One thing I have discovered on my baking journey is that, I, as a baker of sweets and other delicious “good” for you treats have gotten to know my neighbors really well. Like Of course I knew names and faces of the people next door; I may even wave to them and flash them a rare smile from time to time. We all know that does not constitute a real friendship. I would bring up the other unfortunate thing that has connect me to my neighbors however keeping this posting positive, I will direct you to news I am taking about.
Ever since I began to take on my baking as a serious hobby, I never knew that sharing sweets with people made them so talkative. On a daily basis in my kitchen fridge there is probably at least one fully made cake, slice or biscuit; a pudding or custard tart filling of any nature and most likely you will find a bowl of ganache with one teaspoon mark (we all need to taste test right?)
Well I am reporting the current state of my fridge right now; left over salted caramel sauce, sticky date puddings, coffee and caramel mousse gateaux, and a cake box filled with small petite fours of tiramisu, cheese cake and tarts. I would mention what is OUTSIDE my fridge that I have baked but that comes in the realm of savory stuff (soup, pizza, pasta); so not that interesting.
What I am about to say will dismiss my doctor’s concern for my blood sugar levels; I cannot live on cake alone. So in a desperate effort to “off load” desserts I bring back; my neighbors have been sampling some of the baked good I have made. Sure they are not always cooked perfection; they also my not even be the biggest or creative dessert I have made. It does not make a difference, when you come around with a smile and a box filled with small tarts, cookies or slices of cake people really love it. It was a bit awkward at first t give the first box of sweets away but as we both got more comfortable and familiar; a conversation opened up and phone numbers were swapped.
As the song goes, Everyone needs good neighbors, and one way to get to that is by sweets. Also another benefit is that you develop a rather good rep among the street; so baking orders have recently come in that I delivered to them. BONUS!
None the less, ever since March, it has made it lot easier on my family and I to recover. Who cannot feel better when you have neighbor who ring; send over cards of good wishes; drop off stews and give you advice to help around the house?
I bring you some cream buns. Have weak spot for cream buns; no lie. Whether they are filled with mock cream, cheese or cream I have to at least have one bite of one. This based of the milk breads you can get at the Asian bakery; were the slightly sweet undertones of a pillow soft bread have magical addictive powers. One you bite one, anyone can tell you, you cannot stop. Trust me I have eaten a WHOLE loaf of one of these breads as lunch.
I have infused this bread with black sesame for a twist as I recently got some yuzu infused plum preserves from a friend. You can fill it with any spikey jam you have on hand, the important thing is it must have a tangy sweetness as the bread is the main player in this bread roll. By changing the plain vanilla tones of Asian bakery bread with black sesame, pairing it with sweeten cream and a tangy jam; it is like all grown up cream bun.
I have either created a breakfast for the Gothic lovers or the snack you really want to sink your teeth into during a re runs of True Blood. Sultry and dark; I won’t tell if you keep these beauties to yourself.
Black sesame cream buns
Makes 18 mini buns
350g white bread flour
200g all purpose plain flour
7g dry yeast
15g coffee whiter (coffee mate)
60g egg whites
200ml full cream milk
30g condensed milk
30g roasted black sesame powder
50g salted butter, soft in cubes of 1cm
200g chosen fruit jam ( strawberry, plum etc.)
Whipped cream (whisk together to firm peak)
40g icing sugar, sieved
Egg wash: egg plus milk.
Optional sesame seeds
Add white flour, all purpose flour, salt and coffee whiter in a large bowl. Mix thoroughly together.
Warm milk, condensed milk, black sesame powder and sugar in a sauce pan till combined. Allow to cool to 30C degrees. Add yeast.
Mix milk and yeast mix into the flour mix. Add your egg whites and kneed in a stand mixer till it forms a rough ball and a medium level of gluten has developed.
With the stand mixer running add your cubes of butter until combined.
Continue to kneed until it passes the window pane test. This is where you are able to pull it to a very thin membrane see through before it breaks. The dough should be very bouncy and smooth.
Cover in greased bowl and allow to rise for 1-2 hours or until doubled.
Punch down dough and divide into 18 dough balls.
With each dough ball roll it into a ball shape. Once all balls have been used cover with cling film and allow to rise for 45 minutes.
Pre heat oven to 185c. Brush with egg wash and sprinkle seeds on top. Bake for 20-25 minutes.
Transfer to wire rack once baked. Cool complete before filling with whipped cream and jam.
To fill buns, fill a piping bag with a large star nozzle and a smaller one with a round small nozzle. Fill the star pastry bag with whipped cream and the smaller one with jam.
Cut buns about half way to create a side opening. Gently squeeze in the cream by stretching the cut open. Do the same with the jam. Allow to set in the fridge for 30 minutes before serving.