Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Chinese Sesame Cracker 中式芝麻脆餅

More sesame snacks! This is one of my childhood favorite snacks. It brings back a lot of childhood memories. I tried a few recipes and this one comes closer to what I had as a child.

What is your childhood favorite snack?

220g all purpose flour
120g unsalted butter, room temp
110g sugar
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
30g egg white
5g whole milk powder
50g white sesame
pinch of salt

1) Preheat oven to 350F. Line baking sheet with parchment paper or with Silpat.
2) Sieve all the dry flour ingredients and salt. Set aside.
3) Cream butter with sugar for about 3 mins or until creamy. Add egg white and beat for another minute.
4) Add the dry flour mixture and mix well with a spatula until no dry flour.
5) Roll out the dough to about 4mm thick. Cut into desire shapes and dip one side with white sesame.

6) Bake for 18-20 minutes or until it is golden brown. Let it cool completely before serving or storing. It can be kept in an airtight container for up to a week.

Wednesday, June 3, 2020

Black Sesame Classic Sponge Cake 黑芝麻古早味蛋糕

"沒有最好,只有更好" 用來形容這蛋糕真是最貼切。口感鬆軟、細膩,有入口即溶的感覺。成份沒有牛油,只用液體菜油。健康簡單,不用什麼裝飾或餡料,它已是一款很受歡迎的甜品 (特別在台灣、香港等地方)。今次我加入黑芝麻粉,香味濃郁,吃完一件又想吃多件。

If I were to describe this cake in a few words, it would be that it bested the best. But as they say, there is always room for improvement, and I know that in the future I will find a way to make a cake even better than this one. But for now, this cake only uses vegetable oil. Without the use of any butter at all, it is incredibly light and soft and gives you a feeling of melt-in-your-mouth cotton candy. No wonder it is so popular in Taiwan and Hong Kong. The addition of black sesame powder not only makes it more healthy, but it also imparts an irresistible aroma. 

Ingredients to make a 8.5x11x2" rectangular cake:

105g cake flour, sifted 低筋麵粉,過篩
60g vegetable oil 菜油
15g sesame oil 麻油
125 whole milk 全脂奶
120g sugar 白糖
300g (6 large) eggs, yolks and white separated 蛋,黄與蛋白分開
44g black sesame powder, sifted 黑芝麻粉,過篩

1) Line a baking pan with parchment paper on the bottom and sides. Set aside. Preheat oven to 300F. Boil a pot of water for steam baking.
2) Combine the vegetable oil and sesame oil in a small pot and heat to 185F over medium heat. Remove from heat.
3) Pour the hot oil into the flour and stir well.
4) Add milk and continue to stir with a whisk. It will turn into a thick paste.
5) Whisk in the egg yolks to make a smooth batter.
6) Add the black sesame powder. Mix well and set aside.
7) In a clean stand mixer bowl or glass bowl, beat the egg whites until frothy.
8) Add sugar in three additions. Beat the whites on high speed until a stiff peak forms.
9) Using a whisk, add about a third of the whites to the egg batter. This is to lighten the egg batter and prepare it to be combined with the rest of the egg whites. Gently but quickly fold.
10) Pour the egg batter back to the remaining egg whites. Fold until no white is seen. Do not over mix.
11) Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Firmly but carefully bang the pan on the counter for a few times to remove big bubbles.
12) Place the pan into a larger pan and pour hot water into the larger pan up to about an inch high.
13) Bake at 300F for an hour.
14) Remove the cake from the oven and place on a rack to cool for 10 minutes. Remove the cake from the pan carefully and peel the paper away from the sides. Continue to cool on a rack.

This cake is good even if served plain. You could also cut the cake horizontally in half, and spread black sesame paste on it like a cake sandwich.

Cut into serving size. Cake can be kept at room temperature for about 3 days. Keep in the fridge for longer storage.

Note: do not overheat the oil. If the temperature is too high, it will burn the flour and damage the structure or texture of the cake. For plain original flavor, replace sesame oil with vegetable oil (total 75g) and omit black sesame powder. Butter can be used instead of vegetable oil for a more flavorful cake.

1) 焗盤鋪好焗爐紙,預熱焗爐至華氏三百度,煮滾一鍋水。
2) 將油放入一小鍋加熱至華氏一百八十五度,離火,倒入麵粉,攪勻。再加入牛奶,繼續攪拌,再加入蛋黃,攪拌至幼滑蛋糊。
3) 在一清潔沒有油的碗內打發蛋白,糖分三次加入,打至企身。
4) 將部份蛋白與蛋糊用折疊方式伴勻,再倒入蛋白快速及輕手伴勻。
5) 倒入焗盤,放入一大盤內,注入滾水約一寸高,入爐。焗一小時。
6) 取出放架上待涼十分鐘後,取出蛋糕離盤放架上,再繼續待涼。

Thursday, May 14, 2020

Chinese Black Sesame Pancake 黑芝麻燒餅

Are you eating more snacks these days because of the pandemic? You are not alone. Snacking is very common when we have more time at home or in front of the TV or computer.
This is a healthy snack that every one loves.

