This sugar puff is still warm, as you can just see the filling is still gooey.
This sugar puff is at room temperature.
For the long time followers of my old blog, you would probably remember I had been trying to perfect the recipe for these well-loved sugar puffs from Ipoh and Penang in Malaysia.
During the interval after my last attempt, I discovered that Taiwanese have a similar sugar puffs called Sun Puffs (Tai Yang Bing 太陽餅). I checked the fillings they used and they were very similar to our Malaysian sugar puffs except they didn’t add the aromatic (heong 香) ingredients, namely fried shallot flakes and sesame seeds. So I used their recipes as a reference point, adjusted and incorporated the ingredients to what I have done previously. Well, I must say I think this is the closest I have come to in terms of the taste for the filling. The flaky pastry part is now perfect, crispy and short-textured (as in very ‘soh’ in Hokkien). However, this filling now reminded me strongly of the Cantonese Lou Poh Paeng even though no candied winter melon was used.
Not having tasted the real thing for a few years, my memory is now quite vague as to whether Beh Teh Soh or Heong Paeng are supposed to be as close to the texture as Lou Poh Paeng or not. Although this newest version of my sugar puffs tasted delicious, I would prefer the filling to be just that slightly softer at room temperature. May need to adjust and reduce the amount of cake flour used in the filling slightly, or increase the amount of maltose a little bit. I think I should also have used pure icing sugar instead of icing sugar mixture since icing sugar mixture contains cornflour which added the extra starchiness to the filling. But these are just minor adjustments for next time as this version still tastes yummy.
Incidentally, I still don’t quite grasp the exact differences between Beh Teh Soh, Heong Paeng and Phong Piah. Whenever relatives or friends brought some of these pastry snacks over, we always called them Phong Piah, regardless of the different varieties. So I checked the Penang’s Ghee Hiang website. According to them, Phong Piah is the Hokkien version of Lou Poh Paeng, hmmm, I never knew that before. So what I have made here should be Phong Piah rather than either Beh Teh Soh or Heong Paeng. Beh Teh Soh or Heong Paeng both have darker filling, probably with the addition of brown sugar or gula melaka. As I haven’t added any brown sugar or gula melaka, the filling was whitish, maybe that’s why it reminded me of Lou Poh Paeng. Next time, I would probably substitute part of the icing sugar for brown sugar or gula melaka to get that darker filling for Beh Teh Soh or Heong Paeng.
Makes 20 puffs
Chinese Flaky Pastry:
120g bread flour
120g cake flour
50g icing sugar mixture
70ml water, adjust as necessary
120g cake flour
extra white sesame seeds, for topping (optional)
* When getting maltose out of the container, it is easiest to use wet fingers to dig/pull out the required amount, this way the maltose doesn’t stick to your fingers.
1. Put icing sugar in a mixing bowl and place the maltose on top of the sugar (pic #1). Scatter some icing sugar on the maltose so it doesn’t stick to your fingers and dig a hole in the maltose to make a figure ‘0’, or like a donut shape (pic #2). Pull the maltose to enlarge the hole, just like making noodles by pulling the dough. Twist the maltose so it now becomes a figure ‘8’ (pic #3). Fold the ‘8’ to become ‘0’ again (pic #4). Pull the ‘0’ to enlarge and twist into ‘8’ again (pic #5). Continue and repeat the pulling, twisting and folding of the maltose until the maltose becomes very thin threads (pic #6).
2. Mix in the rest of the filling ingredients to form a dough.
3. Divide into 20 equal portions. Cover and set aside.
Chinese Flaky Pastry:
1. For the Water Dough: Put both types of flour and sugar in a mixing bowl, rub in butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. 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 20 equal portions each and round them all into small balls.
4. Follow the preparation of the Hidden-Layering Flaky Pastry as shown in Huaiyang Flaky Pastry up to step 17.
5. Preheat oven to 200°C. Line baking sheets with baking paper.
6. With the heel of your palm, gently press the filled dough down to flatten it.
7. Arrange the pastry apart on the lined baking sheets. Sprinkle with a little extra white sesame seeds on top of each puff dough if desired, pressing the seeds lightly to stick to the dough.
8. Bake for 16-18 minutes, or until the sugar puffs are brown in colour.
Sugar puffs without sesame seed topping.
Sugar puffs with sesame seed topping.
Taste: Crispy, flaky pastry with a aromatic sweet maltose filling
Consume: Best within a week
Storage: Store in airtight container at room temperature
Recipe References: –