Monday, December 27, 2010

Tang Yuan with Black Sesame Paste

It was harder than I thought to make good tang yuan. The dough is not as forgiving as wheat-based jiao zi dough, and was often in danger of cracking. There's a delicate balance between over-filling the rounds with black sesame paste and maintaining adequate skin thickness so as to prevent cracking/bursting during boiling.

Black Sesame Paste

- 1 cup black sesame seeds
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1 stick unsalted butter

  1. Toasted black sesame seeds in oven at 300 degrees F for a few minutes, or until they emit a fragrant odor.
  2. Finely grind sesame seeds in food processor.
  3. Add 2/3 cup white granulated sugar.
  4. Melt butter in microwave, add to mixture.
  5. Set aside for tang yuan wrapping!

Tang Yuan Dough

- 16 oz glutinous rice flour
- 1.75 to 2 cups cold water

  1. Mix together rice flour and water, adjusting water accordingly to get a soft, pliable dough.
  2. Make small rounds, fill with black sesame paste, pinch shut, and spheridize between hands.
  3. Dab dough with water as needed.
  4. To eat, boil for several minutes in hot water, or until tang yuan float in the pot.

A couple tang yuan after wrapping.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Buttermilk Banana Bread

The buttermilk helps make the banana bread super moist and delicious. After making a dozen loaves, I'm pretty happy with the recipe.

Buttermilk Banana Bread

Makes 2 loaves.

- 4 eggs beaten
- 2/3 cup buttemilk
- 1 cup vegetable oil
- 6 banana mashed (use the blackest bananas you can find, it's ok if they've liquified)
- 1 cup light brown sugar (I prefer my banana bread less sweet)
- 3.5 cups flour
- 2 tsp baking soda
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup Ghirardelli 60% bittersweet chocolate chips
- quick oats for topping (though old-fashioned look better)
- flax seed for topping
- sunflower seeds for topping
- cinnamon
- granulated sugar

  1. Mix together eggs, buttemilk, oil, bananas.
  2. Add brown sugar.
  3. Sift, then mix together in separate bowl, flour, baking soda, salt.
  4. Add flour mixture in thirds to bananas. Do NOT overmix, or resulting bread will be too dry.
  5. Add chocolate chips last.
  6. Grease loaf-pans.
  7. Mix together cinnamon and sugar.
  8. Fill two loaf-pans halfway.
  9. Sprinkle tops of batter with oats, cinnamon-sugar mixture, and/or flax/sunflower seeds.
  10. Bake at 325 degrees F for about 70-80 minutes, or until toothpick comes out clean.
  11. Let loaves sit in pan for ~ 5-10 minutes before attempting to remove.
  12. Remove and let cool overnight on wire rack.
  13. Enjoy!

The oats add a nice "rustic" look to the banana bread.

They were quite tasty if I say so myself.