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Girls' Best Friend

Bright and sparkly. Gemstones came to my mind when I was removing this Dragon Fruit and Orange jelly from the mould. Like a combination of gemstones...rubies, amber and diamonds, all in one!

Dragon's Eyes

The literal translation for the name of a small brown, juicy exotic fruit from the lands of Asia, known as Longan in Chinese, packed into these muffins


A taste from the humble beginnings, the Long Bean Rice brings back beautiful memories of the yesteryears

Light and Fluffy

Lemon, Yogurt and Cranberries~a nice blend of flavours in a light and fluffy chiffon cake

Bread Stories

Asian style buns ~ Popular as breakfast food or snack, sweet/savoury fillings wrapped in soft, cottony bread

Thursday, 31 October 2013

A Hot and Sweet Affair

This has got to be my closest ever gap between 2 posts, I did one yesterday and its another today! No, i have not turned for the better, it's just that when one is late, one rushes!  And it's Asian Food Fest featuring Japan which ends on Nov 1st that i am rushing for.  I thought it would be good to include this since we enjoyed it so much, after all it was the event that motivated it.  In fact i tried out quite a few Japanese dishes this month but didn't manage to post all of them :)

This is not my first time making Japanese curry or Karei as they say in Japanese but before this it was always stored bought instant roux. This prepared from scratch version is so much better, really delicious.  Never again will i buy instant roux!  It just takes a little extra effort.  We had it over 2 meals and it tasted even better on the second day.  My son polished everything clean, that practically says all about how good it is :)

Essentially the recipe came from Nami of Just One Cookbook though I did compare hers with the one from Marc of No Recipes. They are both pretty similar except Marc added tomato sauce and tonkatsu (or Worcestershire) to the roux instead of the dish of which i adapted.  So, thank to Nami and Marc for the recipe! As we more accustomed to spicier curries, i doubled the amount of curry powder and garam masala into the roux.  I would still categorized it as mild in terms of spiciness but that's how Japanese curry is, mildly spiced yet still smells heavenly with a nice hint of sweetness from caramelized onions and apples.  This curry is a sure hit with kids! 

Oh, and allow me to gush a little, i concocted my own garam masala instead of rushing out to buy some!  It's on occasions like these that one goes an extra mile to find out the ingredients in ready mixed seasonings and realized that the ingredients are readily available in the kitchen!   

Japanese Curry is always served with rice hence the name Karei Raisu for this all in one meal.

Reference: Nami of Just One Cookbook and Marc of No Recipes 

  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken thighs (or beef, pork, seafood, tofu, or vegetables) (I used the wings and thighs from 1 medium size free range chicken with bones and skin)
  • Salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 carrots
  • 2 onions
  • 1-2 potatoes
  • 1/2 Tbsp. ginger
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 QT (4 cups/1000ml) chicken broth (or water if you use store bought curry roux) (I used water)
  • 1 apple (I used Fuji apple)(I used Honey Apple)
  • 1 Tbsp. honey (omitted)
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • Homemade Japanese curry roux or 1 box (7 oz, 200g) store bought Japanese curry roux (see recipe below for homemade roux, I used about 3/4 of portion of the prepared roux)
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp. soy sauce (omitted)
  • 1 tbsp ketchup (added into roux instead)
  1. Rinse the chicken and pat dry with paper towel. Discard the extra fat and cut it into bite size pieces. Season the chicken with salt and pepper.
  2. Peel and cut the carrot in rolling wedges (Rangiri) and cut the onions in wedges. 
  3. Cut the potatoes into 1.5 inch pieces and soak in water for 15 minutes to remove excess starch (I cut them into quarters, then eighths)
  4. Grate the ginger and crush the garlic.
  5. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat and sauté the onions until they become translucent.
  6. Add the ginger and garlic.
  7. Add the chicken and cook until the chicken changes color.
  8. Add the carrot and mix.
  9. Add the chicken broth (or water).
  10. Bring the stock to boil and skim the scrum and fat from the surface of the stock.
  11. Peel the apple and coarsely grate the apples.
  12. Add the honey and salt and simmer uncovered for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. (I omitted honey, reckon the apple gave enough sweetness)
  13. Add the potatoes and cook for 15 minutes, or until the potatoes are tender, and turn off the heat. Meanwhile you can make homemade curry roux.
  14. If you are using homemade curry roux, add a ladleful or two of cooking liquid from the stock and mix into the curry paste. Add more cooking liquid if necessary and mix well until it’s smooth.
  15. Add the roux paste back into the stock in the large pot and stir to combine.
  16. Add soy sauce and ketchup (omitted). Simmer uncovered on low heat, stirring occasionally, until the curry becomes thick.
  17. Serve the curry with Japanese rice.  (I added blanched baby kailan as a side dish)

