Egg Waffle / Bubble Waffle / Egg Puff / Gai Daan Jai (雞蛋仔)


Egg Waffles - 3

Since I mentioned in my Boot Jai Go post that one of the most popular Hong Kong street vendor’s snacks is egg waffle, I must introduce and record a recipe on my blog.  According to Wikipedia, egg waffles were ranked No.1 in a 100 most popular Hong Kong street snack listing.  There are many English names (bubble waffle, egg puff, eggettes, just to name a few), but its Cantonese name is Gai Daan Jai (meaning little eggs).  One story says the enterprising post-war generation created the egg-shaped mould to make up for an eggless batter as eggs became a luxury in China.  Grocery stores would take the cracked eggs and sell the perfect eggs to customers.  Throwing away the cracked eggs would be a waste of money, so they turned the eggs into batter and sold them as waffles.  After making the egg waffles with the semi-spherical cell pans (pan base is deeper and the cover is shallower), they look like small eggs.  I guess this is how it got its name “little eggs”.

Ingredients:  (makes 5)

210g All purpose flour
10g Baking powder
15g Custard powder
42g Tapioca starch
3 Eggs
210g Granulated Sugar
42g Low fat milk
210ml Very cold water
42g Vegetable oil
3 drops (slightly less than ¼ tsp) Vanilla extract

Directions:

  1. Measure all ingredients, set aside.  (picture 1)
  2. Pour all ingredients into a blender (except vegetable oil and vanilla extract), blend until well mixed.  (picture 2)
  3. Add in vanilla extract and oil and blend until combined.  (pictures 3 and 4)
  4. Strain the batter through a sieve.  (picture 5)
  5. Warm up each side of the mould and brush a thin layer of oil on each side. (picture 6)
  6. Pour the egg batter onto the mould with a ladle and close the mould.  Hold the handles firm to keep two sides tight.   I turned the fire to medium high.  (picture 7)
  7. After 1-2 minutes, flip the pan and cook for 1-2 minutes.  You can slightly open the pan to check if the the waffle is slight brown.  (picture 8)
  8. Remove the egg waffle from the mould with a fork and place it on a cooling rack.  (picture 9)

Egg Waffles Steps

It should be served hot or warm (cold is not as good). The waffles are crispy on the outside, soft and chewy on the inside.Egg Waffles - 2

This egg waffle mould/pan makes waffles over the stove.  For first time use, clean the pan thoroughly. The first 2 waffles should be discarded.  There are some fancy electricity-powered makers that make perfect egg waffles and you don’t need to pay too much attention to the cooking process or need any skill.   However, one owner of the waffle shop said “If the skill isn’t there, it doesn’t matter how good your ingredients are.”  IMG_9924

Note:  Some recipes say the batter should be refrigerated for at least an hour in order to make a perfect egg waffle.  To skip this step, I substituted room temperature water with icy-cold water.  The result is the same.

Yummy!Egg Waffles - 4

Mini Red Bean Pudding Cake (砵仔糕 Boot Jai Go / Put Chai Ko)


boot-chai-go

Boot Jai Go aka Put Chai Ko is a popular snack sold by street vendors in Hong Kong.  Traditionally, these pudding cakes were steamed in earthen bowls, which in Chinese means “Boot Jai”.  This is how it got its name “Boot Jai” pudding.  These pudding cakes are made from white or brown sugar, rice flour and wheat starch.  Sometimes red bean is also added.  I still remember during my childhood in Hong Kong, the hawker removed the pudding cake from a porcelain bowl by inserting two bamboo sticks and we just held the skewers while eating them.  Besides the Egg waffles, Boot Jai Go is one of Hong Kong’s must try street vendor’s snacks.

Today, I made these pudding cakes using mini muffin trays.  I made two types, one with brown sugar and one with white sugar and coconut cream.  I also made some without red bean as my daughter likes them plain.

