June 10, 2021

Chinese Flaky Pastry with Lotus Seed Paste 白蓮蓉酥餅

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For the Dragon Boat Festival 端午節 this year we decided to supplement our traditional yummilicious zongzi meat dumplings 粽子 with these lovely Chinese Flaky Pastries stuffed with white lotus seed paste 白蓮蓉酥餅, a traditional pastry featuring golden fragrant rich filling wrapped in a wonderful melt in your mouth flaky pastry skin that is layered just like western butter flaky pastry but even more delicate and light.  It takes a bit of time to make this kind of pastry, but this lovely and delicately flaky pastry  is so totally worth the effort!  

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This is the lard (or shortening) based Chinese Flaky Pastry, also known as Huaiyang Flaky Pastry 淮揚酥皮 kneaded, rested, rolled and layered and ready for wrapping around a filling.  If you look closely at the photo above you can see the rings of layering.  The making of this pastry dough is not too hard but needs to be explained in detail so we've separated it into a separate post on how to make Chinese Flaky Pastry Dough.  Once the flaky pastry is made you can start with the stuffing and wrapping of the little pastries.

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We chose to use white lotus seed paste 白蓮蓉 as the filling for our pastry.  Lotus seed paste is a fragrant, sweet, nutty, densely rich paste that is most often used as the filling for mooncakes.  You can make it yourself, check out our recipe for mooncakes made with homemade lotus seed paste, or you can buy it pre-made.  We found this very nice pre-made paste at Wing Wah 香港榮華餅家.  Or you could get it online here.

To make these kinds of pastry it's imperative to use a food scale.  The dough and the filling need to be weighted into portions so that pastries come out uniform and also so that the dough will fit the filling.  If you haven't used a one before you'll quickly find, as I did, that the food scale becomes indispensable.

For an alternative homemade traditional chinese filling check out our recipes for red bean paste, sesame paste, mung bean paste.  You could even use a savory pork or beef filling...yumsy!...we're going to try savory filling next time.  

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The filling is rolled to a ball, then placed onto the rolled out round of flaky pastry dough.  Make sure that the side with the layered rings is facing up.  The dough is wrapped around the filling snuggly and then molded and pulled with fingers to bring to a close with a final pinch to secure.

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The bit of extra dough sticking out after the dough is pinched to a close is then folded over to one side and pressed flat.  With the closed side facing down press the pastry with palm until it flattens out.  Use a thumb to gently depress the middle of pastry down a bit.

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This next bit is an optional but time honoured way to decorate and mark Chinese pastries, buns, etc.   I learned this clever trick while watching my dearest grandma 奶奶 mark her red bean buns to differentiate them from her pork and cabbage buns.  Who knew that the top side of a chopstick, being square, turns out to be a perfect stamp!  A bit of food coloring, a chop stick and you're good to go.  I just love how the stamp looks. 

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Here are the shaped and stamped pastries ready for the oven.  They won't spread much so they can be placed an inch apart.  The use of the lard keeps the pastry skin a beautiful pure white color.  

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This is the pastries after the bake.  You can see that they have puffed up a bit and still have the white color with just a hint of pale ivory around the edges.


Time to take a luscious bite.  Look at that beautiful flaky layering!  These Chinese flaky pastries are super delicate (careful when handling) light and airy in taste, flaky crumbly to the bite with a deliciously sweet and fragrant filling for contrast.   It's so good and so amazing that this kinda of pastry can be made at home.  We're going to try for a savory filling next (hubby and daughter are more carnivores than sweetivores) and then there's also an intriguing version of Chinese flaky pastry that uses butter instead of lard that I want to try.  But try this traditional Chinese Flaky Pastry version first, it's so light, it practically melts in your mouth!

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Chinese Flaky Pastry with Lotus Seed Paste  白蓮蓉酥餅
(adapted from 辛福應景的中式糕餅點心, makes 22 pastries) Prep time:  15 mins   Cook time: 30 mins


1 portion Chinese Flaky Pastry Dough (click on link to recipe)
food coloring

Preheat oven to 340°F (170°C).

Prepare Chinese Flaky Pastry Dough.  Roll each of the final 22 layered dough portions into 4 1/2 inch circles.

Weigh out the lotus seed paste into 55g weight pieces and roll each into a ball.

Place lotus seed paste ball onto center of rolled out flaky pastry dough, making sure that the layered rings are facing up.  Bring up the dough snuggly around the filling.  Holding in the palm of one hand, use the other to gently pull the dough to a close. Pinch to securely close the dough.  Fold over the raised pinched dough and flatten.  Placing the closed end face down, use palm of hand to press the pastry down until 3/4 inch thick.  Use thumbs to gently compress the middle of pastry into a dip.

Drop a couple drops food coloring into small bowl.  Use the wide end of chopstick to stamp the dough in the middle with four squares.  Place onto baking sheet, leaving one inch in between pastries.  

Bake 25-30 mins or until pastries just turning ivory around bottom edges.  Remove and let cool completely.  If not eating immediately store in air tight container in the fridge.  To eat, reheat in toaster oven for a couple of mins.  Enjoy!

More Delightful Desserts at The Hong Kong Cookery:




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