Monday, February 29, 2016

Matcha cream-filled mini doughnuts

Hey , Mister , that's a donut .....

I don't know why everytime I see a donut , thankfully , not often , I remember that jingle from Mister Donut . Back home in the Philippines , there are several international donut franchises and as far as I know , still thriving . Krispy Kreme has no store here , there were several outlets few years ago but they since packed their donuts , I mean their bags after 2 ( ? ) years of business . 

Some bakeries here are selling this kind of snacks , nothing special , just kinda boring and there's even a HK-style donut , not the ones we have with our congee though I haven't tried it yet .  But if you're craving for some deep-fried filled donuts , you gonna make it yourself or go travel somewhere where they sell these awesome and unhealthy treatsl .

The last time I had homemade donuts was aeons ago and boy , I badly need them , deep-fried and not baked , thank you very much  !  Because it is unhealthy to bottled up your anger , what better way to vent out frustrations by pounding some dough , sorry dough .....

The instructions below are a bit fussy compare to some recipes out there but this recipe yielded a scrumptious texture and flavor that I was craving for . I think all those rigorous kneading and pounding ha ! 

I made half of the recipe , the list  below is the full recipe but I still made full recipe of the pastry cream , half of an egg yolk , anyone ?!  You can use any flavor of filling that you like , coffee is my first choice , of course but I'm still matcha crazy about this kind of tea lol And if you don't want to bother with the filling , tossing them in the sugar is still effin' delicious especially while it's still warm . Size of one mini is 2 1/2 by 1 3/4-inch . 

Recipe adapted from Doughnuts by Hannah Miles

My slight tweaks in blue

200 ml milk UHT whole milk , warm
7 grams fast-action dried yeast Saf red instant yeast
30 grams granulated sugar
300 grams all-purpose flour , plus extra for dusting
160 grams bread flour
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 eggs , beaten
60 grams butter , softened

sunflower oil , for greasing and frying
20 pieces small squares of parchment paper
a piping bag and a round nozzle
some sugar for coating doughnuts

For the pastry cream :

1 tablespoon cornstarch
60 grams sugar
1 egg plus 1 egg yolk
100 ml milk UHT whole milk
150 ml heavy / double cream
1 tablespoon instant coffee granules Uji matcha

* Prepare the pastry cream : In a mixing bowl , whisk together cornstarch , sugar, whole egg and egg yolk until creamy . Put milk , cream and matcha powder in a saucepan set over gentle heat and warm , stirring , until the matcha has dissolved , then bring into a boil . Slowly pour this over the egg mixture , whisking constantly . Return the mixture to the pan and cook for few minutes until thick , pass through a strainer to remove any lumps . Let cool then chill until needed .

For the doughnuts : Whisk together warm milk , yeast and sugar in a jug or a small bowl , leave in a warm place for about 10 minutes until the top looks frothy . Meanwhile , sift the flours into a large mixing bowl , add the salt , eggs and butter and mix together to incorporate , add in the yeast mixture . Using a standmixer fitted with a dough hook , mix the dough on slow speed for 2 minutes then increase the speed and knead for about 8 minutes until dough is soft and pliable . Alternatively , knead the dough by hand for 15 minutes , the mixture will be very soft but should not be sticky , dust flour if needed .

* Place the squares of baking parchment on a baking sheet or a tray and lightly dust with flour . Divide dough into 20 portions and dusting your hands with flour , shape each portion into a ball and place on a square of baking parchment . Cover doughnuts with a clean  damp kitchen towel and leave to rest for 10 minutes .  Reshape ( didn't do it ) the balls and then let rise in a warm place for about 35-45 minutes about 2 hours , covered in a lightly-greased plastic wrap , or until the dough  has doubled in size and holds an indent when you press with a fingertip . Rest again  forgot to do this , uncovered , for 10 minutes .

* In a large saucepan or fryer , heat oil to 375°F , I just guesstimated it . Transfer doughnut to the pan , one at a time , being careful not to handle the dough I handled all the dough as each portion are stuck on the parchment paper , not enough flour on the parchment , me thinks or splash hot oil  .  Cook in batches for about 1 1/2 minutes on each side until golden brown . Remove doughnuts with a slotted spoon and drain on paper towels .

