Tuesday, October 20, 2009
I used to get sooooooooo excited when my uncle ( distant cousin? who knows) from Singapore came to visit. Partly because his name made me laugh...literal translation meant ''no talent''...honestly it's a wonder he didn't sign emancipation papers. Any judge would've been sympathetic. But more importantly because he ALWAYS came bearing gifts. The one thing I looked forward to the most was this tiny little pastry, wrapped in very old school greaseproof paper. I remember how my heart would pound with anticipation as I peeled away the wrapping carefully to reveal layers and layers of the flakiest pastry that seemed to melt on my tongue...giving way to my favourite bit--the gooey filling, sweet and savoury at the same time, bursting with the flavour of shallots and toasted sesame.... and when it was all over, mopping up every last crumb with my little fingers and wishing I hadn't eaten it so quickly. Talent or no talent, the man knew how to make me happy.
And so, MTAS. Me stress. Kitchen. Moving on..
马蹄酥 [ Some people call it heong peng; we've always called it 'Beh teh sor' ]- adapted from seadragon
Pastry: It's all science really. This whole flaky pastry thing works on the principle that water and oil don't mix; so if you have overlapping layers of oil and water pastry, they cook differently and what you end up with are these gorgeously thin and melty films of pastry.
131g plain flour
26g icing sugar
pinch of salt and 67.5 mls warm water
1. Mix water pastry and let it rest for 15-20 minutes.
2. Mix oil pastry--it gives a very short texture, slightly crumbly
3. Divide both pastries into 15 portions each, I weigh them out because I'm anal like that.
4. Flatten a piece of water pastry and wrap the oil pastry in it. So you want the water pastry on the outside, and the oil on the inside.
5. Roll it out thinly, but not thin enough that you break everything. Roll it up like a cigar, turn the pastry so it's vertical, roll out again.
6. Roll it up again so this time it looks short and stubby, turn it over so the spirally ends are facing you and flatten the dough. It should feel stiff but still malleable.
* You may wrap as you go along, or choose to get the fiddly pastry bits out of the way. Doesn't matter, but if you do the pastry first, cover them up with a damp towel so they don't dry out.
100g brown sugar
generous pinch of salt
20ml shallot oil
50g cooked glutinous rice flour
20g corn flour
1tsp toasted sesame seeds
1 tbsp fried shallots
1. Spread the glutinous rice flour on a baking tray and roast in a 180' oven for about an hour or till it's lightly golden. It's a pain I know, apparently you can buy it ready cooked in some places.
2. Melt the maltose in the water.
3. Mix everything together till it comes together to form a very soft dough.
* You MAY NOT need all the water, so add it slowly.
4. Now wrap the filling in the dough and make sure you seal the bottoms tightly so nothing leaks out in the baking process.
5. Bake at 210' Celcius for about 12-14 minutes, I usually leave it for a bit longer to brown up a bit more.
6. Let cool, break it apart, and relish the beautiful combination of delicate pastry and the almost toffee-ish filling.