Recipe-Curry Roux

  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter (40g)
  • 4 Tbsp. all purpose flour
  • 1 Tbsp. curry powder (2 tbsp)
  • 1 Tbsp. garam masala (2 tbsp)
  • 1/4 tsp.+ cayenne pepper (1/2 tsp chilli powder)
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce (from
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce (from
  1. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over medium low heat.
  2. When the butter is completely melted, add the flour.
  3. Stir to combine the butter and flour. Soon the butter and flour will fuse and swell.  Do not stop stirring because the roux will easily burn.
  4. After 20-30 minutes, the roux will turn to light brown color. Add the curry powder, garam masala, cayenne pepper and sauce.
  5. Cook and stir for 30 seconds and remove from the heat.

Garam Masala

  • 1 tbsp ground cumin
  • 11/2 tsp ground coriander
  • 11/2 tsp ground cardamom (omitted)
  • 11/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp ground cinnamon (1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg (1 1/2 tsp)
  • 1 tsp ground cloves  (1 tsp All Spice)
Mix everything together and store in an airtight container.

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest # 1 Oct 2013 : Japan hosted by Alan from Travelling-Foodies 

Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Japanese Style Braised Pork Ribs

Most of the Japanese dishes that I have come across make use of the pork belly, a cut that i must agree makes the most delicious dishes.  But it is also one that i rarely buy mainly for health reasons, i have this weird notion of those glorious fats transferring from porky's belly to mine when i eat them!  So, I normally go for the ribs instead.

This braised spare ribs recipe is from a book named The Japanese Kitchen by Hiroko Shimbo.  This dish is known as Supearibu no Nikomi in Japanese.  Supearibu does sound like spare ribs doesn't it? Well, it is!  And Nikomi means stew.

I would describe the taste as something similar to Chinese style barbecued ribs with a tinge of spiciness and less sticky. We had it with rice for dinner but it would do well as a finger food served with some cold beer too.

Source: The Japanese Kitchen by Hiroko Shimbo

  • 1 1/2 pounds pork spareribs (400g)
  • 3 tablespoons shoyu (soy sauce) (1 1/2 tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon toban jiang (chili-bean sauce)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons honey (1 tbsp)
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (1 tbsp)
  • 1/4 cup sake (rice wine)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar (1 tbsp sugar)
  • 3 tablespoons komezu (rice vinegar) (1 tbsp)
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  1. Cut the meat into individual ribs.
  2. In a bowl, combine 1 tablespoon of the shoyu, the Worcestershire sauce, the chili-bean sauce, and the honey. Marinate the spareribs in this mixture for 30 minutes. I left if for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the spareribs from the marinade, and discard it.
  4. Heat a medium skillet, and add the vegetable oil. When the oil is hot, add the spareribs. Cook them over medium heat until all sides are brown. Remove the spareribs from the skillet, and set them aside.
  5. Into a medium pot, put the spareribs, sake, sugar, and 1/2 cup water. Bring the mixture to a boil, and cook it over low heat, covered, for 20 minutes.
  6. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons shoyu and the komezu to the pot, and cook, uncovered, for 10 minutes, basting the spareribs several times with the cooking liquid. (I let it cook until the sauce was just enough to coat the ribs)
Note: My variations in blue.

