Red Bean Swirl Buns

Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food
Red Bean Swirl Buns - Eat Cho Food

Is it possible to still feel adrenaline pumping after 4 days? Maybe I should go to the doctor… or maybe I’m just still high on life? I’m going to go with that second option! WOW. What a weekend. I successful taught my first dumpling making workshop on Saturday and it was one of the best experiences of my life! I wouldn’t say that I love public speaking, but I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity to publicly speak about something I love so much until now. It was so fun to talk about the foods I love with new friends who also love the same foods!

The morning of, Reuben and I were scrambling to get everything together and organized to drive over to the workshop space. I had a little hiccup and forget some ground chicken after we drove about 3 blocks the down the street, but it’s okay we got it! And arrived at the space just in time! I felt like time was moving so fast. My mind was racing while also simultaneously checking off the millions of items on my setup list. Then all of a sudden it was 10 til 2pm and people started to show up! Real life human people! When most of your job is based on the internet and using your phone, it’s really nice to see real dang human beans. Especially human beans who want to make dumplings with you. Eventually all 11 of my dumpling makers had arrived and we got working! To be honest the following 2 hours were such a blur, but Reuben caught a lot of it on his phone and it seemed like I was speaking english properly and making some sense.

In the weeks leading up to this weekend I was so nervous about how the class was going to go! I just wanted to make sure everyone had a great time. That’s the people pleaser in me. Thankfully, I think everyone had a really fun time and was able to go home with a belly full of dumplings, a container of extra dumplings, and the new acquired skill of pleating the most perfect little dumps : ) Seriously, all of my students were making excellent dumplings in no time! I was one proud dumpling mom. Now I have to get planning on my next workshops! If you want to go to one of my classes make sure to sign up for my mailing list! It’s right on the side of my blog!

Obviously life has been very dumpling centric for a while now, but I don’t only want to be know as the dumpling lady… there are a whole bunch of things I still love to make! When was the last time we made a super fluffy bun together? It’s been a few weeks, but we’re about to change that! I’m sharing a recipe one of my ABSOLUTE favorite Chinese baked goods! Red Bean Swirl Buns! When I walk into a Chinese Bakery there is a 1000000% percent chance I’'m grabbing some sort of red bean bun to take home… or more likely inhale immediately.

What is Red Bean Paste?

If you haven’t had red bean paste before, don’t be turned off when you read the word “bean” and “sweet” in the same sentence. Red beans or adzuki beans are incredibly common in asian desserts. I grew up loving red bean everything! In buns, mochi, and even in this red bean dessert soup… we would get it at the end of our big Chinese family feasts all the time! I think I liked it way more than my brother and cousins. Red bean paste is sweet, a little nutty, and really rich and smooth. I would eat this stuff on toast.

I’ve always wanted to make homemade red bean paste, but it’s so hard to find whole dried adzuki beans anywhere. That’s why when I saw that Bob’s Red Mill sells bags of the great bean I knew I had to snatch them right up and get working on this paste! To make red bean paste you soak the beans overnight to give them a head start and so you don’t have to boil them for a billion hours. Then you boil the beans for about an hour or so, until the beans are soft and tender. You then blend up the beans with some sugar and you got yourself some luscious red bean paste ready for all your baking experiments or just some toast! I’ve also had red bean in popsicle and ice cream form…. that might be my summer experiment!

For this recipe I made my go to milk bread dough using Bob’s Red Mill Artisan Bread Flour and Organic All Purpose Flour and it came out so soft and fluffy! I also taught myself a new way to form pretty buns! I’ll call it the score and twist! It’s really not as hard as it looks. All you do is roll out a portion of the milk bread dough, spread a thin layer of red bean paste, fold and seal it up, cut a few slits, roll up the dough like a candy cane, and twist it into a cute little coil. Pop those babies into the oven and get ready for one of the best treats! There are few things better than a warm red bean bun fresh out of the oven!

Thank you, Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post!