Brown Sugar Boot Jai Go:

Ingredients:

60g Wheat Flour 澄麵
90g Rice Flour 粘米粉
110g Dark Brown Sugar 黑蔗糖
2 cup Water 水
1 cup Cooked red beans 熟紅豆

ingredients

Directions:

  1. Pour 1/2 cup of red bean and 1-1/2 cup of water into the pressure cooker, and set the pressure cooking time to 25 minutes (sugar can be added depending on your preference).  Discard water once red bean is cooked and set aside;
  2. Combine wheat starch and rice flour in a big bowl, add 1 cup of cold water to the flour mixture and mix well, make sure the batter has no lumps (picture 1);
  3. In a small pot, combine 1 cup of water and 110g of dark brown sugar, bring to a boil until sugar is dissolved (picture 2);
  4. Quickly pour the hot sugar water into the batter, mix thoroughly (picture 3);
  5. Scope out the batter to a mini muffin tray with a ladle (while transferring the batter, keep mixing the batter as the starch tend to sink to the bottom) (picture 4);
  6. In a big steamer/wok, bring water to a boil.  Transfer the muffin tray to the steamer and steam over high heat for 3 minutes.  Then add red bean to the middle of each pudding and continue steaming for 7 minutes.  If you want to make the plain pudding with red beans, just steam it for 10 minutes straight (picture 5).

puding-cake

Coconut Boot Jai Go:

  1. Replace brown sugar with white sugar, also 110g (picture A);
  2. Instead of 1 cup of boiling water, combine 1/2 cup of water and 1/2 cup of coconut cream (pictures B & C);
  3. Pour sugar, water and coconut cream into a pot, bring to a boil (picture D);
  4. Repeat steps 4-6 above.

coconut-rice-cake

Note:

  • It’s normal that the cake droops in the middle after steaming.
  • You will need to steam this for 30 minutes or so if you use a porcelain bowl depending the size of the bowl.  Red bean can be added to the batter just prior to steaming.

dsc_6560

 

 

 

Pistachio Macarons with Pistachio Buttercream Filling


Pistachio Macaroons

Pistachio Macarons

Pistachio macaroons and almond Macaroons

Once you have a good handle on macarons technique, you can make different flavors.  Now these pistachio macarons are my favorite.  I added green food coloring to the macarons for my pictures, but the natural hue color is always healthier.

Choosing the right macaron fillings is important, my suggestion is to have the not-so-sweet fillings since the macaron shells are quite sweet.  For the pistachio macarons, I made the buttercream filling with pistachios which goes very well with the cookies.

Pistachio flour could be hard to find depending on where you live, when I spot the unshelled pistachios at Whole Foods (it’s pricey $29.99 per pound), I bought some and ground them myself with a food processor.  The extra pistachio flour can be used to make pistachio paste.  Below are the recipes for the pistachio macarons, pistachio buttercream filling and pistachio paste.  Hope you will get a chance to make these.

Ingredients for Pistachio Macarons:

100g
35g
200g
75g
45g
1 tsp
1 drop
Egg whites (3 eggs)
Caster sugar
Icing sugar
Almond meal
Pistachio flour
Cream of tartar
Green gel food coloring (optional)

Directions:

  1. Measure almond meal, pistachio flour and powdered sugar. Sift together to remove any clumps, sift twice if possible.  Discard any big clumps. (pictures 1-3)
  2. Weigh out the egg whites into a large stainless mixing bowl. Begin beating the egg whites on low speed then gradually adjust to medium until the egg whites are foamy.  (picture 4)
  3. Add in sugar as you beat.   Increase the speed from medium to high, if necessary. (picture 5)
  4. Add a teaspoon of cream of tartar and beat the meringue to stiff glossy peaks. (picture 6)
  5. Add the food coloring and mix until well blended.  Remove the whisk. (Pictures 7 and 8).
  6. Add about 1/3 of the almond/pistachio/sugar mixture to the egg white meringue. Fold in until no streaks remain. Continue to add the remaining mixture (1/3 of the mixture at a time), fold until you reach the proper batter.   (picture 9)
  7. It should take roughly 50 folds until the mixture is smooth and a very viscous liquid, not runny. Over-mixing the batter, your macarons will be flat and have no foot, under-mixing the batter, your macarons shells would be lumpy.  When you lift the spatula, the batter should drop down smoothly.  (picture 10)
  8. Pour the batter into your prepared piping bag.  You can place the bag into a measuring cup and cuff the bag’s opening over the top, this makes the bag easy to fill hands-free. (Picture 11)
  9. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.  Place a tiny drop of batter at each corner of the baking sheet to secure the parchment paper.  Pipe rows of batter (dollops a little bigger than a quarter) onto the baking sheets, giving them space to spread. (picture 12)
  10. Tap the pan on the counter several times to break any air bubbles (this prevents cracking). The little peak on the top of the macaron should go down after tapping the pan. However, if you still see the little peak, simply wet your finger and gently smooth the bump down. (pictures 13 and 14)
  11. If you want to sprinkle nuts on top, do it now so that they will stick to the top of the shells.
  12. Allow the cookies to rest on a level surface for 30-60 minutes.  Until they are no longer tacky to a light touch.
  13. Preheat your oven to 300F and bake the macarons for 16-20 minutes.
  14. You will see the macarons have lovely feet when they are done correctly. (picture 15)

