Chinese Egg Puffs

>>  Thursday, February 25, 2010

I know you must be wondering why there's chocolate powder on top of a "Chinese" egg puff.  And you're right, a traditional Chinese egg puff does not have chocolate. I'll explain later, I promise.

First, some background.

What are Chinese Egg puffs?  Translated roughly as "Chicken Egg Cake" (literally), it's a popular street snack that you can find in Asia.  Typically, the street vendor has this HUGE circular waffle-like iron with little holes in in.  He fills it with batter and then cooks it, turning the iron 180 degrees halfway through.  When he opens the huge waffle iron, out pops dozens and dozens of perfectly formed little round egg puffs.  They are so good.

Of course, I don't have a huge waffle iron with tiny circles in it.  But I do have an Æbleskiver pan that I received from Aunt Else's a few months ago.  When I wrote a post about making Æbleskivers and Japanese takoyaki a few months ago, Joy from Cooking of Joy suggested that I try making Chinese Egg Puffs.

I recently brought these to a dinner party and the guests ate them up.  I can't guarantee that they are 100% authentic, but they do taste delicious and definitely remind me of Chinese egg puffs.
Adapted from Hong Kong Lightbox

4 oz all purpose flour [0.8 cups]
1 oz of corn starch [2 T]
1 tsp baking powder
2 eggs
4 oz sugar [1/2 cup]
2 oz evaporated milk [1/4 cup]
4 oz water [1/2 cup]

*note - I would highly recommend using a food scale if you have one to weigh out the ingredients.  If you don't have one though, I have calculated out the measurements using this handy conversion chart.  Disclaimer - I never actually tried making these with the English measurements, although they should be fine.

Pre-heat the Æbleskiver pan over medium heat until hot. (This takes quite some time.  I would set the pan on the stove and then start measuring out your ingredients).  Combine all ingredients and stir until well mixed.  Using this batter, make the puffs by following the instructions for making Æbleskivers.  You can check out my original Æbleskiver post for more details on how to make them, or check out Aunt Else's homepage, which has a great video tutorial.
Now about the chocolate.  I know Chinese egg puffs don't have chocolate, and I was fully intending on making them plain.  But more than one guest at the party nudged me while I was making these and said, "these would taste even better with a filling."

"Oooh . . what about chocolate?" said another.

Finally, I succumbed to peer pressure and made a whole batch with chocolate.  They loved it.  Who doesn't love chocolate?

So this recipe is pretty flexible.  You could still make it pretty Asian by putting something like red bean paste or sweet peanut powder inside.  I bet that would be delicious too!


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