Fall is, hands-down, my favourite time of 12 months. Once I really feel the primary inklings of a chill within the air, I gladly change iced Americanos with steaming oat milk cappuccinos, change tossed salads for hearty roasted greens, and dig into my field of warming spices. Though basic, reliable fall flavors like apple and pumpkin typically get the highlight within the baking world, I’ve discovered that crimson bean paste, with its mellow sweetness and earthy creaminess, has simply as a lot potential to shine throughout this season.
For October’s cake installment, I developed a batch of muffin-shaped, crimson bean-filled desserts as a nod to a hodu-gwaja, a Korean deal with that interprets as “walnut cake/cookie.” The gentle, bite-size balls are full of walnuts and crimson bean paste, and dangerously simple to eat in pairs (one is rarely sufficient). Rising up, I used to be fortunate sufficient to have hodu-gwaja solely when my household stopped by an H-Mart in a serious metropolis or after we obtained them as a present. To this present day, the small, paper-wrapped pastries nonetheless have a sure nostalgic issue for me. Though you can also make hodu-gwaja at house, I discover it laborious to justify buying the special-use mildew only for this goal — so instead, I got down to translate the primary flavors, crimson bean paste and walnuts, into one thing that may very well be baked in a trusty, run-of-the-mill muffin pan.
Utilizing a mix of all-purpose and candy rice flours yields desserts with a moist, barely springy texture, and sweetened crimson bean paste (go for the graceful, high-quality selection like this one, fairly than the chunkier form) is each creamed into the batter and dolloped on high of it by the tablespoon. Because the desserts bake, the crimson bean paste sinks to the middle whereas many of the chopped toasted walnuts stay on high, leading to a stability of creamy, crunchy, and gentle textures. Baked in muffin pans (totally grease the wells first), the desserts make for individually portioned, handheld treats that work as properly for breakfast as they do for a day pick-me-up.
Although my interpretation of hodu-gwaja takes fairly just a few liberties with the unique, it retains the identical acquainted flavors in a easy, approachable format. And it additionally boasts longevity: the bitter cream and crimson bean paste preserve the desserts gentle for just a few days when saved in an hermetic container, which implies you may share a few of them and make your manner by the remainder. They’re an effective way to welcome the cooler temperatures — and proof that crimson bean and walnuts belong on the season’s taste roster.
Purple Bean and Walnut Snack Truffles
Makes 18 muffin-sized desserts
¾ cup (105g) all-purpose flour
½ cup, calmly packed (70g) candy rice flour, like Mochiko
1 teaspoon baking powder
¼ teaspoon baking soda
½ teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup (113g) unsalted butter, softened
½ cup (100g) granulated sugar
¼ cup (50g) gentle brown sugar
2 giant eggs, at room temperature
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
½ cup (145g) high-quality sweetened crimson bean paste, plus extra for topping the desserts (reminiscent of this one)
½ cup (120g) full-fat bitter cream, at room temperature
¼ cup (55g) complete milk, at room temperature
Chopped toasted walnuts, for topping
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 levels and totally grease two 12-cup muffin pans — you’ll must grease 18 of the cups (I like to make use of Pam’s Baking Cooking Spray for constant outcomes).
Step 2: In a medium bowl, whisk collectively the flours, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.
Step 3: In a big bowl, beat the butter with an electrical hand mixer or in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment till clean. Add each sugars and cream the combination till gentle and fluffy, 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula.
Step 4: Add within the eggs one after the other, beating after every addition till mixed. Scrape the bowl as soon as extra, then beat within the vanilla and crimson bean paste till integrated.
Step 5: Add half of the dry elements to the crimson bean combination and beat simply till mixed. Rigorously beat within the bitter cream and milk, then add the remainder of the dry elements and beat simply till the batter is clean.
Step 6: Divide the batter between 18 muffin wells (unlined is okay, so long as you’ve greased properly) and clean the floor along with your finger. Dollop a tablespoon of crimson bean paste on the middle of every cake and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
Step 7: Bake the desserts for 15-20 minutes, rotating the pans midway by, till a toothpick inserted within the heart comes out clear.
Step 8: Let the desserts cool within the pans for 10-Quarter-hour, then gently run a small offset spatula across the edges of the desserts to loosen and place onto a cooling rack.
Pleasure Cho is a contract author, recipe developer, and pastry chef based mostly in New York Metropolis.
Leah Nash is a photographer based mostly in Portland, Oregon.
Recipe examined by Deena Prichep