Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Apple and Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns

These pillowy apple and cinnamon hot cross buns are soft, fluffy and springy with a good balance of spice and fruit. I can't taste or smell the apple in the buns which is disappointing to be honest. But I'm guessing the apple might have play a part in giving these buns the tender crumb.

I get a sense of satisfaction from being able to now make hot cross buns as good if not better than store-brought ones. The best part though is the aroma of cinnamon, mixed spice and fresh bread that fills the house while the buns are in the oven. It is the smell, I imagine, of lazy sunday and cozy morning.

Apple and Cinnamon Hot Cross Buns
(Adapted from Gourmet Traveller)

Makes 20

260 grams caster sugar
375 ml water
1 lemon
2 Granny Smith apples, unpeeled, cored, diced
1 cinnamon quill

700 grams plain flour (more flour may be required, see method below.)
150 grams sultanas or golden raisins
50 grams dried apple, diced (I replaced with 50 grams sultanas)
30 grams candied orange, diced
14 grams instant dried yeast
3 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon all spice
65 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon salt
Finely grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon
380 ml milk
100 grams butter, coarsely chopped
1 egg, lightly beaten, room temperature

Flour Paste
50 grams plain flour
70 ml cold water

To make Syrup:
Combine sugar and water in a saucepan, then squeeze in juice of half a lemon and stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Meanwhile, cut remaining lemon half into 5mm-thick slices, add to pan with Granny Smith apple and cinnamon quill. Bring to the simmer, reduce heat to medium and cook until lemon and apple are translucent (20-25 minutes). Strain, reserving fruit and syrup separately. When cool enough to handle, dice lemon, combine with apple and set aside.

To make Buns:
Combine flour, sultanas, dried apple, candied orange, yeast, ground cinnamon, all spice, rinds, sugar, reserved apple mixture and salt in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook.

Combine milk and butter in a small saucepan, warm over low heat until butter melts and mixture is lukewarm (about 38C). Add warm milk mixture and egg to flour mixture. Knead on low speed until you get a pliable elastic tacky dough. It should be sticky but not overly so. (Note: If the dough does not pull away from the sides of the bowl after 10 minutes, the dough is too sticky. Add 1/4 cup of flour, and continue to beat for 5 minutes. I find that sometimes I need to add between 50-100grams of flour depending on how well I strain the apple mixture.)

Place into a lightly oiled bowl. Cover with plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm draught-free place until doubled in size (40-60 minutes)

Line a large baking tray with non-stick baking paper. Punch dough down to its original size, divide into 20 even pieces, then knead each piece into a small ball. Place balls onto lined tray, about 1cm apart. Cover with lightly oiled plastic wrap. Set aside in a warm draught-free place until buns double in size (about 40-60 minutes).

Preheat oven to 220C (200C fan-forced).

To make flour paste:
Combine flour and 70ml cold water in a bowl and stir to a smooth paste. Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a small plain nozzle and pipe a cross shape onto each bun.

Bake for 10 minutes, reduce oven to 200C (180C fan-forced) and bake until golden and buns sound hollow when tapped (8-10 minutes).

Brush syrup thickly over hot buns. Transfer to wire rack to cool.

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Buttermilk and Ricotta Scrolls

Savoury scrolls that require no yeast, minimum kneading, quick to make, and almost fail-proof? Sounds too good to be true? Well. This is no April's fool. These scrolls are very good indeed.

These scrolls are adapted from a basic damper recipe. Add the classic combination of ricotta, greek feta and sage, we got ourselves flavoursome scrolls that will go so well with a bowl of hot and steamy pumpkin or tomato soup.

I have to add that this is not a light and fluffy type of scroll. The texture is slightly denser and quite similar to scones. Just so you know...

Buttermilk and Ricotta Scrolls

Makes 12

450 grams self-raising flour
1 teaspoon salt
80 grams butter, cold, cut into small cubes
300 ml buttermilk
200 grams ricotta
80 grams greek feta cheese
Sage leaves (about 15 leaves)
Sea salt flakes, to serve

Preheat oven to 220 degrees celsius (200 degrees celsius fan-forced). Line a 30cm x 20cm lamington tin with baking paper.

Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl. Use your fingertips to rub the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

Make a well in the centre and pour in buttermilk. Stir in until combined and a sticky dough forms. Turn dough out onto a floured surface and knead dough gently for 1-2 minutes until smooth.

