I have long wanted to try this recipe because I have heard so much about this Pepper cake of Taiwan. But I have always forgotten about this until this morning when I stumbled across a recipe and I decided to give it a try.
I am not very happy with the recipe, though it is still delicious but I think it can be further improved. Therefore, I will adjust the recipe in this post.
Though the name is called Fuzhou pepper cake (福州胡椒饼）， but you cannot find such recipe in Fuzhou. I was made to understand that this is an impoverish recipe by the Taiwanese by adding black pepper powder to the meat and the dough is slightly different. In Fuzhou, the cake that is most similar is spring onion meat cake (葱肉饼）. It is flatter and mostly pan fried.
I have boldly posted this in a Taiwanese Food Group to seek opinion, they have highlighted the meat used should be meat stripes instead of minced meat. Actually, I am aware of this but because most Singapore supermarket does not sell meat stripes, I have decided to use minced meat and I believed it will facilitate readers too. Of course, if readers want to use meat stripes, you can cut it at home..
The cake is very juicy when it is out of the oven. Just like steamed buns, the meat juices disappear when it is cold as it starts to sip into the crust. By the time when I took photo, it become slightly drier but when you took a bite, the juiciness is still in the meat.
”胡椒饼源自于中国福州地区猪肉馅烤饼小吃“葱肉饼”，1980年代开始在台湾流行起，早期称为“福州饼”，后因饼加胡椒，逐渐由“福州饼”音讹为“胡椒饼”。皮酥馅多的胡椒饼是台湾常见的点心小吃，刚烤好出炉的胡椒饼，捧在手心热烫的感觉，扑鼻而来的香气，一口咬下肉香、葱香及胡椒香在口中久久缭绕，那种口感与味道，每每令人回味再三。同样是制作胡椒饼的店家，个别制作技术及材料搭配不同；冬天寒风时节，吃上几块热呼呼胡椒饼，烤饼皮酥脆内馅油汁，辣味香口齿生津通体舒暖，倍受欢迎。“ (Source： http://www.baike.com/wiki/%E8%83%A1%E6%A4%92%E9%A5%BC）
WHAT IS REQUIRED
Servings: Prepare 12-16 pepper cake
- 500 grams of minced pork belly or front hock meat stripes
- 2 tablespoons of dark soya sauce
- 1 tablespoon of sesame oil
- 1 tablespoon of Chinese cooking wine
- 1.5 tablespoons of castor sugar
- 1.5 tablespoons of black pepper powder
- Salt to taste
- About 5 spring onions (about 100 grams ), chopped
- 450 grams of plain flour
- 250 grams or ml of water
- 8 grams of instant yeast
- 5 grams of salt
- 30 grams of castor sugar
- 75 grams of lard or other cooking oil
- 180 grams of plain flour
- 1.5 tablespoons of light corn syrup or honey or maltose mixed with 3 tablespoons of water
- Adequate sesame seeds for dusting
STEPS OF PREPARATION
- Put all the filling ingredients in a bowl (except chopped spring onion), stir until well combined. Divide into 12-15 pieces and chill it in the fridge . If you can handle the soft filling during the wrapping, you can by pass the step.
- For the oil dough, put the plain flour and oil in a bowl. Use a tablespoon to stir until it form a dough. Divide into 12-15 pieces and set aside.
- In a stand mixer mixing bowl, put the plain flour, water, yeast, sugar and salt. Knead the dough until the dough leaves the side of the bowl and not sticky. It is rather fast and there is no need to reach the window pane test. Transfer to lightly floured surface, shape round and let it proof until double in size. While proofing, cover with a piece of wet cloth or clingy wrap.
- Once it reaches double in size, divide into 12-15 pieces.
- Pre-heat the oven to 200 degree Celsius.
- Take a water dough ball, lightly flatten it, put a oil dough on top of the water dough ball, wrap the oil dough using the water dough , seal the edges, shape round and set aside.
- Get ready the light corn syrup solution and the sesame seeds.
- Take a dough ball (oil dough wrapped by water dough), use a rolling pin to roll it flat , put a meat filling on the centre and a big tablespoon of chopped spring onion , seal the edges and shape round. Ensure the sealing is tight. put the ball in the light corn syrup solution and put in on on top of the sesame seeds. Lightly pressed it and put in the baking tray. (Note that if you want more layers, you can do the following : Roll the dough balls flat, fold, roll, fold, roll and fold, there will be more flaky layers. But I think this is optional as the dough is quite thin)
- Once all the dough are done and the oven is ready, bake in the pre-heated oven of 200 degree Celsius for 20-25 minutes or until the desired colour tone . After baking, the cake shall have a crispy crust . Best served hot when immediately out of oven.
This is a very nice cake and I have already adjusted the dough to filling ratio for the readers. Do give it a try and let me know if it suits your family’s taste buds.
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