Sugar-Crusted Buns with Fresh Pineapple Filling

2008-02-08

Sugar-Crusted Buns with Fresh Pineapple Filling (菠蘿包)
 
Recipe from Dim Sum: Traditional Favourites and Innovative Creations by Chan Chen Hei
Notes: First of all, these turned out nothing like the pineapple buns you buy from any Chinese bakery in the GTA. I had my doubts about the recipe to begin with as there was so little proofing time for the buns, no glaze was mentioned for the topping, etc. The crust uses a bit of ammonia powder for crunch but it turned out to be a hard slab of dough. The typical pineapple bun does not contain pineapple inside but this recipe cooks down minced pineapple and combines it with bit of custard powder. And the buns themselves were not soft and tender, but chewy and bland. Maybe a recipe from Martin Yan would be better?

I'm about ready to call this book a flop, as I tried its egg tart recipe last year with disastrous results as well (imagine uncooked custard and lard oozing out of the crust). Maybe the English translation is bad and leaves out some steps, or the scaling down of the quantities is inaccurate. The reason I bought this book when I was in Hong Kong was that there are many familiar items that I'd love to learn to make (e.g. Wife Cakes, Coconut Tarts, Flaky Century Egg Pastries) so I might give it one more chance.