Lightly flour rolling pin and roll dough out to roughly about 50cm x 35cm rectangle. Spread ricotta over dough. Crumble feta over top of ricotta layer, and then scatter over sage leaves. Starting from long side, roll up firmly to form a log. Cut log into 12 equal portions. Place scrolls on the prepared tray. Brush top of scrolls with extra buttermilk. Bake for 25-30 minutes until scrolls are golden and sound hollow when tapped. Allow to cool. Sprinkle with sea salt to serve.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014


Well. Hello. Can you believe it's February already? And soon it will be March.

We moved into our new home just before Christmas. We were left stranded without internet for more than 2 months thanks to our very "competent" Australian service provider (ahem... Telstra). We could only shrug, keep calm and carry on. Internet troubles aside, I'm in love with my new house.

I'm getting used to working in my new kitchen. The bench space is smaller than in my old kitchen. However in exchange, there is plenty of storage space and a pantry the size of a small walk-in wardrobe. So I can’t complain. With the additional storage space, I can now buy more kitchen gadgets that I don’t need, such as an ice cream machine and a pasta machine. Ha!

With the new year, means new resolutions, of course. I have a massive list of things-to-accomplish this year. One of which is to attempt several challenging bake projects which I have been putting off because they are too time consuming and I’m lazy.

So here’s the first for the year, a creation by Adrian Zumbo- Chouxmaca. What is Chouxmaca, I hear you ask. It's a combination of choux pastry and macaron. Genius, I thought. One of those things that I wish I have thought of first. And as pointed out by Adrian Zumbo, the name Chouxmaca sounds like the famous formula one driver Shumaker. How cool is that?

I think I should probably clarify at this stage that this is not the exact recipe from Adrian Zumbo in case you thought otherwise. This is more of an inspired and simplified version. The recipes for the choux pastry and macarons are my go-to recipes from the “Secrets of Éclairs” and “Secrets of Macarons” which have always work for me.

The chouxmaca consists of five components- choux pastry, sable a choux, lemon curd cream, italian meringue and macaron.

Apparently, you can make the whole thing in half a day. Well, maybe, if you are Adrian Zumbo. But I’m no Adrian Zumbo, and I would also like to keep my stress level down and kitchen bench clean between each component. So I have spread out the prep work over a week.

I started with the lemon curd first so that I can reserve the egg whites to be aged for a couple of days before I use it to make the macarons. The lemon curd can keep up to 2 weeks.

On the second day, I made the choux pastry and sable a choux. To get the perfect size and shape for the choux pastry, I used a silicone cake pop mould for the job. First I piped the choux pastry into the mould, even it out with a spatula, cover the mould with plastic wrap, and put it in the freezer until it’s completely frozen. Both the unbaked choux pastry and sable a choux can keep up to 3 months in the freezer. Bake the choux pastry, from frozen, on the day when you are ready to assemble and serve the chouxmaca.

On the third day, I made the macaron shells with the aged egg whites. I recommend making the macarons at least 2 day before serving as the resting time will improve the texture of the macarons. The macaron shells can keep up to 1 week in an airtight container in the fridge.

On the day of serving, I baked the choux pastry and sable a choux, whipped the cream and lemon curd, and made the Italian meringue.

I think all the components really work well together. The sable a choux, which is like a thin layer of shortbread cookie, gives a nice crispiness to the choux pastry. The macaron on top adds crunch and slight chewiness to the whole thing. The lemon curd cream is creamy, sweet and tangy. And of course, you can never go wrong pairing the lemon curd cream with meringue.

There is no pretty way of eating chouxmaca. You just have to get in it. What I did was to squash everything down, lick off the meringue and lemon curd cream that oozes off the side, and then take a big bite into it.

(Inspired by Adrian Zumbo via Taste Magazine November 2013. Choux Pastry adapted from Secrets of Eclairs. Macaron Shells adapted from Secrets of Macarons.)

Makes about 20 chouxmaca

Lemon Curd Cream
4 egg yolks (Note: reserve egg whites for the macarons)
75 grams caster sugar
80ml lemon juice
40 grams butter
300 grams heavy cream

To make Lemon Curd Cream:
Combine ingredients in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water, stir constantly, until mixture thickens. Remove from heat. Cover surface with plastic wrap, refrigerate until cold.

