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Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Winter Melon Puffs / Wife Cake / Lou Poh Paeng 老婆餅

I would like to convey my thanks for my fellow bloggers who send condolence message to me.  Well, life has to move on and though Big Bro has left, he will always stayed in my heart as and when I want to remember him. I have get on my feet again to brush off from my stress and grief from the issue that affected me recently. 

Let's talk about food which I believe it is everyone favourite topic instead.  When I bookmarked a recipe if I happened to come across the food that may bring memories to me or I have longed never eaten it, I would thought I will make it the next day.  Usually it will end up baking or making something else.  And the one that I bookmarked will be all backlog way behind or sometimes long forgotten.

And today, I am posting this "Winter Melon Puffs" which is well known to the Chinese as "Wife's Cake", Lou Poh Paeng.  Frankly speaking, I have never eaten this "Lou Poh Paeng" before.  It just all happened that one day H brought back some biscuits from Penang; the famous Ghee Hiang's Phong Pneah.  It is so yummy as this is the type of puff that I like to eat.  I have to look for a similar recipe to end my craving.  So, this is why I end up making this Lou Poh Paeng.

And I can say, I will make this again, only to omit the sugar in the filling ingredients.

Winter Melon Puffs / Lou Poh Paeng 老婆餅
Adapted with slight changes from Corner Cafe

Chinese Flaky Pastry:
Water Dough:
70g bread flour
70g plain flour
25g caster sugar
55g lard or shortening
70ml water, adjust as necessary

Lard Dough:
70g cake flour
35g lard or shortening

1 egg, lightly beaten for eggwash

Winter Melon Filling:
200g candied winter melon
20g white sesame seeds
10g dessicated coconuts
30g caster sugar  (next time I will omit this, as the winter melon already sweet)
40g cooked glutinous rice flour
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon canola oil
55ml water

Winter Melon Filling:
1. Dry roast sesame seeds over moderate heat in a frying pan for 3-5 minutes, or until
fragrant and lightly brown. Cool then grind into powder using a mortar and pestle.

2. Finely chop the candied winter melon, or blend in a food processor (if using food
processor, add toasted sesame seeds, dessicated coconut and blend together with
candied winter melon).
Add ground sesame seeds, sugar, cooked glutinous rice flour and salt. Stir in oil.

3. Gradually add water and knead the filling to form a slightly sticky dough.

4. Divide the filling into 14 equal portions, cover and set aside while preparing the
Chinese flaky pastry.

Chinese Flaky Pastry:
1. For the Water Dough: Put both types of flour, sugar and lard in a mixing bowl, mix
briefly to incorporate the lard. Slowly add just enough water to form a soft but non-
sticky dough. Knead until smooth, form into a ball, wrap in cling film and put into the
refrigerator for about 20 minutes before using.

2. For the Lard Dough: Rub lard into the flour and then knead into a soft dough. If it is
too soft, chill in the refrigerator to harden a bit. If it is too hard, knead it a bit more
until you get soft dough about the same pliability as the water dough. It is important
that the malleability of the lard dough should be about the same as the water dough
when making the Chinese flaky pastry.

3. Divide the water dough and the lard dough respectively into 14 equal portions each
and round them all into small balls.

4. Take a piece of water dough and a piece of lard dough. Roll out the water dough into a flat 
    circle. Place the rounded lard dough in the centre of the flat circle.

5. Gather the outer edges of the water dough circle and wrap up the lard dough ball.

6.  Pinch and seal the edges. 

7. With the heel of your palm, gently press the dough down to flatten it lightly.
8.  Using a small rolling pin, roll out the dough.
9.  Roll the dough up Swiss-roll style.  Make sure to roll it tight.
10. Turn the rolled dough 90 degrees.
11. Roll out the dough again.
12. Roll up Swiss-roll style again
13. Cover the dough and rest for 15 minutes and then it is ready for filling and shaping.
14. With the heel of your palm, gently press the dough down to flatten it lightly.
15. Roll out the dough.
16. Place filling in the centre.
17. Gather the outer edges of the dough circle and wrap up the filling.
18. Pinch and seal the edges making sure the seal is tight.
19. Turn the dough upside down so the sealed end is underneath.
20. With the heel of your palm, gently press the filled dough down to flatten it lightly. Use a 
       rolling pin to roll out the dough to a flat circle, making sure not to roll too thin as to 
       squeeze out the filling.
21. Prick the surface with the tines of a fork (or more traditionally use a knife to cut two slits
      on the surface) to allow steam to escape during baking.
22. Arrange the pastry apart on the lined baking sheet. Eggwash the surface of each pastry.
23. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line a baking sheet with baking paper. Bake for 16-18 minutes, 
       or until the puffs are golden brown in colour.

If you are not sure how to roll up this Hidden-Layering flaky pastry, please go to Corner Cafe on her step to step tutorial picture; here it is Chinese Flaky Pastry 


Other than the filling is a little too sweet ( will omit the 30g sugar next time), this Lou Poh Paeng is delicious and yummy, crispy and puffy.......  You may pack individually pieces in plastic wrapper to keep it stay fresh longer.

I'm sure some of you may know there is "Husband Cake" too.  Maybe one day I might bake that as well.....