Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Pumpkin Wholewheat Milk Buns with Potato Bacon

Another pumpkin bread recipe that is worth recording down. Furthermore this uses a straight dough method and yet kept soft for the next 2-3 days. Best part about this is that the recipe is versatile enough to be made into buns as well as into loafs. Even added wholewheat flour to make it slightly healthier. :) So feel free to leave it as plain loaf or kick it up a notch by wrapping them with potato bacon like what I did. :)
By now you must be wondering how did I actually shape that bun all so nicely with grooves. Well I got the inspiration from a dear fellow blogger Elin of http://www.elinluvdelights.com ,  whom also shaped her pumpkin buns exactly this way. :) There is actually a Chinese video online that shows how to shape this buns on Youtube. Took the challenge and shaped accordingly which I made 8 of these pumpkin buns plus a mini loaf.

Ingredients for Pumpkin Wholewheat Milk Buns (Makes 8 buns)
125 g steamed pumpkin
250 g bread flour
100 g whole meal flour
50 g caster
1/2 tsp salt
4 g instant active yeast
180 ml fresh milk
15 g unsalted butter room temp

  • In a mixing bowl, add in all the dough ingredients except the butter. Knead at medium speed till everything is well combined .
  • Knead till the dough pulls away from the bottom and sides of the mixing bowl. Add in the butter and knead again till the dough is very elastic and reaches window panel.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and let proof for 1.5hrs or till it is doubled in size. At this point you can make the bun fillings.

2 large russet potatoes, peeled, cut into small chunks and steamed till cooked
3-4 strips bacon
1 small onion

Filling seasoning:
4 tbsp Japanese Mayo
1 tsp superfine sugar
1/4 tsp salt

8 of 25cm cooking twine/ string dipped in cooking oil
  • Preheat the oven.
  • In a pan, add in the bacon and let it cook till crisp up on both sides and most of the fat has been rendered out.
  • Remove the bacon and drain on paper towels. Next add in the chopped onions and cook it in the bacon fat at low fire. 
  • Once the onions has soften, dish it out and add to the steamed cubed potatoes.
  • Add the steamed potatoes in to the caramelised onions and toss well to combined.
  • Crumble the crispy bacons into smaller pieces and add to the potato onion mixture. 
  • Add in the seasoning and mix well. Set aside for use later
  • After proofing, punch out the air and divide the dough into 8 portions of 50 g. The rest of the dough can be made into a plain loaf or you can make more buns if desired.
  • Then wrap the buns with about 1 heaping tbsp of potato bacon filling. Seal the buns and set aside for a minute. Then continue wrapping the buns with the potato filling till all 8 buns are filled and sealed.
  • Using the oil coated cooking twine, wrap the buns so that the twine goes around it 4 times and has 1/4 segment separation. (To have a better idea, please hop over to my Facebook which I post the video of how I wrap the twine around the buns.
  • Repeat till all the buns are wrapped with the cooking twine. Let the buns proof till doubled in size.
  • Preheat the oven 170C. 
  • Bake the buns for 13-15 minutes till light golden brown. 

  • Once the buns have cooled, remove the twine carefully and stick a chocolate stick in the middle top of the buns. Enjoy!
Hope this recipe will inspire you to bake for your love ones. Totally appropriate for the coming CNY don't you think? Loving the evident grooves of the buns, making it looks so much like a real pumpkin! Apologise for not showing the interior of the buns because got so busy with CNY preparations...haiz. Just trust me this is really soft and delicious! 

Do try and let me know how you like it! Have fun baking...always. :)

Saturday, January 30, 2016

Ultimate Coffee Marble Butter Cake

Coffee is such an essential "ingredient" to start off most of our mornings. Although I am not one of those that needs a cup in order to kick start the day, I do still enjoy a good cup of coffee. In fact, I am rather particular on the coffee flavour, its acidity and aftertaste.

I was glad that ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee was introduced to me recently, especially since my busy schedule meant that I needed my coffee to be convenient and, at the same time, good. ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee is a blend of finely ground coffee and premium soluble instant coffee that is made from 100% Arabica coffee beans which deliver a deeper aroma and richer taste. It is now available in major hyper and supermarkets.

Currently ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee comes in 3in1 and 2in1 variants. Personally I enjoy each one of these coffees at different times. When I have cakes or pastries, I will opt for ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee 2in1. Do try!

To further enjoy this coffee, I created a recipe using ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee. I call it the Ultimate Coffee Marble Butter Cake. This delicious butter cake will not only attract the coffee lovers, it will even make the non-coffee drinkers crave for more.

I wanted a recipe that everyone can recreate at home. It is simple and yet special enough to wow your friends and family when you present this to them. So let's check out what we need.

Ingredients for Ultimate Coffee Marble Butter Cake (makes an 8" by 8")

Main Batter
250 g unsalted butter at room temperature
80 g caster sugar
1 packet of ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee 2in1
4 large egg yolks
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract (I used vanilla bean from 1 vanilla pod)
1/2 tsp salt
230 g cake flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
100 ml buttermilk

4 large egg whites
80 g caster sugar

"Marble" batter
2 tbsp heated water
2 packets of ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee 2in1

1 tsp quality unsweetened cocoa powder (I use Valrohna)

  • In a large mixing bowl, add butter, caster sugar and a pack of ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee 2in1 in. Beat till light and fluffy, about 10-12 minutes at medium speed.
  • Next add in the egg yolks, one at a time. Making sure that each yolk is well beaten into the batter until well-combined. Repeat till all yolks are mixed in.
  • Add in the vanilla bean or vanilla extract and continue to beat till thick and fluffy.

  • Sift in the cake flour, salt and baking powder and beat at low speed till just combined.
  • Finally, add in the buttermilk and beat till just combined as well.
  • Preheat the oven to 160C. Grease and line a square 8" by 8" baking pan with parchment paper.
  • In another mixing bowl, add in egg whites and the other 80 g of caster sugar. Beat the mixture till stiff peaks.
  • In 3 separate portions, gently fold in the egg white batter to the main batter. Do not overmix.
  • Reserve about 1/4 cup of the batter. Then pour the rest of the batter into the prepared baking pan.
  • Next we prepare the "marble batter". Using a small bowl, heat up the 2 tbsp of water. Add in the cocoa powder and 2 packets of ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee 2in1.

  • Mix well. You should get a thick paste. Add the paste to the reserved 1/4 cup cake batter and fold in till well-combined.
  • Scoop dollops of the coffee cocoa batter over the main batter. Then using a toothpick, swirl the batter around to create marbling effect.
  • No worries if the marbling effect is not as perfect. As long as the cake tastes great, that’s the most important.
  • Bake in the preheated oven at 160C for 43-45 mins till the tester comes out clean.
The wonderful coffee aroma that fills the whole house was just amazing! Inhaling coffee! You guys should totally try it.
I actually enjoyed having this marble cake with a cup of ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee 2in1. It paired off perfectly!
Adding coffee in both the main batter and the "marble batter", making it truly the ultimate coffee cake.

A couple things to note while baking this cake:

1) Do not overmix the batter or it will yield a less fluffy and coarser texture.

2) Work with butter that is not too soft, meaning when you press it, it should yield slightly and not mushy.
In this way, when you beat with sugar, the batter will be lighter and fluffier.

3) Do not overbeat the egg white. Again if the egg white is overbeaten the overall texture of the cake will be coarser and might even "collapse".

So the next time you go shopping for that instant coffee, do give ESSENSO™ MicroGround Coffee a try. And do not forget to reserve that few packs to bake this cake too...just saying. :)