During day of serving, weigh out 150g lemon curd. Whip heavy cream and lemon curd together until medium peaks form. Be careful not to overwhip.

Sable a Choux
80 grams butter, cut into small cubes, softened, at room temperature
80 grams brown sugar
80 grams plain flour

To make Sable a Choux:
Mash butter into the brown sugar with a spatula or the back of a spoon, until there are no more lumps of butter and the mixture has form a paste. (The butter will need to be soft for this to work.) Add flour and stir until just combine. Wrap the mixture with a plastic wrap, pat the mixture down to form a disk and refrigerate until firm (about 1 hour). Roll dough between 2 sheets of baking paper to 2mm thick. Use a 4cm round cutter to cut into rounds. If the mixture is too soft to cut, place dough onto baking tray and refrigerate until firm.

Freeze the rounds of sable a choux until firm or ready to use.

Choux Pastry
80ml milk
80ml water
70 grams unsalted butter, cut into small cubes
large pinch of salt
10 grams caster sugar
100 grams plain flour
120 grams (about 2 eggs) eggs, room temperature, lightly beaten (Note: You will need an additional egg if the pastry is too dry. See method below.)

To make Choux Pastry:
Preheat oven to 150 degrees celsius fan-forced.

Place milk, water, butter, salt and sugar into a saucepan. Place pan over medium heat, stirring constantly with a spatula or wooden spoon until the butter has melted, and liquid has come to a boil. Allow liquid to boil for 2 seconds. Remove from heat and add the flour all at once. Start mixing until the mixture comes together and no more dry flour is visible.

Return saucepan over medium heat, stirring vigorously until the dough pull away from the side of the pan and bottom of the pan is clean.

Immediately transfer the dough to the bowl of an electric stand mixer with paddle attachment. Mix on medium for about 30 seconds to cool slightly. Begin gradually incorporate the eggs into the mixture, about a tablespoon at a time, beating until each addition is completely absorbed before adding the next. Once you have incorporate all the eggs, stop the mixer to check the consistency of the dough. Take some of the mixture with a spatula and lift it up. If the mixture adheres well to the spatula then drops off with a clean break after 5-10 seconds from the mixture still attached to the spatula, it's ready. If the mixture doesn't stick to the spatula and falls off without leaving any traces behind or doesn't fall off at all, gradually add more eggs, checking the consistency every 2 tablespoons. If the mixture immediately break off from the mixture still attached to the spatula without any pause, too much eggs has been added. If that is the case, nothing more can be done at this point except to start again.

Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a 1cm round nozzle. Pipe twenty 4cm diameter rounds onto a tray lined with baking paper, leaving enough space between each round for the dough to expand without touching.

Place a round of sable a choux on top of each choux puff and bake until puffed and deep golden brown, about 45-60 minutes. Note: I hardly follow the recommended time, but just "eye ball" it through the oven glass door, checking on the choux pastry after 30 minutes and then every 10 minutes after until the choux pastry is deep golden brown. Resist opening the oven door before the choux pastry has time to puff up and become golden as this will cause the choux pastry to collapse.

Immediately once the choux pastry is out of the oven, gently slit a small hole on top of the choux pastry to allow steam to escape. Allow the choux pastry to cool completely before filling it with lemon curd cream.

Macaron Shells
200 grams almond meal
200 grams icing sugar
75 ml water
200 grams caster sugar
2 x 80 grams egg whites
Yellow food colouring

To make Macaron Shells:
Method here.

Italian Meringue
200 grams caster sugar
75ml water
80 grams egg whites

To make Italian Meringue:
In a small saucepan, bring water and caster sugar to boil without stirring. When the temperature of the syrup reaches 105 degrees celsius, start beating egg whites in an electric stand mixer on medium speed to soft peaks.

When the syrup reaches 115 degree celsius, remove the saucepan from heat. (Note: Make sure the temperature of the syrup doesn’t go above 115 degrees celcius. I usually remove the saucepan from the heat at 113-114 degrees celsius.). Increase the speed of the mixer, and pour the syrup in a thin stream, down the side of the bowl, into the egg whites. Decrease the speed of the mixer to medium, and continue to beat the meringue until it cools. It will take about 8-10 minutes. The meringue should be glossy and stiff peak form, and bottom of mixing bowl should be cool enough to touch.

Spoon mixture into a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle.

