This is another favourite treat during Chinese New Year. The texture of these mini puffs are supposed to be crispy and crunchy from what I could remember. However not having made them before, I tried out this recipe from one of my Chinese cookbooks, and they turned out to be soft crunchy and not very crispy. Although I don’t mind them that much as they are still quite delicious, I would prefer to find a recipe that will produce the light crispiness too. Maybe I need to reduce the amount of eggs, and increase the lard/oil proportion for the pastry… Anyway here’s the recipe for those of you who like this kind of texture.
Makes approx. 70 puffs (5cm-size)
300g (2 cups) plain flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
70g (4 tablespoons) caster sugar
80g (4 tablespoons) lard, or canola oil if preferred
2 eggs, lightly beaten
Filling (enough for about 90 puffs):
140g (1 cup) Ground Peanut Filling
12g (1 tablespoon) plain flour
40g (2 tablespoons) smooth peanut butter, or Chinese sesame paste
Put the plain flour on a piece of kitchen paper and microwave on HIGH for 1 minute. Remove and transfer the flour to a new sheet of kitchen paper. Return to microwave and cook on HIGH for another minute. Sift the flour and add all other ingredients. Mix together to form a slightly sticky filling.
1. Put flour, salt and sugar into a mixing bowl. Add lard or oil and rub into the flour mixture until it resembles breadcrumbs.
2. Add beaten eggs and knead lightly into a smooth dough. Wrap the dough in cling film and set aside for about 30 minutes; put into the refrigerator in hot weather.
3. Divide dough into 4 portions; work on one portion at a time and keep the other portions well wrapped to prevent drying out. Roll dough out to about 3mm thick. Use a 5cm round cutter, cut out rounds of pastry. (Alternatively, use the mouth of a glass, about 7cm diameter, to cut out rounds to make slightly larger puffs.)
4. Place 1/2 teaspoon of filling into the centre of each pastry round (use 1 teaspoon filling for the larger 7cm pastry rounds). Fold the pastry over to half-moon shape to enclose the filling and seal by crimping the edges into rope shape. (Or use the turnover mould to make the puffs.) Arrange the pastry on a lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining dough pieces and filling.
I put an egg in there as a cpmparison to the size of the puffs; the 3 lower left puffs are 7cm in size with the 7cm turnover mould shown, the rest are 5cm puffs.
5. Deep-fry the pastry puffs until golden brown.
Taste: Crunchy puffs with delicious peanut filling
Consume: Best within 1-2 weeks
Storage: Store in airtight containers
Recipe Reference: ‘脆角仔’ recipe from the cookbook, ‘飲食資訊庫．專業系列7﹕中國點心製作圖解 Chinese Dim Sum in Pictures’ by 江獻珠