Saturday, August 29, 2015

Mooncake Mold On Sale! 月餅模大特賣


$15/set, free shipping within US. $12 for local pick up. 15% off for 3 sets or more. Size: 63g . Four designs to choose from with limited quantity. Email me if you are interested: phoebechow@morethanbread.net

手快有手慢冇,全美免運費,63g, 一套只是十五元,買三套或以上還有八五折優惠,本地提取只是十二元一套,四款任君選擇,數量有限。電郵:phoebechow@morethanbread.net






Saturday, August 22, 2015

Steamed Pandan Coconut Multilayer Cake 班蘭椰汁千層糕


The first time I had this dessert, I thought it was made from glutinous flour because it was soft, chewy, and starchy. But how wrong was I! There is another kind of flour which produces a very similar texture. It is tapioca flour. Being a very popular flour in Asia, it is used in various kinds of dishes, especially in desserts. For people living in North America, the word tapioca is synonymous with boba. The pearl-like balls, usually black, are commonly found in milk tea and other drinks. If you like them, then you will appreciate the texture of this Indonesian dessert.

Other than texture, what makes this dessert stand out is the pandan flavor. If you fortunately have access to fresh pandan leaves, it would definitely enhance the aroma. However, frozen leaves from Asian grocery stores would be a good alternative. If both of them are not available, pandan essence can be your last resort.

It is a multilayer cake and in order to make 9 equal layers, a scale (and lots of patience) is indispensable.

use a blender to extract juice from pandan leaves

let it sit in the refrigerator for a few days to get the concentrate in the bottom

第一次品嘗這款甜點,便被它煙韌的口感、椰汁及班蘭的香味吸引,初時還以為是用糯米粉做,但這款印尼甜品原來主要的材料是木薯粉。如果你喜歡食波霸奶茶的波霸(或叫粉圓),你應該也會喜歡這款甜品的口感。

班蘭及椰汁也是這個千層糕的主角。有新鮮的班蘭葉當然可以雙得益彰,雪藏的也可以,如要方便,現成的香精也可用。

這個甜品的特點是有很多層,如要做到每層都有均勻效果,一個電子磅(及耐性)是不可缺少啊!



Ingredients to make a 9X9X2 inches square pan

1 lb/454g tapioca flour, sifted 木薯粉,過篩
66g rice flour, sifted 粘米粉,過篩
320g sugar 糖
665g coconut milk 椰汁
266g water 水
pandan juice concentrate or a few drops to 1/2 tsp pandan essence


1)  Dissolve sugar in a large bowl with water.
2)  Add coconut milk and the sifted tapioca and rice flour into the bowl. Whisk until combined and lumps disappear.
3)  Weigh out the batter (net weight of batter, without the weight of the bowl) and divide the number by 9, giving you the weight of each single layer.
4)  Pour 4/9 of the batter into a separate bowl. This will be the 4 white layers.
5)  Put pandan essence into the rest (5/9) of the batter. This will be the 5 green pandan layers.

pandan essence to substitute pandan juice

6)  Spray oil onto the steaming dish and prepare a steamer with boiling water.
7)  Pour one layer of green batter onto the dish and steam for 5 minutes.
8)  Pour the second layer of the white batter and steam for another 5 minutes.
9)  Repeat steps 7 and 8, until you have 9 alternating layers with the green layer on top.
10)  Remove the dish and let it cool to room temperature completely before cutting into small pieces or blocks. Serve at room temperature. It can be refrigerated. Steaming it again before serving helps to regain its chewy texture.

Notes:
1) Make sure the dish sits in a level steamer so that the layers will not tilt.
2) If fewer layers are preferred, the recipe can be scaled down. Or divide the weight of the batter into a smaller odd number (3, 5 or 7), then each layer will be thicker.
3)  Adjust the amount of pandan juice concentrate or essence for your desired color.
4)  Prepare boiling water to refill the steamer if the water level has depleted while steaming.


