Sunday, May 30, 2010

Chocolate Almond Cookies

Tony Wong's recipe

150g  Unsalted Butter
150g  Granulated Sugar
50g   Egg
150g  Almond Slices
260g Cake Flour (sifted)
40g   Cocoa Powder (sifted)

1.  Cream unsalted butter and sugar.  Pour in beaten egg.  Beat until mixture light and fluffy.
2.  Add almond slices.  Stir well.
3.  Fold in sifted cake flour and cocoa powder.  Stir gently and just mix.
4.  Rub to brown dough with hands.
5.  Line a piece of parchment paper on a shallow tray.  Press dough into a rectangle of the same height as tray.  
6.  Cover the dough with baking paper.
7.  Use a rolling pin to roll over dough.  Level surface to even height.  Freeze until firm.
8.  Peel off parchment paper.  Cut hardened dough to rectangles of 5 cm length x 2.5 cm width x 5mm thick.
9.  Bake at 350F for 18 - 20 minutes.  

I visited Tony Wong's Patisserie when I was in Hong Kong.  We saw people lining up outside of the shop waiting for their turn.  I wasn't expecting too much of it, thinking it's probably just another hype.  People usually do take-out, but the four of us couldn't wait and decided to consume the beautifully decorated cakes there.  We were totally surprised of how good the cakes were.  Each has a distinct complex flavour, hitting our taste buds at different levels.  It was almost an orgasmic experience.  

A while ago, a good friend of mine gave me two Tony Wong's recipe books.  I have read them and these Chocolate Almond Cookies are probably among the easiest to make.  I found them much lighter than the usual shortbread.  This recipe yields about 50 good size cookies and only called for 150g of butter (1/3 of the package) so somehow I feel less guilty making (and eating) them.  

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Hokkaido Milky Loaf

When I saw this wonderful recipe for white sandwich bread on Rita's blog, I knew I had to try this out.  I hope you get to try this too because it is so easy to make.  The bread came out so soft and moist.  This would be perfect for making any sandwiches.  

I will be making this again in a heartbeat.  I love working with the dough!  

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Bran Muffins

This recipe yields 18 muffins
15g     Baking Soda
5g       Baking Powder
100g   Bread Flour
40g     Milk Powder
300g   Brown Sugar
5g       Salt
325g   Whole Wheat Flour
75g     Bran
100g   Raisins
75g    Walnuts
230g   Vegetable Oil
450g   Water
100g   Eggs (2)
3g      Vanilla

1.  Sift together the Bread Flour, Baking Soda, Baking Powder and Milk Powder.
2.  Add the rest of the dry ingredients to the above and blend well by hand.
3.  In a separate bowl, whisk together the eggs and oil until blended.
4.  Add the water and egg mixture and whisk together.
5.  Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the wet ingredients.  Fold together just until blended.  Do not over mix.
6.  Let the mix rest for approx. 10 to 20 minutes so the bran has time to soak up the liquid.
7.  Grease tops of muffin pans.  Paper line with muffin cups.
8.  Once mix has rested, deposit batter with piping bag evenly over 18 muffins.
9.  Baking muffins at 400F for approx. 20 minutes; until the muffin springs back when touched.
10.Remove muffins from tins directly after baking to prevent "sweating". 

This recipe is taken from the Baking Arts course I took at George Brown.  Prep time is minimal.  I used less sugar and oil to make an even healthier version.  Best to serve warm with jam.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Chinese Cocktail Buns 雞尾包

I haven't baked for almost a month now.  My husband and I came back from holidays last Sunday.  I'm still jet-lagged.  I kept waking up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep.  Fortunately, I didn't feel tired when I was at work.  I was so looking forward to this weekend so I could sleep more.  It turned out I had only 4 hours sleep Friday night.   This morning I woke up at 6 am and all I wanted to do was to bake. 

These buns are a specialty of Hong Kong, their chewy interior is the sweet coconut filling.  These buns brought back some childhood memories so when I found this recipe through Tastespotting, I was determined to make them.  This recipe yields 12 delicious buns.  I wasn't able to grind the coconut flakes into smaller flakes using my mini chopper, I would have preferred a smoother filling.  The buns are soft and moist, but quite solid (not dense).  I may adjust the flour to 3 cups or even 2 1/2 cups if I make these buns again.