To assemble:
Cut a small 2cm hole off the top of the choux pastry. Run your finger inside to remove any bits of soft choux in the middle. Fill the choux pastry with lemon curd cream. Pipe italian meringue on top. Place a macaron shell on top.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Kimchi Fried Rice

I'm addicted to kimchi fried rice for a couple of months now. I want to eat it for breakfast every day. Yes, breakfast. Nothing better than spicy food to kick start the metabolic rate. So spicy that I have to eat with my mouth open. Here's a little fun fact- chilli can increase metabolic rate by up to 25%. So bring on the kimchi and throw in a few tablespoons of gojujan (aka korean chilli paste) for good measure.

Well actually, I'm kidding about the tablespoons of gojujan. I recommend starting with 1 teaspoon first, and increase the amount to the level of spiciness that you prefer.

Kimchi fried rice is usually served with fried egg on top, but I prefer it with poached egg.

Kimchi Fried Rice
Serves 1

1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 cup kimchi, roughly chopped
1 bowl cooked overnight japanese (short grain) rice
1 teaspoon gochujan
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon sugar
1/4 cup spring onion, chopped
1 tablespoon white sesame seeds
1 egg, fried or poached

Heat the oil in a wok over medium-high heat. Stir-fry the onions and garlic for 1 minute, or until the onions is translucent. Add kimchi and rice, stir-fry and gently break up any lumps of rice, cook for 1 minute or until rice has warmed through. Add gochujan, soy sauce, sesame oil and sugar. Stir through to combine. Remove wok from heat, add spring onion and sesame seeds, stir through to combine.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Serve with fried or poached egg.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Itsy Bitsy Lemon Meringue Cupcakes

These cute-as-a-button mini lemon meringue cupcakes are super easy to make. I whipped them up within an hour. And they are yummy too!

Well, what can I say, except that we need more recipes like this.

Itsy Bitsy Lemon Meringue Cupcakes
(Adapted from The Australian Women's Weekly)

Makes 30 mini cupcakes (or 10 standard size cupcakes)

Lemon Curd
4 egg yolks
75g caster sugar
80ml lemon juice
40g butter

Lemon Cake
125g butter, softened
2 teaspoons finely grated lemon rind
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
60g desiccated coconut
185g self-raising flour
80ml milk

4 egg whites
200 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

To make lemon curd:
Combine ingredients in a small heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water; stir constantly, until mixture thickens slightly. Remove from heat. Cover surface with plastic wrap; refrigerate until cold.

To make lemon cake:
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius (160 degrees celsius fan-forced). Line mini cupcake pan with paper cases.

Beat butter, rind, sugar and eggs in a small bowl with an electric mixer until light and fluffy. Stir in the coconut, then sifted flour and milk. Divide mixture among cases; smooth surface. Bake for about 15-20 minutes or until cooked. Cool cupcakes on wire racks.

Cut a small hole in centre of each cake and fill with lemon curd.

To make meringue:
Combine egg whites and sugar in a small bowl, beat with an electric mixer until thick and glossy. Spoon meringue into a piping bag fitted with a star tip. Pipe meringue on cakes. Bake in preheated oven at 220 degrees celsius (200 degrees celsius fan-forced) until brown lightly, about 5 minutes. (Note: I used blowtorch to brown the meringue)

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Candy Cane Roll Cake

Christmas holiday is not too far away now. The shops are well stocked with Christmas related things since August. And am I hearing Christmas carols playing ever so subtly in the background the other day?

According to an online survey, most of us start planning for (or at least think about) our Christmas baking/cooking in November. I know I certainly start collecting ideas around this time of the year.

So here's one for Christmas; a delicious candy cane roll cake. It is more interesting than a Christmas log, just as festive, and will make you look like a baking genius. There is nothing too tricky about making this beautiful roll cake except having steady hands to pipe very straight lines.

Candy Cane Roll Cake
(Adapted from Roll Cake by Junko)

Serves 4

For the roll sponge

Part A- egg yolk mixture:
3 egg yolks
30 grams caster sugar
60ml milk
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
40ml vegetable oil
80 grams cake flour
1 teaspoon red food colouring

Part B- meringue:
3 egg whites
30 grams caster sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch

Sugar syrup
50 grams caster sugar
50 grams water
1 tablespoon cherry liqueur (or kirsch)- Optional

200ml thickened cream, chilled (Note: do not use low fat cream.)
25 grams caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
4-5 small strawberries

To make Part A- egg yolk mixture:
Preheat the oven to 170 degrees celsius (or 150 degrees celsius fan-forced). Grease and line a 28cm x 28cm flat square cake pan with baking paper.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg yolks and sugar on medium-high speed until pale and creamy.

