Crispy deep-fried pancakes filled with red bean or lotus seed paste are a classic dessert served as the final course of a Chinese wedding banquet. The pastry skin is made from a water dough and an oil dough, which produces the same layered effect of puff pastry.
- 1¾ cups ready-made lotus seed paste (red bean is a good substitute), divided into 4 portions
- Some oil and sesame seeds to garnish
- Water dough:
- ¾ cup unbleached plain flour
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 tbsp vegetable shortening
- 3-4 tbsp water
- Oil dough:
- ½ cup cake flour, sifted
- 3 tbsp shortening
- Water dough: Sift the flour and icing sugar together. Rub in the shortening, then gradually add the water until the mixture comes together (you may not need to add all the water). It will hold together but will be stiff and stringy; knead for 3-4 minutes and the dough will become smooth and elastic.
- Oil dough: Combine the ingredients and press together into a ball. This dough will hold together but be a little powdery.
- Cover both dough and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C. Divide the water and oil dough into 4 portions for easy handling. Roll or press out the water dough into a disk and place the oil dough in the centre, then wrap the water dough around it to enclose and form into a ball.
- Roll out the dough into a long oval, then roll into a Swiss roll. Give the dough a quarter turn and roll out lengthwise again. Make a Swiss roll again, give it another quarter turn and finally, roll out into a rough rectangle. Spread one portion of lotus paste on one half of the pastry and fold the other half over.
- Multiple strata are produced after the pastry has been rolled out. When baked, they puff up into flaky layers.
- Place pastry in a baking tray. Brush oil on the top and scatter with sesame seeds, lightly pressing them into the pastry. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes until puffed and golden. Serve cut into bars.