Taro Magic Custard Cake

20160623-204822-74902525.jpgMagic custard cake, one cake batter turns into 3 layers dessert!
The first bottom layer is a dense gooey cake, then the second layer is a creamy custard and the top layer is a sponge cake.. All made up of ONE batter! Oh yeah, that’s the magic part.

I decided to flavour this magic custard cake into a taro or purple yam flavour. My favourite bubble milk tea flavour if you’re familiar with this (seriously has become a stereotype) asian drink. But yeah… I got to be honest, there are no actually purple yam in this taro magic custard cake. More on that later.

Anyway, I also want to flavour it in a different way other than vanilla and chocolate. So…

Ok let’s get started, shall we?
The ingredients are:

20160625-235702-86222674.jpgMilk, butter, eggs, sugar, flour, salt and taro tea powder…. Waiiiit.. What?

20160626-003920-2360739.jpgYep. Taro tea powder.
Umm… But what’s that?
It is a drink mix powder, often found sweetened and sometimes called taro latte powder if it consist some milk on it where you can just dilute it in some warm water/milk, put some boba pearls and ice and you got boba taro milk tea!

Also another reason why I decided to make it into taro flavoured magic custard cake is that.. Well, Let’s start from the beginning. The first magic custard cake recipe I encountered and made me realise such awesome dessert exist was a chocolate one then I found the vanilla and even fruit flavoured ones. Then I found the matcha and I was super intrigue to make the matcha flavoured magic custard cake until one day I decided to use all of my matcha powder for a birthday cake for a friend. So… Scratch that because I don’t have the money to buy another packet of high quality green tea powder.

After some times, I’ve forgotten this magic custard cake idea until I found some packets of taro tea powder stored deep inside my pantry. As I’ve said before, being a boba taro milk tea lover (fanatics, even.), I’ve tried to made them my own and totally forget them after using a few packets and consuming them every. Single. Day.

So, as I’ve said before, this cake got no actual purple yam on it instead it’s the flavouring powder. I mean.. Let’s face it, in most countries, finding taro tea powder is way easier than the actual taro itself.. You can just purchase it online!

Well, I found mine online too, but unfortunately this shop did not ship worldwide. Maybe you can find it in your asian grocery stores? If not, still. Buying it online is your best chance. The taro tea powder that I own is not that great in terms of quality anyway. The colour was a bit off.

20160626-222706-80826374.jpgStart of by separating your egg whites and yolk.

Whip the egg whites on high speed until it becomes fluffy like a cloud. Stiff peak stage.

20160626-223043-81043077.jpgnext up, whisk the yolk with the sugar,
Mix in the flour, taro powder and salt,
Then stream in the melted butter,
Lastly the milk!

20160626-223710-81430327.jpgThe batter should be super liquid. Don’t panic, don’t reduce any milk. You’re on a right track.

Put the clouds into the purple liquid.
You’re not suppose to loose a lot of air in the whipped egg whites, but folding the whipped whites to the liquid batter is damn hard.
So here’s what I did, I whisk them gently together, just whisking from the side ( not from the center), turning the bowl as I whisk and once I saw the whites are pretty much covered with the purple, I’m done. It won’t and shouldn’t be totally mixed together so don’t stress out and vigorously whisk them.

20160626-233113-84673569.jpgAaand bake, sprinkle with icing sugar, cut and enjoy!!

Wait, although I should tell you to let it cool first, if possible, put it into the fridge for an hour or so until the cake feels firm, then you can cut it. If not, this cake would be pretty messy to cut.

Although, for me, the cake taste better in room temperature because the custard part goes even creamier. But yeah, it’s a personal preference and plus, if you’re not a big fan of waiting, you can just dig in!

20160627-215523-78923419.jpgWell honestly, I’m not the biggest fan of waiting too, especially with food. But since I took quite sometime taking pictures of this taro magic custard cake, it comes to temperature as time goes by…..

So here’s the best chronology to enjoy the taro magic custard cake:
Bake – let cool – sprinkle with icing sugar – cut into pieces – wait until the cake has come to room temperature – best part, DIG IN!!

20160627-220011-79211793.jpgA tumbled down stack of taro magic custard cake.

20160627-220522-79522544.jpgCan you see those layers? It looks like it got 4 layers even. But still. It’s fudgey cake, dreamy creamy taro cream and lastly the fluffy sponge cake layer.