And like they say in Japanese, Itadakimasu!

I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest # 1 Oct 2013 : Japan hosted by Alan from Travelling-Foodies 

and this post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Doreen from My little Favourite DIY and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Mich of Piece of Cake at this post

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Noodles for a Rainy Day-Japanese

I am a total novice when it comes to making Japanese cuisine though we love eating them a lot.   And good Japanese food don't come cheap, it's an arm and a leg to me.  Glad that Asian Food Fest Blogging Event picked Japan as one of the featured countries.  I have learned quite a bit from the sharing by fellow bloggers, at the very least, i have learned how to make dashi stock which is an important base for many Japanese dishes :)

I tried my hands at making this simple but satisfying hot pot meal.  Nabeyaki Udon, a one pot meal commonly served in an earthen or cast iron pot  with Udon noodles and a variety of toppings like seafood, chicken and vegetables in hot dashi broth is a popular wintertime. meal.  One can actually choose to add your own favorite toppings.

I made this on a rainy afternoon and it was indeed a heartwarming and comforting meal in the cool weather.  Totally delicious and very glad to have given this a try!

Reference: La Fuji Mama (my variations in blue)

  • 6 ounces fresh spinach leaves (obmitted)
  • 6 cups dashi (basic Japanese sea stock-see below for recipe)
  • 1/3 cup soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons mirin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated ginger
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced on the diagonal (medium size)
  • 2 leeks, cleaned and cut into 1-inch slices on the diagonal
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs (2 free range chicken thighs)
  • 21 ounces fresh udon noodles (3 packs single serving Udon)
  • 5 large eggs (Did only one for son)
  • 5 prawns
  • 1 squid
  • 5 pieces scallop
  • 1 piece tofu, quartered
  • 5 baby corns
  • 6 fresh shitake mushrooms
  • 1 packet 100g bunapi mushroom
  1. Mix the dashi, soy sauce, mirin, and salt together in a medium size heavy base pot, then stir in the garlic and ginger. Add the sliced carrots and leeks (half the amount), then bring the liquid to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Add the chicken and simmer until just cooked through, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add baby corns.
  4. While the soup is simmering, wash and cook udon as per package instructions.  I boiled mine for 2 minutes then rinse with cold water to wash off excess starch.  Drain and set aside.
  5. Add prawns, squid, scallops, tofu and mushrooms.  Allow to simmer for 2-3 minutes.
  6. Add udon noodles.  Add in remaining leek.
  7. Gently crack egg, one at a time, into the soup. Cover the pot with a lid, and let simmer for 3 minutes, then turn off the heat and let sit to allow the eggs to finish cooking.
  8. Serve while hot.

    Recipe-Dashi (First Sea Stock)
    Reference: La Fuji Mama

    • 4 cups water (i topped it to 6 cups water since this is the amount needed in the nabeyaki udon recipe)
    • 16-20 square inches kombu
    • 1/2 cup loosely packed bonito flakes
    1. Place water and kombu in pot and let kombu soak for 15 minutes.  Place pot over medium heat. 
    2. Right before water starts to boil, remove pot from heat and scatter bonito flakes over the surface of the water.
    3. After 3-4 minutes (bonito flakes will have sunk to the bottom of the pot by this point), strain the stock through a strainer lined with a tightly woven cotton cloth or coffee filter.
      1. You can make Second Sea Stock by boiling 4 cups of water with the kombu and bonito flakes from the first sea stock for another 10 minutes.  Strain and store the stock.
      2. Stock can be stored in a tightly covered container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
      I am submitting this post to Asian Food Fest #1 Oct 2013: Japan hosted by Alan from Travelling-foodies 