Red Bean Swirl Buns

makes 12 buns

red bean paste:

1/2 cup Bob’s Red Mill dried adzuki beans
2 cups water
3/4 cup white sugar

milk bread dough:

1 cup heavy cream
1 cup milk
1 egg
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup cornstarch
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill all purpose flour
2 cups Bob’s Red Mill bread flour
1 package of instant yeast (2 1/4 tsp)
1 tsp salt

1 egg + 1 tbsp water - egg wash
1/4 cup water + 1/4 cup white sugar - syrup glaze (optional)

to make red bean paste:

  1. Soak adzuki beans in water overnight. The next day, drain the beans. Place soaked beans and 2 cups water in a pot and bring to a boil. Cover the pot and boil for 1 hour until the beans are soft. Drain the beans, making sure to shake off any excess water. Place the beans in a food processor or immersion blender. Add in sugar and blend until smooth. Place red bean paste in a sealed container and allow to cool. Keep in the fridge until ready to use. The paste will seem a little loose at first, but will firm up once it cools.

to make the buns:

  1. Combine heavy cream, milk, egg, sugar, cornstarch, flours, yeast, and salt in the bowl of your standmixer fitted with a dough hook. Mix at medium speed (speed setting 4 for KitchenAid) for 15 minutes until a smooth and slightly sticky dough is formed. Stop to scrape down the sides every few minutes. Once dough is form, place in a large bowl lightly greased with oil. Cover with a damp kitchen towel and allow to rest in a warm place for 2 hours or in the fridge for 18 hours or overnight.

  2. Scrape out the dough onto a lightly floured surface. Divide the dough into 12 equal pieces.

  3. Roll out the dough into a roughly 6”x6” square, doesn’t have to be perfect. Spread about 1 tablespoon of red bean paste into a thin layer, leaving about 3/4” clear around the edges of the dough. Fold the dough in half. Tightly pinch the edges closed. Take a sharp knife or pasta cutter and cut 4-5 vertical slits in the dough. Twist the dough into a striped rope and then roll the rope into a coil, making sure the tuck the ends of the dough underneath the bun. Place bun on a parchment paper line baking tray. Repeat with remaining buns.

  4. Cover the buns with a lightly damp kitchen towel and let them rest for a final 45 minutes to proof one last time.

  5. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whisk together egg and water for your egg wash. Brush the egg wash over the buns. Place the buns in oven and bake for 20-25 minutes until golden brown.

  6. While the buns are in the oven, combine 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar in a small sauce pan and cook on medium heat until sugar has dissolved. Remove buns from the oven and immediately brush the syrup glaze over the buns. Allow buns to cool for a few minutes and then enjoy!

Notes:

  1. Buns are best eaten warm or day of baking. Store leftover buns in an airtight container for up to 4 days. To freshen them up a bit, just microwave for 20 seconds until warm and soft.

Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins

Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food
Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins - Eat Cho Food

Hello! Long time no read! How have you been?? Happy to report that we had a wonderful time in Italy and somehow have not suffered from too much jet lag. My #1 tip for beating jet lag is to come back home on a Game of Thrones day! The anticipation will motivate you to stay awake and then the mental drain from the show will knock you right out and you’ll be able to sleep a decent 7 hours! We woke up at like 6am and just got up to eat leftover dumplings and watch TV before getting ready for work, it was actually pretty wonderful lol. I have about a billion photos of Italian cats, sheep, and mortadella sandwiches to go through, but once I do I’ll share all the details of our trip!

You know how people say that it takes them a few days into their vacation to fully get off work mode? That has never been a problem for me. It would take me like -3 days to stop caring about work. Revit and coordination emails don’t exist anymore! Well, I definitely didn’t care about work emails while I was away. Don’t worry! But I actually started to get a little antsy about not cooking or developing recipes after a few days. When I couldn’t sleep during the first few nights in Rome, I just laid in bed thinking about all the different dumplings folds I wanted to try or how I would attempt to make a terrazzo cake after seeing all the beautiful terrazzos everywhere! So as much as I loved bopping around Italy with Reuben for 2 weeks, I’m super excited to be back in my kitchen again and make all my favorite foods!