20160627-221414-80054952.jpg

20160629-210001-75601270.jpg,Have a good one everybody!

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Taro magic custard cake recipe
Makes 1 pan of 21 x 21 cm cake

Ingredients:
• 4 eggs (yolks and whites separated)
• 225 g white sugar
• 60 g all-purpose flour
• 15 g taro tea powder*
• ½ teaspoon salt
• 110 g unsalted butter (melted)
• 475 ml (2 cups) whole milk
• vanilla extract (optional)

* Unsweetened, if you cannot find the unsweetened kind, use 200 g sugar or adjust accordingly. Also, 15 g is based on my not-so-stong taro powder, if you can find a better quality, use about 7-10g or adjust to your liking.

How to make it:
1) Whip the egg whites with 2 tablespoon of the sugar until stiff peak stage. Set aside.
2) Whip the egg yolks with the rest of the sugar until pale and fluffy then add in the flour, salt and taro powder, whisk until combined.
3) Pour in the melted butter, stir, then pour the milk and vanilla, stir until just combined.
4) Working half at a time of the egg whites, spoon and whisk them together, just by the side GENTLY trying not to loose a lot of air, the mixture will not be totally incorporated.
5) In a 21x21cm square pan that has been buttered, line the sides of it making the parchment paper hang on to the sides then coat with caster sugar, pour in the batter then bake at a preheated oven at 180°C or 360°F for 50-60 minutes.
6) Let the cake totally cooled before unmolding it, sprinkled with icing sugar then cut into pieces.

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Japanese Curry Bread (kare-pan)

20160525-200031-72031622.jpgSoft bread with crispy exterior and a curry beef filling that’s packed with spices. Yumm..
This bread is coated with panko breadcrumbs and then fried to perfection.

Kare-pan or Japanese curry bread. I love this bread so much that I took a bread making class just because this bread is on the menu. Yes, I just learned on making this yummy beef curry filled bread from a cooking school by a Japanese chef. So I guess, legit right?

Anyway, What’s important on making this Japanese curry bread is the curry powder itself.. Suuper important.

“Use the best quality Japanese curry powder that you can find, this will determine all the flavours in this kare-pan”

Said the chef in his thick Japanese accent.

20160525-201147-72707335.jpgSo this was the curry powder used to make this Japanese curry bread. But you know, just find the best one you can find because I got a feeling that this one is imported straight from Japan.

20160525-202835-73715124.jpgThe dough itself got a heaping spoonful of curry powder.

The curry bread’s dough was made by hand. Combine every ingredients in and mix. Then there’s a lot of kneading and smacking the dough to activate the gluten.

Then proof the dough, let that yeast do their work.

20160526-234711-85631110.jpgMeanwhile the curry bread dough is proofing, make the filling.

This one is a dry curry filling instead of the creamy Japanese curry. Still pipping hot when I took the picture. The steam blurred my lens a bit.

This curry filling consist of mince beef, courgette, potato and onion. But you can use other veggies you got like carrots, eggplant, mushroom, or edamame beans/ peas maybe? Just put vegetables that you think fits.

Anyway this filling is a bit too much for the bread so you will most probably get left overs. My suggestion, either half the filling recipe but you might risk on having too little filling on your curry bread later on, or just make it as the recipe says, and for any leftovers, cook it with pasta or topped some rice with the delicious beef curry filling! It’s always better to have more than too little when it comes to this sort of stuff.

20160527-000111-71030.jpgOnce you curry bread has been proofed, weigh them then portion them into rounds of even pieces.

Let proof a couple more minutes under a damp towel.

20160527-000332-212216.jpgHere is the step by step on how to fill and make the Japanese curry bread (hand model by my lovely personal instructor and the chef’s trustee sous chef)

First thing first, flatten the dough then fill a reasonable amount of beef curry filling in the middle.
Pull the top and the bottom part of the flattened dough, then start to seal the top. Pinch the seam to make sure the kare-pan is sealed.

It’s easy like 1,2,3! Yep, just like do, re, mi.

20160527-002855-1735227.jpgThis is how the Japanese curry bread should look like after bring shaped. Like dumplings!

20160527-003041-1841359.jpgNow that you’ve shaped all the kare-pan. You got a bunch of sweet potato shaped bread lined, it’s time for the coating!

20160527-003709-2229887.jpgThis one is just a simple egg to breadcrumb kind of coat.