      Sunday, 13 October 2013

      Learning the Basics-Making Egg Tofu

      Little Thumb Up blogging event continues this month with Soya Beans as the featured ingredient.  I don't make anything with soya beans (to be exact, it's don't know how to) but i do make dishes with soy based products and tofu will be on top of the list in my home.  I thought i would take this opportunity to take a step back and learn how to make some tofu.  Having said that, this is not entirely tofu from scratch since i stopped at making my own soy milk, it' a lot easier to just buy a freshly made 500ml pack for RM1.50 from the wet market :)

      When i told the soy milk seller that i didn't want any sugar syrup in my pack of soy milk he was curious since it was not my norm, a little syrup was my usual way to go.  Sheepishly i told him i wanted to try making tofu because i was afraid that he would laugh at me since tofu is so easily available and cheap. To my surprise he didn't but shared a recipe with me instead.  

      And I have learned that making tofu is pretty simple indeed (this version at least).  The tofu tasted good, definitely better than commercial ones for its freshness, as smooth as commercial ones and it smelt less eggy. 

      The easiest way and best way to eat this is to drizzle some soy sauce and sesame oil with  some garnishing like fried shallot crisps, spring onions the moment it's out from the steamer.  I don't have a photo for this, no time for photos, it's best eaten hot moreover it was dark already, i know my photos wouldn't turn out good anyway.

      And i used the rest to make Salt and Pepper Tofu the next day.   For this dish, it will be easier to handle the tofu after it's left to harden a little in the fridge.  This dish makes a nice appetizer.   

      I have since made this tofu a second time and used some of it in this Ayam Paprik, a Thai influenced Malay dish.  The inspiration came after I was reminded of this dish when I saw it on Rasa Malaysia. This is a very appetizing all in one dish that goes very well with rice.  A spicy stir fried chicken dish with unique flavors coming from shrimp chilli paste and herbs like lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves which infuses the dish with a zesty fragrance.  Here's my take on this dish with homemade egg tofu :)

      Recipe-Egg Tofu
      • 250ml unsweeten fresh soy milk
      • 3 large eggs
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      1. Break eggs into a bowl and use a whisk to mix them up.
      2. Add soy milk and salt.  Mix well and strain.
      3. Prepare a steaming container. I used a Pyrex dish.  I have read recommendations to line the container (especially if you are using aluminium or stainless steel ones) with cling wrap or baking paper to make it easier to remove the tofu when it's ready.  I left this out and didn't face too much of a problem during removal.  The tofu didn't stick to the dish and what i did was to cut it out in small blocks.
      4. Heat up steamer to a rolling boil then lower heat to steam tofu mixture for about 10-12 minutes.  Tofu is ready when the mixture has coagulated.

      Recipe-Salt and Pepper Tofu
      • Egg tofu from half the amount of tofu prepared in the egg tofu recipe above
      • 3 tbsp corn flour
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1/2 tsp five spice powder
      • A twist of freshly ground black pepper
      • 1 tsp chilli flakes
      1. Cut tofu into 1x 1/2 inch rectangulars.
      2. Season corn flour with salt, black pepper, five spice powder and chilli flakes.
      3. Coat tofu with mixture.
      4. Heat a frying pan with enough oil to cover tofu.
      5. When oil is hot, fry tofu until golden.
      6. Remove and drain on paper towel.
      7. Serve tofu plain or with some chilli sauce.

