Mini Egg Cakes 鸡蛋糕

 

IMG_0117Without a drop of oil/a bit of fat added, these old-styled Chinese egg cakes are light, healthy and just delicious. They also bring back a lot of childhood memory. At that time, cakes were a novelty because nobody owned an oven to make them at home. They were only available at a few shops in the town. Everyday my sister and I could not wait for our mum coming back home from work because we could always happily find these yummy cakes in her purse. I tweaked the traditional recipe by adding dried cranberry and a handful of nuts.

Makes 12 egg cakes,

  • 75g                   cake flour 低筋面粉 (all-purpose or plain flour works it just doesn’t produce a cupcake as soft as cake flour)
  • 3                        large eggs   room temperature
  • 60g                    caster sugar白砂糖
  • 2 tablespoons  dried cranberry蔓越莓干
  • 1 tablespoon    corn flour生粉
  • 1 tablespoon     pine nuts or sunflower nuts (optional)松子或瓜子仁IMG_0118

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170℃ or340°F.  Line a cupcake/muffin pan with cupcake liners.
  2. Dust dried cranberry with corn flour.IMG_0107
  3. Place eggs into a large mixing bowl, use an electric mixer to whisk the eggs on medium speed (30 seconds). Gradually add into sugar and beat on high speed until the eggs have tripled in volume. This takes about 8-10 minutes. This is the most important step of the whole process. You will need beat the eggs until really light, silky and white without bubbles at all.IMG_0109
  4. Sift flour into the beaten eggs. Gently fold flour in until you can’t see flour anymore, then fold in dried cranberry.IMG_0111
  5. Now pour the batter into a lined cupcake pan. I use a level ice cream scoop for even measuring. Fill liners to about 2/3 full (do not over-fill). Sprinkle with  8-10 pine nuts. Place the cupcake pan into the middle rack of the oven. Bake for 20 minutes. You can insert a toothpick into the center of the cake. The cupcake is done if the toothpick comes out clean.IMG_0114
  6. Remove the pan from oven and place it on the cooling rack for about 10 minutes.IMG_0116

Chinese Peanut Cookies 花生酥huā shēng sū

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I’ve made these Chinese cookies trying to get my 5-year-old daughter to continue taking the crunchy and delicious peanuts at home. She has recently refused to take peanuts or any nuts after being brainwashed at school. “Nuts free” – you can’t get away with the slogan whenever you step in the classroom/campus (which is totally understandable). What a pity if you would have to miss these beautiful nuts because they are enriched with so many health-benefiting nutrients essential for optimum health and wellness.

Makes 60 pieces   

Recipe adapted from Mykitchen101

  •  350g                    raw blanched peanuts, 去皮生花生
  • 300g                     plain flour, 中筋面粉
  • 100g                    icing sugar, 糖粉
  • 1/4 teaspoon     salt
  • 150g                     peanut oil (or any cooking oil)

 For egg yolk wash

  • 1 egg yolk            room temperature
  • ½ tablespoon     water in room temperature
  • 3 tablespoons     blanched peanuts, halved (for decoration)ingrdients

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170℃. Spread the blanched peanuts in a baking tray and bake for about 15 minutes or till golden brown. Set aside to cool. Use a food processor to process into finely ground peanut. Place it in a mixing bowl.
  2. Combine plain flour, icing sugar and salt in another mixing bowl and sieve into ground peanut and mix well.sieve flour
  3. Add into oil. Use your hand to mix them well to make a dough.mixing flour
  4. Preheat the oven to 170℃. Take out 15g of dough, use your two palms to press it firmly and shape gently into a ball then place it on a lined baking tray. Do the same with rest of the dough. Use your index finger to gently press down the ball to create a ‘well’. shape ball
  5. Mix together water and egg yolk. Brush the dough top with some egg yolk wash. Place halved-peanut on the top.egg yolk wash
  6. Place the baking tray in the middle deck of the oven. Bake at 170℃ for 20 minutes or till they become golden brown. Cool completely on a cooling rack before enjoying.baking

Shanghai Pork and Vegetable Wontons 菜肉大馄饨

coverThis is one of my family’s staple food. It is perfect for a breakfast, lunch or dinner. They are perhaps a dozen of ways to wrap the filling – but I care for the golden ingot (Lucky Yuan Bao 元宝) fold (like Tortellini.). The Italians perhaps got the fold from the Chinese. Now we are borrowing back their stuffed-noodle fold.

 Yields 50 wontons,

Wrappers (in square shape)

I think you can buy the square wonton wrappers from any Asia markets in the world. In Singapore, they are available at Cold Storage, Fairprice and Giant.