1)  在大碗內將糖溶於水內。
2)  加入椰汁及已過篩的木薯粉與粘米粉,攪勻至無粉粒。
3)  放磅上找出粉槳之淨重量,將之除九,便是每一層的重量。
4)  將四層重的粉槳倒入另一大碗內,作為白色的粉槳。其餘的便加入班蘭汁或香精,成為綠色粉槳。(四層白色,五層綠色)
5)  蒸盤塗油,準備蒸籠及煮滾水。
6)  將一層重量的綠色粉槳倒入蒸盤,中火蒸五分鐘至凝結。
7)  將一層重量的白色粉槳倒入蒸盤,中火蒸五分鐘至凝結。
8)  如是者蒸好九層,綠色的最後。
9)  取出待完全涼後才可切件享用。剩下的可蓋好放雪櫃,食前翻蒸至軟身,待涼後便可食了!


注意事項:
1)  蒸盤及蒸籠要注意平衡,否則成品會一邊厚、一邊薄。
2)  食譜份量可以按比例加多或減少,如想做少過九層,可減少份量或加多每層的重量。
3)  班蘭汁或香精可隨意加減做成不同深淺的顏色。
4)  木薯粉在不同地方、國家有不同叫法,認定英文名稱(tapioca flour/starch)購買比較安全,不會用錯。
5)  如蒸籠內水份蒸發,便要準備好滾水加入補充。




Friday, July 31, 2015

Coffee Bun 咖啡味墨西哥包


It is often said that we eat with our eyes. I totally agree with that. Presentation, plating and color coordination enhance the appeal of a dish tremendously. Yet another important factor that attracts our attention is aroma.

This coffee bun is an good example. I am drawn to this bun not only by its aesthetic but by its strong coffee aroma. I seldom drink coffee but its aroma is so attractive that it makes me want to take a bite. This bun is similar to the bo lo bao/pineapple bun, except the crust is not as crunchy.



色、香、味,是很多人對食物的要求,其中是排第一,我想不單是食物的顏色重要,它是怎樣與其他食物配答及怎樣上碟,也會使品嘗的人有不同印象。

便是其次,但很多時侯香味比顏色更快吸引人的注意。我便是先被這個咖啡墨西哥包濃郁的香味所吸引。它與波蘿包 十分相似,只是外皮不夠菠蘿包脆,但香味搭夠。


Click here for the dough recipe.

Topping to make 10-12 buns:

65g unsalted butter, softened 牛油
40g sugar 糖
1 egg, lightly beaten 蛋,打散
65g cake flour 低筋粉
1-2 tsp instant coffee or expresso 咖啡粉
10g hot water 熱水


1)  Dissolve coffee with hot water. Let it cool.
2)  Mix softened butter with sugar until blended.
3)  Add egg and mix until incorporated.
4)  Add flour and coffee to the mixture and mix well. 
5)  Put the mixture in a piping bag with a round tip.

after the first rise, divide the dough into equal portion and let them rise a second time


6)  After the dough has almost doubled in size, pipe the mixture on top of each dough starting from the middle and go around making circles.


7) Bake in a preheated 375F oven for 20 minutes.

This is what happens when you pipe more than enough on top

Note:
1) Do not pipe too much on the dough. Stop piping after making about three to four circles. The excess will just melt in the oven and flow down the bun.
2) For stronger coffee flavor, use 2 tsp. Good quality coffee is essential in making this bun.
3) If you omit coffee, then you will have Mexican buns!


麵團食譜可點擊這裏

1) 咖啡加熱水開溶,待涼。
2) 牛油與糖打至順滑。
3) 加蛋再打均勻。
4) 加咖啡溶液、麵粉,攪拌。
5) 放入擠花袋。
6) 由中央開始,擠螺旋狀。
7) 放入已預熱375度焗爐焗約二十分鐘。

注意事項:
1) 咖啡外皮不要擠太多,只要三、四圈便夠。
2) 如想要味道濃郁一些,可放二茶匙。請選用品質較好的咖啡。
3) 外皮材料除去咖啡,便會做成墨西哥包了!



