Yes! I am back online. The disconnection from this blog is strangle and uncomfortable, it is like losing a limb to a great virtual accident. While I try my best to come on here everyday (and the read the millions of blogs I have in my bookmarks); reality is a butch bitch. I continue to roll of my excuses, I have a good one this time!! Really I do. On the Monday, I got into a car accident. Like petrol leaking and front of the car destroyed. God, I was happy the air bags did not go off…
So you can see being shaken up is not the best mind-set for writing and providing a bit of dessert/ baking wisdom to you all. I am fine but I the stress from the event has had an effect on my ever weakening eye blood vessel.
So here I am with an eye red as the chilli sauce; I am blogging! If bad luck comes in threes you can say that it had almost finished my run with me. Hey lucky luck do you like pork buns? Stay tuned if you do!
Luck is often dismissed as an idea of chance. Not so, you plan to have your lucky streaks or you are so well organised that other things just go your way. The idea that the universe is catering to push some people a head and pushing other people back. So often I have had people say that to me, mainly to make me feel better however at the end of the say blaming luck for bad luck is like blaming the kitchen aid for a burnt cake. Things just happen. My life is full of fails but I had my fair share winning moments.
When I discovered the way to make the macarons just right. Winning a competition from a lovely fellow blogger ( More on this soon!) and…. *drum roll*; I just got news my car can be fixed!!! In order to celebrate I am doing a post today!
Most of us crave the food that we do not make on a regular basis and my taste buds have suddenly turned to asian comfort food. Think along the lines of Chinese tea eggs, Chinese Style french toast ( French ain’t got nothing on it) and snacking on wasabi peas. The best way to turn back to sweets is to make as many savoury food as you can to smash your craving; not conventional but that’s how I do it.
If you have no idea what Char Sui baos are, they are traditionally fluffy steam white buns encasing a lava of Barbecue pork. A might be offending all Chinese people but I have never like the steam version of these buns. Maybe I was in a romantic affair with the plain steam buns with the threads of fluffy dough inside. Oh the wonderful days, when I could eat them for days at a time. Baked versions are sold in the Chinese bakery, mainly because the self life is more stable and it is the asian version of pizza pocket. Hey! just saying…
The best part of this recipe is not the unami rich and dark filling, filled to the brim with burnished pork and finely shopped caramelised shallots and mushrooms. Covered in a sauce rich with sweet, savoury tone only the holy trinity of asian sauces can provide. Note here I also toasted my own 5 spice powder as the flavour is better in freshly toasted ground herbs.
It is not the light and fluffy bun, stained pink by the addition of roasted beetroot to make crust colour even more inviting. Beetroot does wonders for those who avoiding colours and you can not taste it one little bit. By using the beetroot in the roux starter helps with retaining the colour of this bread. I would up the colour next time by shredding more beet pieces in the bread but you can do this when you attempt this recipe. The bread is slightly sticky but the pay off wonderfully soft buns that you can push down and will spring straight back up. That’s how you know you got some good bread here.
However this was another recipe I completed with my mum. Yep she had the idea to do this, so high-five for her. That is all that matters at the end of the day. Burning my mouth on the scoring hot pork filling when I tore open one of these buns was no issue, I was too happy after cooking with family. So even if your buns do not turn out quite right or you have a wonky buns when you cook them family, you’ll feel like the luckiest person in the world.
Beetroot baked char sui and shiikate mushroom buns
Serves 24 buns
Water roux ( freeze extra in glad wrap)
500ml beetroot juice
250ml all plain flour
FOR BREAD MAKING
100g beetroot roux
450g flour Pus extra for dusting
120g grated, roasted beetroot
10g milk powder
50g butter, soften in cubes
FOR CHAR SUI FILLING
2 tbsp oil
3 shallots, white small onions, finely chopped
2 cloves of garlic crushed
1 tsp ginger, grated on a fine grater
120g fresh shiitkate mushrooms, diced in to 1cm cubes
2 cups of char sui pork , diced into 1cm cubes
2 tbsp Sherry
3tbsp oyster sauce
2tbsp chicken stock concentrate
3 tsp crushed red fermented tofu
1 tbsp dark soy
1tsp light soy
2tsp five spice powder
a Pinch of White pepper
125 ml water
dash of sesame oil
4tbsp corn flour
Before making bread make the glutinous pre dough; In a small sauce pan combine beet juice with flour. Over low heat whisk continuously until the mixture reaches 65C or begins to pull away from the sides of pan. Set aside to cool before using. NOTE: you will only need about half for this so you can try another bread with the remainder.
In a stand mixer combine all the ingredients but the soften butter for the bread. Knead the dough together with the dough hook until it pulls away from the sides (this can take up to 25 minutes Once pulling away from the sides of the bowl or becomes less sticky, add you cubes of butter to the dough. Continue kneading until it is absorbed. The dough should be very shiny and no longer sticky; place in an oil bowl covered with cling wrap to proof for 1-2 hours on a hot day.
In a bowl combine water and corn flour. Whisk to combine. Set aside. Over medium high heat pre heat a large frying pan. Once hot add the oil, then shallots, and ginger and garlic. Saute for 3 minutes before adding mushrooms. Allow to cook for 2 minutes before adding pork and sherry. Occasionally stir the pan to prevent burning and the water from the mushrooms has evaporated. Add oyster sauce, chicken stock concentrate, fermented tofu, light soy dark soy, pepper and 5 spice. Stir well. Make a well in the center of the pan mixture. Take the mixture of flour/ water ( you made earlier you may need to whisk it again to recombine) and pour in. Remove from heat and stir in sesame oil. Allow to cool.
Punch down the dough and divided it into 60 g buns dough balls. Rest for 10 minutes before rolling. Flatten a dough ball into a circle. Place the dough in the palm of your hand, using a tsp spoon fill the middle with 2tsp heaped filling. Gently pull the dough in the middles forming a seal with your thumb and index finger. On a well floured surface, push the bun against the table then roll it into smooth ball shape, using your palm. Set on a baking tray lined with baking paper repeat for all buns. Bake at 180c for 20 minutes or until well browned. Set on a cooling rack for 10 minutes before eating.