* While donuts are still warm , toss them in the sugar and you can eat one or 3 right away but leave some to cool completely , use a round , flat is fine  , teaspoon handle to poke a hole in the side of the doughnut and move around to make a cavity inside . Spoon the pastry cream into the piping bag and pipe into doughnuts  .  Take photos immediately and eat as much as you can . Enjoy ! 

Friday, February 19, 2016

Loh mai fan / Steamed sticky rice with Chinese sausage

Loh mai fan , Cantonese name for steamed sticky rice , is basically made by steaming soaked sticky rice , Chinese sausages , dried mushrooms and shrimps together . During winter , you can see some roadside shops and Chinese restaurants here in Hongkong selling or serving this kind of seasonal fare . And no , you can't find this in the menu if you go yum cha during summer . Why ? Because you can't find Chinese sausages during summer as this kind of preserved food is only available during winter  . 

Unlike most sticky rice recipes you'll find online , the one I have here is easier to make - the soaked rice is stir fried first then steamed until cooked . You don't have to add any oil when stir frying as the Chinese sausage is fatty enough . Just a small amount of water is added to the rice before steaming so the texture is never mushy . The original recipe though is steamed all the way through .

This is my 2nd attempt , the first one tastes fine but the texture of the sticky rice is a bit chewy for my taste , I think steaming it for only 15 minutes just don't cut it , some grains were not even cooked through !  So , this time I tweaked it a bit , add more water when I stir fried it and steamed it longer as well . The result is beautifully-textured sticky rice not oily at all  and very easy to make .

I made half of the recipe and used a 7-inch bamboo steamer . If you don't have it , you can use an 8-inch heatproof shallow bowl instead and adjust the cooking time . Dried scallops are a bit expensive and I don't have it on hand so I omitted it and used 2 kind of Chinese sausages ( lap cheong - made from pork meat and pork fat and yun cheong which is made from duck's liver and pork fat )   to compensate for it . The original instructions below are a bit fussy so I cooked mine this way - I stir fried all the ingredients together , added 60 grams water so as 1 1/2 tablespoons of sweet soy sauce before steaming . I steamed it over high heat for 20 minutes then lower to medium and cooked for another 40 minutes .

The first time I made it , I served it with salted fried peanuts , it adds a delicious texture and flavor to this dish . Can't find fried peanuts this time though , I don't know where they hid the fried nuts in this side of Hongkong .....

Recipe adapted from 必學的中西節日美食 = Festive delicacies / [黎楊惠玲作]. 黎楊惠玲

My modifications in blue

500 grams glutinous rice
50 grams dried shrimps
40 grams dried scallops , don't have it
6 dried mushrooms
2 Chinese sausages

1 stalk spring onion , chopped
1 stalk coriander , chopped
some sweet soy sauce

Seasoning for rice :

1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1-2 tablespoons *sauce from steaming dried scallops

For half of the recipe , I used 250 grams glutinous rice ( duh ) , 20 grams dried shrimps , 3 dried mushrooms , 2 Chinese sausages , 1 1/2 tablespoons sweet soy sauce , pinch of sea salt , 1 teaspoon raw sugar and 60 grams/ml water 

* Rinse and soak glutinous rice in water for 4 to 6 hours . Drain well .

* Steam Chinese sausages over high heat for 5 minutes  , cool down a bit then cut into small dices .

* Soak dried mushrooms and shrimp until soft , rinse and slice the mushrooms , set aside .

* Rinse and soak dried scallops in 150 ml hot water until soft . Steam with the soaking water for 5 to 10 minutes . Flake scallops into shreds and mix 1-2 tablespoons of the *scallop liquid with the seasoning for rice  .

* In a nonstick pan , pan-fry ( no need to add oil ) sausages , shrimps and mushrooms over medium high heat for about 3 minutes . Add in the salt , sugar , sweet soy sauce and water and mix until all the liquid is absorbed , about 2 minutes . 

* Place seasoned glutinous rice in a bamboo steamer lined with baking paper pricked with holes or you can use a piece of muslin or a cheese cloth .