Filling

  • 250g           ground pork
  • 100g           minced shrimp (shrimp needs to be peeled); or use equal amount of ground pork if shrimp is not available
  • 100g           Bok Choy or spinach (leaves only), minced,上海青菜或者菠菜
  • 1 teaspoon       ginger, minced, 姜末
  • 1 tablespoon    spring onions, minced,葱末
  • 1/2 teaspoon    salt, 盐
  • 2 teaspoons      corn flour,生粉
  • 1 tablespoon    light soy sauce, 生抽
  • 1 teaspoon       caster sugar, 白糖
  • 1 teaspoon       sesame oil,香油

Make the sauce (per serving for 6-8 wontons)

  • ½ tablespoon        spring onions, minced
  • ½ tablespoon        light soy sauce
  • ½ teaspoon            sesame oil

ingredientsMethod

  1. In a large bowl, combine ground pork (minced shrimp), minced greens and rest of the filling ingredients. Mix well.filling
  2. Now let’s wrap – the Italians may get the tortellini fold from the Chinese. Now we’re borrowing back their stuffed-noodle fold. So just take out one wrapper, add a half tablespoon of fillings. Fold it into half size from the middle, press the two sides of the wrapper together to seal. Dab a little water on the two corners, then fold one side toward the center. Fold the other side to the center. Press the two ends together to seal. The filled center will plump up like a belly with the edges framing it like a golden ingot (lucky Yuan Bao,元宝).wraplots of wontons
  3. Bring a pot of water to boil, add in 6-8 wontons and cook for 5 minutes till they float on the water. In the meantime, prepare a serving bowl, combine a ½ tablespoons of minced spring onion and light soy sauce, a ½ teaspoon of sesame oil with 2-3 tablespoons of boiled water from the pot. Mix well. Drain the wontons and place them in the bowl. Gently toss till the wontons are well-coated.cooking

Tips:

  1. You can always make a large quantity of wontons then freeze them in the freezer. In 3-4 hours later, pack them in a sealed plastic bag. No need to defrost them when cooking, just take desired quantity out of the plastic bag then place them straight into the boiling water – the same way you cook fresh wontons. Just allow 1-2 more minutes cooking time.

Wife’s Cake 老婆饼

FullSizeRenderthere are many legends that attempt to explain the origins of this ‘Bing’. The flaky pastry with a sweet filling is popular in Singapore, Hong Kong and Mainland China. Many professional chefs also bake modern variants. Now you can make your version at home.

Makes 10 pieces  

Filling

  • 25g            unsalted butter
  • 50g            caster sugar 白砂糖
  • 85g            water (room temperature)
  • 2g               salt (细盐)
  • 45g             glutinous rice flour 糯米粉
  • 8g              white sesame seeds 白芝麻
  • 5g            desiccated coconut 椰丝

Water Dough 水油皮  (for wrappers)

  • 100g            cake flour 低筋面粉
  • 10g              caster sugar 白砂糖
  • 30g              unsalted butter (softened)
  • 45g              water (room temperature)
  • 1 egg yolk to make the egg wash

Oil Dough 油酥 (for wrappers)

  • 70g                 cake flour 低筋面粉
  • 40g                 unsalted butter

Method

Step 1   make the sticky rice filling

  1. Place unsalted butter, salt, water and sugar in a sauce pan and cook over medium heat for a few minutes until sugar disolved. Add the rest of the ingredients, turn to low medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes. Use a wooden spoon to mix the ingredients together and keep it from burning on the bottom of the pan. Remove the pan from the stove. Let the mixture cool off then wrap it in clingy film. Set aside in the fridge for about 30 minutes.IMG_8319 

Step 2   make the wrappers

  1. For the water dough 水油皮 – sift the flour. 面粉过筛. Combine the flour, water, butter and sugar in a mixing bowl and knead it for 3-4 minutes into s soft dough. Wrap it in clingy film then set aside.IMG_8320
  2. For the oil dough油酥 – sift the flour into a separate bowl. 面粉过筛. Add into the butter and mix it well with the flour. Knead it for 2-3 minutes into s ball. Wrap it in clingy film then set aside.IMG_8321
  3. Divide the water dough and oil dough into 10 portions respectively. To do this, just weigh the total dough and divide it into 10 so you will know each portion has how much weight (grams) in it.IMG_8324
  4. Take a portion of the water dough and use your rolling pin to flatten it then put a portion of the oil dough. Make sure your water dough covers the whole oil dough. Then use your rolling pin to roll it into a long thin strip vertically. From the shorter end at the top, slowly roll the dough downwards tightly to make a mini swiss roll.IMG_8325IMG_8326
  5. Turn the rolled dough 90 degrees. Roll out the dough again. Roll up Swiss-roll style again.IMG_8327
  6. Once you are done with all 10 portions, cover the rolls in clingy film and let the dough rest for about 15 to 20 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, divide the filling into 10 equal portions.IMG_8277

Step 3   Assemble

  1. Preheat your oven to 200℃.
  2. Roll 1 portion of the combined pastry wrapper (made from step 5-7) into circular shape with rolling pin. Put the filling in the middle and pinch the edges together and seal the pastry. Place the pastry with the sealed edges face down. Use your hands to press the pastry gently to flatten it and if you feel it’s not flattened enough, you may use your rolling pin to flatten it more to a disc shape of 9cm in diameter. Do the same for all 9 other portions.IMG_8329IMG_8330.JPG
  3. Place the pastry in a baking tray. Brush the pastry with beaten egg yolk. Sprinkle with the white sesame seeds (optional). Use a sharp knife to cut three parallel lines on the cake.IMG_8331.JPG
  4. Move the baking tray into the middle rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.FullSizeRender
  5. Remove the tray from the oven. Let it cool off for 10 minutes then enjoy!IMG_8304