The Fresh Loaf

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20090621 Hong Kong Style Sourdough Egg Puffs - 港式天然酵母雞蛋仔

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Yippee's picture
Yippee

20090621 Hong Kong Style Sourdough Egg Puffs - 港式天然酵母雞蛋仔

I'm very happy to have worked out this recipe, not only because I am adding a new variety to the many existing recipes using sourdough starter discard, but it has also brought back a lot of fond memories from my childhood.

Egg puffs were one of my favorite after-school snacks that I picked up from a street hawker outside my elementary school.  Those freshly made egg puffs had soothed and warmed my rumbling stomach at winter dusk-I was in the PM section of my elementary school.

To make egg puffs, a thin batter of eggs, sugar, and evaporated milk is prepared. A two-piece egg puff iron is needed to produce these hollow, crispy egg-shaped waffles, giving them the Cantonese name that literally means 'little eggs'.  Street hawkers heat their irons on charcoal stoves, which are much more powerful than my electric stove at home. 

Street hawkers also use the same batter to make 'grid biscuits', which are very similar to waffles.  They are round in shape and have four quadrants.  These biscuits are usually served with a spread of butter and peanut butter and sprinkled with sugar on top. Therefore, if you dont' have an egg puff iron at home, you may try this recipe with a regular waffle maker.


Even though I'm thousands of miles away from my hometown across the Pacific, distance, thanks to these 'little eggs', only makes the heart grow fonder.


 


http://www.flickr.com/photos/33569048@N05/sets/72157620248658035/show/



100% hydration starter = 1 cup          
Evaporated milk = 2 oz          
Eggs = 2            
Tapioca starch = 1 oz          
Castor sugar = 4 oz          
Baking soda =  1/4 tsp          
Baking powder =  1/2 tsp          
Optional                
Custard powder = 2    TBSP          
Vanila extract = 1    tsp          
                 
1 Whisk all ingredients until well mixed        
2 Heat up both pieces of egg puff iron and lightly spray with oil      
3 Pour batter to the base piece to about 90% full      
  Close with another piece, then turn upside down       
4 Take turns to heat both sides until the egg puffs are done  (It took Yippee 20 minutes on her electric stove)
5 Cool egg puffs on wire rack for 10 minutes before serving      
                 

 A non-starter version recipe:

All purpose or cake flour = 4 oz
Tapioca starch = 1 oz
Castor sugar = 4 oz
Baking powder = 1 tsp
Water = 4 oz
Evaporated milk = 2 oz
Eggs = 2  
Optional      
Custard powder = 2    TBSP
Vanila extract = 1    tsp

This will be submitted to Wild Yeast Yeastspotting!

Comments

siuflower's picture
siuflower

I loved the Egg puffs too and I brought the egg iron pan  a few years ago in HK,  but have not able to find a recipe to make the puffs. Can you post your recipe? 


 


siuflower

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Enjoy!


 


Yippee

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Oh they look so good.  I would like to try but I don't have an egg puff iron (where did you find it any way?).  Think I can use the recipe to make waffles instead? 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

althetrainer:


Definitely, even though I have no idea what the timing is.  Like I mentioned in the post, the street hawkers use the same batter to make the waffle-like grid biscuits, too.


Try Chinatown where cookware or kitchen supplies are sold, and show them you're looking for this:


雞蛋仔模


Yippee

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

The next time I go to Chinatown I will look for them.  Making waffles is good but the little egg puffs will make perfect after school snacks.  My neighbor's kids often come over after school and they always expect some baked goods from me.  I am sure they will love these.

wan ping's picture
wan ping

Hi Yippee


I am in South Africa here don't have good chinese shop, sorry to ask  u do u may have a recipe of 100% hyration starter for the puffs? I really like to try it they look so yummy!! can u help me please!!!


Wan ping

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Wan Ping:


You don't need to use a starter if you don't have one.  A starter is what we cultivate to make sourdough breads.  I'll update my recipe to include a non-starter version.   


Do you have an egg puff iron?  If not, a regular waffle maker should work.  You just need to play with it to figure out the timing.


Yippee

wan ping's picture
wan ping

Hi Yippee


Thank you for your kindness,I don't have a egg puff iron but I will try on regular waffle maker.


wan ping

jleung's picture
jleung

Oh, I love those 雞蛋仔! They look perfect and bring back wonderful memories indeed. Thanks :)

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Yippee

wan ping's picture
wan ping

Hi Yippee


Thank your recipe, I will let you know how they come out, thank you!!


wan ping

siuflower's picture
siuflower

Thank you for the recipe,  I can use my pan to make some of the egg puffs.