Friday, July 3, 2015

Red, White and Blue Panna Cotta 三色奶凍


Happy 239th Birthday America! 


Strawberry mousse, panna cotta and blueberry mousse--made with fresh fruits, vanilla pods, fresh cream and milk. A great way to celebrate with this wholesome and refreshing dessert!






Thursday, June 11, 2015

Portuguese Egg Tart Recipe Comparison 葡撻大比拼


Ever since I posted the Portuguese Egg Tart recipe a few weeks ago, I have been thinking how I can make improvements on it. After doing more searches and experiments with different recipes, baking temperatures, etc, I am very pleased with the final results.

All the tarts in the following experiment have been made using the same store bought puff pastry as the crust.

Recipe references: dimcookguide.com (with video); "The Birth of an Egg Tart" by Egg Tart King ( "一個蛋撻的誕生" 蛋撻王著)p.40-41; morethanbread.net Portuguese Egg Tart

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Panna Cotta 紅桑子朱古力奶凍


This is my take on the classic Italian dessert panna cotta. It means "cooked cream" in Italian and is very much like a Western version of a popular Chinese dessert, steamed eggs with milk. By adding two other flavors--raspberry and chocolate mousse--I have created a new combination that compliments each other and at the same time adds depth to the flavor. With the right amount of gelatin to firm up the liquid, the texture of the panna cotta becomes delicately smooth and silky. They are served in small glasses of the perfect serving size. Mmm....yummy!

Since there are three layers and they all need to be refrigerated and set before adding another one, a bit of patience is needed. It can be prepared one to two days before serving.


Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Portuguese Egg Tart 葡撻



A few years ago when I took a trip to Hong Kong, I also had a chance to visit Macau. The infamous Portuguese custard tart was the number one food on my list to try out. My friend in Macau brought me to Lord Stow's Bakery, which is extremely popular with the tart. The multi-layered puff pastry is crispy and the filling is silky and full of egg flavor.


After coming back to Los Angeles, I tried tarts that were made in different local bakeries and restaurants. They were very disappointing and did not come close to the original and authentic ones so I decided to do some research and experiment on my own.


Monday, April 20, 2015

Magic Chocolate Custard Layers Cake 奇妙多層朱古力蛋糕



The original name of this cake is prajitura desteapta which means "smart cake" in Romanian. This cake is also often referred to as magic cake because there are different layers and textures baked from one single batter. As you bite into the cake, you will be amazed by the different textures. I was intrigued by it and started to search for the rationale behind it.

The way it is prepared is basically the same as any chiffon or sponge cake. The eggs are separated from the yolks, which are mixed with the sugar, fat, liquid and flour while the whites are beaten to stiff peaks. Then the two are reunited and baked.

What makes it different from ordinary cake is the temperature of the oven and the amount of liquid. I am always amazed by how understanding the science can make one a better baker.

Knowledge is power!!


Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chocolate Almond Cake 香濃朱古力杏仁蛋糕


How can I describe this cake? It's moist and light. It melts in your mouth and is full of chocolate flavor. The addition of almond gives it a nutty flavor, and the cake isn't too sweet....in one word: delightful!

The original name of this cake is called Queen of Sheba. The recipe is one of the renowned chef Julia Child's. But unfortunately I forgot which cookbook it was published in. : (

I did make some adjustments, not to the ingredients, but as to how they are put together.

Buy the best chocolate you can get your hands on as it is the major ingredient and it does make a big difference to the quality of the cake.


Friday, March 20, 2015

Chestnut Tartlet 小栗子撻


These bite sized mini tarts are perfect to be served at a party without the hassle and mess of cutting a whole tart. Many people seem to enjoy finger foods more! The tart crust can be prepared one to two days ahead of time and the filling can be piped in the same day of serving.


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