The Weekly challenged Fat Lulu’s pastry chef Pang Ji Shuang to put a spin on Lunar New Year favourites. Warning: The results are addictive.
Chef Pang Ji Shuang (aka Song) is one half of the Fat Lulu’s team. While Chef Sam Chablani whips up full-flavoured charcoal-grilled meats for mains, Chef Song ends the meal with his creative desserts.
Mandarin Orange Popsicles
Prep 1 hour (plus chilling) | Cook 15 mins | Makes 10 popsicles.
300 g Mandarin orange juice, 80 g water ,40 g sugar, 30 g glucose, available from specialty baking stores ,2 tsps oolong or tie guan yin tea leaves.
1. In a pot, mix Mandarin orange juice, water, sugar and glucose and bring to a boil. When dissolved, turn off heat.
2. Add in tea leaves and place lid on pot. Infuse for 15 mins.
3. Strain mixture into stainless steel bowl and keep in fridge overnight.
4. Prepare a large basin of ice and cold water. Take steel bowl out of fridge and place it in ice bath. Start to whisk the mixture till you get a “creamy” texture. If ice melts, replace with a fresh bowl of ice.
5. Put steel bowl into freezer and when edge of mixture starts to freeze (about 15 mins), take out bowl, whisk mixture again to break down the frozen bits. Put back in freezer and repeat about 10 times, till you get that nice sorbet texture.
6. Transfer into popsicle moulds of your choice. Freeze overnight.
Chef’s Tip: If you have an ice-cream machine, churn the mixture into sorbet texture, pipe into your preferred popsicle mould, and leave in freezer overnight.
" Often the oranges we receive rot and go to waste.This is a great way to make the most of the fruit - and beat the heat "
Milk Chocolate Mendiants
Prep 1 hour | Makes 40 pieces
300 g couverture milk chocolate, another 200 g to be kept in fridge, available from specialty baking stores, 70 g orange peel, 70 g pistachio nuts, 70 g cashew nuts.
1. Preheat oven to 110 C. Place pistachio and cashew nuts on a baking tray and roast in oven for 30 mins.
2. Place 300 g of the milk chocolate into a microwave-safe plastic bowl. Microwave on medium for 30-sec intervals. Stir the chocolate each time to prevent it from burning. You may need to do this a few times to melt the chocolate completely.
3. Using a food thermometer (this is essential), check the temperature of the chocolate. Bring the chocolate up to 45 C and add in the rest of the cold chocolate. After adding, cool the chocolate down to 30 C.
4. Put the chocolate into a piping bag with the help of a spatula. Place a sheet of baking paper on a baking tray. Pipe the chocolate into 3-cm circles. Place the orange peel, pistachio and cashew nuts on top.
5. Cool the mendiants in the fridge for 1 hour and serve. Store in an airtight container in the fridge; separate with layers of wax paper.
Chef’s Tip: Temperature control is very important when working with chocolate. Chef Song warns that if you allow your chocolate to exceed 50 C, you probably won’t be able to get it to set back or harden.
Bak Kwa & Cheddar Muffins
Prep 20 mins | Cook 20 mins | Makes 20 mini muffins.
160 g canola oil ,140 g sugar ,200 g plain flour, 10 g baking powder, 120 g milk ,2 eggs.
BAK KWA & CHEDDAR MIX
40 g white onion, diced, 70 g bak kwa, chopped, 70 g cheddar cheese, shredded.
1. Preheat oven to 160 C.
2. Mix all muffin ingredients with hand whisk, and when blended, add in the bak kwa and cheddar mixture, and mix till just smooth.
3. Spoon mixture into mini muffin cups to about 80 per cent full.
4. Bake for 20 mins, until risen. Test with wooden skewer – it should come out clean. Let cool on wire rack, and store in an airtight container.
" With its combination of sweet bak kwa and salty cheese, this muffin is an addictive treat "
Bak Hu Roll
Prep 15 mins | Cook 10 mins | Makes 5 long rolls
100 g plain flour ,200 g milk ,50 g melted butter, ½ tsp sugar, ½ tsp salt 2 eggs, ½ handful spring onions, chopped ,100 g bak hu (pork floss).
250 g mango, diced, 125 g pineapple, diced 25 g red onion, diced, 25 g jalapeno, sliced ,10 g coriander, chopped ,10 g red chilli, diced ,20 g lime juice.
1. CREPE Mix all crepe ingredients in a large bowl. Then add in spring onions.
2. Heat up a large flat pan and spread a thin layer to make a crepe. When the under-side is golden brown, about 2 to 3 mins, flip over and cook till golden brown. Set aside and repeat till all mixture is used up.
3. SALSA Mix well all the ingredients. Just before assembling the roll, strain out the excess water from the salsa.
4. On a clean chopping board, lay out one slice of crepe. Spread the salsa and bak hu all around the crepe and roll it sushi style. Slice into 5 or 6 pieces on the diagonal.
Chef’s Tip: You can sprinkle some chopped, roasted ground peanuts on top for extra crunch.
" These cute cakes are way easier to prepare than the traditional pineapple tart, but still satisfy that craving "
Mini Pineapple & Almond Cake
Prep 15 mins | Cook 30 mins | Makes 25 mini cupcakes.
1 ripe pineapple, peel skin, remove core and cut into 2.5-cm cubes, 200 g sugar, 180 g water, 1 pc vanilla pod.
200 g butter, 170 g sugar ,4 eggs, 240 g ground almond ,90 g plain flour.
1. Preheat oven to 120 C.
2. Put sugar and 80 g of water into a pot and let the mixture caramelise. It will turn golden brown.
3. Then add the pineapple cubes. Stir and cook for about 2 mins.
4. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod, and mix with the rest of the water. Pour into pot with pineapple and stir to coat thoroughly.
5. Pour the caramelised pineapples into a baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and put into the oven for 20 mins. Remove and set aside.
6. A LMOND CAKE Raise oven temperature to 160 C. Using a mixer, mix all the almond cake ingredients together.
7. Pipe the almond cake base into a silicone cupcake mould to 90 per cent full, and top with a caramelised pineapple cube. If preferred, you can use a silicone cake mould to bake one whole cake.
8. Bake for 25 mins. Remove from oven, cool for 30 mins, then unmould. Store in fridge in airtight container.
Chef’s Tip: To serve, first bring cakes to room temperature. Then pop uncovered cakes into a microwave oven for 15 to 20 secs, or in a preheated 100 C oven for 5 mins. Serve warm.
Fat Lulu’s is at 297 River Valley Road, Tel: 9236 5002. Open for dinner and weekend brunch.
Recipes: Pang Ji Shuang / Photos: Andy Wong, assisted by Andrew Frederic.