      Recipe-Ayam Paprik with Egg Tofu
      Reference: Fried Chillies

      • Egg tofu from half the amount of tofu prepared in the egg tofu recipe above
      • 1 chicken breast, sliced into small pieces
      • 3 baby corns, sliced or leave whole if preferred
      • 1/2 medium size carrot, sliced
      • A handful of baby french beans, cut into 2 inch long pieces 
      • 1/4 of a small cabbage, cut into smaller pieces
      • 3 cloves garlic, minced
      • 2 shallots, sliced thinly
      • 3 tbsp shrimp chilli paste
      • 1 tbsp oyster sauce
      • 1 tsp sweet soy sauce
      • 1 lemongrass, bruised
      • 4 kaffir lime leaves, bruised
      • 1/4 cup water
      • 1 tsp sugar
      • 1 tsp salt
      • 1 tsp pepper
      1. Cut tofu in roughly 1 inch cubes.  Toss into some corn flour.
      2. Heat a frying pan with enough oil to cover tofu cubes.
      3. When oil is hot, fry tofu cubes until golden.
      4. Remove and drain on paper towel.
      5. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a wok.  When oil is hot, stir fry chicken until almost cook.
      6. With the same wok, add in garlic, shallots, lemon grass and kaffir lime leaves.  Fry until fragrant.
      7. Add in shrimp paste and oyster sauce. Mix well.
      8. Add in vegetables, stir fry for 2-3 minutes, then add in chicken.
      9. Add in water from the side of wok.
      10. Mix in tofu cubes.
      11. Season with salt, pepper and sugar.
      12. Stir fry until vegetables are cook.
      13. Dish up and serve with warm rice.

      This post is linked to the event, Little Thumbs Up organised by Doreen from My little favourite DIY and Zoe of Bake for Happy Kids, hosted by Mich of Piece of Cake at this post.


      Tuesday, 8 October 2013

      When Mum Felt Guilty...

      My son love Pizzas, i think most kids do, don't they?  It has been awhile since we last had homemade ones and i blame Mr. D for that.  He was always late when delivering our pizzas.  We ended up having Free Pizza vouchers one after another.  Sometimes, i wonder if it is just a gimmick.  Boy was i glad when he arrived early one day, no more excuse for son to ask for Mr. D's pizzas :)

      And since we have not had pizzas for awhile (so long that i can't remember which recipe i used for the crust), i thought i would surprise him with one to make him happy and to motivate him as he was having his year end exams.  When he got home, he was so happy when he knew it was pizza that was baking in the oven.   "Is it done yet, is it done yet, is it done yet....?", that was what all that i heard for awhile.

      When i gave him  this, he looked at me and i read this on his face "ok, this doesn't look like the one i have in mind  but i will eat it since mum made them".  I love this boy for how he would willingly try out anything that i make and how he's not too fussy about food.  But i had a feeling it was not going to be easy this time and true enough, this is what i got from him after awhile "mum, can i remove the toppings, i don't like the avocados and the mangoes, they taste weird with the pizza...."  But i tested my luck and pushed on "No, they are good for you and it's not good to waste food" and guess what he finished it although i knew he wasn't too happy about it  (Wicked smile on mum's face!)

      On the other hand, I quite like it though, i thought it complemented the taste of the cajun chicken pretty well. Spicy chicken with a creamy, sweet and tangy topping. And i love the bread too, i made it herby by doubling the amount of Italian herbs in it, you will notice it if you look closely.  One man's meat is another poison, i guess.  I also got a 'Ewww' from someone just by telling her about it, she didn't taste it though.  

      Meat or poison, you decide...

      After the victory (of successfully 'forcing' my son to finish cajun pizza as it is) sank in,  it hit a soft spot. I wondered if i had been mean for dashing his hopes when the whole intention of making pizza was to make him happy but instead of making his favorite flavor i used it as an opportunity to try something new which i knew he would not be receptive to.

      So, the guilty mum made it up to him the day after by making what he claimed to be a 'real' pizza this time!  Glad to put him  back on cloud nine with his favorite Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza!