 


siuflower

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Resist the temptation to peek through the irons while the puffs are forming or you'll end up with crushed / deflated puffs.


Just think of this as making sunny side up the Chinese way, 燒紅油鍋煎荷包蛋, heat up the irons really well with a spray of oil on it before pouring the batter.  If you have gas stove, the color will come out even better. Good luck!


Yippee 

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

the iron is used on a stove top, not in an oven.  Tis will be a problem for me because we have a glass top oven.  You think I can put the iron in the oven to bake it instead? 



Yippee's picture
Yippee

althetrainer:


The handles are made of wood. 


Yippee

althetrainer's picture
althetrainer

Darn!  In that case I will have to move on to plan B: using a waffle maker instead.  Thanks Yippee.

susanfnp's picture
susanfnp

Drat, I don't have a waffle iron either! I love the way these look and sound though.

fel's picture
fel

hello, i bought the egg puff iron and tried making the egg puff but they all came out deflated...everytime, even when i did not open half way through cooking it to check on them... any idea why???

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, fel:


I'd first make sure the above ingredients have not expired their shelf lives.  Then try this: after you mix the batter, let it sit for an hour, then proceed. There's something going on between the chemicals during this wait period but I don't remember exactly what it is. Some recipes suggest this step but I never paid any particular attention to it while making my egg puffs.     However, I made my batches on an electric stove, which took much more time than making them on a gas stove, maybe the time between batches did allow the ingredients to do whatever they needed to do and thus mine turned out fine.  Hope this helps.


Yippee 

LeeYong's picture
LeeYong

Hi Yippee,


I used to purchase these puffs in Chinatown in NYC. This brings back alot of memories!


what can i use to replace the tapioca starch?


I can't wait to give this a try... Can I bake these in mini muffin tins?


P.s. this is great - now I can use up some of my disgarded sourdough starter.


Happy baking - LeeYong

cgmeyer2's picture
cgmeyer2

this sounds wonderful. could this be cooked in an aebleskiver pan?


take care, claudia

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Hello Yippee


I never imagined that I would find something in chinese on this web site  I love what you're doing, are you from HK?  I'd love to learn more about bread  making and am finding this quite a challenge.     Is there a way that we can connect, just so that we can exchange recipes and ideas.  I would really like to take up a course in bread making, if only they have this in HK.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi,


This batter is very delicious, no matter how you 'cook' it. What you'll miss, if an egg puff iron is not used, is the cute egglet shape but don't let that stop you from trying! Let me know how it turns out. 


LeeYong: try cornstarch if you don't have tapioca starch.


Yippee

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi, jyslouey:


 


Here at TFL is where you'll meet a lot of enthusiastic and knowledgeable bakers and find great formulae.  If you have any questions about bread baking, post it in the forum and you'll have your answers in no time.  Also, you may send a private message to any member here for specific questions.  


 


Start with a good bread book and some simple formulae.  Work your way up.  Ask questions and give the process some serious thoughts.  You'll advance one day.  Don't feel discouraged if you can't find a bread course you desire in your area. A course is an enhancement but not a requirement for you to become a good baker.


 


What kind of bread are you most interested in learning?


Yippee

jyslouey's picture
jyslouey

Hi Yippie, Thank you for taking the time to respond.  I have been following this website for quite some time now and have on two occasions submitted my work for comments which I find to be most helpful and encouraging. I first started taking an interest in bread making when I purchased a bread machine but  the results were often mixed and not quite to my satisfaction so it's now sitting in the storeroom unused.  I find it easier to use my hands when I can actually get a feel of the dough.  I have many books on bread making but until I can master the basic techniques, I am not confident with the more elaborate recipes. 


Let me try to send you a message as I don't want to go off topic here. I've never sent a private message to anyone on this website before but will give it a try.  Thanks again.

danuahmad's picture
danuahmad

very good and interesting cake. Where can I find this machine, especially online shopping (because I want to deliver to my country) ? Thanks.

Yippee's picture
Yippee

Hi,


I'm not aware of any online merchant that carries it.  Try the kitchen and cooking supply stores in Chinatown if outside of Asia. Otherwise, may be give google a try.


Yippee

danuahmad's picture
danuahmad

Dear Yippee,


 


I have few questions regarding the recipe :


- After we mixed all ingredients, should we put the batter to The Maker as soon as possible (in a few seconds) ? or we better wait the batter for couple minutes to let the batter expand.


