Saturday, March 26, 2011

Mars Bar Steamed Buns

o I've been dwelling on creating a different type of bao for a while now... trying to make my own twist of the epitome of steamed buns, the char siu bao that is obligatory at any number of yum cha establishments. The fluffy bun with the salty sweet pork, mmm, so delicious! But i was looking for something a little more refined, a little more savory, a little more, complex...

So how did i end up at mars bar steamed buns! I was so set on making bao using a filling i'd normally use in sang choy bao, with complex textures of crisp, crunchy, soft, etc, but then i was looking over a fish and chip shop menu and saw it there, my muse... the deep fried mars bar! Like a lightning bolt to the brain my synapses lit up at once and rather than funneling the energy into some sort of craving-induced coma it exposed itself as an idea - mars bar bao! And so it began.

The result was mixed. The Snickers bao i made first didn't carry that unctuous gooey deliciousness i wanted. But the mars bars, with their cavalier disregard for the nut, had the right texture. The buns themselves were fluffy but not sweet enough, so for the recipe below i've doubled the sugar content in the bun.

Ingredients (8 bao)

  • 2 twin pack mars bars / snickers bars
  • 3 cups plain flour
  • 2 tsp baking powder
  • 4 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp yeast
  • 1/4 cup canola oil


Chop the candy bars into a total of 8 pieces

Combine the yeast with 3/4 cup of lukewarm water in a bowl. Leave for 1 minute
Whisk through the oil then set aside.
Sift the sugar, flour and baking powder into a bowl.

Make a well in the centre of the flour and pour in the yeast mixture

Stir the mixture into the flour with a spoon, until a ragged dough forms

Use your hands to form the dough into a ball

Turn the dough onto a lightly floured bench and knead for 5 minutes or until smooth and elastic
Place in a bowl lined with oil and cover with cling film.
Leave in a warm place for 45 minutes or until doubled in size.
Cut the dough into 8 equal sized pieces.
Roll each piece into a ball

Flatten with your palm until it is around 5 inches in diameter and a bit thicker in the middle
Place a piece of candy in the middle of the dough

Pull the edges of the dough together, overlapping each piece as you pull it over the previous
Twist to seal
Place on a piece of baking paper

Repeat for remaining 7 pieces of dough
Steam in a bamboo steamer over high heat for 15 minutes

Serve immediately

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