      For Pizza Base
      Adapted from:  Baking Diary (Jeannie) who adapted from Her Frozen Wings (Lena) 

      • 110gm plain flour (I reduced it to 100 to get a thinner crust for Hawaiian Pizza)
      • 1 tsp yeast
      • 1/2 tsp salt
      • 1 tsp italian herbs (Original recipe used 1/2 tsp)
      • 1tbsp of olive oil 
      • 5 tbsp water  (adjust accordingly to hydrate the dough to produce a soft dough)
      1. Mix all dry ingredients in a mixing bowl.  Make a well for adding in water and oil mixture.
      2. Mix oil with water then add it into the dry mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir to form a moist but unsticky dough and transfer to a floured surface.  Once dough is roughly formed, pour onto the counter table and knead until a smooth dough is formed. Leave it covered for 40 minutes to proof.  The dough should be soft and easily stretchable after proofing.
      3. Flatten the dough with a rolling pin into a pizza pan (i used a 8 inch).  

      Cajun Chicken Pizza
      Adapted from :

        • 1 chicken thighs (skinned, deboned and cubed)
        • 2 tbsp cajun seasoning
        • 1 medium size mango (skinned and cubed)
        • 1 avocado (skinned and cubed)
        • 1 tbsp olive oil
        • 1 tbsp lemon juice
        • 150g coarsely grated mozzarella
        • Romaine lettuce (or baby rocket leaves) to serve
        1. Combine chicken with cajun seasoning.  Set aside for 30 minutes.
        2. Heat oil in a shallow frying pan. 
        3. Add in chicken, stirring occasionally until chicken is cook and lightly brown (it will further cook in the oven).
        4. Sprinkle prepared pizza base with half the amount of mozarella followed by chicken and finish off with the remaining mozarella.
        5. Baked at 200C for 20 minutes.
        6. While pizza is baking, combine mango and avocado with lemon juice.
        7. When pizza is ready, top it with mango salsa and vegetables before serving.

        Hawaiian BBQ Chicken Pizza

        • 1 chicken thigh (skinned, deboned and cubed)
        • 2 tbsp of teriyaki sauce
        • 1 tsp brown sugar
        • 1 tsp worcestershire sauce
        • 1 tsp vinaigrette 
        • 2 chicken sausages (thinly sliced)
        • 3 tablespoons of tomato sauce (I used Prego's spaghetti sauce Traditional flavour)
        • 1 small can of pineapple cubes (I used Ayam brand 280g)
        • 150g coarsely grated mozzarella
        1. I made a simple bbq sauce by combining teriyaki sauce, brown sugar, worcestershire sauce and vinaigrette.  You can use store bought ones or use your own recipe.
        2. Season chicken with a dash of salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Mix in bbq sauce and leave it to marinade for 15 minutes.
        3. Heat 1 tbsp oil in a shallow frying pan.  
        4. Add in chicken, stirring occasionally until chicken is cook and lightly brown (it will further cook in the oven).
        5. Spread tomato sauce on prepared pizza base.  
        6. Sprinkle half the amount of mozarella followed by chicken, sausages and pineapple cubes.  Finish off  by topping the pizza with the remaining mozarella.
        7. Baked at 200C for 20 minutes.

        Thursday, 3 October 2013

        It's All in the Honey

        Although i try out new bread recipes every so often, there are a few that are close to heart (read easy, tasty and foolproof ones).   I always run back to these handful especially when time is running short, or i am not in the mood for experiments or cannot risk something going wrong (like when it happens, kid will have nothing for breakfast before going to school the next morning!)  And one of them is Honey Buns from Happy Home Baking, i tried this out in the very early stage of my breadmaking journey, and i remember being elated when it turned out beyond my expectation for a newbie.  No, i am not trying to blow my own trumpet, it was the recipe.  A very simple recipe (no tangzhong, no overnight sponge dough etc), breadmaker friendly yet it gave soft cottony buns like those that you get in kopitiams.  In fact it was even better because it has this nice sweet floral fragrance coming from the honey used.   I felt like i struck gold to have landed on that recipe :)  From then i came to a conclusion that it's all in the honey, honey is one ingredient that makes bread really soft.

        This time around, i twigged this recipe a little.  I substituted 10% of the flour with black sesame powder and gave it a custard (or as they say in French Crème Pâtissière) filling too.  I love the outcome, the buns had a nice nutty fragrance on top of the sweet floral fragrance from the honey!  May sound a little overboard, but i thought it smelt a little luxurious, probably because of the type of honey used :))   It was already smelling good at the dough stage, it got better and better when it hit the oven, feeling happy i was!