* Transfer the rice/sausage mixture to the bamboo steamer and steam over high heat for 20 minutes .  Use a spoon and stir the rice , scraping from the bottom and sides ( be careful not to tear the parchment paper that lined the steamer ) then lower the heat to medium high and steam for another 40 minutes or until glutinous rice is cooked . Serve hot . 

* Steamed over high heat for 5 minutes . Put mushrooms and shrimps on top of the rice , continue to steam for 5 minutes before adding scallops and sausages . Steamed for further 5 minutes over medium heat . Turn off heat and keep covered for 10 more minutes .

* Drizzle some sweet soy sauce and mix until well combined . Sprinkle with some chopped spring onion and coriander . Serve hot .

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Chocolate cappuccino Tim Tam tartlets

To all single , double and triple ladies out there , these tarts are for you lol

I saw this Tim Tam tartlet recipe from my newsfeed last month and decided to make half chocolate filling and half matcha white choco variation .

I haven't had time to make it right away as I was a bit under the weather , with a cough that won't stop ! , I reckon I consumed too much fried foods *sigh*   .

Tim Tams are the crumb base of these tartlets . Haven't tried these scrumptious biscuits yet ? Shame ! Go check it at the nearest supermarket !

The filling is nothing special , just a chocolate ganache with an egg yolk but the contrast between the crunchy biscuit base and the smooth , velvety chocolate filling is delicious in every bite .

I wasn't happy  with my matcha version though . Unlike the chocolate tartlets , which baked beautifully , the matcha one took another 5 more minutes of baking time and the texture of the filling is spotty ( the white chocolate isn't melted properly and I forgot to sift in the matcha powder ugh ! ) . 

I was quiet concern at first why the matcha filling is soupy and not near as thick as the the chocolate filling . Then I remembered that the ratio of white chocolate to cream is 1: 3 ( I think ) when making a ganache . Short of melting more white choco to add to the soup-like mixture of the matcha filling , okay , I was lazy , I just poured it into the tart cases and hope that it'll be okay . 

As you can see from the photos , the matcha filling dip a bit ( the filling is not that firm and wobbles a bit , sort of like a lemon curd ) after baking but the chocolate filling is almost perfect heh !

You really need a loose-bottom tart pans in this recipe . I used some pastry rings and tart tins ( the ones I use in making egg tarts )  but the I find it hard to remove the tart using the latter .

From Delicious.au site , the author used 4 3-inch loose-bottom tart pans , I think the measurement of the tart pan base is about 2-3/4 inch . Because the tart pans and rings that I used were a bit smaller than what is recommended , I got a bit leftover choco filling but a lot of matcha choco filling . If you want to try the matcha choco version , use less cream .

With just few ingredients and a breeze to make , these tartlets will surely please a chocoholic .

Need a drool-worthy dessert this Valentine's Day ?!

Please check original recipe at delicious.au

200 grams cappuccino Tim Tams
30 grams unsalted butter , melted and cooled 

For the chocolate filling : 

60 ml double cream plus 40 ml UHT whole milk
100 grams semi-sweet chocolate chips
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract 

For the matcha white chocolate filling : 

80 ml double cream plus 20 ml whole milk ***
100 grams white chocolate chips 
1 egg yolk
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

* Place TimTams into a heavy duty plastic food bag and bash with a rolling pin to a fine crumbs . Or use a food processor for a much finer crumbs . Mix together with melted butter and stir to combine . Divide evenly into the prepared greased tart / tin pans . I used 4 ( 3 x 1/2-inch ) pastry rings and 2 ( 2 3/4 x 1 1/2 -inch  ) tart tins . Chill in the fridge for 15 minutes . 

* Preheat oven to 160°C .    

* Place cream into a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a simmer ( for the matcha white chocolate filling , sift in matcha powder before heating ) and pour hot cream into the chocolate . Let stand for 1 minute for chocolate to melt then stir until smooth . Let mixture cool a bit before adding in the  vanilla and yolk(s) ,  stir to combine . 

* Pour chocolate filling(s) into the tart cases , fill it up almost to the rim . 

* Bake for 15 minutes or just until set . I baked the matcha version for 20 minutes . Cool tarts completely in the pan . 

* When ready to serve , run a small pairing  knife at the sides of the tart pan for easy removal . Serve with raspberries or fruit of your choice . 

*** Less cream should be added when using white chocolate