Friday, August 15, 2014

Custard Moon Cake 奶皇月餅


These exquisite moon cakes are created by innovative bakers from Hong Kong. A box of eight reportedly fetches almost HK$500 (~USD$65-70)!! The cake is filled with moist and rich custard with a nice coconut flavor. The recipe is straight forward but it takes some tricks and a lot of practice to create a nice and distinctive look.

I tried different recipes and finally came up with this one with modifications.

這款近年風靡香港的奶皇月餅,身價越來越貴,據報一盒八個要港幣近五百大元 !!
不過又真是很好食,奶皇餡香滑,加上一杯熱茶,真是一絕。



Ingredients to make 12 mini custard moon cakes, about 55g each

Crust 餅皮:
47g sugar 糖
182g cake flour 低筋麵粉
12g custard powder 吉士粉
18g half & half or evaporated milk 花奶
15g egg 蛋液
91g butter, softened 室溫牛油

Custard fillings 奶皇餡:
60g sugar 糖
18g cake flour 低筋麵粉
18g custard powder 吉士粉
18g milk powder 奶粉
25g condensed milk 煉奶
30g egg 蛋液
100g coconut milk 椰奶
30g butter 牛油
3 salted egg yolks, optional 鹹蛋黃


Egg wash: 1 egg yolk with 1/2 tsp water 掃餅面蛋液:一個蛋黃加半茶匙水
Syrup: 1 tbsp sugar dissolved in 1/2 tsp warm water 糖水:一湯匙糖溶於半茶匙水


Make the filling:
1) Mix sugar, flour, custard flour and milk powder in a large bowl. Add condensed milk, egg and coconut milk. Mix well and add butter. Pour into a shallow dish for steaming.
2) Steam for 15-20 minutes. Take out and mix it well. Let it cool and refrigerate for a few hours or overnight.



Make the crust:
1) Cream room temperature butter with sugar in a stand mixer or use a whisk in a large bowl for a few minutes.
2) Add egg and half & half. Mix until incorporated.
3) Add the flour and custard flour and mix until incorporated. Do not over mix.
4) Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes or overnight.

Assembly:
1) Divide the filling into 12 balls about 25g each (put in a quarter of a salty duck egg yolk, if use). Divide the crust into 12 as well, 30g each.


2) Flatten a portion of the crust dough between two pieces of plastic wrap. Put in a portion of the filling and close up the seams.


3) Roll it in a small dish of flour. Put it in a moon cake mold and press. Continue with the rest the same way.


4) Bake in a preheated 480F oven for 5 minutes.
5) Take out the tray and brush very lightly with egg wash. Let them dry for 10 minutes.
6) Brush another layer of egg wash and return to the oven for 5 more minutes.
7) Take the mooncakes out and brush a layer of syrup. Then return to the oven and bake for one more minute.
8) Take out the cakes and let them cool completely on a rack. They can be kept at room temperature for up to 3 days or refrigerated for two weeks. They may be reheated in a 350F oven for 7-8 minutes. Do not microwave.

Notes:
1) It is very important not to brush too much egg wash otherwise it will smear or distort the delicate pattern/design of the moon cakes.
2) Avoid rolling too much flour before pressing with the mold. Just enough to prevent sticking with the mold.


餡料做法:
1) 將糖、所有粉類放大碗內,加入煉奶、椰奶及蛋液,攪勻,加牛油(不用攪勻)。
2) 大火蒸十五至廿分鐘,取出搓勻,待冷後放雪櫃過夜。

餅皮做法:
1) 室溫牛油加糖攪拌幾分鐘。
2) 加蛋及花奶,再攪至均勻。
3) 加麵粉及吉士粉,攪至沒有乾粉便可。用保鮮紙包好放雪櫃至少三十分鐘或過夜。

月餅做法:
1) 將餡料分成十二份,或廿五克一份(如用鹹蛋黃,可此時加入四份一個)。分餅皮成十二份,或三十克一份。
2) 將一份餅皮放兩張保鮮紙之間,用手掌壓平,或用擀面杖擀開,包入一份餡,收口後滾滿麵粉,放入模內壓出花紋。
3) 放入已預熱至480度焗爐焗五分鐘。
4) 取出掃上薄薄一層蛋液,十分鐘後再掃上一層,再放回焗爐焗五分鐘。
5) 取出掃上一層糖水,再焗多一分鐘便成。放架上待涼,放室溫可保存約三日,或放雪櫃一兩星期,食時放350度焗爐焗約七、八分鐘,不要放微波爐叮。

