Thursday, December 10, 2009

Macaroon buns and Japanese Dark Pearl cake

In order to be able to fully utilize the remaining time I have, so that I can still bake, blog, pack, keep my kids busy and do my daily duty, I drafted a rough time table for myself. Been following this time table for these couple days now and I realize the only time I seat down & relax is when I am blogging! But I really do not mind, because I get to do what I like, so tiredness isn't gonna get in my way. I guess the trick to it all is to plan ahead what I want to do and things will fall in place if I follow through. This time I decided to bake some bread and a chocolate chiffon cake. Why? Because I realize I have not baked these 2 for a long time! This Macaroon bun recipe was inspired by a Taiwan blog I saw awhile back. Thought it was really special and decided to give it a go. :)I did modified the bread recipe a little to suit my taste, so here is my version:

Ingredients for Macaroon Bun recipe (makes 8 to 10):
400g bread flour
8g active dry yeast
40g caster sugar
1 tsp salt
25g milk powder
80ml water
200g whole eggs, lightly beaten
100g unsalted butter, room temperature

3/4 cup plump raisins
3/4 cup chocolate chips

Macaroon Coating:
75g egg white
75g caster sugar
70g fresh ground almond powder

  • Mix all ingredients in main dough except for butter together in a large mixing bowl to form a soft dough. Place on work area to knead or mixer to do the kneading. Knead the dough till it is not sticky, about 20 minutes.
  • Add the unsalted butter in and continue to knead till the dough is shiny and elastic. To test if the dough is ready, pull a small piece off and stretching it with your fingers. If dough is very elastic and pulls to almost see through without breaking, then it's done.
  • Place dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap and allow to proof for at least 90 minutes to 2hrs.
  • Punch out the air in dough, roll round and let rest for another 10 minutes covered before shaping.
  • Using a rolling pin, roll the dough out into a large rectangular sheet, about 40cm to 30cm. Sprinkle the chocolate chips and raisins generously over the surface.
  • Roll it up from the shorter length end into a swiss roll form. Cut it into equal 8 to 10 pieces. Place on baking tray lined with parchment to let proof for another 60 minutes.
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C.
  • In the meantime, make the macaroon topping. Beat the egg whites till foamy, add the caster sugar and continue to beat till thick and creamy. Add almond powder and continue to beat for 30 seconds till nicely incorporated.
  • Using a tablespoon, scoop a spoonful of the creamy topping over the proofed buns.
  • Bake in the oven for 20 minutes till the topping is slight brown. Remove from oven and cool on rack before serving.
Overall it's kind of like the cinnamon buns I made quite long ago. :) Taste wise, quite similar to cinnamon buns but with a soft chewy macaroon topping.
Perhaps I did not let the buns proof longer in the 2nd proofing, or perhaps my yeast is already old...the buns did not turn out as soft as I hope it will be. :-P Overall I would say the buns are satisfactory but not that fantastic. But if you love macaroon, why not give this a try?
Next item in this post is Japanese Dark Pearl Cake, recipe extracted from Yochana's blog. :) I have been wanting to bake this for awhile now. Deep, dark chocolate chiffon cake, what's not to like?! Reading her post, she mentioned that she forgotten to add the egg yolks into the recipe but still turned out great. I was contemplating whether I should follow her "mistake" because it seems more healthy! But ended up just added the yolks because I didn't know what I do with it anyway, hahaha!Verdit? Superb! Soft, moist and rich in chocolate taste! I wish I had made it earlier! Furthermore it wasn't hard to make at all with simple ingredients that you can surely find in your pantry. :) If you ask me, it's a clear win compared to the last chocolate chiffon I made. :)
A definite nice treat to serve during tea time.
I apologize for the lighting of the pictures as I am trying to experiment on taking it with extra lighting in the room. Because this cake is really dark in colour, so taking a nice shot is not that easy with my simple canon camera.

Everyone likes the cake plain on it's own. But when I served up for my girls last night, I topped it with some fresh whipped cream and a couple of fresh strawberries. They loved it even more! After devouring the cake, they demanded to have it the same thing served again tonight. :) Do try out this cake, it's wonderful, I know I would make it again. :) Have fun!


Happy Homebaker said...

I am craving for some homemade bread, and that chiffon cake you made is so soft and fluffy!

youfei said...


