Saturday, January 17, 2009

Squashed Buns!

So, before I expound on my latest foray into sweet creations I will give a quick update for those of you concerned with my transportation situation.

After much pain and agony I located a set of wheels for purchase in CALIFORNIA. As mentioned before it turns out that the new Honda Fit Sport wheels are such a hot commodity to steal that the wheels are back ordered everywhere. The Honda factory simply can't keep up with all the people trying to replace their swiped wheels. Anyhow, I got the wheels, had tires mounted and balanced and the whole shabang put back on my car. The guy from the dealership actually came to my house and put the wheels on right there and then took it back to the dealership to ensure there was nothing else wrong with it. Sounds great right? Well it was pretty good until he peeled out of the parking lot leaving a nice 6 foot strip of the rubber off my new tires. But he made it to the dealer and nothing else was wrong with the car, thank goodness. So I'm rolling again right? Wrong. I drove the car away from the dealer and my TPMS (tire pressure monitor sensor) light comes on. So back to the dealer I go and drop the car off again. So I went back again tonight to get the car. The guy tells me that the sensors weren't initialized correctly the first time, but they totally got it right this time. They even gave it a 15 minute test drive to make certain the light wouldn't come back on. Well it did. It came on 2 minutes from my house. So back I go tomorrow! So much for weekends!

Okay, enough of that. On to yummy stuff. So I've made red bean paste buns before. If you aren't familiar with these goodies they consist of a center of sweetened adzuki bean paste wrapped with a lightly sweetened dough and steamed until the dough is cooked through. The dough comes out soft and delightful and the bean paste is warm and sweet and satisfying. Well I was struck with a bit of inspiration when I had some left over veggies from doing some fondue tempura and I thought, mmmmm... SQUASH BUNS!

So I first made the squash paste. Of course I've never made "squash paste" so I had to kind of wing it. I microwaved the squash, butternut, by the way, until it was just soft enough to mash up. Once I had it mostly mashed I put it in a pot on the stove. I mixed in a good amount of brown sugar to taste and a pinch of salt and cooked it and cooked it (stirring very frequently) so as to remove as much of the moisture as possible. Once it had come to a good thick consistency I stuck it in my mini food processor and whizzed it up. I then pushed it through a seive to remove any extra fibrous bits that were left and, while the mixture was still warm, threw in some vegetable shortening for mouth feel and taste staying power. All in all the procedure to make the squash paste was very similar to making the bean paste except that it took infinitely less time. When making the bean paste the beans cook forever and the skins make sieving the whole mixture extremely time consuming.

So once the paste was made all that was left was to wrap them in dough and pop them in the steamer. There are plenty of recipes on the internet for the sweet bun dough, I recommend you try a few to find one you like a they can be pretty different in texture. Getting the paste in the dough can be a little tricky. You make a little pinch-pot cup out of the dough (remember from first grade?) and then bloop some of the paste in and try your darnedest to get it closed without squishing all the filling out in the process. I didn't take any pics of them pre-steam (I'm still trying to get a hang of this chronicling process) but here they are coming out of their happy little sauna.
I'm not going to lie, those are definitely my squashy fingerprints on the outside of the dough. You can also see that I cooked the buns on little cupcake papers. Recipes will usually tell you to cut out parchment to put them on. It might be easier to get the parchment off the bottom of the buns, but the pre-made cupcake papers are perfectly sized with no waste from unused cut paper.

And here is a good detail shot of the hot , gooey, squashy insides:

A little TOO detailed perhaps. I know I can see some kitty hairs in there. Feel free to leave those out when you make these at your house. So Favorite and I sat down to a couple of squash buns and some hot delicious green tea. It made for quite a lovely little late night snack.

1 comment:

  1. Favorite, these squash-paste buns were magnificent! If only you had inspiration for new types of sweet treats all the time... Oh wait, you do. Awesome!