16 September 2017

Traditional Baked Mooncakes 传统烘月饼

This is the second time I baked the traditional baked mooncakes, the first time was few years back when I was living in Qatar, a group of ladies from Asian Coffee Morning came to my place and we baked quite a number of mooncakes together. It was a fun memory. Hope the ACM is doing well, I'm still grateful that through ACM I still keep in touch with a few good friends even we no longer stay in the same continent. 

The making of traditional baked mooncakes is not difficult as we think, the most important part to me is get the right browning on its crust. I baked my mooncakes around 180C for a total of 22 mins, middle rack in the oven. 

Two months before this mooncake making, I brine the chicken eggs in two separate bottles, hopping to get 12 pieces of homemade salted eggs, however, one bottle of the salted eggs didn't turn out well. So I only get 6 pieces of homemade salted eggs this round. Of course, at this time it is no time for me to brine another batch of chicken eggs for mooncakes making, so I got some store bought salted duck eggs ready for my next baking. 

The best part for this recipe is no lard added, and I added flax seed into the filling too. 

big mould (125g): ~90 g filling, 45 g skin dough, make 10 pieces
small mould (60g): ~35 g filling, 30 g skin dough, make 4 pieces

Skin Dough:
350 g low protein flour (cake flour)
210 g golden syrup
100g  Rice Bran Oil (or any cooking oil)
1.5 tsp Alkaline water (lye water) (optional, to get a better shape)

540 g Black sesame paste, divide into 6
500 g Red lotus paste, divide into 4 x 90 g, and 4 x 35 g
some white melon seed, roasted
some sunflower seed 
some flax seed
6 homemade salted egg yolks (can have more if you wish)

Egg wash:
1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp milk

Prepare the salted egg yolk: 
1. Crack the salted egg, separate the egg yolk with egg white, wash the egg yolk under  running water to get rid of the egg white, spray the egg yolk with some Chinese cooking wine. Place on a steamer and steam for 3~4 mins. Set a side to cool.

Prepare the filling:
1. Mix the paste with some white melon seed, sunflower seed and flax seed.
2. Separate the store bought paste into the portions you want, for my case I want to separate the one with egg yolk and without egg yolk. So I divide into 6 big portions for black sesame paste and make 4 big 4 small portions for the red lotus paste.
3. stuff the egg yolk into the middle of black sesame paste and wrap them up, shape into a ball. I didn't place egg yolk for red lotus paste.
4. Set aside.

Prepare the skin dough:
1. In  a mixing bowl, mix golden syrup, rice bran oil and alkaline water together, sift in the flour. Mix well and use hand to gentle knead the dough together.
2. Cover the dough with cling wrap, let it rest for an hour.
3. Divide the dough into the portions you want, for my case 10 big portions (~45 g each) and 4 small portions (~30 g each)
4. Flatten the skin dough with rolling pin between two pieces of cling wrap, place the filling in the middle and wrap up the dough, shape it into a round ball, use the mooncake presser, press and release the dough into lined baking tray. Repeat until all the dough and filling are done.
5. Bake at preheat oven at 180C for a 10 mins, bring out the mooncakes, egg wash and bake for another 12 mins or until the mooncakes surface is lightly brown. Cool on wire rack. 

14 September 2017

Pan Mian 板麺 (Hakka Flat Noodle Soup)

This week lot of happening, I'm glad that the backyard renovation comes to its end. My son orthodontics treatment going into second stage, pray that it will all go well and he will not experience any pain. 

This week, I lug out my pasta maker and making Pan Mian or Ban Mian (Pan Mee) a kind of Hakka flat noodle soup which is popular among Malaysian Chinese. I ate a lot of Pan Mian when I was living in Kuala Lumpur. If the dough is torn into pieces the dish is called Mee Hoon Kueh 麺粉糕 (Hand-torn noodle), however, if the dough is made into noodle strips then the dish is called Pan Mian 板麺. The noodle is with a simple flour based dough and the broth is cooked with anchovy. I cooked my broth with some pork soup bone before adding the anchovy to enhance the soup flavour. Traditionally this noodle soup is accompany with Mani Cai (Sauropus androgynus) but I can't find it in Sydney, so I use Choy Sum. 

