Wednesday, May 06, 2015

TAIYAKI - Japanese Pastry in the shape of TAI Fish

Ha, ha -- TAIYAKI
Have you made them recently?  or 10 or 15 years ago when your children were still young?  I had these TAIYAKIKUN mold for over 32 years.   It was back then when anything "foreign" were still challenging to get in California.  I found this pastry mold at YAOHAN (now it's MITSUWA) in San Jose Japanese market.  It brought back the childhood memory of sweet goodies I had after going to the OFURO YA SAN - bath house.
The challenging part of making this pastry is the long standing period to make enough to share with others.  You can only make two at a time.  And you need a lots of patience.

INGREDIENTS:
Cake flour - 320 g   I think 320g maybe too much. The batter really came out thick   After first batch I used 275 g of AP Flour
Eggs - 2 ea
Baking Powder - 1-1/2 Tbsp; really?  I only added 1-1/2 tsp
Sugar  - 80 g
Milk - 1-1/2 C
ANKO - Sweet Red Bean Paste 400 g
Preparation:
The original recipe asked to separate egg whites and egg yolks.  Beat egg yolks and sugar until pale yellow.  In a separate bowl, beat egg whites into meringue.  Shift Flour, then, add milk slowly while mixing to form batter.  Fold in egg yolk mixture.  Finally, fold in meringue.  But I found this batter difficult to work with.   The batter is too airy.  Adding them into the mold took forever, and this batter burnt easily.   Out of the 38, 12 got stuck in the mold. 
**At the time, I was thinking that it maybe the problem with the batter, so I used one bowl mixing method - mixed the batter the ordinary way.  Just mixed all ingredients by hand into a simple pancake like batter. 
 Sweet Red Bean Paste - ANKO is stirred well before placing in Pastry Bag for easy dispense.
 But it actually didn't matter.  What I have forgot is the Heating of the mold that mattered.
***The Mold needs to be pre-heated after the brushing of the cooking oil in the cavity.   If pre-heating is missed and batter is added - that's when the batter get 'stuck' to the the mold - a big Mess!!
 This batter is a simple mixing of all ingredients with a whisk and spatula.

 When the mold is brushed with a thin layer of cooking oil, and it is well heated, you are ready to add the batter.  Well heated mold assures the release of the baked pastry at the end. 
Add the batter into the heated mold.  Spread the batter all around with the back of a small spoon.  Allow to cook till it's semi dry but no runny batter.   Turn the mold around and heat the other side after brushing with cooking oil (vege/EVO).  Fill them with just enough batter as though to create outer 'skin' of the fish - to allow for "hollow" center.  Spread batter carefully from edge to edge with the help of a spoon.   Then add ANKO - sweet Red Bean paste.
 Top with more batter.  Then, press down the opposite side. Bake gently - 2 minutes each side and turn and bake 2 more minutes - but also keep your nose sharp.  It may take less than 2 minutes to bake.
 Release the pastry out of the mold by gently and carefully tugging them out with the tip of a butter knife, for example.
 Let it cool completely before packaging.  They are ready for the Bake Sale!
I had a couple of nice comments and requests afterwards:
The comment I had from the experienced SANSE (3rd) and YONSE (4th generation Japanese American) are that they wanted more ANKO in it and the cake more sweeter.  So, do a tester by adding bit more sugar in a small batch and see if it sweetens up the cake more without burning.  Test how to add more Red Bean without them woozing out during baking.
After making 60 some of these, I still have not quite find out how to pack those ANKO without them woozing out and end up with 'empty' stomach TAIYAKI.
Have a fun adventure trying!

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