I was sort of surprised by what foods I craved and missed the most while I was away. I miss dumplings (ok, that wasn’t that surprising), eggs (couldn’t find one in a scrambled or hardboiled form!!!!), and cake. All the cafes and bakeries were filled with the most amazing pastries, but after a few mornings of sfogliatella and brioches, I really just wanted a slice of pound cake or a muffin with my cappuccino! I missed the soft and fluffy texture of cake. I got a pistachio plum pound cake on our last day in Rome and it was very disappointing. I was so bummed! There was no plum… and the cake was so dry! Maybe moist cake just isn’t an Italian thing?

Thankfully I made these Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins right before we left for our trip so my cake craving was held back by a few days! What I love about these muffins is their light but satisfying texture and the fact that they are not too sweet and just let the sweetness of blueberries shine! Plus they are so easy and quick to whip together. Perfect for when you have a million things to do but also need a baked good in your life, which is ALWAYS. You know that my love of black sesame runs deep. The ground up black sesames and tahini add a great nuttiness that balances out the sweet and natural tartness of the blueberries. The muffins are topped with sugar, which adds the most addictive sweet crunch. Can we talk about how moist these muffins are?? The greek yogurt and tahini add a healthy amount of richness and pretty much insures that you won’t have any dry sad muffins! I used Bob’s Red Mill Organic and Unbleached All-Purpose Flour and it works so beautifully in this simple recipe. I think that when you’re baking simple sweets that aren’t hiding under pounds of buttercream or icing, having high quality flour is the key to making sure your star ingredients are front and center.

I’ve had probably hundreds of blueberry muffins in my lifetime. They were my muffin of choice at the DAAP (my architecture school) cafe. There have been some great ones and definitely MANY disappointing ones, but these black sesame versions are my new favorite!


Black Sesame Blueberry Muffins

makes 12 - 16 muffins

Materials:

2 ½ cups Bob’s Red Mill Organic All Purpose Flour
1 ½ tsp baking powder
1 ½ tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
1 cup sugar
4 tbsp finely ground black sesame seeds + more for topping
12 tbsp melted butter
2 eggs
3 tbsp tahini
½ cup greek yogurt
½ cup water
1 tsp vanilla
12 oz blueberries tossed in 1 tsp flour
demerara sugar (or any large grain sugar) - for topping

Steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line muffin tins with parchment liners.

  2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, sugar, and finely ground black sesame seeds.

  3. In another bowl, whisk together melted butter, eggs, tahini, greek yogurt, water, and vanilla. Add wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix until just combined.

  4. Toss blueberries in 1 tsp flour. Add blueberries into the batter and gently mix until berries are evenly dispersed.

  5. Fill each liner with batter. Since I used tulip baking liners I filled my tins fully. If using regular muffin or cupcake liners fill the tin about 3/4 of the way up. Top each muffin with demerara sugar and black sesame seeds if using. Bake for 28-33 minutes until lightly golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and allow muffins to cool in the tin for 5 minutes. After a few minutes remove muffins from the tin and allow to completely cool on a wire rack. Enjoy!

Thanks, Bob’s Red Mill for sponsoring this post!

Milk Tea Tres Leches

Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food
Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food

We are leaving for Rome in 4 days... holy meatballs! Whenever anyone asks me what I'm most excited for, my mind automatically jumps to one thing. No, it's not the romantic architecture that I’ve been studying for years or the fact that I won't be working for 2 weeks. It's not even the pizza or all the tiramisu I'm going to consume on a daily basis. It's the to-go pasta! lolololol I've mentioned it before, but I have a strange love for eating and walking. I love it so much that I've seriously thought about turning this combo into an Olympic sport where the athletes wear all white bodysuits and eat wet burritos or piping hot bowls of beef pho while also speed walking 1600 meters. Why do they have to wear white body suits? Because each athlete would get points deducted or more time added based on the amount of spills they get! hahahaha I giggle at this idea every time and feel slightly embarrassed I've spent enough time figuring out all the random details. The sport still needs a name though! 

Anyways, to-go pasta is literally the thing I'm looking forward to the most on this vacation. My friend Kelsey told me about this concept when she was studying abroad in Florence. What I’m imagining is a Chinese food take out container filled with the best pasta I’ve ever had. I’m so ready! Do you believe me now that I love portable food?? Foods on sticks. Self contained bundles of food like buns or onigiri. Anything that's smartly packaged in a neat and easy to eat out of container. A part of me thinks that if I'm eating and walking at the same time I'm also burning calories, which means I can eat more... honestly the logic isn't tooooooooooo crazy. Plus any food is portable if you tried hard enough... hence the Olympic sport! I don’t advise you to try eating hot pho while speed walking unless you’re a pro.

