Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Pumpkin Bao with Char Siew filling

I realize that I have not been making baos for awhile now. And since making bao is much much easier as compared to bread baking, I will usually opt for steaming up some baos instead during busy days. This time I decided to make the bao a flavored one, which is pumpkin! Such an obvious choice since I love root vegetables! And just so happened I bought some char siew from the market, so char siew pumpkin bao it is!
I adapted the pumpkin bao dough recipe from Carol's cookbook on "面点新手必用的第一本书 " which was pretty easy to handle. Here is the recipe:
Char Siew Filling:
300g Char siew pork, chopped finely (store bought)
6 shallots*, sliced thinly and fried till golden brown
120ml water

.5 tbsp light soy sauce
1 tbsp oyster sauce

1 tsp dark soy sauce

2.5 tbsp sugar

1 tbsp tapioca flour

1 tbsp corn flour

1 tsp plain flour
  • In a large mixing bowl, add all the seasoning ingredients together and mix well.
  • In the saucepan with medium low heat, add the seasoning mixture and cook till it thickens.
  • Add the chopped char siew pork and fried shallots and stir till well combined.
  • Off the fire and dish up to cool till ready to use. This can be made ahead of time and kept in the fridge for 24 to 48 hrs. 

Starter dough: 
120g plain flour
1/4 tsp instant active yeast
80ml water
pinch of salt
  • Mix everything together to a soft pliable dough. Cover and let rest in a greased bowl to proof for 1hr so it doubles in size.
 Main Dough:
180g pumpkin (peeled, steamed and mashed)
100g starter dough
300g cake flour/ Top flour / HK flour
1/2 tsp instant active yeast
20g milk powder
20g caster sugar
20g olive oil
1/8 tsp salt
10-20ml water can be added is dough is too try. Or 10-20g cake flour can be added if dough is too wet
  • Knead everything together in a mixer till not sticky and everything comes together into a smooth pliable dough.
  • Let dough rest in greased bowl covered for another 45mins to 1 hr until double in size.
  • In the meantime, prepare steamer and some cut out grease paper.
  • Punch out the air and divide the dough into 45g portions, roll round and let sit for 10 mins covered before wrapping.
  • Take a portion and roll flat into a round disk, place about 1 heaping teaspoon of char siew filling in the center and then seal up the dough by pleating along side. 
  • Place the wrapped bao on a grease paper and let it proof for another 15-20 mins before steaming. Repeat this till all the dough portions are used.
  • While the steamer is boiling at medium low, place the baos in and steam at medium fire for 10-12 minutes. make sure your steamer cover is wrapped with kitchen towel to prevent the water from dripping on the baos.
  • Once done, off fire and let seat for 5 minutes. Then slowly lift cover and open a small gap to cool for another 10 minutes before removing the cover completely.
The bao skin is fluffy soft and with the pairing of char siew filling was awesome! My kids ate them happily and say it's better then store bought! ~happiness~ hahaha! The bao skin does have a faint pumpkin aroma to it! I love! :D

Do try this recipe if you like baos and pumpkin as much as I do. And feel free to change the filling to whatever you like, red bean, lotus paste or even black sesame, I think it'll be yummy too! ;)

Okay folks, thats all for today, will post another fruity cake soon, stay tune!

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Steamed Moist Chocolate Oat cake with Bananas

This is a long over due post! Haha, my sincere apologies again. :P I guess I am posting upon on demand now since I can see my followers' interest are. Well mainly from Instagram though since that is where I am most of the time now. :P Anyways, I am gonna post one of the more popular recipes today which I have repetitive requests on. It is Steamed Moist Chocolate Oat cake (with banana). I actually first made this for Easter...yeah 3 months late, hahaha! Oops busted! LOL!

This is such an easy recipe to whip up! I guess the only tedious part is the blending the rolled oats and steaming the batter, haha! Anyways, I adapted this recipe from Cooking Crave but modified the recipe to a healthier version. Here is my recipe:

Ingredients for Steamed Moist Chocolate Oat Cake (makes about 12 standard 4oz)
120ml vegetable oil
200ml chocolate milk (low fat milk can be used)
2 large eggs
1/4 tsp salt
150g light brown sugar (I used 140g when I added banana in)
80g cake flour
50g oat flour (blend rolled oats till very fine)
50g unsweetened cocoa powder (I used Valrohna) 
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
4 ripe bananas, half or quartered to be inserted into cake
  • Get ready steamer with cupcake liners or an 8" round cake pan, greased and lined with parchment paper. Set the steamer on low fire
  • In a large mixing bowl, add oil, milk, eggs, salt and sugar. Stir well and make sure sugar has dissolved. You can speed up the process by placing bowl over double boiler.
  • Sift the cake flour, cocoa powder, baking powder and baking soda into the milk mixture. aAdd in the oat flour at this point. Stir well making sure everything is combined and no visible lumps.
  • Lastly add in the vanilla extract and mix. Batter will be runny.
  • Pour the batter into the prepared containers. If adding bananas, now you can insert them, letting them stand up right. 
  • Make sure when you place the batter into the steamer, it is already on low boil. For a whole 8" cake, steam at medium fire for 40mins till cake tester comes out clean. For cupcakes, steam for 10-12 mins till cake tester comes out clean as well.
The addition of oats did not compromise the taste nor much of its soft texture. And with the bananas, you can opt to not add more sugar as it will enhance the sweetness when you bite into the fruit. Yums!
Showing off the moist tender interior of the yummy healthy, yes healthy cake. :D Love the addition of the banana...really makes this cake a whole lot more enjoyable haha!