注意事項:
1) 掃蛋液不可太多,太厚會看不清楚餅面花紋,但太少又沒有金黃色,要適量啊。
2) 包好月餅後只須滾上薄薄麵粉,不可太厚。




Friday, July 25, 2014

New Classes 又有新班啦


Custard Moon Cake 酥皮奶皇月餅


Date: 8/23/14
Time: 1pm~3pm
Place: Diamond Bar
Fee: $30

In this hands-on class, you will learn how to make this popular and exquisite moon cake at home. No experience required. Moon cake molds and special gift packaging boxes are available for purchase.




Snowy Moon Cake 冰皮月餅



Date: 8/16/14
Time: 1pm~3pm
Place: Diamond Bar
Fee: $30

This popular class is back by demand. Learn how to make this simple, easy-to-make and healthy moon cake. Moon cake molds and gift packaging boxes are available for purchase.



Each class is limited to 8 students. Questions and registration: phoebechow@morethanbread.net





Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Moon Cake Mold 月餅模


This year's Mid Autumn Festival is on Sept 8, less than two months away. In order to make homemade moon cake, either the baked traditional kind or easy-to-make snowy moon cake, you will need an indispensable tool. This plastic moon cake mold is so much easier to use than the traditional wood mold that it makes the whole process a breeze.



Each set has six interchangeable disks that allow you to make cakes (63g) with six different designs. They are easy to use and clean. Each set is US$15 + $3 shipping (within US). Send me an email for inquiry or purchase: phoebechow@morethanbread.net



今年的中秋節很快就到,在九月八日。無論你想做傳統的月餅或簡單易做的冰皮月餅,月餅模是不可缺少的用具。這些精美耐用的塑膠模比起傳統的木製模易用、易清潔。

每套有六款設計,可以輕易轉換,做出六款不同月餅(63g)。每套售價十五美元,加三元郵費 (美國境內)。如有問題或興趣購買,可以用電郵與我聯絡:phoebechow@morethanbread.net







Free Demonstrations in LA County Libraries

Don't know how to make snowy moon cake? No problem. If you live in Southern California, come to these free demonstrations sponsored by Los Angeles County Libraries:
August 2nd in Live Oak Library, Arcadia
August 30th in Duarte Library
Sept 6th in Temple City Library

(These molds are available for purchase after the demonstrations.)

Private Hands-on Class 

If you prefer to have a hands-on class, I will arrange a class on Aug 16 in Diamond Bar. Fee is $30. Moon cake molds are available for purchase.

Send me an email for registration. Class is limited to 8 students.


洛杉磯縣圖書館免費示範

不懂怎樣做冰皮月餅?無問題,我會在八、九月有三次機會在南加州的洛杉磯縣圖書館舉行免費示範:

八月二日在Arcadia市的 Live Oak Library
八月三十日在 Duarte Library
九月六日在 Temple City Library 

(這些月餅模也可以於示範後購買。)

實習班

另外,有實習機會的班會在八月十六日在Diamond Bar舉行,學費三十元,月餅模另計。

有興趣參加請與我報名,名額只限八位。





Thursday, July 10, 2014

Sliver Thread Roll 銀絲卷


"Fun to eat and easy to make" is the best description of this dim sum bao. A variation of mantau, the sliver thread roll is made by cutting the dough into many thin strips and wrapping them together in a bundle. The most common way to enjoy it after breaking open the outer layer is to pull out and eat the threads one by one. Some people like to dip it in condensed milk. I like the deep fried version: the outer layer is crispy while the threads inside are still soft.

