Saturday, 26 April 2014

Salted egg white chocolate chip cookies

What do you do with the extra salted egg whites after using the yolks to make my liu sha baos? Shame to throw them away, so googled to see if there I anything I could make with them.

Found this recipe, although it used normal cooked egg whites, so I thought I would make the cookies but using salted egg whites instead.

They actually turned out ok and you don't really taste the saltiness. Only thing is that you will see that my cookies are a bit smashed up. I rolled them into balls and then like other cookies, I thought they would expand out, but they didn't and when I tried one, it was a little soft in the centre. So, while they were still hot from the oven, took a fork and pushed them down, hence the ugly appearance!

1/2 cup unsalted butter, cold (113 gms)
1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon salt (No need as using salted egg whites)
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
whites from 1 1/2 hard-boiled eggs, broken into small pieces ( I just chopped them up)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons whole milk
1/2 cup semisweet chocolate chips

Preheat oven to 350 F, 170 deg C
Using an electric mixer, beat butter on high speed until you have a bowl full of little butter crumbles.
Mix in flour until completely combined with the butter. 
Mix in  rest of the ingredients.
Mix in the vanilla extract and milk.
Fold in the chocolate chips.
Roll dough into small balls (or big ones if you like bigger cookies) and place on a cookie sheet lined with parchment or a Silpat. Remember to squash them down as they will not expand. This way, you get nice crispy cookies.
Bake for 20 minutes or until the bottoms are slightly browned.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

Liu Sha Bao aka salted egg custard bun

Ever since I had this in Singapore 2 years ago, I have been wanting to make this. So bought my salted eggs from the Chinese supermarket and here goes....

Trolled the internet for recipes and for the custard, it all seems the same, except for the buns. There were 2 recipes that caught my eye end decided to make both just to see what the difference was.

So here is my experiment and the results.

80g salted egg yolk (6 yolks)
110g caster sugar (I used icing sugar)
55g custard powder
55g full cream milk powder (I used 50 gm coconut paste)

60g coconut milk

20g corn starch (1 tablespoon)

110g butter, room temperature

Note: While getting all my ingredient ready to make the custard, I realised that I had run out of milk powder. How, how? While out shopping, I saw a new product (to me, that is). It said coconut powder (satchets of 50gms each). So I bought a packet to try and was I lucky to have it on hand. 

1. Some recipes call for steaming the salted eggs, but I just cooked them like you do for hard boiled eggs. Left the eggs in hot water for 10 mins.

2. Let the eggs cool and then separate the yolks from the whites and mash the yolks.
3. Next, In a mixing bowl, cream the butter slightly and mix in the rest of the ingredients.
Refrigerate the mixture until firm. Portion into balls and freeze till solid. 

Steam on high heat for 10 mins.

Recipe 1 - adapted from

Water Roux
Using water roux makes a difference to the texture of the bao.
25 gms flour
125 ml water

Whisk the water and flour together, sieve and gently cook (stirring all the time) till thicken like pouring custard. Cover and leave to cool.

0.75 tsp quick (instant) yeast
75 - 100ml water

1 portion of water roux as above
300g plain flour, all purpose or HK flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
15g cooking oil or melted lard
50 - 60g sugar
0.5 tsp salt

extra flour for dusting

  1. Mix the yeast with water and leave aside for about 10 - 15 minutes while the roux is cooling.
  2. Mix the water roux with yeast liquid, sugar, salt and oil.
  3. Sieve the flour and baking powder together.
  4. Either using a bread machine or mix by hand, mix the liquid with the dry ingredients together till combined. Add the last few tbsp of the liquid bit by bit, stop when a soft but not sticky dough is formed. Do not knead. Leave for 10 - 15 minutes. Then give it a quick knead till the dough is smooth, do not over knead. If the dough is very sticky add a bit more extra flour.
  5. Cover and leave to rise for about 1.5 - 2 hours at room temperature till dough is about 1.5 in size.
Recipe 2  - adapted from

Dough starter
300g hong kong flour
1 packet instant yeast = 2¼ teaspoons
2½ tablespoon sugar
125 mL full cream milk

1 portion of water roux

Add flour, yeast, sugar and water roux into a mixing bowl and pour the milk. Roughly incorporate water roux into the flour and set aside covered with damp tea towel for 15 mins to let the flour absorb the water.

