Thursday, September 23, 2004

JB & Rotiboy

My itchy butt led me out of Singapore to Johor Bahru again to try to get wunderlust out of my system. The language links in my brain need some seeing-to: every time I tried to speak Malay, pidgin French spluttered out instead. Totally weird. Indulged in the usual unhealthy Malaysian delights of Maggi goreng, McDonalds milkshake (they've stopped selling that in Singapore for years) and rotiboy. Thank you God for such earthly pleasures!

Rotiboy intrigues in the simplicity of it's yumminess. Nothing pleases like a freshly-baked rotiboy exuding it's buttery-coffee aroma, washed down with good hot tea on a cold grey rainy day. It's really a mexican bun recipe tweaked for pleasure.

Rotiboy was conceived in 1998 in Malaysia by Hiro Tan. He named it for his nephew whom he's close to. The story is that when Hiro first started the business, he went to consult a designer with his brother and his young nephew. The boy was being hyperactive and running around so his brother called him "you naughty boy"... Each heavenly rotiboy bun costs RM1.50 in Johor. They've got a popular franchise in Singapore at #01-21/22 China Square food centre at Telok Ayer Street. It's open Mon-Fri: 8am-9pm; Sat: 8am-5pm, closed on Sun. Tel: 6536 2215. Buns there cost S$1.20 each if you buy only one and S$1.10 if you buy two or more. Hiro claims that the buns are at their pleasure-giving best 20 min after they come out of the oven.

Plans are to open a second Rotiboy outlet at Raffles Place by November 2004 and eventually 18 more outlets nationwide. Time will tell if Rotiboy goes the way of other Singapore food fads like the bubble tea from Taiwan and Beard Papa from Japan.

I'll try making my own sometime:

200 g salted butter, softened
1/2teaspoon vanilla flavouring
70 g brown sugar

Beat butter in electric mixer on medium speed with the paddle attachment for three minutes.
Blend in vanilla essence and brown sugar.
Spoon mixture into bowl and refrigerated until firm.
Divide mixture into 20 g portion into ball. Keep refrigerated until ready to use.

200 g butter, softened
160 g icing sugar, sifted
3 Grade A eggs, lightly beaten
1 teaspoon coffee flavouring(available from bakery supplies shop)
(You can use 2 tablespoons instant coffee powder dissolved in 1 tablespoon water instead of the coffee flavouring.)
A pinch of ground cinnamon can be added to the coffee flavouring for extra flavour.
200 g low protein (high ratio) flour, sifted

Beat butter and icing sugar in electric mixer with the paddle attachment on medium speed for five min. until mixture is light and fluffy. Gradually beat in eggs. Mix in coffee flavouring. Sift flour onto mixture and mix on low speed until combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Sweet dough
500g high protein flour, sifted
5g bread improver, sifted + 5 g bread softener
20 g milk powder, sifted
75 g castor sugar
6 g salt
8g day instant yeast
1 egg lightly beaten
270g water or milk(do not use milk powder if using milk)
60 g butter softened

Mix sifted flour, castor sugar and salt in electric mixer with dough hook on low speed for one min. Mix in yeast. Add egg and water or milk.Mix on low speed for another minute. Mix on medium speed for eight minutes. Mix in butter. Mix five minutes more on medium speed until soft, smooth and elastic(but not sticky) dough forms.
Remove dough from mixture and shape into a ball.

Divide the dough into 55 g portions(should get 17 portions). Roll each portion into a ball. Cover the balls of dough and leave to rest for 10 min.

To shape the buns:
Flatten a ball of dough with the palm of your hand. Place a ball of filling in the centre of the dough. Gather the edge and pinch to seal. (Be sure to seal well or the filling will leak out during baking.) Pat into shape and place on a greased baking tray. Repeat with remaining portions of dough . Place each bun about 7.5 cm apart on the baking trays.
Prove for 45 min in a warm place.

Pipe the topping on the buns in a spiral, starting from the centre.
Bake in preheated oven at 200 deg C for 12 to 15 min or until buns are lightly brown.

This recipe appeared in The Straits Times on 10 April 2005.

Coffee Boy
by Judy Koh of Creative Culinaire

150g butter
3 eggs
150g sugar
120g plain flour
15g almond powder, toasted
4g Nescafe (Gold Blend)
10g hot water
2 tbs good coffee powder (try Sumatran coffee bean from Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf)
2 tbs warm water
2 tsp Cafe Crema or a good coffee paste
1 tsp vanilla essence

1. Dissolve the Nescafe in hot water. Also dissolve coffee powder in warm water.
2. Cream butter and sugar for about 1 minute to mix well.
3. Combine eggs and the rest of the ingredients using a mixer at low speed until mixture is even. Do not overbeat.
4. Put mixture in a refrigerator for a few hours or preferably overnight till it thickens. It is easier to handle.
5. Put mixure into piping bag and pipe to cover three-quarters of the top of each bun.

150g butter
15g icing sugar

1. Mix well and divide into individual portions.
2. Put in freezer for about an hour for it to harden.

6g yeast
140g water
1 egg yolk
40g sugar
260g bread flour
8g milk powder
1/4 tsp salt
45g butter

1. Mix yeast with water. Then add the rest of the ingredients above. Knead and set aside for 30 minutes.
2. Divide dough into small round portions and wrap in the filling (see above).
3. When dough is well proofed, pipe topping (see above) on top.
4. Bake at 200 deg C for about 10 to 12 minutes. The buns are best eaten hot.

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