“Water” dough 水皮:
150g/1 cups all-purpose flour
30g/2½ tablespoons sugar
40g/2½ tablespoons vegetable oil
70-80g/ cup water

“Oil” dough 油皮:
120g/1 cup all-purpose flour
30g/2 tablespoons vegetable oil
30g/2½ tbsp unsalted butter, softened to room temperature

Black sesame filling, store bought or homemade

1) Water dough: mix all the ingredients in a bowl. Knead for a few minutes. Cover and set aside for at least 15 minutes to wait for the gluten to relax.
2) Oil dough: mix the softened butter with the vegetable oil. Add the flour and mix until it forms a dough. Cover and set aside.
3) Preheat the oven to 350°F.
4) Divide the water and oil dough each into 10 equal pieces. 

5) Flatten a piece of water dough and use it to wrap a piece of oil dough. Roll it out into an oval shape with a rolling pin, then roll it up. Rest for 10 mins. Repeat the rolling one more time. Rest for another 10 mins.

6) Flatten the dough and put a piece of the filling in and seal. Gently roll out into round shape.
7) Wet one side of the pancake with water and dip in a dish of sesame.
8) Use a fork to gently poke holes in the surface of each, without poking all the way through to the bottom. Bake at 350°F for 20 minutes.

1)  先做水皮:將所有材料攪勻成麵糰,蓋保鮮紙,靜待15分鐘。
2)  做油皮:將所有材料攪勻成麵糰,蓋保鮮紙,靜待15分鐘。
3)  將水皮糰及油皮糰分別分成10個小球,取一個水皮球,包一個油皮球,收口朝下,蓋保鮮紙,用同樣做法將餘下粉糰包好。
4)  用捍麵棍小心,輕手將每個小粉糰捍長,向下捲起,蓋保鮮紙,鬆弛15分鐘。
5)  將黑芝麻餡分成10份。預熱焗爐至350 F。
6)  再將已鬆弛粉糰捍長,向下捲起,蓋保鮮紙,再鬆弛15分鐘。
7)  將鬆弛好的粉糰捍成圓片,包入黑芝麻餡,接口朝下,壓平,一面沾水,再沾上黑白芝麻,用叉插小孔,入爐焗約20分鐘至金黄色便可。

Friday, May 1, 2020

Roast Pork Belly with Air Fryer 氣炸鍋燒腩仔

I have tried different recipes and ways to make roast pork but so far this is the most trusted, reproducible and satisfactory recipe. It takes a little planning but very little hands-on time. Using an air fryer produces crispy skin every time and there is less mess to clean up as compared to a regular oven.

Tuesday, April 14, 2020

100% Whole Wheat/Grain Sandwich Bread 全麥/穀麵包

I think most of us know eating whole grain is beneficial to our health. However, making 100% whole wheat/grain bread is really a challenge. The sharp edge of the bran cuts short the gluten and makes the bread dense rather than soft. One way to tackle this is to allow the whole wheat flour to soak enough liquid so the bran is softened.

Thursday, April 9, 2020

Sago Pudding with Lotus Seed Paste 蓮蓉西米布甸

This is a fusion dessert because its ingredients originate from different countries or culture.

Custard powder--English
Lotus seed paste filling--Chinese
Sago or tapioca pearls--Thai or Southeast Asian

No matter what its origin, it is a yummy and delicious dessert!

Friday, April 3, 2020

Alkaline Noodles/Ramen 手工鹼水麵

This post has been in my draft folder for quite some time and now, given current events I finally have time to finish and post it. The recipe is from a cookbook called "Momofuku" by David Chang. The famous restaurant with the same name is very popular in New York City.
It is imperative to use high gluten flour or bread flour to provide a chewy texture. If you cannot find both alkaline solutions, using either one should be fine.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Los Angeles County Cooking Program Update 3/12/2020

Please note that LA county has cancelled all programming for the month of March--including cooking programs.

For more information: https://lacountylibrary.org/coronavirus/

I will keep you posted when updates are available.

Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Coconut Tartlet 一口椰撻

I often regard coconut tart as a twin of egg tart. Both are a staples in Asian bakeries. However, I think coconut tart is easier to make and has a higher successful rate than egg tart. By using a smaller size tart mold makes it so cute and have no guilt feeling in eating more than one!

Sunday, January 12, 2020

Chinese Walnut Cookies 中式合桃酥

When I took a bite of this walnut cookie, I couldn't believe it was made without lard or hydrogenated shortening. It is so crumbly it just melts in your mouth. It is just the taste of the cookies I had in my childhood, yet this recipe is much healthier.



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