Friday, February 11, 2011

Cocktail Buns (鸡尾包)

Cocktail buns or 鸡尾包, is a Hong Kong specialty snack, just like the famous Po Lo Buns or Pineapple Buns (菠萝包).  While I can easily figure out how Po Lo Buns get its name (the criss-cross topping resembles a pineapple), the cocktail bun does not look like a cock's tail to me.  Silly me!  Only when I googled for cocktail buns that I know that originally, the fillings inside was made of a "cocktail of unsold buns" - value-add and repackaged to become the famous cocktail buns (read more here)!  Really salute to the Hong Kong people for their creativity and entrepreneur spirits.

Anyway, the fillings for my buns is not a cocktail of any leftover CNY goodies or breads.  I took the recipe from Aunty Yochana and adapted it:

(makes 12 buns)

(A) - bread dough:
300g bread flour
15g milk powder 
50g sugar
5g instant yeast
1 medium-sized egg
120ml water
45g butter (if used unsalted butter, add a pinch of salt)

(B) - fillings (mix together):
100g butter
40g sugar
120g grated coconut (fresh one will be better)
60g plain flour
50g milk powder
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

(C) - Mexico topping: 
30g butter
15g sugar
30g plain flour
2 tsp beaten eggs

Egg wash (1/2 beaten egg + 1 tsp water)
Handful of white sesame seeds

1) Mix ingredients from (A), except butter, and beat for 10 minutes.  Add butter and continue to beat for another 8 to 10 minutes till a smooth dough is formed.

2) Round the dough into a ball and let it rest for 45 to 60 minutes till doubled in size.

3) Divide the dough into 12 portions.  Roll the doughs into balls, loosely cover with cling wrap and let them rest for 10 minutes.

4) With a rolling pin, flatten each ball to a round disc and wrap one tablespoon of fillings from (B) and seal each bun tightly.  Arrange buns on baking trays (lined with parchment paper) and let them proof for another 45 minutes (I proof mine in a closed-door oven with a tray of warm water for a humid environment).

5) For toppings: Stir together butter and sugar.  Add flour, 2 tsp eggs and mix well.  Transfer mixture into a small snack bag and make a tiny cut at a corner for piping later. 

6) Brush buns with egg wash, sprinkle some sesame seeds and pipe 3 lines of toppings on each bun.

7) Bake at preheated oven of 180C for about 12 to 15 minutes till golden brown.

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