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蛋塔 (Egg Tarts) v.2

We made these with a puff pastry crust (cheated and bought that at the store) and also with a homemade crust. Most Chinese bakeries use the puffy crust now, but I kinda prefer the non-flakey one more sometimes. The picture shown uses the puff pastry crust, which is why it’s so pretty. I’m sorry that the overall picture looks all over-exposed. It was dark, so no natural light + camera phone = not the best quality. (This recipe makes ~12 egg tarts.)

蛋塔 (Egg Tarts) v.2

-1/4 cup confectioner’s sugar
-3/4 cup all-purpose flour
-6-8 tbsp Earth Balance
-1/2 egg, beaten
-1 small dash vanilla extract
-little bit of vanilla soy milk to incorporate dough
-1/3 cup white sugar
-3/4 cup water
-4 1/2 beaten eggs
-1 dash vanilla
-1/2 cup evaporated milk

1) Preheat oven to 380-385 degrees.
2) (Dough) Mix the confectioner sugar + all-purpose flour together, then add Earth Balance (or butter), 1/2 egg, vanilla extract and milk.
3) (Filling) Mix all the filling ingredients together in a separate bowl.
4) Press the dough into muffin tins and pour in the filling.
5) Bake for 20 minutes, then turn off oven and keep the egg tarts in there until the egg sets (lessens the deflation!)



炸馒头 (Fried Mantou)

I had these for the first time only a couple years ago, when my family discovered a 茶餐廳 (HK-style cafe) in Oakland that happened to serve them. They are glorious and if, at the time, I’d known how to make them (this was before I made my way into the cooking world), it’d probably be a really bad idea. I could very likely eat an entire tray of these and curse myself afterward whilst lying in a food coma, completely unproductive and unable to move because of the sheer amount I consumed. :[

Anyway, we made these for our preemptive Chinese New Year celebration and had them for dessert! (We made a lot of desserts, haha.)

炸馒头 (Fried Mantou)

-1 tbsp sugar
-1 1/2 cups warm water
-1 tbsp active dry yeast
-4 cups flour

1) Sprinkle yeast + sugar over 4 tbsp warm water and leave it alone for ~15 minutes.
2) Put flour in a mixing bowl and make a well. Pour yeast mixture and remaining water in. Knead until smooth, then put it back into the bowl and cover it with a warm + damp cloth. (Or stuff it in your breadmaker and put it on the dough function! :D )
3) Push it down to release the air and let it sit for another 20 minutes or so.
4) Roll into small buns.
5) You can either steam them or deep fry them. I know the deep fried one’s a lot worse for you, but the crunchiness of that paired with when you dip it into sweetened condensed milk is incomparable. *-* If you don’t own a steaming tray, but your rice cooker happens to have a steaming tray like mine does (<3!), you’re good to go! If not, you can also fill a pot with water, put a little wire rack in it and set  a plate on top with the buns on it, then turn up the heat.

脆皮炸鲜奶 (Fried Coconut Milk)

Happy Chinese New Year, everyone! <3 I actually forgot that it was this weekend (well, today) until my mom called me and told me a couple days beforehand. (I know, bad Asian.) My neighbor also mentioned it, which makes me doubly terrible because he ain’t anything close to Chinese (other than his mannerisms and the fact that he’s an egg). He asked me if I’d be giving him any red envelopes and I explained to him that only married couples had to give them out. But later, my friend suggested that I try to swindle him out of some monies since he’s always giving me crap, so I attempted that.

F: Actually, I was wrong. If you’re older, you have to give me a red envelope. :D I expect some monies on Sunday!
A: It’s worth it just to hear you say that you’re wrong.
He will only consent to giving me monopoly money though.

Anyway, our group decided to celebrate Chinese New Year on Friday evening, since we have a quiz tomorrow morning. We didn’t really make too many traditional foods for the new year because we are just a tad bit lacking in terms of ingredients (the closest Asian market is 2 hours away :'( ), so we did what we could. This was basically the first time I really had anyone other than my neighbor over, so Andrea was ripping on me for not having “real sugar” (I only have brown sugar) or oil (I only have EVOO and sesame oil). She thinks my apocalyptic pantry is hilariously awesome and has also taken to feeling my biceps whenever I walk by. They joke that I should enter one of them fitness competitions, but I think I have about 10% too much body fat for that sort of thing (not to mention, I would absolutely hate to have to watch every single thing that I ate and med school + everything else I’m currently doing would make that just a tad bit difficult). Gotta say, I definitely wouldn’t mind looking like a NPC bikini competitor. :O

Some early morning during Renal, I happened upon a jackpot of Chinese recipes (mostly for dim sum <3!) and ended up staying up past 3 a.m. collecting all the ones that I thought sounded pretty awesome. The original recipe called for 1/4 a cup of sugar, but since we used coconut milk (well, the can says “cream of coconut”), it was plenty sweet without the added sugar. It also called for German flour, which we did not have (not even sure what the difference is, to be honest), so we subbed that with regular all-purpose flour.

Please ignore the 炸馒头 (fried mantou) in the back for the moment. I’ll get to a recipe on that later. :O

脆皮炸鲜奶 (Fried Coconut Milk)

(Milk Custard)
-1/4 cup cornstarch
-1 can cream of coconut
-1 cup skim milk

-1/3 cup water
-1/2 cup flour
-1/5 tsp salt
-1 tsp baking powder

1) Mix cornstarch and milk in a saucepan and stir until combined. Set it on a slow fire and bring it to a boil, stirring constantly until thick. Turn off the heat and pour the mixture in an ungreased square dish. Spread the surface evenly. Allow it to cool a bit and chill until firm. (We stuck it in the freezer for a while just to speed up the process. Don’t forget about it like we did though. :x )
2) For the coating, mix water, flour and salt first, then add baking powder at the time you start frying the milk. Add more water if necessary to make a thick paste for coating.
3) Heat some oil to 350. Cut the milk custard into smaller slices, using a wet knife. Coat the custard with the prepared mixture and fry until light brown and crunchy. Drain on paper towels.

You could sprinkle them with powdered sugar if you want, but ours came out plenty sweet without it.

We also made egg tarts, boiled cabbage, matzo balls in broth, 炸馒头, noodles with snow peas, another vegetable dish (I don’t know what it’s called in English), and Walmart dumplings (har har; we may attempt to make these from scratch-scratch sometime [by that, I mean making even the wrappers from scratch since we can’t buy them here]).

Peanut Milk Toast

This is my recreation of an HK-style toast I had at Cousin Cafe in Newark, but you can probably find it at any HK-style cafe. Since it was $2.50 (or was it $3?) for a piece of toast, I figured I was better off making it at home, because it’s really effing simple (and cheaper…), and provides a nice variety to the usual PB&J.

Peanut Milk Toast

-bread (however many slices you feel like eating)
-condensed milk (sweetened)
-peanut butter

1) Melt butter on saucepan. Spread peanut butter on one side of toast and put in saucepan.
2) Drizzle condensed milk on toast with a spoon, knife…whatever works.
3) You’re done! :O Eat it!