collage

  • Use a piping bag to pipe your favorite filling to one side of the macaron and top with another half of macaron to form a sandwich.

sandwich

Directions for making Pistachio Paste (unsweeten version):

  1. You only need pistachio flour and water to make the paste.  I processed the nuts in a food processor  when I made the macarons at first.  (picture 1)
  2. Now return the pistachio flour to the food processor, then slowly add a bit of water (water amount depends on how much flour you have, just add a little bit at a time).  Process it until it is smooth and forms a paste.  That is it!!  We have our paste for the buttercream filling.  It’s super easy!  (pictures 2-3)

Ingredients for Pistachio Buttercream:

2
60g
30ml
60g
3 tsps.
Egg yolks
Granulated sugar
Water
Unsalted butter (softened)
Pistachio paste

Directions:

  1. In a mixing bowl, whisk the egg yolks until smooth. (Picture 4)
  2. In a small saucepan, combine water and sugar and heat it over medium heat. Stir the mixture until the sugar is completely dissolved. Then bring it to a boil and cook until the syrup reaches 250°F.  Use a candy thermometer to check the temperature. (Picture 5)
  3. Slowly pour the hot syrup into the egg yolks and run the mixer on low. Increase the speed to medium high, and beat the mixture until well combined. You can use the egg yolk/syrup mixture now but I always like to take one more step to set a bowl of mixture over a pot of simmering water.  Keep whisk until the mixture registers 160°F.  Meringue becomes very smooth at this point.  Remove from heat and let cool. (Picture 6)
  4. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until whipped and white.  Add in pistachio paste and food coloring (if desired), continue to beat the cream until well combined.  (Picture 7)
  5. Add in meringue and beat until well bended.  (Picture 8)
  6. Transfer the pistachio cream into a pastry bag and fill the macarons. Pipe the filling to one side of the macaron and top with another half of macaron to form a sandwich.  (Picture 9)

pistachio paste

macaroons 2

Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream Macaron filling


DSC_1677a

This recipe is adapted from Natasha’s Kitchen and I added Swiss meringue to make the filling slightly thicker.  The macaron itself is sweet, so I heavily reduced the sugar amount in the basic Swiss meringue.  So far this is my favorite filling that has a very refreshing taste.  For the macaron recipe, please visit my page “French Macarons“.

Ingredients:

Reduced sugar Basic Swiss Meringue:

1 Egg white
2 Tbsp Granulated sugar

Raspberry Buttercream:

1 cup Fresh raspberries
2 Tbsp Granulated sugar
1 Tbsp Fresh lemon juice
1 Stick Unsalted Butter (room temperature)
1/4 tsp* Salt

* If you use salted butter, then omit salt in your recipe.

Directions:

  1. Place egg white and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. (picture 1)
  2. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. You will see the meringue becomes more white and thicker.  Remove from heat and let cool.  (picture 2)
  3. In a small sauce pan, combine raspberries and granulated sugar and cook over medium heat. (picture 3)
  4. Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice.  (picture 4)
  5. Cook until bubbling.  Remove from fire.  (picture 5)
  6. Press the raspberries with a spoon through a fine sieve and discard seeds.  Put the raspberries juice aside and let cool to room temperature.   (picture 6)
  7. In a mixing bowl, beat butter until whipped and white.  Add in Swiss meringue and beat until well blended.  (picture 7)
  8. Add in raspberry juice and beat until whipped and fluffy.  (picture 8)
  9. Add salt and mix until well blended.  Spoon the mixture into the piping bag and pipe the filling onto the macaron half.  Top with another half and press gently so that it looks like a mini hamburger.  (picture 9)

raspberry filling

DSC_1668

Lemon Ice Box Cake


Lemon Ice Box Cake

There were two reasons I made this cake yesterday.  First, I wanted to make a cake for my mother-in-law and sister-in-law to celebrate Mother’s Day, however I did not want to spend too much time.  I’m a mother of three, so Mother’s day is also my day :-).  Second, I remembered that my co-worker gave me a bottle of limoncello liqueur which she bought in Italy.  So, I decided to make a lemon ice box cake (no bake cake).  One of my co-workers made this and brought it to the office, and it was a big hit, so I had to ask her for the recipe (I made a few changes from the original recipe).

