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Clarified butter is without the lactose and other milk solids. It is traditionally prepared by gently heating butter until it becomes a clear golden liquid. The lactose and other milk solids coagulate and are meticulously removed. This process also evaporates most of the natural water content, making the clarified butter light, pure and resistant to spoilage.

Layered "Bao" with Lotus Paste

  • 2 tsp instant yeast
  • 170 ml water
  • 100 g Hong Kong ‘bao’ flour
  • 200 g plain flour
  • 60 g castor sugar
  • 1 tsp double-action baking powder
  • 28 g QBB clarified butter

  • 500 g lotus paste – roll out into square shape between two sheets of plastic to 2 mm thickness to match the shape of the ‘bao’ layer.

  • Some toasted black sesame or white sesame seeds

  1. Mix instant yeast and water in a bowl until dissolved. Set aside.
  2. Place the Hong Kong ‘bao’ flour, plain flour, sugar and double-action baking powder into a mixing bowl. Stir in the yeast mixture and mix until combined. Add the clarified butter and knead to form a smooth pliable dough.
  3. Transfer the dough onto a flour-dusted workspace and roll out into a long rectangular shape.
  4. Divide the dough into 5 equal portions. Let it rest for 10 minutes.
  5. Using a rolling pin, flatten one portion of the dough between two sheets of plastic into a square shape with approximately 2 mm thickness. Prick surface of the dough to release air bubbles. Place the dough on a square piece of parchment paper. Top with lotus paste filling. Repeat this process until the other 4 portions of the dough are used. Top with dough layer. Sprinkle with some toasted sesame seeds. 6. Leave the ‘bao’ to proof covered, in a bamboo basket until double in size. This takes approximately 30 – 45 minutes. Boil the water in a steamer and steam on high heat for 25 – 30 minutes or until skewer comes out clean when pierced through the middle of the ‘bao’. Remove and cut into square pieces to serve.

    Lotus paste is commonly used in Chinese pastry. It is also considered as an auspicious item as it evokes good fortune and promotes good health. Therefore, to serve this at the start of the day or even as a dessert item to end a feast on a sweet note is befitting during a celebratory occasion. Not only do they look good, they taste equally good.

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