Preparation / Directions:
INNER DOUGH LAYER: Same as above outer dough layer, except replace spinach juice with boiling water.
This one pretty much sums up the idea that in Asia things are not always what they seem. Looking at the picture, I see what are obviously steamed pears--complete with stems--with a couple of water caltrops on one plate and steamed finger citrons (an Asian fruit that looks sorta like a hand) accompanied by a couple of peaches on the other plate. (Water caltrops are those seeds that look like a set of miniature water buffalo horns.) What these things really are, though, are steamed, stuffed sweet dumplings. I really wish I could post a .gif with this message. These things look REAL! Somehow, I doubt that anyone will want to attempt this one, but here it is just in case.
Establishment: Yung Kee Restaurant 36-40 Wellington Street, Central, Hong Kong Chinese Cuisine Practical Class Platinum Award - Desserts THE NEVER ENDING STORY (12 servings) Chef: Yau Shing (Yung Kee Restaurant) "Longevity" would be an over-simplified literal translation for this dual presentation of treasured culinary symbols crafted out of flour. Peaches symbolize longevity, and fairy tales often feature water caltrops (bull horn-shaped roots) as part of the fairy diet. The Fairy Mother herself is given peaches on her birthdays. The finger citrons, a kind of fruit, have long represented Buddha, owing their resemblance to the shape of Buddha's palm. The combination of associations - with long life, happiness, elegance and spiritual peace - heightens the diner's admiration of the culinary sculptures.
To prepare and cook: 1. For sesame paste filling, stir-fry sesame seeds in a dry, heated wok until golden. Set a quarter aside and grind rest to powder. 2. Stir-fry flour in a dry wok, over a low flame, all slightly yellow. Then sift it. Mix all filling ingredients together. Place in refrigerator until firm. 3. For doughs (made in two batches, one with spinach juice, one with boiling water). Heat spinach juice or water. Pour hot liquid into a mixing bowl containing wheat starch and glutinous flour. Mix well. Remove mixture to a clean working surface and add remaining ingredients one a time, working up a smooth texture. 4. For pear shaping, form spinach-dyed dough into small balls of approximately 4 g each. Flatten round discs. Do same for uncolored dough. Place one uncolored disc on top of a dyed dough disc. Place a small portion of sesame paste filling on top, and mould discs upwards around it to form pear shape. Stick one dry twiglet into top end of pear shape. Press lightly on bottom of pear shape to form a firm base. 5. Steam for 3 to 5 minutes. (If shrimp roe not available, chocolate powder could be dusted over the pears after they have cooled.) (The water caltrop garnish recipe is not included. it is also steamed dough with coloring.) From "Champion Recipes of the 1986 Hong Kong Food Festival". Hong Kong Tourist Association, 198