This cake needs to sit in the fridge for at least 8 hours, preferably overnight, until the cookies have softened.  So, you will need to plan ahead of time.  This cake is so delicious!!

Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers!

Ingredients:

1 ¾ cups
8 oz
90g
¼ cup
3 Tbsp
1 tsp
12oz
3
Heavy Whipping Cream
Mascarpone Cheese
Pure Cane Sugar / white sugar
Limoncello Liqueur
Fresh lemon juice
Vanilla extract
Lemon wafer cookies
Zest of 3 lemons

Directions:

  1. Prepare all ingredients. (Pictures 1-4)
  2. Combine heavy whipping cream, mascarpone, sugar, limoncello liqueur, lemon zest, lemon juice and vanilla extract in a mixing bowl.  Mix on low speed to combine and then slowly raise the speed, whisk until it forms firm peaks.
  3. Cut an 8-inch circle of parchment paper and lay it on the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan (this will help you remove the cake from the pan easier).  Begin with a layer of lemon wafer cookies, break cookies to fill spaces between cookies (I prefer just one layer) or overlap cookies to have a solid base. (Picture 5)
  4. Add half of the filling and smooth with a spatula. (Picture 6)
  5. Next, fill another layer of lemon wafer cookies. (Picture 7)
  6. Fill the top of the cake with the rest of the filling and smooth with a spatula. (Picture 8)
  7. Garnish with lemon zest curls. (Picture 9)
  8. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  To serve, run a small sharp knife around the outside of the cake and remove sides of the pan.

Lemon ice box Cake steps

Lemon Ice Box Cake

French Macarons


Macaron

Macarons

When thinking of macarons, you probably think of Ladurée as they are one of the top premier sellers of macaron in France.  They offer dozens of flavors and almost every tourist will stop there to have their first macaron.  These delicate almond-meringue cookies are not cheap, Bottega Louie in LA downtown sell theirs for $2.50 per tiny piece.

These French sandwich cookies are made entirely of almond powder, egg whites, and sugar.   The most difficult part is achieving the right consistency and presentation of the macaron shells.  The technique for making macarons is a little tricky as there are so many factors at play – the amounts of ingredients, the mixing of the batter, the length of resting time, the oven tempearture, the baking time, etc.  All of these things can cause problems.  The first few times I made them, no feet were developed at the bottom.  Although the flavor was still good, I failed.  I tried many online recipes before I found one that worked for me.  Some have more sugar which will make the shells very glossy but the sweetness is too overpowering.  I did a lot of reading online and practiced to understand the chemistry behind it.  “Not So Humble Pie” blog is a great troubleshooting guide and has a lot of useful tips,  I recommend everyone read it before starting the baking process.

Ingredients:

100g
35g
200g
120g
gel food coloring
Egg whites (about 3 eggs)
Caster sugar
Icing sugar
Almond meal
Optional

Directions:

