I tried making taro buns last night. Took me forever to cut and cube it, and then I tried steaming it as per the recipe. Hah! It took an hour and they were still hard as a rock. In the meantime, the dough has risen so I had to start baking, taro or no taro.
I didn't have my mixer to my aid, so I had to mix it as kneed it by hand. I don't mind obviously, but I was worried it's not the same texture and color as I remembered it last time I made milk bread. Regardless, when the hour passed and I kneaded it a bit more, I was surprised to find a soft, pillowy, bright dough.
It might have been a bit too much dough because I got bored of red bean paste midway (I picked some up in case the taro won't work out - very wise idea apparently), so I decide to experiment. I mixed some dried raspberries into one, cut strawberries and made a little boat of fruit and honey form the other, filled some with hazelnut praline, and stuffed the rest with those big sugar crystals they put on brioche in France. What a good experiment it turned out to be! The hazelnut praline was quite good, but my favorites were definitely the strawberries and the sugar crystal ones, they turned out to be just like mama's (well, almost).
The store-bought red bean paste was very nice, so I won't be making it again. It has a clear ingredients list (red beans, water, sugar) and much less of a headache than making it from scratch, even though it was a good experience. Also, for the future I will remember to make smaller dough balls, I like them more when they're cute and tiny.
When they were out from the over, I brushed them with a simple syrup and put them in a big ziplock bag so they will soften up a bit. I didn't close the bag (to avoid moisture), and held it between my knees on the drive home. It was actually an emotional experience, driving with the bag like that. The buns were warm and alive, and I made them.
I got lunch from the Asian market today, and I'm so happy with it. It's enormous and I paid enough for it, but I don't mind. I got fried rice with shrimp, some noodles, cabbage with plum sauce, and veggie spring rolls. For dessert I got an enormous Chinese cookie, a lotus mooncake, and a honeydew bubble milk tea. So delicious!!!