You know what's even better than portable noodles though? Not much... but portable dessert!! Obviously ice cream cones and ice cream sandwiches are the classic portable desserts, but doesn't portable cake sound like a dream come true? Especially a cake that's been soaked in milk tea and covered with whip cream! The inspiration for these Milk Tea Tres Leches came from a little market over by Reuben's office. I went there for the first time and was overwhelmed by how beautiful the prepackaged foods were! Like a million times better than the Trader Joe's grab and go lunch cold case I'm always frequenting at lunch. My eyes lit up when I saw their grab and go dessert section. Rows and rows and rows of weck jars filled with fruit cobbler, mousse, and cake!!! I had to grab a jar of their tres leche because there's something so satisfying about the texture of sponge cake soaked in cream. Mmmmmmm. It was SO GOOD. I beg Reuben every few weeks to bring me home one so we could split it for dessert!

This version has a little Hong Kong Milk Tea Twist! Milk tea is traditionally made by brewing ceylon tea (or red tea) and mixing in condensed milk and evaporated milk for a sweet and smooth finish. It's one of my favorite drinks and I'm always thinking of ways to incorporate it into desserts! It only seemed natural to infuse the ceylon tea into the tres leche since all the dairy was already there! The light and fluffy vanilla sponge cake is soaked in a tres leche mixture of condensed milk, regular milk, and heavy cream that's been steeped with ceylon tea. The resulting texture is light but also custardy. What dreams are made of! You can either assemble the tres leche in little parfaits like me or as a whole cake to share with friends or horde for yourself. I'll never judge! 

Talk you soon, friends! Next time you hear from me, I'll be in the land of carbs and portable pasta! Tune into my Instagram stories and watch me roam around Rome with a tub of chewy noodles and red sauce stains on my shirt! It's going to be glorious!

Ciao!


Milk Tea Tres Leches

makes 4 parfaits

materials:

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
pinch of salt
3 eggs - whites and yolks separated
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tbsp ceylon tea or strong black/red tea
1/2 cup condensed milk
1/2 cup milk

1 cup heaving whipping cream
3 tbsp powdered sugar

cocoa powder - optional

steps:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and line a 8”x8” baking pan with parchment paper.

  2. In a large bowl whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. In a medium bowl whisk together egg yolks and sugar for 3 minutes until thick and pasty. Fold yolk mixture into the flour mixture. In a clean bowl beat egg whites until you have stiff peaks, about 5 minutes. Gently fold egg whites into the flour mixture until evenly combined.

  3. Pour cake batter into the baking pan. Use an offset spatula to smooth the batter evenly in the pan. Bake for 20-24 minutes. Test for doneness using the toothpick test. Allow cake to cool in the pan for 5 minutes and then remove from the pan to cool completely on a wire rack.

  4. While the cake is baking, bring 1 1/2 cup heaving cream and ceylon tea to a gentle boil. Boil for 5 minutes. Watch carefully so it doesn’t overflow! Remove the cream from the heat and allow the tea to steep for 30 minutes. Discard tea bags and mix in condensed milk and regular milk.

  5. To make whipped cream, whip heavy cream with powdered sugar until fluffy.

  6. To assemble the parfaits, cut out 2.5”-3” cake rounds with a biscuit cutter. You should be able to get 6 full cake rounds for 3 parfaits and use the cake scrapes for the 4th parfait. Poke a few holes into the cake rounds using a fork. Place 1 cake round in a glass jar or serving glass. Pour 2-3 tbsp of the milk tea cream mixture. Add 2-3tbsp of whipped cream. Repeat cake, milk tea, and whipped cream layer again until filled. Place tres leches in the fridge for at least 3 hours to allow the cake to absorb the milk tea. They can be stored in the fridge for up to 4 days. When ready to served dust with a little cocoa powder!

Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food

Milk Tea Tres Leches - Eat Cho Food