Thursday, 3 April 2014

Black Sesame Puff Pastries (黑芝麻酥饼)

You've probably never had anything like this, or at least have never made anything like this before.  They're like the Chinese version of puff pastry, where instead of having a dough and folding in a layer of butter and you keep folding and folding so you have alternate layers of butter and dough, here you make two doughs, a "water" dough and an "oil" dough.   The oil dough is 1:1 flour to fat, and you wrap that in the "water" dough, which consists of flour, water and just a bit of fat.  You then press it flat, roll it up and you press and roll once more.  The result is a bit different in that it's not as light, it's dense but still flaky and crumbly.  It's interesting and unlike anything you've had before.  It's a lot less cumbersome than the normal puff pastry dough though.  This just takes an hour, max. 
 Sorry for the late post, I know, it's been ages, busy, busy, busy.  It's hard to believe that I have a life outside this blog, but unfortunately I do.  Six essays, two presentations and two exams all by the 20th of May.  Fun times. 

 But I'm cooking away to ease the pain.   Black sesame seed is a common filling for traditional Chinese desserts.  You can get it from Asian supermarkets, and here they're just ground and mixed with sugar and that's it.  Traditionally it's made with lard, but feel free to just use butter or even vegetable oil. 

Oh I've also include step by step photos just in case I can't quite articulate myself in the instructions!

makes 10
Water dough
150g flour
30g butter, melted
70g water
20g sugar

Oil dough
100g flour
50g butter, melted

20g sugar
20g black sesame seeds, ground

Method (refer to step by step photos)
Mix the ingredients for the water dough together, put in a bowl, cover and set aside.  Do the same for the oil dough, and leave them both to rest for at least 30 minutes.

Preheat oven to 180C.

Divide each dough into ten pieces and form into balls (2).  Flatten the water dough and wrap around and fully encase the oil dough (3).  After you've formed 10 pieces, roll each one out into a long strip and roll it up (5-6).  Cover and leave to rest for 10 minutes. 

Flatten them and roll them up in the other direction (7-8). Then press down the middle, pull the two ends together and form a ball (9-10).  Do not worry if the oil dough seems to come out a bit, just try to stretch the water dough back onto it, it's not the end of the world.

Flatten, place a spoonful of the filling (where you just mix the two ingredients together)  onto the middle and wrap it around.  Flatten slightly, brush with water and sprinkle on more black sesame seeds.

Bake for 20-30 minutes or until golden on top.

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