Tuesday, August 23, 2022

Gula Melaka Buttery Tau Sar Piah 马六甲椰糖牛油豆沙饼 - HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!!

I’m pleased that August is almost gone which means that our weather at Melbourne is getting warmer and Spring is arriving soon. While the down-under us are enjoying cherry blossoms, the leaves at the rest of the world above the equator are starting to fall concurrently. Fascinating…

Whether we are experiencing the real autumn now or not, we as Chinese always celebrate mid-autumn festivals at this time of the year.

For us, I always enjoy making our own mooncakes or Chinese pastries during this festive season, preferably with less sugar or other health-conscious options. For example, my Less Sugar Colourful Spiral Flaky Pastry Coconut Custard Mooncake at HERE, Mini Honey Mooncakes at HERE and Chinese Red Bean Paste Mooncake Pastry Slices at HERE.

This year, I proudly present to you… my Gula Melaka Tau Sar Piah with Yummy Buttery Pastry.

Each of my standard-sized tau sar piah contains less than 6g added sugar! The pastry are so buttery, flaky, melty and crisp and the tau sar filling is smooth, fragrant, a little salty and sweet but not too sweet. Just perfectly nice!

best gula Melaka tau sar piah buttery pastry low sugar sweet and salty
my Gula Melaka Buttery Tau Sar Piah 马六甲椰糖牛油豆沙饼
with short buttery pastry

This recipe is actually adapted from my previously published Like 611 Buttery Tau Sar Piah recipe at HERE.

This buttery pastry is made of a combination of unsalted butter and Crisco vegetable shortening in 3:1 ratio but you can substitute shortening with the same amount of butter. Is there any difference due to the substitution? Yes! The pastry that is made with shortening and butter is buttery, flaky and melty whereas the pastry with all butter is slightly firmer and more biscuit-like.

The critical tricks of making this pastry so short and buttery are…

- the butter and shortening have to be cold
- Do not knead or over-work the pastry! If you look closely, you should see streaks of butter and shortening on the dough

Actually, I modified the original recipe slightly this time. Instead of rubbing in the shortening first then the butter into the flour mixture, I rubbed both shortening and butter at the same time. I reckon it’s ok as long as I work on the pastry really quick, making sure that both shortening and butter remain cold while rubbing them into the flour mixture.

In fact, this pastry is pretty easy to handle that I don’t need any flour to dust the rolling surface and my hands. Please my baking video and you’ll see what I mean.

Music: Bensound

best gula Melaka tau sar piah buttery pastry low sugar sweet and salty
I had to bake 20 tau sar piah.
Guess what? 5 of these were gone immediately as soon as I took this photo. LOL!
best gula Melaka tau sar piah buttery pastry low sugar sweet and salty
Each of these tau sar piah contains less 6g added sugar.
So, the tau sar filling is smooth, fragrant, a little salty and sweet, not too sweet.
VERY YUMMMMM with its crisp short buttery pastry!!!

More baking tips!!! My apology for being extra nagging. Just before proceeding onto the recipe, I have to mention these...

1. Please do not add less than 75g gula Melaka into the tau sar filling as the sweetness of this paste is just right.

2. The addition of salt into the tau sar filling is optional. I suggest that you have to add salt if you prefer your tau sar piah to be both sweet and salty.

2. You can sprinkle black and white sesame seeds on the pastry after applying egg wash and just before baking if desired. My husband and son told me that they prefer me not to sprinkle the sesame seeds and so I didn’t do it.


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Here's the recipe that adapted from my 611-like tau sar piah recipe.

Makes 20 x 5cm tau sar piah

For the gula Melaka tau sar filling:
100g mung beans (without skin), rinsed with cold water
45ml (3 tbsp) neutral-tasting vegetable oil
75g gula Melaka, finely shaved - Do not reduce this amount as the sweetness of this paste is just right.
1/2 tsp salt, optional - add if you want your tau sar piah to be sweet and salty

Place beans in a large bowl or container and fill the bowl or the container with adequate water. Cover the bowl or container with plastic wrap and leave the bean in the fridge to soak overnight.

On the next day, pour off the soaking water. Wash the beans with extra water and drain them thoroughly, then transfer the beans into a heat proof container.

Using a steamer with rapid boiling water at the base of the steamer, steam the beans for 30 mins or until soft.

Transfer the steamed beans into a food processor or blender, process the beans until it forms a smooth paste. You may add a little water into the mixture if the mixture is too dry to process.

Transfer into a saucepan. Add oil. Stir and cook with medium low heat until the paste is semi-dry. Add gula Melaka and salt and continue to cook and stir for about another 2 mins or until the sugar is completely dissolved and incorporated. Stop cooking at this stage to stop the sugar from getting burnt or caramelized. Set aside to cool. Divide into 20 portions, equally by weight, about 17g each portion.

For the buttery pastry:
380g all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
40g icing sugar
180g unsalted butter, cold and cubed
60g vegetable shortening, cold from the fridge, preferably the trans-fat-free Crisco*
4-8 tbsp ice cold water

* You can substitute shortening with the same amount of butter - please read the above baking tips

For the egg wash:
2 egg yolks
2 tsp oil

Sift flour, salt and sugar into a large mixing bowl. Add butter and shortening. Using your fingertips, rub butter and shortening into the flour mixture by breaking both into crumbs while tossing the mixture. Work quickly so that the butter won't go soft. The mixture will look like coarse crumbs. Then, add the ice water, a little at a time, until the mixture comes together forming a dough. Do not over-work or knead the dough. Wrap dough in cling wrap and chill in the refrigerator for about 30 mins.

Divide dough equally into 20 portions by weight, about 36g each. Working quickly, use a rolling pin to roll pastry into a large circle with about 5 mm thickness.

Place each filling portion in the middle of the dough. Wrap, seal the edges and roll into a ball. With its seam side down, use a rolling pin to flatten slightly to form a flat disc shape. Repeat this shaping method with the remaining pastry and filling portions.

Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line baking trays with baking papers. Arrange the assembled pastries about 2 cm apart with its seam side down onto the prepared trays.

Combine egg yolks and oil. Apply egg wash and bake for 25 mins or until deep golden brown, swapping the positions of the trays halfway.

Allow the pastry to cool slightly in the trays for about 10 mins. Transfer onto a wire rack to cool completely. Store in room temperature for up to 3 days.

Happy Baking
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