I have been searching for a good English translation for the name of this bread: sliced roll, bread roll, etc, but I've given up and am now using my own translation.

For a successful roll, please read the whole recipe and pay attention to the notes below.



Friday, June 27, 2014

Lychee Mousse Cake 茘枝慕斯蛋糕


Oh summer is here...this means there will be plenty of mangoes, peaches, plums, watermelons, and lychee around. Lychee is a tropical fruit that originates in China. Through global trading and local cultivation, many countries around the world can also enjoy this delicious, flavorful fruit.



Saturday, June 14, 2014

Lemon Cream Tart 檸檬撻


When pastry chefs develop recipes, there are a few elements that they always have in mind. Being able to incorporate different textures is important in producing a delightful dessert. Furthermore, it would be wonderful if the dessert also has some acidity to balance the sweetness. Therefore this lemon tart truly satisfies all of the above: a creamy, smooth and tangy lemon curd with a sweet and crunchy meringue topping a flaky tart shell. A dessert made in heaven!!

一款美味的甜點,除了甜味之外,如能有不同的質地去提升口感,便能雙得益彰。就以這個檸檬撻為例,甜中帶酸,餡料幼滑,撻皮鬆化,加上脆口的法式蛋白餅,實在是一款絕頂的美點。



Friday, May 23, 2014

Seeded Whole Wheat Bread 全麥種子麵包




Since I started making my own bread a few years ago, I have almost exclusively been using the Tong Zhong method. It gives me consistently soft and fluffy bread that lasts up to four or five days at room temperature. However, I learned this is not the only method for soft, long-lasting bread.

I have been exploring new ways to make bread with a higher percentage of whole wheat. Most breads that are labelled as whole wheat in the market are made with only 30% whole wheat flour while the majority is white bread flour. I think the main reason is not so much the cost but the nature of wheat flour.



Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Mango Ice Cream 芒果雪糕


Many of you would probably think fresh mango is the best choice to use in homemade mango ice cream. But contrary to that thought, freeze dried mango is a better option. Fresh fruits are best to enjoy when they are ripe and juicy. However, when they are used to make ice cream, the juice is your enemy. The more juicy it is, the worse it is to make ice cream. That may be the reason why watermelon is rarely used in ice cream even though it maybe good in making sorbet. Juice will turn into ice and make ice cream icy instead of creamy.



Friday, April 18, 2014

Tea Eggs with Five Spices 五香茶葉蛋


There are certain things in life that really train or test your patience. If I were to rate which role would be the toughest test of patience, I would vote that being a parent is number one. I think many parents would be on my side. From taking care of an infant to parenting a teenager, there are endless challenges a parent has to face. It is through these trials that we all mature and grow up.

Another role that build up one's patience level is to be a cook. As it is said, no pain, no gain. To make a good meal, you simply have to put in time and effort. I am not referring to instant TV dinners or instant noodles. I have learned much about patience and perseverance through cooking and baking. Making yeast bread takes hours; aged dough takes days to mature; a successful batch of French macaron took me over ten trials to achieve.

Take these tea eggs as another trial of patience. Making hard boiled eggs does not require a lot of time nor patience. But to make delicious tea eggs, there is no shortcuts. In order for the marinade to infuse into the eggs, they have to sit overnight. Without patience, you will just have hard boiled eggs.

Remember, no shortcuts!!


Friday, April 11, 2014

Chinese Pork Jerky with Fruity Flavor 果汁豬肉乾





I am a big fan of jerky. It is a great snack to have while watching TV or to serve in a party. However, instead of American store-bought flavors I more particularly like jerky styled after Chinese flavors. It is more juicy and flavorful. The last time I visited Hong Kong, I had a great time satisfying my appetite! Too bad meat products are prohibited from entering or leaving the country, or otherwise I would have filled up my bags with them.

Here in America, you can only buy jerky that is made in this country. Those Chinese brands that you see in Asian grocery stores most likely are not made overseas.

Making it at home is far simpler than you would expect, with a low failure rate. You can easily choose a flavor you like without adding sodium nitrate or any preservatives!


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