Combine milk, vanilla extract and oil in a small bowl. Add to beaten egg yolk mixture and whisk at low speed until just combined. Sift flour over egg mixture, and whisk at low speed until smooth and well-combined.

Divide egg yolk mixture equally into two seperate bowls. Add red food colouring into one portion of the egg yolk mixture, and stir until colour is uniform. Set aside.

To make Part B- meringue:
Combine sugar and cornstarch.

Clean and dry the whisk thoroughly, and in a clean bowl, whisk the egg whites until foamy. Add half the sugar-cornstarch mixture and continue beating for a few minutes, then add remaining sugar-cornstarch mixture and beat until egg whites are glossy and stiff peak form.

Divide meringue equally between the coloured and non-coloured egg yolk mixture prepared earlier. Fold in lightly with a spatula to incorporate completely.

Fill two piping bags fitted with 1cm plain round tips; one with the coloured cake batter, and the other with the non-coloured cake batter. Pipe with the red cake batter first, diagonally on prepared pan, about 3cm-4cm apart. Then fill in-between the piped red cake batter and any gaps with the non-coloured cake batter. Tip: If you are not too confident about getting even spacing, draw lines on the baking paper first, flip baking paper over before you pipe (so that the ink does not touch the batter), then pipe batter along the lines.

Bake for 14 minutes until the cake has risen and feels springy to the touch. Remove from oven. Turn sponge straight from oven onto a sheet of baking paper. Peel off baking paper from the bottom of the sponge. Cover with baking paper, then a tea towel. Set aside to cool completely.

To make sugar syrup:
Combine the sugar and water in a small saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring, until the sugar dissolves. Allow to boil for 5 seconds. Remove from the heat, let cool, and stir in kirsch.

To make filling:
Combine cream, sugar and vanilla extract in a clean bowl. Using an electric mixer, whip cream at medium speed until stiff peaks form but cream is still smooth.

To assemble:
When the cake is completely cool, make very shallow cuts along the cake, 2 cm apart, in the crust on top of the cake with a small sharp knife. Brush sugar syrup over the cake, followed by the whipped cream and strawberries. Roll up the cake around the filling. Wrap the cake, first in baking paper, then with cling film, refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Skolebrød (School Bread)

I have not been to Norway and I would like to go there someday. Judging from the photographs in the travel guidebooks and at the Norway website, it seems like a beautiful place. I dream about spending a Christmas holiday there, and if I'm lucky enough, to go to a place where I can see the Aurora. I imagine it would be magical.

This week, I couldn't stop thinking about Skolebrød. I wanted to eat it so badly. Which is strange because I've never eaten or even heard of Skolebrød before. You see, I was searching for a recipe online for a custard bread that I've a sudden craving for. I don't know the name (and still don't) of that custard bread in question. So I typed "custard bread" in google search, as we do, and saw an image of a bun coated in grated coconut with baked custard in the middle. That is interesting, I thought. Further investigation reveals that it is a Norwegian sweet bread usually "put in school lunches as dessert" (quote from wikipedia). The name Skolebrød literally means school bread. Lucky Norwegian kids, but I bet they never had vegemite sandwiches before.

I have tested out several recipes for an authentic Skolebrød. In the end, I decided to use the tried, tested, and much loved Tongzhong method to get the soft fluffy sweet buns that I just can't get enough. Not so authentic, but what we got here is the softest and fluffiest bun with baked custard in the middle, coated with sugar glaze, and covered in dessicated coconut. If you are serving this straight away, decorate with pastry cream (leftover from making the baked custard).

This is best eaten on the day it's made. I recommend storing the leftover in the fridge because of the custard, just to be on the safe side. Unfortunately, this also means that the buns will lose some of it's fluffiness. Not a problem. You can warm the buns quickly in the microwave for 10-15 seconds, and the buns will be soft and fluffy again.

Oh, can anyone solve the riddle of that custard bread that I'm still looking for? I think it's french.