Okay, that's all for now folks, will post up something savory next, stay tune!

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Strawberry and Cream Oat Muffins with Chia Seeds

Hi everyone! So sorry for my long absence again. Gosh I gotta stop doing this, disappearing and coming back being all apologetic, haha! But I reckon I will be slowing down in my posts here. No worries, I won't abandon it altogether but will still be lurking around, coming back with some awesome recipes to share, especially those that are in quite high "demand" in my Instagram account. I have to say it ain't easy to maintain two and IG. And since IG is a much easier posting, haha, I naturally lean towards that. Nonetheless will not leave my blog as I promised, so no worries!

Today's recipe is actually inspired by Jane's Sweets and Baking Journal. She has this really awesome recipe of strawberry cream cheese muffins which I made quite awhile back (not too sure have I posted it before, haha) But anyways, I decided to remaking it into a much healthier version, adding oat flour and chia seeds. Ok ok, back up you say? Chia what? Haha, it is the next BIG hit in super-food. Read all about its greatness here. Anyway, here is my baked muffin:
Note that all pictures posted on this post are taken using my iphone5...ehh yeah I kinda didn't expect to post this recipe so didn't even bother to whip out my DSLR, haha. So please pardon the slightly not up to standard qualities ya?  

Okay, here is my version of the recipe:
Ingredients for Strawberry & Cream Oat Muffins with Chia Seeds (Makes 16 of 4 oz cuppies)
1 cup buttermilk (I used 2 tsp of fresh lemon juice, combined with 1 cup fresh milk, rest 5 mins)
113g unsalted butter, room temperature
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 large eggs
180g cake flour
50g oar flour (50g rolled oats, blend till very fine)
140g light brown sugar
1/2 salt
2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp chia seeds (adjust amount to your liking but do not add too much)  

Cream cheese filling
125g cream cheese, room temperature
1 and 1/2 Tbsp. of liquid from one whole egg that's been beaten lightly

1 tbsp of strawberry jam (optional)
3 tbsp confectioner's sugar
1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

1 cup fresh ripe strawberries cut into small chunks

  • In a small mixing bowl, add in cream cheese, powder sugar, egg, strawberry jam and vanilla. Stir and mix well till everything comes together into a smooth consistency.
  • Chill the cream cheese mixture in the fridge till needed. 
  • Preheat the oven to 175C.
  • In a large mixing bowl, beat the butter and sugar till light and creamy. 
  • Crack in an egg at a time, making sure it is well combined before adding the next one.
  • Add in the vanilla extract and mix well.
  • Next shift in half the amount of cake flour, baking powder and salt. Combine well.
  • Then add in all of the buttermilk and again mix well.
  • Add in the oat flour and combine, then lastly shift in the rest of the cake flour and stir well to combine.
  • Sprinkle in the Chia seeds at this point if you are using and stir to mix it in evenly.
  • Line the muffin cups and scoop about 1/3 amount of the cake batter in cupcake or muffin liners.
  • Then scoop about 1 tsp amount of cream cheese mixture right in the middle of that cake batter.
  • Then sprinkle a few chunks of cut up strawberries over the cream cheese. Then cover all this with another 1/3 amount of the cake batter.
  • Making sure all these does not fill up more then 80% of the cupcake or muffin liner.
  • Repeat till all the liners or tray are filled. Sprinkle some coarse brown sugar over the top for a nice sparkle.
  •  Bake in the preheated oven for 15-18 minutes till the top is golden brown and the cake tester comes out clean.
There you have it guys! For all those that has been bugging....sorry asking me for this recipe, hahaha! Just kidding! Happy baking ya! Oh wait!
How can me miss out this all important picture of how the cake look inside! Crisp on the outside and yet creamy on the inside. Not too sweet, just right with a slight tang from the fresh strawberries inside. You won't taste the Chia seeds at all if you are worried. It just add a tiny bit of crunch to every bite. ;) Hope it has tempt you enough! Thanks for staying with me and let me know how it turned out for you. ;))

Have a good one all! Cheers!