  1. Line baking sheets with parchment paper or silicone liners.  Prepare a piping bag with a round tip.  You can place the bag into a measuring cup and cuff the bag’s opening over the top, this makes the bag easy to fill hands-free.
  2. Sift almond meal and powdered sugar together to remove any clumps, sift twice if possible.  Set aside.  (picture 1)
  3. Weigh out the egg whites into a large stainless mixing bowl.
  4. Begin beating the eggs on low speed.  Once the egg whites are very foamy, begin sprinkling in the sugar as you beat.   Increase the speed to medium, if necessary, and beat the meringue to stiff glossy peaks.
  5. Add the food coloring (It takes 2-4 drops of gel) and mix.  (Pictures 2 and 3).
  6. Add about 1/4 of the almond/sugar mixture and fold in until no streaks remain. Continue to add the almond mixture in quarters, folding until you reach the proper batter.   It should take roughly 50 folds until the mixture is smooth and a very viscous liquid, not runny. Over-mixing the batter, your macarons will be flat and have no foot, under-mixing the batter, they will not be smooth on top.  (Pictures 4 and 5)
  7. Pour the batter into your prepared piping bag.  (Picture 6)
  8. Place a tiny drop of batter at each corner of the baking sheet to secure the parchment paper.  (Picture 7)
  9. Pipe rows of batter (dollops a little bigger than a quarter) onto the baking sheets, giving them space to spread.
  10. Tap the pan on the counter several times to bring up any air bubbles (this prevents cracking).
  11. If you want to sprinkle nuts on top, do it now so that they will stick to the top of the shells.  (Picture 9)
  12. Allow the cookies to rest on a level surface for 30-60 minutes.  Until they are no longer tacky to a light touch.
  13. While the cookies are resting, you can preheat your oven to 300F.
  14. Bake the cookies for 16-20 minutes.

macaron

Parchment produces taller compact feet, the Silpat baked cookies’ feet tend to be shorter and a bit ruffled.  The cookie from the following picture was baked on parchment paper.

Macaron

The bottom of the shell should be flat and easy to come off the parchment paper, it shouldn’t be sticky.

Macaron bottom

The delicate shell had a crunch outside but yet was moist so it melted in your mouth.

Macarons

Notes:

  • If you’re using stainless steel container to beat the egg whites, feel free to add a pinch of salt, 1/4 teaspoon cream of tartar or couple drops of lemon juice to help strengthen the egg whites.
  • Only use gel coloring.
  • If your oven is a fan-forced (convection) oven, do not turn on the fan.  Each oven is different, I placed an oven rack in the upper 3rd as the heat was too strong at the bottom or middle rack.  You will need to know how your oven works and adjust the rack position.

My favorite macaron filling is the Raspberry Swiss Meringue Buttercream (recipe here), you can choose any fillings you want and a lot of them can be found on Martha Stewart‘s website.

Basic Swiss Meringue Filling

6 large egg whites 1 1/2 cups sugar 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

  • Place whites and sugar in a heatproof mixer bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk until sugar dissolves and mixture registers 160 degrees on a candy thermometer. Remove from heat, and whisk on high speed until mixture is cool and stiff peaks form, about 6 minutes. Beat in vanilla. Use immediately.

Basic Swiss Meringue Buttercream Filling

Basic Swiss Meringue + 1 1/4 pounds (5 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

Chocolate Ganache Filling

1/2 cup heavy cream
3 1/2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped (preferably 70 percent cacao)
1/2 ounce (1 tablespoon) unsalted butter, softened

  • Bring cream to a boil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Pour cream over chocolate in a heatproof bowl. Let stand for 2 minutes. Add butter, then whisk mixture until smooth. Let cool, stirring often. Use immediately.

Crème Brûlée


Creme Brulee

I have absolutely no self control at a buffet, especially when I approach the dessert bar.  I believe most people cannot resist Creme Brulee  – it is rich and creamy which melts in your mouth with a little caramel crunch.  I bought a torch a year ago just to make this dessert.  I had tried caramelizing sugar by putting it under a broiler but the sugar melted the next day.  If you use the torch method, the caramelized sugar top will stay crunchy.

Ingredients:

2 Cups
5
½ Cup
1 Tablespoon
½ Cup
Heavy cream
Egg yolks
Granulated Sugar
Vanilla extract
Turbinado Sugar or Light brown sugar

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 ◦F.
  2. In a mixer bowl, whisk egg yolks, sugar, and vanilla extract together until well blended. Add heavy cream, mix well until it gets nice and creamy. Pour the mixture through the sifter into ramekins (those little ceramic dishes).  Place the ramekins in a baking pan.  Fill the baking pan with hot water, about halfway up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 45 minutes or so (each oven is different).  The custard should be trembling in the center..  Remove the ramekins from the baking pan, let them cool and refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight.
  3. Sprinkle a thin layer of the turbinado sugar on the top of each. Make sure it completely covers the custard and it’s a thin layer.  Using a torch, melt the sugar and form a crispy top.  Allow the creme brulee to sit for at least 5 minutes before serving.

Creme Brulee