Skolebrød (School Bread)
(Bread adapted from 65 Degrees Celsius Tangzhong Bread by Yvonne C.)

Makes 12

Pastry Cream
200 grams milk
1/2 vanilla bean, split lengthwise and scraped for seeds
3 egg yolks
50 grams caster sugar
20 grams plain flour

250 grams strong high protein flour (bread flour)
50 grams water, room temperature

Sweet Buns
210 grams strong high protein flour (bread flour)
56 grams soft low protein flour (cake flour)
20 grams milk powder
42 grams caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 grams instant dried yeast
30 grams egg (about half of a large egg), beaten, room temperature (reserve other half for egg wash)
85 grams warm water (46 to 52 degrees celsius)
84 grams tangzhong, room temperature
22 grams unsalted butter, room temperature, soften

Coconut Sugar Glaze Topping
1 cup icing sugar
2 tablespoon water, room temperature
1/2 bowl desiccated coconut

To make pastry cream:
Add milk, vanilla bean and seeds to a saucepan and bring to a boil. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a clean separate bowl, whisk egg yolks and sugar until mixture is slightly pale in colour (you can whisk this by hand for 2 minutes). Add flour and whisk to combine.

Add a third of the hot milk to the egg mixture and whisk to combine. Add remaining hot milk and whisk to combine. Return egg and milk mixture to the saucepan, over medium heat, whisking constantly. Continue whisking until mixture starts to thicken. Press the pastry cream through a fine-meshed sieve into a plate, cover with cling film and place in the fridge to cool completely.

To make tangzhong:
Combine flour and water in a small saucepan. Place saucepan over low heat, whisking constantly with a hand whisk, until mixture reaches 65 degrees celsius. To tell without using the thermometer, the mixture is done when it's start to thicken slightly and the whisk leave trails in the liquid. Remove from heat, transfer mixture to a bowl, press cling film over the surface of the mixture to prevent a skin forming, and allow to cool until room temperature.

Tangzhong can be refrigerated up to 2 days. Allow tangzhong to come to room temperature before using. Discard if tangzhong has taken on a grey tinge.

To make sweet buns:
Note: I used instant dried yeast that can be added directly to the flour without having to go through the step of dissolving the yeast first. If the type of yeast that you are using needs to be dissolved, sprinkle yeast onto warm water. Add a pinch of caster sugar, whisk to combine, and allow the mixture to sit for about 5 minutes until the mixture is foamy and frothy.

Combine flours, milk powder, caster sugar, ground cardamom, salt and yeast in the bowl of a stand-mixer. Add egg, warm water and tangzhong to the flour mixture.

Fix mixer with the hook attachment, with the mixer on low speed (#2 on Kitchenaid), knead dough until the ingredients are incorporated. Stop mixer, add soften butter, and resume kneading on low speed until the dough is smooth, elastic and tacky. This should take about 10-15 minutes. The dough should sticks to the hook and pulls away from the sides of the bowl. To check if the dough is ready, do a windowpane test (aka membrane test); pinch off a small golf ball size dough, and if you can stretch it into a paper thin translucent membrane without breaking it until eventually a hole starts to appear, the dough is good to go.

Shape dough into a ball. Resist adding more flour. For ease of handling the dough, lightly grease hands instead. Place the dough in a large greased bowl, cover the bowl securely with a cling flim, and let the dough rise at room temperature until doubled in size, about 1-1.5 hours.

Deflate the dough, divide dough into 12 equal pieces (about 40-45 grams each), shape each piece into a ball, and place on baking tray lined baking paper. Allow plenty of space between each bun (about 10cm apart). Make an indentation into each bun with a lightly floured or greased thumb. Cover with oiled cling flim and leave to rise until doubled in size, about 1-1.5 hours.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius (or 160 degrees celsius fan-forced). Press down the indentation in the bun made earlier with your thumb again to make a deep hole, careful not to deflate the bun too much. Pipe pastry cream into each hole. Brush the buns with leftover beaten egg. Bake for 15-20 minutes, or until golden-brown. Transfer to a wire-rack to cool while making sugar glaze.

To make coconut sugar glaze topping:
Sift icing sugar to breakdown or remove any lumps. Combine icing sugar and water to make a glaze.

Brush the glaze onto the buns around the custard centre. Dip the glazed part of each bun into the coconut. Finish by placing a little of leftover pastry cream on top (optional).