt. Having heard so much of how stinky this ammonia was, and partly out of curiosity I open the bottle cover and sniffed... Gosh!!!! So I decided to omit it entirely, after all it only make the bao split, not a problem to me as long as the baos are soft and fluffy, right? Well, I was quite disappointed and stunned when I open the wok!

All the baos STILL split but not as pretty as my first attempt! It was not fluffy at all, though it was still soft but not as soft! :( On a closer look, these baos resemble a picture in a "pau flour" available in our supermarket. ;)

Well, at least I learned something (but through the hard way): Nothing venture Nothing gain.

For this batch, since I didn't have enough "Hong kong flour", I substituted some with "Cake flour" also a low-gluten flour.

For the fillings, I used the same char siew recipe from Gina of KC. This time I bought the char siew pork from a different vendor and used the same seasonings. The taste was real fantastic! Very similar to "Tiong Bahru Pau" fillings! :))

Though the baos were not as soft and fluffy as the previous attempt, my two kids love them any way. They commented that my baos were very tasty! :D They could gobble up 2 pcs at one go!

This bao definitely will not stick in your teeth! :) I believe how you knead the dough determine the texture of your final product, just like bread. :) For your info, this bao remained soft after several hours in my wok, with cover on, a pleasant surprise to me when I had a bite in the late evening... :)

After rounds of baos pleating, I think I can pleat better now. Thanks to my husband who loves to watch food related programmes. In fact, he was the one who show me roughly the technique to pleat. :)

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Dim Sum Bao - Hongkong Style

This was my first attempt making a smiling bao.

Original recipe is a 12 hours Pau skin from Rusti of KC. However, instead of letting the dough proved for 12 hours, I proved it for 8 & 1/2 hours.

I made the starter dough at 10 pm the night before and the next morning at about 6.30 am the dough looked like this:

For the starter dough, after mixing the dough was very very sticky. The next morning, it would double and when you touched it, it would be soft and "moist".

The good thing about this dough is that there is no additional time to prove the dough after the fillings are done. Simply steam immediately. And within 10 minutes you have piping hot bao for breakfast. :D

When my timer sound, I was very worry and excited to lift up my wok cover. ..... To my greatest joy, the six buns (and subsequent three batches) were ALL smiling happily at me! :D The texture of the bun was very soft and fluffy, just like from a dim sum restaurant! :D

I'm glad that from now on I'm able to enjoy this type of bao right in my own home early in the morning. :)

Recipe as follows:

Starter Dough:
110g tap water
185g Hong kong flour
1/2 tsp Double Acting Baking Powder
1/8 tsp instant yeast

Mix everything together and leave to prove in a plastic container for 12 hours. (I proved for 8 & 1/2 hours, in a mixing bowl, covered with wet towel, left it in my oven - power off, door closed.)

Skin dough:
375g Hong kong flour
200g sugar
23g shortening
75g tap water
20g double acting baking powder
5g ammonia
1/2 tsp vinegar

Add all the above ingredients to the starter dough. Using a dough hook, mix on Kenwood speed 3 for 6 minutes. (Mix till the dough is not sticky and form a ball.)

Take out dough and scale to 30g each. (I used 40g each, the size was just right to me.)
Shape each piece into a ball before rolling.
Fill with chilled meat filling and steam immediately. (I steam at high heat for 10 minutes.)

1. Maximum proving time for starter dough is 14 hours. Over fermenting will make your baos sour.
2. This recipe will yield 30 buns if you scaled to 30g each.
3. When rolling dough, keep the edges thinner and the centre portion slightly thicker.
4. For char siew baos, steam for 10 minutes.
5. For baos with raw meat fillings, steam for 15 minutes.
6. If making big chicken/meat baos, steam for 20 minutes.
7. Prepare the fillings after you have made the starter dough and leave it in the fridge. (Chilled fillings is easier to handle.)

For the fillings, I used a char siew fillings recipe from Gina of KC. The fillings was equally good and yummy! :)

The char siew fillings recipe as follows:

300g Char siew pork, chopped finely (buy from hawker stall)
3 tbsp roasted sesame seeds
4 shallots, diced finely

120ml water
2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tsp dark soy sauce
3 tbsp sugar **
1 tbsp tapioca flour (I omitted)
1 tbsp corn flour (I use 2 tbsp since I didn't have tapioca flour on hand.)
1 tsp plain flour

1. Mixed the seasonings together in a bowl.
2. Stir fry onions in the wok.
3. Add seasoning into wok to stir fry. Fry till it becomes thick and sticky.
4. Add diced char siew pork and continue to stir fry.
5. Lastly, blend/mix in the roasted sesame seeds.
6. Turn off heat, remove to cool completely before using.

** For me, I found my char siew fillings on a little sweet side. I suspect it could be the char siew I bought, so please adjust the sugar accordingly.