How To: Pikachu Custard-Filled Bao Buns

Hi Nibblers!

It’s been months since we were treated to a lovely flashback of childhood memories – all in the game ‘Pokemon GO.’ It took everyone on wondrous journeys. It had families roaming the streets at night, friends getting together for some dinner/ drinks and then have a ‘Pokemon Go’ session while they were at it and it was great fun. I explored places I had never been in Sydney and genuinely loved every bit of it. It was an excuse to go out at weird hours of the night and not worry about the odd looks from everyone around because, well, were all in the park in for the same reason! It’s a shame that the game peaked so quickly and now, it’s lost its groove because it had so much potential. Just singing the theme song and gasping whenever I saw a new Pokemon was the highlight of my day for a while. But not to fret, the day will come again. In the meantime, we could always enjoy Pokemon themed desserts though so, here goes:

How To: Pikachu Custard-Filled Bao Buns
Makes approximately 15 buns

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What you’ll need:
Yellow dough:
– 660g self raising flour with extra to dust
– 150g granulated sugar or approx. 2/3
– 375 mL of milk or 1 1/2 cups
– 1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
– 1 1/2 Tbs. oil
– 5 drops of yellow food colouring (or until desire Pikachu colour)
(Note: depending on what food colouring you use gel/liquid etc. will depend on the amount – I used liquid for the yellow dough *)
Red dough
– 165g self raising flour with extra to dust
– 35g of granulated sugar or approx. 1 heaped Tbs.
– 90mL of milk or approx. 1/3 cup
– 1/3 tsp. baking powder
– 1/3 Tbs. oil
– 5 drops of red food colouring (or until desired Pikachu colour)
(Note: See above ‘*’)
Black dough
– 165g self raising flour with extra to dust
– 35g of granulated sugar or approx. 1 heaped Tbs.
– 90mL of milk or approx. 1/3 cup
– 1/3 tsp. baking powder
– 1/3 Tbs. oil
– 8 drops of black food colouring (or until desired Pikachu colour)
(Note: See above ‘*’)
Custard filling
– 6 egg yolks
– 45g plain flour
– 30g caster sugar
– 450mL of milk
– 1 tsp. vanilla essence
Extras:
– 1/2 cup of vinegar – for steaming (helps keeps the buns moist for longer)
– 1 Tbs. of vanilla yoghurt (I used Greek yoghurt) – Pikachu’s eye details
– 1/2 cup of water (glue for buns – Assemble section)

How To:
Dough – Yellow, Red and Black – Same directions, repeat with differing quantities as noted above.
1. Mix self-raising flour, baking powder, salt and sugar together until well combined then create a well in the centre of dry ingredients
2. Add oil to well
3. Mix desired amount of food colouring with milk until well combined
4. Add coloured milk to well
5. Combine wet and dry ingredients together until a dough like mixture forms
6. Knead either in a stand mixer or of a floured work top for approximately 10-20 minutes or until dough feels like elastic – should be able to be pulled for at least 5-10cm before breaking
7. Set aside in a lightly greased bowl with a wet tea towel to cover an set aside to proof for at least 1 hour
While waiting to proof – make filling!

Custard Filling:
1. In a mixing bowl, beat egg yolks and sugar until well dissolved
2. Transfer mixture into a saucepan on medium heat, stirring constantly
3. Add vanilla essence and flour and stir for a further minute
4. Slowly add milk, stirring constantly to ensure lumps don’t form and leave to simmer for approximately 6 minutes or until thickened
5. Transfer into mixing bowl and place a layer of cling film that touches the custard filling to avoid a skin layer to form
6. Set aside to cool / until needed

Assemble/ Steam!
Yellow Dough
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a 35-45cm long and 5cm diameter log (maybe a bit hard due to the consistency of the dough but try and it as close as possible to that)
2. Cut the log into 17 roughly even pieces. That’s about 2-3cm in height for each cylinder piece
3. With two out of the 17 dough pieces, mash the two pieces together and mould that dough to form 30 x 1cm by 1cm pyramid/cubed like pieces to harness Pikachu’s ears during assembling stage
Red Dough
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a log approximately 1cm in diameter then slice 30 roughly equal cylinders about 2mm in thickness to act as Pikachu’s cheeks then set aside
Black Dough
1. On a lightly floured surface, roll dough into a log approximately 0.7cm in diameter then slice 30 roughly equal cylinders  about 2mm in thickness to act as Pikachu’s eyes
2. Use the remaining dough to form 15 small dots (roughly the size of a a peppercorn)
3. Mould 30 x 1cm x 1cm pyramids for Pikachu’s ears
4. Mould 15 small 2cm long by 3mm thick squiggly logs (as pictured) to act as Pikachu’s mouth

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Assemble – Video

Written Instructions
1. Place a layer of baking paper onto the steaming layer of your steamer then set aside for un-steamed buns to placed into
2. To ready the buns for steaming, fill the bottom layer of your steamer pot until half full and add 1/2 cup of white vinegar. Bring to the boil then lower to medium heat to simmer (while boiling, assemble Baos)
3. Lightly dust clean working space with some flour and roll out yellow dough piece until you have a circle with a diameter of about 10cm and a thickness of 5mm, thinner along the edges
4. Spoon 1 heaped Tbs. of custard filling into the middle and bunch all the edges together in the middle
5. Using a slight dab of water, glue together one yellow dough cube with a black dough pyramid to form Pikachu’s ears
6. Repeat step 5 to form two ears
7. Place ears on top of main custard filled bun using a dab of water as glue
8. Secure two black circular dough pieces about 5mm beneath the two ears to act as eyes with water
9. Add a small dot about 5cm beneath the eye and in the middle of the two circular eye pieces with water
10. Add a squiggly black dough log for Pikachu’s mouth with water
11. Secure two red circle dough pieces for Pikachu’s cheeks with water
12. Place finished un-steamed Pikachu bun into the baking paper lined steamer layer
13. Repeat steps 3 – 12 until steamer layer filled
14. Place steamer level on top of water/ vinegar level with lid on top and steam buns for 20-25 minutes
15. Remove from steamer level and set on a cooling rack to cool
16. Repeat whole process until all dough is used up
Note: For excess dough, feel free to make un-animated custard filled buns (if there’s custard left) or better yet, just the dough on it’s own is great with a cup of tea!
17. Once buns are cooled, using a toothpick, dab a small dot of greek yoghurt in the centre of Pikachu’s eyes to give it the eyeball detail
Enjoy!

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I have to be honest, this post was definitely a struggle to write. It sounds complicated but, in actual fact is super easy to do! The reason why it has taken me so long to write boils down to a few reasons. One, as some of you may have noticed from my Instagram posts, I recently went to Europe! I had such an amazing time and it was so lovely to catch up with my family.
Secondly, this is actually one of my favourite recipes to date but a killer to write due to the amount of different components. It’s recipes like this that I wish I made more of a solid effort to film myself instead. Speaking of which, I hope you Nibblers will love the fact that I tried to out-do myself and film the process of me assembling Pikachu.            Hopefully, that creates a better visual stimulus to get these buns rolling out your door!
These buns were an absolute hit and maybe you can smash some out for your next party! They also last a few days in the fridge or a few weeks in the freezer once steamed. Just make sure to either re-steam or microwave for about 40 seconds on high to get the best out of them.
Lastly, I would like to say that it’s honestly so nice to be back and I do have a few recipes still to write up so stay tuned for those! In the meantime, be sure to comment below and give me a shout if there’s anything you wish me to do.

Until next time,
Nibble Away,
Jo

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