Oh and also you might find it waaay easier if you keep one hand for the dry coat and the other just for the wet coat. Seriously, makes a lot less of a mess.

20160527-013157-5517049.jpgThen all is left to do is to fry them in a hot oil until golden brown, perfectly crispy!

20160601-005851-3531755.jpgOh I love this bread. Seriously, the curry filling and the soft bread and the crispy outside is sooooo addictive. Seriously, I could eat more than 3 breads in one sitting (luckily my conscience take over).

20160601-010113-3673787.jpgI mean.. Look at those filling and the yellow bread and the golden brown crust?!

Top tip, this curry bread don’t last very long (about 2-3 days max in room temperature), so if you want to make a bunch of it and store it, don’t put it in the fridge, put it inside the freezer instead. It will prolong the life of the bread. I would say for another 2-3 weeks more but not sure since this bread didn’t even last more than 3 days before getting devoured.

But still. The first and second day I store the curry breads just on the counter top but on the second day the inside started to get sliiiiiiightly slimy before getting preheated. So I chucked them inside the freezer but then they were gone the next day..

Anyway I just microwave them to preheat the curry breads. Around 30 seconds to 1 minutes depending on your microwave.

20160601-011133-4293353.jpgHave a good one everybody!

20160601-011221-4341621.jpg

Japanese Curry Bread (Kare-pan) Recipe
Makes about 10 pieces of bread

Ingredients:
The Curry Bread
• 300 g bread flour
• 6 g instant yeast
• 30 g white sugar
• ½ tsp salt
• 1 tsp good quality Japanese curry powder
• 150 ml warm water (around 70-80°C)
• 30 g egg (crack, beat the egg then weigh it. Use the left over for the coating)
• 45 g unsalted butter

Beef Curry Filling:
Adjustable to your liking
• ½ piece of onion
• 1 piece of a medium size potato
• ½ of a zucchini
• 180 g minced beef
• 2 tbsp unsalted butter
• 1 tbsp curry powder (or adjust if you’re not a big fan of spices)
• Salt & Pepper to taste

Coating:
• 1 large egg + leftover egg from the bread
• Panko breadcrumb to coat (around 2 cups or so)
• vegetables oil to fry (you can use canola or other deep frying oil)

How to make:
The curry bread
1) If using a stand mixer, just mix the dry indredients then slowly add the wet ingredients. With a dough hook, knead until dough is no longer sticky and stretchy. Around 5-8 minutes on high speed.
If not, in a counter top or a bowl, mix the flour, yeast, sugar, salt and curry powder until combined. Make a well in the middle then pour in the warm water, egg and butter. Mix everything together until combined.
2) Once combined, start kneading the dough by smacking it to a counter top then fold the dough, then smack it again, then fold. Do it for about 10 minutes until the dough is no longer sticky and becomes super elastic. You would know by when you poke the dough it will make a slight dent then spring back up.
3) Rest the ball of dough in a bowl then cover with a damp kitchen towel to proof in room temperature for 1 hours or in a warm oven at 70°C or 158°F for 30 minutes.

Beef curry filling
4) Peel the onion then finely chop them.
5) Peel the potato then cut them into small dices.
6) Cut the zucchini into the same size of the potato.
7) Melt the butter over a medium heat. Once heated, add in the onion, sautée for about 2 minutes, then the potato, another 2 minutes, lastly the zucchini. Cook for another 5 minutes then add in the minced beef. Cook until the meat is brown then add the curry powder and season with salt and pepper.
8) Transfer to a plate then let cool.

Filling, coating and frying the bread
9) Once the bread dough has been proofed, punch to deflate the dough then portion into even pieces. Mine makes 574g of dough then I divide it by 10 so around 57-58g per pieces. Round the pieces of dough then rest them under a damped kitchen towel for around 15 minutes.
10) Take 1 ball of dough then roll it into a disk (preferably more of an oval shape), fill with a tablespoon or so of the cooled beef curry then take the sides, stretch them a little bit, join them together then pinch to seal it. Continues with the other pieces of dough.
11) Prepare the coating station. Dip a bread into the egg then heavily coat it with the breadcrumbs. Continue to do so to the other pieces of breads.
12) Rest the bread, meanwhile, heat the cooking oil until the temperature is about 160-180°C. Fry them a couple of a time being sure not to overcrowd the pan until golden brown.
13) Serve the Kare-pan while hot.