My hubby and son thumbs up for this noodle soup. ^^


(yield 3 bowls of noodle) Ingredients:
For broth:
300 g pork soup bone, cook in boiling water for 5 mins, drain well
3 litres of water
3 cloves garlic, crushed lightly
a handful of dried anchovies (~ 20g)
3 tbsp of oyster sauce
2 tbsp of fish sauce (to taste)
a tablespoon of cooking oil

For noodle:

315 g plain flour
1/2 tsp salt
120 ml water (can add more water if the dough is too dry)
1 egg
1 tbsp cooking oil

5 shiitake mushrooms, thinly sliced (seasoning with 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1/2 tsp dark soy sauce)
250 g minced pork plus chopped shrimps (seasoning with  1 tbsp sesame oil, 1 tbsp light soy sauce, 1 tbsp Chinese cooking wine, a pinch of pepper, 1 tbsp sugar, 1 tbsp oyster sauce, 1 tbsp dark soy sauce, and 1 tsp tapioca flour) 
Some Choy sum, or any types of green vegetables

For garnish:
some fried shallots
1 cup dried anchovies, fried in oil till it is crispy 

1. Prepare the noodle: In a mixing bowl, combine the flour, salt, egg and cooking oil, make a well in the centre, gradually add water. Using a pair of chopstick, mix all the ingredients until it comes together. Hand knead the dough until it form a stiff dough. Add a tablespoon of water at a time if the dough is too dry. Knead the dough until it is smooth. Cover with cling wrap and let it rest for an hour. 

After resting, the dough is soft and pliable, divide into three portions and roll out using the pasta maker. Floured the worktop surface, adjust the the dial for pasta machine to thickness "6" which is the thickest, slowly roll the dough over. When the whole piece of dough has been rolled over the machine, adjust the dial to "5" and repeat the step until your desire thickness. I stop the dial at thickness "2".

Roll the dough over the pasta cutter. Cut the noodles using a scissor. (Dust with more flour if the dough is sticky) Hang the noodles to dry on the wooden noodles stand. 

2. Prepare the accompaniments: In a big soup pot(A), add a tablespoon of cooking oil, fry the garlic (ingredient in the broth), place the seasoned sliced shiitake mushroom, stir fried it for at least 5 minis or until the mushroom is cooked. Take out and set aside.

In the same pot (no need to clean the pot), place the seasoned minced pork and chopped shrimps, stir fried for 10 mins or until the minced pork and shrimps are cooked. Dish out, set aside for later. 

3. Prepare the Broth:  In another soup pot(B), place the pork soup bone, add the 3 litres water and cook for at least 30 mins. In the same big soup pot(A) use for frying shiitake mushroom and minced pork and chopped shrimps, add a tablespoon of cooking oil, fry the dried anchovies until it is fragrant. 

Pour the soup from pot B to pot A. Bring to boil and simmer for about half and hour, top up water if the water level is low, add oyster sauce and fish sauce (to taste).

4.  To serve: Ladle about 300 ml of broth into a small pot, bring to boil, add noodle. Use a pair of chopstick to separate the noodle so it will not stick together. Add a few tablespoons of minced pork and shrimps, add the shiitake mushroom, let it cooks for a min. Then add vegetable, crack an egg into the soup, with the egg yolk still soft and runny transfer to a serving bowl, garnish with fried shallots and crispy fried anchovies. Serve with chilli sauce. 

12 September 2017

Sausage Buns 香肠面包 (65C Tangzhong Method)

Making buns for breakfast! I have some thin sausages in the fridge, this round I pan fried the sausages before stuff them into the buns just to make sure they are cooked completely. 

This recipe yield 14 buns. 

65C Tangzhong/ water roux starter:
30 g bread flour
150 ml water

Bread dough:
all tangzhong
400 g bread flour
100 g cake flour (low protein flour)
30 g sugar
6 g dry instant yeast
1/2 tsp salt
50 g soft unsalted butter
200~250 ml water (add gradually)

7 sausages cut into half to make 14 pieces

egg wash (1 egg yolk), mayonnaise, tomato sauce, some dried parsley  

Prepare water roux starter: in a small pan, place the bread flour and water, mix well and cook the mixture until it starts thicken, remove from heat, cover with cling wrap and set aside to cool.

Prepare the filling: in a pan, add 2 tablespoons of cooking oil, pan fried the sausages until it turns slightly brown, set aside to cool. 

Prepare the bread dough: Add the water roux starter, and all dry ingredients. Gradually add water and mix with KitchenAid speed 2 until it combined, change the KitchenAid speed to 4, mix until it form a rough dough (the dough is not stick to the mixing bowl wall). Add butter in pieces. Continue to mix with speed 4 until the Windowpane stage.

Cover the dough and let it proof to double its size, about 50 mins. (depends on the surrounding temperature) 

Take the dough out, punch down the air. Flatten the dough a bit and divide into the portion you want. In my case 14 portions. Shape the dough into equal small balls. Let them rest for 10 mins. 

Roll the dough into a long thin strip of about 30cm. Place a piece of sausage at one end and wrap the bread dough against the sausage, place the dough on the baking tray. Repeat until all dough is done. Spray with a bit of water on the bread dough, let it proof until double its size. 

Egg wash and garnish the bread dough, bake at preheat oven at 180C for 15 mins. or the bread turns slightly brown. Take out and let it cool on wire rack.