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Friday, May 18, 2018

Hokkaido Milk Buns

I bought a packet of cooking cream recently and had a continuous supply of creamy pasta, creamy mac n cheese and even creamy sauce that I couldn't bear to eat anything with cooking cream again.

But of course, this recipe is the thing to solve my excess cooking cream problem. The buns turned out so well that I proceeded to make a second one 2 hours after that. That's excessive indeed but no one was complaining.

Makes 8 buns. Credits KAF with modifications.

43g water
43g full cream milk
14g bread flour

Dry ingredients:
298g bread flour
11g instant yeast
50g fine sugar
½ tsp fine salt
14g milk powder – full cream

Wet ingredients:
113g cooking cream
1 egg
57g unsalted butter

To make the roux, combine water, milk and flour in a sauce pan.
Cook over medium heat , stirring continuously until it starts to form lines with the whisk , at about 60C.
Remove from heat instantly and continue to stir on a cool surface or wet cloth.
Leave to cool.
Add wet contents. Mix.

In a mixer, combine dry contents.
Add wet contents.
Mix at low until gluten forms and pulls off the mixer wall.
Form a ball on a lightly floured surface.
Transfer to an oiled bowl and leave to ferment in a warm place, covered.
Dip a finger in flour and poke a hole in the risen dough.
Proceed to the next stage when the hole springs back halfway.

Meanwhile, grease a Pullman and flour the inside.
Remove excess flour. Set aside.

Divide the dough to  8 small dough balls, about 86g each mini  dough.
Use fingers as a cage and roll to shape the buns.

Arrange buns in the Pullman.
Leave to rise in a warm place.

Preheat oven to 180C.

When the buns are risen about slightly double the height, brush the top of the buns with cooking cream.
Bake in the preheated oven at 180C for 32 mins on a raised rack.
Buns should be tanned.

To remove buns, drop the Pullman a couple of times.
Invert and remove the buns.
Upright the buns, cool further.
Enjoy warm. As for me, I am filling it with leftover cream cheese from my previous carrot cake and eat it for like a burger!

Keeps well for 1 day. Freeze the buns to keep longer than that.

Monday, April 16, 2018

Barley beef burger

This burger uses leftover cooked barley as a binder which lends an interesting texture to the burger pattie. I opted for 3 parts beef and 1 part barley so that the pattie can still bind without falling apart when handled. No egg was needed to hold the contents together but care is needed when transferring the raw pattie to the hot pan. A wax paper or non stick pan is best to prevent the burger from sticking to the hot surface or breaking up when flipping over.


3 cups of minced beef
1 cup of drained, cooked barley
pinch of oregano


Mix beef with barley.

Season the beef mixture with pepper and oregano or any of your favorite herbs.

Let it sit in the fridge for 30 minutes.

Make out 5 beef balls and slightly flatten them to slightly less than 1 inch thick.

Pan fry on baking paper on medium heat until both sides are seared and crusted.

Serve with portabello mushroom burgers and tomato slices ( matching size ).

Eat with your favorite salad.

Saturday, April 14, 2018

Polenta and Almond Blueberry Cake

Since I am off to low carbohydrate food, I thought this would be one good experiment for my tummy. For every 100g of polenta, it yields 15g of carbs and has a GI of 7. A diabetics dream, if you hold off the fat of course!

Frankly speaking, this cake is one very oily cake with a gritty texture from the polenta. The cake is an acquired taste but overall, it gets addictive. If you are not a fan of polenta, replace the polenta with almond meal.

If I were to do it again, I would halve the butter and tweak around the eggs for a better lift. 

Adapted from Grains as Mains by Laura Agar Wilson

Ingredients :

200g unsalted butter
100g caster sugar
3 large eggs

200g fine almond meal
100g fine polenta meal
1 Tbsp baking powder

200g blueberries
1 cup almond flakes

Preheat oven to 180C. 
Prepare a 7inch springform pan.
Cream butter and sugar until pale and fluffy.
Add eggs and combine.
In a separate bowl, combine almond, polenta and baking powder.
Fold dry ingredients into egg-butter mixture.
Fold in blueberries.
Transfer batter to the pprepared pan.
Sprinkle almond flakes.
Bake the cake in the preheated oven at 180C for 50 minutes or until a skewer poked in the center of the cake comes out with a bit of crumbs.
Cool before removing the cake from the pan.
Dust with icing sugar.

Friday, March 23, 2018

Cantonese Egg Tarts

This project generates quite a bit for washing and takes a bit of effort to make. Chill the pastry in between handling for that perfect round base.

To achieve a smooth custard within the sunken look, take care not to over bake the tarts such that they puff up in the oven. Once that happens, the custard will sink and shrivel.

For my guinea pigs,  as usual.

Credits (with minor adaptations) Christines Recipes
Makes 24 smallish tarts.

125g unsalted butter, room temperature
55g icing sugar
1 egg, beaten
1/8 tsp vanilla essence
200g plain flour
25g cake flour

Custard filling:
150g boiling water
70g superfine sugar
½ tsp vanilla essence
75g evaporated milk, low fat
2 eggs, beaten lightly

Method (pastry):
Prepare 24 Aluminum pastry case. Use a cupcake tray to hold the cases. Set aside.
To make the pastry case, whisk butter and icing sugar on medium until very pale and light (forming ridges).
Add in egg, in 2 portions, and whisk until well incorporated.
Add vanilla.
Replace mixer whisk with paddle.
In 2 portions, sift in flours. Combine until homogenous.
Flatten / roll out the pastry between 2 silicon sheets.
Use a cutter ( bigger than pastry case ) and cut out 24 round pastry bases.
Freeze until pastry is firm.
Use a flat thin spatula and transfer the cold cut out pastry to the Al cases.
You may have to move between the freezer and worktop many times if your kitchen is warm. If the pastry is too soft to handle, chill until firm and repeat the process.
When the pastry is softened enough, gently mold the pastry to fit the case.
Chill until ready to use.

Mathod (Custard) :

Pour boiling water onto the fine sugar. Stir until sugar dissolves.
Add vanilla.
Whisk the egg in the evaporated milk and combine it with the sugar solution.
Preheat the oven to 200C.
When oven is ready, pour the custard filling into the chilled cases until it is 90% full.
Bake the tarts at 200C for 10 minutes.
Reduce the baking temperature to 180C.
Bake the tarts again, at 180C for 10 minutes.
Remove from the oven. Cool for 5-10 minutes.
Gently remove the tarts and continue to let them cool on a rack.