Mix the flour mixture to a dough, add more milk or flour if required. The dough will be a bit sticky at first, knead until it's soft and smooth. It takes approximately 20-25 minutes depend on how you knead it. Coat a mixing bowl with oil. Place dough in a mixing bowl, cover the bowl with wet cloth or cling wrap and let the dough rest for 45 minutes or until it double in size.

When dough is double in size about 45 minutes, punch air out and knead into a ball. To maximize the flavor. Proof a second time round in the fridge left overnight.

Ingredients for bao
Dough starter (recipe above)
80g Hong Kong flour or plain flour
40g corn starch
3 tablespoon lard (I used butter)
½ teaspoon ammonium bicarbonate (I omitted as I did not have)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 tablespoon white vinegar

1. Add all the ingredients to the dough starter. Knead well for 10 mins to form dough. 
2. When the dough is ready, divide into 10 portions. Meanwhile, set water to boil in a steamer.
3. You can either flatten the dough pieces with your hands or roll out the dough and use a cutter to cut rounds , and place a frozen custard filling ball in the center. Pinch up the sides of the dough to completely enclose the filling.
4. Place each bao on each paper cup liner or a small piece of baking paper with its seam sides down. Rest the bao in warm mist for 10-15 mins.
5. Steam baos for about 8-15 mins until done. The steam timing varies if you have multiple layers of baos to steam. The layer that is closest to the direct steam will take 8 mins to cook.

Beware! Please DO NOT over-steam!!! Otherwise, the custard filling will explode out of the bao.

Serve immediately but beware that the molten filling is steaming hot!

You can keep any unused filling in the freezer and use them anytime when you make any bao dough.

**Both recipes worked well for making the liu sha bao but recipe one was a bit soft. I had left over dough and made char siu baos and for that, recipe 1 did not work as it was soft and I could not get the pleats. Recipe 2 is a longer and more time consuming recipe but works well if you want to make char siu baos.

Liu sha baos before steaming

Liu Sha Baos cut with 2 doughs 

Char Siu baos with 2 doughs. The dough at 1 o'clock is mishappen as it was too soft to pleat

Cross section of char siu bao. Nice and fluffy

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Brandy Snaps

Pat loves brandy snaps and it is actually very easy to make. Contrary to the word "brandy" there is actually no brandy involved! This recipe is taken from Mary Berry.

  • 55g/2oz butter 
  • 55g/2oz demerara sugar or golden caster sugar
  • 55g/2oz golden syrup
  • 50g/1¾oz plain flour
  • ½ level tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp lemon juice
* for the above measure, I got 12 brandy snaps.

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4. Line two baking trays with baking parchment then oil a thickish handle of a wooden spoon and lay it on a cooling rack.
Measure the butter, sugar and syrup into a small, heavy-based pan. The easiest way is to measure the butter, then the sugar on the scales (in the pan if you have digital scales), then measure the syrup on top to make up to 165g/6oz total weight.
Heat gently until the butter has melted and the sugar has dissolved. This will take about 15 minutes over a low heat. Don’t let the mixture boil as it may crystallise. To check when the sugar has dissolved, stir occasionally, pulling the spoon across the bottom of the pan until you can no longer hear the gritty granules being scraped along and most of them have disappeared.

Leave the mixture to cool slightly, about 2-3 minutes, then sieve in the flour and ginger. Pour in the lemon juice and stir well to mix thoroughly. Drop four teaspoonfuls of the mixture onto each of the prepared baking trays to make neat circles, about 10cm/4in apart.

Bake in the pre-heated oven for about 10-15 minutes, or until the mixture is well spread out, looks lacey and is a dark golden colour. Once baked, you need to work fast to shape the brandy snaps, so its easier if you bake one tray at a time. Remove each tray from the oven and leave for a minute or so to firm up slightly, then lift from the baking parchment using a fish slice. The mixture needs to be just firm enough to remove, but pliable enough to shape. Check by releasing around and under the edges with a small palette knife.

Quickly roll a circle of the warm mixture around the handle of the wooden spoon, having the join underneath. Press the join lightly together to seal, then slide the brandy snap off the spoon and leave it to firm up on the wire rack, again with the join underneath. If any of the circles on the sheet harden too much to work with, put them back in the oven for a few seconds to soften again.

Repeat until all the mixture has been used. If the mixture in the pan becomes too firm to drop in neat spoonfuls, roll a teaspoonful of it into a small smooth ball in your hands, sit it on the baking tray and flatten slightly with your fingers. When cold, store the brandy snaps in an airtight tin or container; they will keep for at least a week.

And when you want to eat them, whip some cream till stiff and stuff them into the rolls (picture above)