I've been looking for a soft, moist "choc chiffon" recipe and looks like this is THE ONE. haha

I went back to aunty yochana's page and was reading through the comments and a couple mentioned the cake rising during baking but shrinking during cooling. Just wanna find out if yours was like that?


Honey Bee Sweets said...

I know what you mean. :)Being oversea and all, sometimes you just wish to have a slice that simple homemade bread. Thanks! The dark pearl is indeed very soft and fluffy.

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi youfei,
Mmmm...actually I think at most half an inch of shrinkage for mine. You can use a smaller pan (I used 20cm) to let it rise even higher! Hahaha! The remaining batter I just made a mini one. (I worry overflow) :) Yes, indeed soft, moist and chocolaty, try it! BTW, I'm gonna try the sponge cake (the one you & Grace made) soon, heehee.

Kitchen Corner said...

The buns look quite special. Rolling up and going with the toppings haha.. that's something I've learnt today. Thanks for shraing good tips. Glad to see you can keep on posting some baking here. Keep going....!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Grace,
Oh yeah...there's so many different ways you can "dress up" a bread nowadays, especially when you see the new trend bakeries in town. :P Thanks! I want to keep baking/cooking up to the very last minute! Give me strength!

tracieMoo said...

I've never seen this before. The buns look so cute covered in the macaroon coating. Looks great!

Pei-Lin said...

Hey Honey Bee Sweets!!

Thanks for sharing what's best with us all despite your busy schedule! I know it can get pretty bad and hectic when it's school holiday!

Work hard and play hard yea?


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Traci! It's one of my interest to try out yummy looking new recipes, hahaha!

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hahaha, you are definitely right Pei-Lin! Some people shop till they drop. For me, I bake/cook till I drop! But I am glad what I enjoy can be shared with everyone around me...even fellow blogger like you. ;) Have a great weekend!

Unknown said...

It always amazes me how efficient you are and how much you get done in a day! Hats off to you :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Thanks Ee Peng! After years of "practice", plus the help of my domestic helper, I guess I can be a little more efficient if I just push it. :) No worries, when your little ones grow up, you are gonna be all "trained" and super efficient super mum, much better then me I am sure. ;)

chuany said...

Hai HBS, today i made this choco chifon, but mine sank :( and i read my previous chiffon, and i think the flour not much enough, dont know maybe aunty Yochana was false when typing or another, but 65 gr flour for 6 eggs?? usually 110 g flour for that, would u give me some advice ? tx alot n happy baking ^^

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi Chuany,
Actually I followed Aunty Yochana's recipe to the dot. There can be several factors causing the cake to sink. It can be the over beating of egg white or even egg yolk present in white, the temperature variation of the oven, the chiffon pan you used etc. I suggest you try again, just try to be more careful and follow the recipe closely. Good Luck!

Anonymous said...


I just finished baking the jap dark pearl cake and it is now cooling off...almost had a heart attack juz now when i was mixing the egg yolk with the rest of the ingredients. I added the water to the chocolate and flour mixture but the whole thing seized immediately. is this correct? the mixture is so gooey and thick that i have problem folding the egg yolk in it. the batter turned out to be very little and as expected, the cake didn't rise v much. would like to check with you, at what stage did u add the water? keeping my fingers crossed that the cake is okay, won't know until tomorrow morning cause planning to have it for breakfast ...


Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi octapusmum,
It happens especially for chocolate to mix with liquid, it curdles and thickens. I think I just mix in the whites gradually and it was okay. If you worry next time, just add more milk to the egg yolk mixture to lighten it before adding the whites in. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

thks for the reply. was really busy the past few days so didn't check back for your reply. anyway, juz wanted to report that the cake was v dense, very unlike the usual chiffon cake. what is the texture? also, you mentioned adding milk to the yolk mixture but milk is not mentioned in the recipe. r u referring to the 90 ml water ie i should add the water to the egg yolk first?

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Hi octopusmum,
As you can see from my photos, the texture is chiffon like, fluffy and soft. I cannot really remember but I have no problem baking this cake from Yochana. I might have added a little milk to lighten the chocolate mixture before adding the white in, not sure, but you can try that. Hope your next attempt will be a better one. BTW, I just baked another Chocolate chiffon today using another recipe, will find time to post it.