- Can we can keep the batter if we want to use it later (let say in next 3-5 hours) ? If can, should we keep it in refrigerator or just in airproof container ?


- can we subtitute Evap Milk (liquid) with Milk Powder ?


- can we subtitute Oil with liquid Margarine/Butter ?


BR,


Danu


 

Yippee's picture
Yippee

 


Hi, Danu:


 



- After we mixed all ingredients, should we put the batter to The Maker as soon as possible (in a few seconds) ? or we better wait the batter for couple minutes to let the batter expand.



I usually make the egg puffs as soon I'm ready, not paying much attention to letting it sit for a while as suggested in some recipes.


 



- Can we can keep the batter if we want to use it later (let say in next 3-5 hours) ? If can, should we keep it in refrigerator or just in airproof container ?



If you read the articles in the following links, this practice probably is not recommended.  I'd make smaller amount of batter at once, and come back to make a fresh one when I'm ready to 'cook' again.


http://www.joyofbaking.com/bakingsoda.html


http://www.baking911.com/pantry/leaveners.htm#THE%20BIG%20BAKING%20POWDER%20AND%20BAKING%20SODA%20SWITCH-A-ROO


 



- can we subtitute Evap Milk (liquid) with Milk Powder ?


- can we subtitute Oil with liquid Margarine/Butter ?



Should be okay if you're not too concerned about achieving the 'authentic' flavors that you'd expect from the street vendor egg puffs.


 


Yippee

danuahmad's picture
danuahmad

many thanks for ur prompt answer :)


Yippe, if we have to make the new fresh batter each time to cook, how the hawker serve their customers ? because they don't know when customer come to them, maybe in 30 minutes for one customer and then next 1 hour for others. Isn't the hawker will make enough batter in a jar, so he can use it for next few hours ?


 


Yippe, I also get other Gai Daan Recipe, but not use Tapioca and Baking Soda. Their main ingredients are : flour, baking powder, custard powder, and bean powder. I still get confuse for the flour/powder, especially for Custard. Few people said, custard powder can be subtituted with Cornstarch (which one is the best : Cornstarch or Tapioca starch ?), is it true Yippe ?


By the way, I love this blog because it's quite active :)

Yippee's picture
Yippee


... Isn't the hawker will make enough batter in a jar, so he can use it for next few hours ?



Hawker is not my profession.   If you ever find out any insider information about this from a real hawker, do share it with us.


 



... but not use ...  Baking Soda.



Baking soda applies to my sourdough discard formula only.


 



Their main ingredients are : flour, baking powder, custard powder, and bean powder. I still get confuse for the flour/powder, especially for Custard. Few people said, custard powder can be subtituted with Cornstarch



Custard powder is mainly for flavoring and some added crunchiness.  Tapioca and corn starch are interchangeable. Bean powder in Cantonese = cornstarch


 



 (which one is the best : Cornstarch or Tapioca starch ?)



To me, no difference. 


 


Yippee


 

danuahmad's picture
danuahmad

Unfortunately I don't live in Hongkong :) So, it's very hard to find the Gai Daan Jai Hawker. From information that I got from Internet, some people said, we can keep the batter, but you have to keep it in airproof container. Ok Yippee, I will share in this blog if I get the information.  I forget to say, you have very cute kid picture :)

danuahmad's picture
danuahmad

I've read several source about how to keep the batter, and many of them told : it must be kept in airproof container. But, I will try this suggestion myself. Oh ya Yippee, could you tell me how many Egg Puff can you make with Non-starter version recipe ? and why in that recipe there is no use of Vegetable oil/Cooking oil ?

Yippee's picture
Yippee


 how many Egg Puff can you make with Non-starter version recipe ?



2-3 big pieces molded by the egg puff iron


 



 and why in that recipe there is no use of Vegetable oil/Cooking oil ?



Neither formula calls for oil as it is not necessary.


 


Yippee

danuahmad's picture
danuahmad

Yippee, I've tried you recipe, but my Puffs was not crispy ( mushy). I don't know what could be the problem. Might be I mixed the yolk and egg white together (few recipes told to separate egg white when mixing to get bubble effect). or the Iron not hot enough when I put the batter.
Maybe you have suggestion for this problem :)

Yippee's picture
Yippee

 


Your goal is to create a hollow egg shell with minimum batter in the middle


 


Make sure the following is done:


 



  • Preheat until BOTH pieces of iron are VERY hot


 



  • Once the iron is closed with both pieces in place, upside down a few times to evenly distribute the batter to both sides


 


Yippee