Tag Archives: Almond

Almond Tofu Recipe | Daily Cooking Quest

One of my readers ask me about how to make almond tofu that is ever present in Chinese buffet in United States. Well, the easiest way would be to buy almond tofu mix, but that feels a bit like cheating, but it works if you want to go the simplest route.

Ingredients for Almond Tofu

If this happen to be your favorite dessert and you want to have this often, it is a good idea to invest in buying a packet (it comes in box/jar/plastic bag) of Chinese almond milk powder, and either agar-agar powder or gelatin powder, this way, you can make it often and cheaply too.

Almond Tofu

Almond Tofu

For vegan/vegetarian, stick with agar-agar powder. Chinese almond powder is not made from almond nuts, but from apricot kernels, which is confusingly often translated to almond. So be extra careful when you buy your almond milk powder. If you use almond nut powder (or fresh almond milk), you will still get your dessert, but it will be the wrong one. I haven’t been able to locate an online source to get Chinese almond powder, and I always buy this from brick and mortar Asian grocery. In my experience, they are usually located in the milk/tea/coffee aisle. I have a photo of Chinese almond milk that I use for this recipe for reference.

Almond Tofu

Almond Tofu

The recipe is really straightforward, but you do need to read the instructions that come with your particular almond milk and agar-agar/gelatin powder. My agar-agar powder asks for one packet mix with 800 ml water, while the almond milk requires one packet mix with one cup of hot water. So, I go with 3 packets of Chinese almond milk powder, 1 packet of agar-agar powder, and 750 ml water. I boil the three ingredients together in a sauce pot, whisking frequently to mix everything up. I cook for another 2 minutes once it reaches a boiling point, then I simply pour into rice bowls. You can also just pour into a baking tray if you want and cut into cubes once set.

Almond Tofu

Almond Tofu

Next is simple. Let the milk and agar mixture chill in the fridge until set, about 1-2 hours. You can serve it from bowl, or you can cut it into cubes like the one in restaurant. Typically, almond tofu is served with a can of fruit cocktail. But I actually prefer to just cut up some fresh fruits, like berries or stone fruits (peaches/nectarines), and some maple syrup. Simple is best.

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Chinese Almond Cookies Recipe | Daily Cooking Quest

Chinese Almond Cookies

There is nothing like Chinese New Year to send my whole family into cookie baking frenzy. Most Chinese families will do a cookie baking marathon, churning out boxes and boxes of different kind of cookies.

What is surprising to most is that we do this mainly for the enjoyment of our guests, though it is not a secret that most people bake extras for their own enjoyment.

Among the top must bake in my house is this Chinese almond cookies, alongside other must-haves such as Chinese peanut cookies, nastar, and lapis legit (thousand layers cake).

This almond cookies recipe is super easy and perfect for beginners, so even the kiddies should have no trouble helping Moms in the kitchen.

Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies

Whole almond vs. ground almond

Nowadays you can buy almond flour which is very fine pre-ground almond. Growing up, we don’t have such luxury of buying almond flour. Instead, we buy whole almond and grind them with a food processor.

This hand-me-down recipe assumes that you will grind your own almonds. If you use almond flour, the cookie texture will be less rustic, which may or may not be a bad thing. It should work, but know that it is different from what pass as Chinese almond cookies.

Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies

Neutral flavor oil

The most common oil to use when making Chinese almond cookies is peanut oil. If you cannot find this, feel free to use other neutral flavor oil, such as canola or even vegetable oil.

Don’t use olive oil or coconut oil as these will impart their flavor to the cookies.

Chinese Almond Cookies

Chinese Almond Cookies

Decorating the cookies

If you are short on time, you can leave the cookies plain. Just shape them into round balls and brush with egg wash and pop them in the oven.

But if you have just a bit more time and some extra whole almonds at hand, I highly suggest dressing them up by pressing one whole almond (or a half almond) on top of each cookie, then follow with egg brush before popping them in the oven.

Personally, I always make sure I have extra almonds on hand when making these.

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Almond Bread Rolls Recipe | Daily Cooking Quest

Bread rolls with nuts filling are one of my childhood favorite, and one you can bet any decent bakery will sell among their many types of bread. The typical choice of nuts is roasted peanuts, but here I choose roasted almonds instead. The fluffy soft Asian milk bread paired with crunchy and sweet ground almond paste filling is truly delicious. If you are nuts lover, you will want to give this recipe a try. If you are allergic to nuts, feel free to use toasted sesame seeds instead.

Step-By-Step Guide to Shape Almond Bread Rolls

How to shape the bread rolls

Honestly, you can shape your bread into any kind of shape you wish. The simplest option is actually just to make the bread into cinnamon rolls shape, a.k.a. create a log, cut into 12 equal pieces, and place in 9″x13″ baking pan, and bake as is. What I did here is very close to the steps you use when making cinnamon rolls:

  1. Roll the dough into a rectangle of about 12″x20″.
  2. Spread the ground almond filling, leaving 1″ edges clean.
  3. Roll into a log from the long edge.
  4. Cut into 8 equal pieces.
  5. Cut each piece only halfway, then open it up and arrange on a well greased half-sheet pan (or line with a parchment paper).
Almond Bread Rolls

Almond Bread Rolls

How to prepare the ground almond filling

For the ground almond filling, you will need the following ingredients:

  • egg white
  • sugar
  • salt
  • roasted whole almond, pulse in a food processor into coarse almond powder.
  • all-purpose flour
  • melted unsalted butter
  • almond extract
  • milk

Simply whisk egg whites with sugar and salt, then add ground almond and all-purpose flour, mix well. Add melted butter, almond extract, and milk. Stir this into peanut butter consistency.

Almond Bread Rolls

Almond Bread Rolls

Can I use my trusted bread dough recipe

The short answer is yes. If your trusted bread dough recipe uses about 3 cups of flour (around 360-400 gram), you are most likely going to be successful. If you have your go-to recipe for either brioche bread or Asian milk bread, these should do really well. Enjoy!

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