Sunday, June 1, 2014

Baked Tapioca Pudding With Pineapple Bun Crust and Taro Filling

Here is a recipe for baked tapioca pudding with pineapple bun crust and taro filling.  This is a popular Chinese dim sum dessert dish.  I like to make the filling ahead of time.  You can also buy these fillings pre-made from Chinese supermarkets like T&T or restaurants like Hon's Wonton House.

TARO PASTE FILLING

Ingredients
  • 1 lb or 450 g taro root
  • 75 g or 1/3 cup sugar
  • 150 g or 1 tbsp melted unsalted butter
  • Water
Method
  1. Preheat the steamer.
  2. Peel and cut the taro root into 1 inch chunks and steam until tender (about 10 minutes).  Poke with fork to check for softness similar to when potatoes are cooked.
  3. Mash the cooked taro.  Add sugar and butter while the taro is still hot
  4. Puree in a food processor or press through a sieve to create a smooth paste.  I like my paste a little on the dry side, but you can add a little water as desired to create a smooth paste.
  5. Set aside.
  6. Makes one bowl (this is enough for 2-3 batches of this pudding)
  7. Store in refrigerator if making ahead of time.  
Alternate filling options
  • Red bean paste
  • Black sesame paste
  • Lotus seed paste
  • Red beans cooked with a little rock sugar until barely softened
PINEAPPLE BUN CRUST TOPPING

Ingredients
  • 110 g all purpose flour
  • 80 g sugar
  • 1/4 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp baking powder
  • 20 g unsalted butter, softened
  • 40 g vegetable shortening
  • 1 egg yolk, slightly beaten
  • 1 tbsp evaporated milk
Method
  1. Mix butter, shortening, and sugar together until light and fluffy.  
  2. Add egg and mix.
  3. Add milk and mix.
  4. Mix flour, baking soda, and baking powder together.  Sift into wet mixture to remove clumps. Mix until soft dough forms.
  5. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or more.
TAPIOCA PUDDING
Ingredients
  • 50-60 g small whole tapioca pearls
  • 250 ml milk, divided into 100 ml and 150 ml
  • 2 tbsp custard powder
  • 1 large egg lightly beaten (set some egg white aside to paint over the crust)
  • 50 ml evaporated milk
  • 45 g sugar
  • 20 g unsalted butter
Method
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a small saucepan, bring water to a boil and add tapioca pearls slowly in a circular distribution pattern.  Cook for 8-10 minutes on medium heat until almost completely translucent.  Stir occasionally to loosen pearls that are stuck together or to the pot.  Drain tapioca pearls in a strainer and rinse under cold water to stop the pearls from cooking longer.  Drain well.
  3. Add custard powder in 100 ml milk, stir in the beaten egg.  Set aside.
  4. Use a small saucepan, pour in evaporated milk and the remaining 150 ml milk.  Add sugar and butter.  Heat until butter dissolved and combined well.  Stir in the egg mixture and continue to cook.  Stir constantly until mixture begins to thicken.  Lastly, add cooked tapioca pearls.
  5. Fill custard mixture into small baking dish(es) half full.  Add desired amount of filling then add more custard mixture on top.  Leave room for crust topping.
  6. Roll out crust topping between two sheets of wax paper.  Aim to form a shape to match your baking dish.
  7. Place on top of custard mix.  Use a knife to draw wide criss-crossing lines over crust to form diamond shapes.  
  8. Paint remaining egg mixture on top of crust generously.
  9. Bake in oven at 375 degrees for 15-20 minutes until crust is golden.
  10. Makes about 3 servings (but you will have left over taro filling to make 1-2 more batches, depending on how much filling you use.)
Let me know what you think of it  :)

Enjoy!

Baby Goldfish 2 Months Old - Changing Colours

The goldfish babies from the first batch of eggs are now about two months old.  As you can see, they are starting to change colours.
Both of them were this muddy brownish grey-green colour at first.
But now one of them seems to be losing the brown coloration and patches of a yellow orange are starting to show up.
You can see how they look different from each other now.  The brown coloured one actually is a bit darker now than it used to be.  I'm not sure if that colour will become even darker, or become lighter so that it becomes white.
You see how the dark colouration shows a lot of silver/white when the light hits it.
Meanwhile, there are about 3 babies still left from the second batch of eggs.  I guess they were the fastest swimming babies and are the best at hiding?  They have remained uneaten by the larger baby goldfish, and the larger babies seem to have lost interest in trying to eat them.
This is surprising as the second batch babies are certainly still small enough to fit into the mouth of the larger baby.  See how much bigger the older ones are?  I have since put a lot more greenery into the tank so that the babies have lots of places to hide.  I think that helps.  Also, the goldfish are fed food that is denser than before so they might be less hungry as well.
The babies are now big enough to be fed crushed flake food and guppy pellet food.  They have learned that we are the ones that bring them food, so they swim frantically in front of us when we are standing in front of the tank. 
 This makes it much easier to take pictures of these lovely little fish.  It is still a marvel to me that these fish were hatched from eggs produced by my adult goldfish.  I feel like I sprouted them from seeds and the seeds magically grew fish instead of plants.  It's pretty cool.

Have a great day!

Monday, May 12, 2014

Poggy is Better

Poggy went to the vet on the weekend and he got the A-Okay from the vet.  Yay!
The vet says the tongue is healing well and it was not cancer-related.  I'm supposed to keep giving him the chlorhexidine mouthwash for 4 more days and then I can stop giving it.  He can also resume regular cat food.
 Poggy also gained weight!  The vet was sure he would lose weight from his liquid diet, but the vet was surprised to find that Poggles had gained 36 grams.  He went from 304 grams to 340 grams.  The vet says that this is a good new weight for Poggles and that I should aim to keep him around this weight.
So since he loves the baby food and cooked egg yolk mixed with water, I will continue to give it to him along with his regular kibble.  I mixed his kibble with the baby food last night so that it would soften and Poggles ate about half of the kibbles.   I tried to give him one dried kibble, but I noticed that he takes a very long time to eat just one.  Sort of messes it around his mouth over and over and spitting it out and eating it again.  Doesn't seem right.
 Today he is very tired.  He has started wheeling at night again.  Maybe he felt that he needed to work out after I told him that he gained weight (actually I called him a fatso... and then fed him some croissant).  He looks super cute with the extra weight.  When you look down from top view, he actually has some roundness instead of being sucked in on the sides.  Sucked in on the sides means he is malnourished.  And when I pick him up, he has some weight to him instead of being light.  It is very nice.
On the flipside, he was so heavy that he tipped over his food bowl when he put his paws on the ledge of the bowl.  I had to right it for him and clean up the mess.  Poor fellow.

I am very happy that Poggy is okay now.

Have a happy week!