        And buns go spinning...pipe spirals on top of buns to use up all the custard after filling the buns with them.

        And the very soft bread texture!

        And with yummy custard filling.  You can choose not to fill them or do without the black sesame powder to get plain honey milk buns.   The plain ones go very well with some butter and kaya.  Try it and you will not regret, i promise!



        For Buns
        Source : Happy Home Baking 
        • Honey Buns 
          • 300g bread flour (200g bread flour,100g AP Flour)  
        • Black Sesame Buns
          • 200g bread flour, 70g  AP Flour (add 1 or 2 tbsp of bread flour if dough is too wet)
          • 30g black sesame seeds (toasted and ground)
        • For both Honey and Black Sesame Buns
          • 4g (about 2/3 tsp) salt
          • 4g (1 tsp) instant yeast
          • 1 egg lightly beaten plus enough milk to make 200g
          • 50g honey
          • 30g unsalted butter
          For Custard
          Source : Corner Cafe  (half recipe)
          • 250ml milk
          • 1 egg
          • 1 egg yolk
          • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
          • 55g caster sugar
          • 15g cornflour, 5g custard powder
          • A pinch of salt (if using unsalted butter or not using butter)
          • 25g butter (for additional shine and firmness)

          For Custard
          1. Whisk together whole egg, egg yolk, 30ml milk, sugar and vanilla.  Mix in flour, cornflour and salt if using.
          2. Bring the remaining milk just to the boil in a saucepan.  Pour the hot milk in small stream into the egg mixture, whisking constantly with a balloon whisk as you pour (very important).  Once incorporated, pour everything back into the saucepan.
          3. Whisk the mixture over medium heat until it thickens and firms up.  Remove from heat and whisk in butter if using.
          4. Pour the hot custard into a bowl and plunge the bottom of the bowl into another larger bowl of iced-water to cool, give it a whisk occasionally.  Once it reaches room temperature, cover the surface of custard with cling film to prevent a skin layer from forming. 
          5. Alternatively fill the custard into a piping bag, twist the open end to seal up the cream.  Refrigerate until ready to use.
          For Buns
          1. Place all ingredients in the bread pan of the breadmaker (according to the recommended sequence stated in the instruction manual of the breadmaker).  Select Dough function. Check on the dough after 5 minutes of kneading, add 1 to 2 tbsp of flour is it's too wet (i.e. sticks to the hand).  Once the cycle completes, remove dough from the bread pan. 
          2. Shape the dough into a smooth round and place in a bowl. Cover and let it rise till double in volume.
          3. Remove dough and give a few light kneading on a lightly floured work surface. Press out the trapped air as your knead. 
          4. For Honey Buns-Divide into 9 equal portions and shape them into rounds. For Black Sesame Buns (with custard filling)-Weigh 50g dough for each bun.  Cover with cling wrap, let the doughs rest for 10mins.
          5. Flatten each dough into a round disc and press out the trapped air. For Black Sesame Buns-Wrapped in a heaped tablespoon of custard.   Shape into a smooth round ball.
          6. Place doughs seams side down on a 20cm by 20cm square baking tray (lightly greased with oil or butter or line it with parchment paper) or place them in paper liners.  Loosely cover with a damp cloth or cling wrap and let doughs proof for 45 ~ 60 mins or until double in size.
          7. When ready to bake, brush the surface of the dough with milk.  For Black Sesame Buns-sprinkle a combination of black and white sesame seeds and pipe some custard on buns.
          8. Bake at preheated oven at 200C for about 15 ~ 20 mins until the bread is golden brown.  Cover the surface with a sheet of aluminum foil if the surface browns too quickly. Remove from oven, unmold (except those baked in paper liners) immediately and let cool on wire rack.


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