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Flaky Custard Buns

November 18, 2016 | 6 comments

Debate is a death trap.

Long hours researching random international/national affairs (yay/nay plan columbia!) and unabashedly amusing (and long) saturdays. Like can I please just go to sleep now? Please? no you gotta do more DEBATE!!. This basically just turns into slightly less fun weekdays, researching cross legged on my friend’s floor, listening to Milord (which she actually hates but it keeps us awake so). Remind me next year this time to never declare an international relations major please. thanks.

Although I shouldn’t complain. Science takes much more time, much more of my life, making me much more like a sleep deprived zombie than debate does (although can zombies even be sleep deprived? they’re dead so…). Wellllll only SEVEN MORE DAYS UNTIL THANKSGIVING BREAK!!! This year, I am thankful that thanksgiving break is 5 days instead of the usual 4.





Anyways, I digress.

During one of those particularly time consuming researching days, my friend’s mom brought some freshly baked flaky pastries with a gorgeous, sweet, yellow filling, Maybe it was something about probable cause and reasonable suspicion that made us so hungry but we promptly devoured those delicious pastries, with flakes scattering all on our computer keyboards and a slight undertone of Milord playing.

I liked them so much I just had to go home and make them. A perfect combination of English and Chinese cultures, otherwise known as a strange land called Hong Kong, these pastries are made with an Asian style “puff” pastry, and a Western style “pastry cream.” Really, it’s none of those -a totally gorgeous fusion that needs to be tried from both sides alike.






We need more food in this world -food brings all cultures together.


// Recipe adapted from here and here.


Flaky Custard Buns


Custard Filling

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1/4 cup sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into 3 or 4 pieces
  • 1/3 cup cornstarch mixed with 1/4 cup of water
  • 2 large egg yolks + 1 egg
  • 2 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • Hydrophillic dough:
  • 300 grams 2 1/4 cups cake flour
  • 145 grams 1/3 water
  • 85 grams 6 tbsp softened butter
  • Hydrophobic dough:
  • 180 grams 1 cup + 5 tbsp flour
  • 100 grams 7 tbsp softened butter


  1. For the custard filling, Mix the salt, sugar, coconut milk, sweetened condensed milk, and butter together in a saucepan over medium low heat. Pour in the cornstarch mixture while constantly stirring.
  2. When the mixture is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon and will hold together like soft peaks, take off the heat and add in the eggs while constantly whisking.
  3. Return to the heat and cook until the mixture pulls away from the side of the pan.
  4. Transfer the mixture to a different container to cool. Cover with plastic wrap.
  5. For each dough, add the ingredients into a bowl and mix and work together until a smooth, stiff dough forms. Cover with plastic wrap and let rest for ~15-30 minutes.
  6. Split each dough into 12 pieces. Flatten a piece of the hydrophilic dough into a thin plate and a piece of the hydrophobic dough into a sphere. Cover the hydrophilic dough with the hydrophobic dough. Repeat for all the pieces of dough.
  7. Roll each combined piece into a thin oval -about 1/4cm thick. Cut in half. Placing the cut side down, flatten the dough into a circle and place a blob (about 1/2 tbsp) into the middle and seal well. Repeat until all the pieces of dough are used up.
  8. Place on a parchment lined baking sheet and brush with a beaten egg. Bake at 400 for around 20 minutes.


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  1. heather (delicious not gorgeous) on

    November 18, 2016 at 3:15 am says

    ooh, i’ve never seen this combo before. normally i see this style of pastry with char siu, and i see nai wong baos steamed and super fluffy, or baked and bread-y. this looks amazing though, and i’m going to have to search it out at dim sum (i feel like this has a dim sum vibe).

    edith piaf reminds me of my french class days. i can’t remember what song we analyzed (lol more like stumbled through), but i’m sure it’s buried at home somewhere. and had no idea “non, je ne regrette rien” was the kick song in “inception”!

  2. Kevin | Keviniscooking on

    November 18, 2016 at 2:24 pm says

    I loved your description of these from the two cultures and it’s true. I love mash ups like that and these look fantastic. Thanks Anne!

  3. Beeta @ Mon Petit Four on

    November 22, 2016 at 11:02 pm says

    Pastry and custard – always a great combo!! Your buns look perfectly flaky. I hope you enjoy the holiday, Anne, and have some time to relax away from school <3

  4. Hira on

    November 24, 2016 at 6:17 pm says

    I remember when I was I debate. It was stressful, but the end was always fun! What style debate do you participate in?

    These custard buns looks absolutely delicious. I love fillings tucked in pockets of food. It makes eating messier, which is always more fun.

    Happy Thanksgiving, Anne! 🙂

    • Anne on

      November 24, 2016 at 9:44 pm says

      I do public forum! And yeah I totally agree it’s so fun but sooooo stressful.
      Thanks Hira!

      • Hira on

        November 27, 2016 at 5:37 pm says

        When I was in debate… I did LD, but then I left because band required so much commitment. It was fun while it lasted. ?



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