Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Layered pau

Another pau which is layered but not as much as the Thousand Layers Cake, this one has only 4 layers of pau and 3 fillings.  The color of the filling is so vibrant as it has so many egg yolks and the custard powder bring it to another level.  Try making this, it is not as tedious but just as or rather more delicious.



6 egg yolks
1 cup dessicated coconut
7 tbsp sugar
3 tbsp rice flour
3 tbsp custard powder
3/4 cup milk

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tsp yeast
1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tbsp sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1 tbsp oil

Wofberries/goji/kee chee(optional)


Mix filling ingredients together in a microwave-safe bowl and cook on high one minute at a time stir well after every minute, until mixture has thickened(it was thickened in 3 minutes in my 900 watts microwave, so if you are having a higher wattage microwave oven, you could use 3/4 power or stop at 2 minutes).  Divide into 3 equal portions.

To make the dough:

Knead dough. let dough rise until it is double in bulk.

Divide dough  into 4 portions.

Roll out each portion of dough into 7 inch square (Roll the first portion and if it resists, let it rest and roll the second, repeat rolling and resting for all 4 portions)

Spray or grease a 7 inch cake pan with non stick butter spray and line with parchment paper.

Place  on piece of rolled portion on the bottom and spread a portion of the filling on top, level filling with an off-set spatula.

Top filling portion with another piece of rolled dough, press down to release trapped air. 

Repeat with filling and topping with another piece of rolled dough, ending with a piece of rolled dough on top.
Press wofberries/goiji/kee chee on top in a pattern.

Brush top of dough with oil to prevent drying out.

Let it rest for 30 - 45 minutes and in the meantime, bring the water in a steamer to the boil.

When dough has rested and risen, put into steamer and steam on high heat for 35 minutes until a skewer comes out clean when pricked into the middle of cake.

Let cake cool before cutting into bite-size portions and serve warm.



Tuty said...

What a lovely layered pau. I think this one is more achievable than the pork floss layered pau. Thank you, Lily.

Claire said...

Looks like the thousand-years steamed cake I'm used to seeing in dim sum.

What's on the is chinese goji berries?

Anh said...

This is fantastic! Thanks aunty Lily!

Lyndsey said...

Wow, this looks amazing!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Thanks for sharing, this looks good.

Pete said...

nice with a cup of hot coffee!

~~Dreams Come True~~ said...

Amazing! I really love the way the Pau has risen fully. Great work. You grandchildren are very lucky to have a granny who cooks so well!

Quinn said...

Lily,this post and the previous post are so special. Just wondering where did you get all these recipes....I've not seen them anywhere. Are these hand-me-down from you mother?

Also, can I not microwave the filling and use stovetop instead? If yes, are the steps any different? Thanks a lot Lily!

MaryMoh said...

Wow...I really love this pau. Look too good to resist. The filling sound very delicious. Hope to try sometime. Thanks very much for sharing.

lilyng said...


i knew i have missed out the goji and i will edit the post.

lilyng said...


you could cook the filling over the stovetop

Anonymous said...

Hi there Lily, please can you tell me what is the purpose of the baking powder? Some people tell me its used as a raising agent but I have my doubts. Wouldn't it lose all the carbon dioxide/gases produced during the proving process? Recipes calling for baking powder need to be cooked asap as I understand, pls correct me if I am wrong. Others tell me its used to create the peel away skin on the pau! Pls enlighten me because I love yr website and spend many hrs drooling over yr wonderful creations!

Mary said...

Lily, this looks really lovely. I'll wager it's delicious

simie said...

This is my favourite pau dish at yum cha. Thanks, Lily for the recipe!

lilyng said...


i don't know about it giving the pau a peel but it is there for leavening. Double action baking powder is best as the first reaction is when water is added and then the second will be when heat is introduced.

Anonymous said...

Hi Lily, Thank you for yr quick response to my query about baking powder. I did wonder if it was double action bp you were using, but forgot to mention it. Anyway, my next problem is I live in the UK/Ivory Coast, Africa and the BP available in most supermarkets is single action, ie Dr Oetker/Supercook and Alsa. If I used single action I would not get the second boost of leavening power from the heat and all the gases produced from the first and only reaction would already have dispersed. Could I add the bp at the end after the proving process, just before shaping the dough? This way I could at least retain some of the gases! Sorry for being so long winded, its just so exciting to have a Blogger like yrself so willing to help us in our time of need so we too can create delicious food at home. Thank you for you time in this matter, much appreciated!

lilyng said...


you are most welcome with any questions and i will try to help if i can.

yes, at the final stage that is before you divide the dough, Roll the dough into a rectangle and mix baking powder with a little water and spread it onto the surface, roll it up and knead dough until it is well mixed and smooth. Then divide dough and proceed with recipe.

Anonymous said...

Hi there again,

Thought I'll update you on my progress in pau making using baking powder! Yes, its me again! I was too eager to try out my theory of adding BP after proving the dough that I went ahead B4 I got yr response! To my amazement I made the lightest ever pau! Instead of making layered pau I made individual round ones with yr coconut custard filling - a bit like dimsum custard buns - yummy! made up a double quantity of dough and only put BP in one half. I wanted to see if there was a difference. Both batches turned out light but of course the half with BP had slightly more lightness and maybe a little whiter. I also compared the height of the two and the one with BP was a good 1-2mm taller. So basically my little experiment showed that BP is not really necessary, just yeast leavening alone can make pau, but of course the addition of BP has a lighter result. However I did not mix the BP with a little water, I just sprinkled it on the dough. Next time I will follow yr suggestion, it sounds a lot easier to get the BP mixed in.

Thanks again for your time.

Sahron said...

Hi, I like layered pau very much.In the recipes, the filling you call for 3 tbsp rice flour. Is that sweet rice flour or others? In our supermarket there are 2 kinds of rice flour.

lilyng said...


this is regular rice flour of which the package will have writings in red.

the glutinous rice flour or sweet rice flour will have green writings

tellywelly said...

hi, this really looks very yummy, but is there alternative for rice flour? as i dun really want to buy one packet just to make this. and is it possible to do without the coconut? as my family does not like coconut,. thanks.

lilyng said...


you can replace rice flour with all-purpose flour - the amount is too small to make any difference to the texture.

i had the same problem with my grand daughter, she does not like coconut too that is why when i made the thousand layers pau, i used pork floss instead. in this case, perhaps chopped nuts will do
or add more flour ti nake a thicker custard that will cut out when cooled.

Anonymous said...

Dear Aunt Lily,

Can you please tell me how thick should the filling ingreients set to after nuking it in the micowave. After 3 mins, mine come out with a ll scrambled and the rest is still in liquid form.


lilyng said...


it should be like a custard. continue to cook further until it thickens = wattage of microwave differs.

Anonymous said...

Thanks Aunt Lily for the tips. I will make another batch. The one I made today came out alright even though I didnt get the right consistency for the filling and the dough doesn't seems to wanna rise today. Checked the yeast and baking powder and they are still working.


Anonymous said...

Aunt Lily,

Made the second batch today. Everything comes together great. The end result is awesome. Thank you for sharing this recipe. It is one of my childhood favorite.

Thanks a million,


Anonymous said...

Hi Lily,

I have enjoyed reading and trying out various recipes that you posted. Thank you.

I was wondering if you could share on what this "custard powder" is? I reside in the states (CA) and would like to make this dish. If you have a brandname that you use, that would be helpful.


lilyng said...


i use this brand - LION custard powder. it is available in california for sure cos my friend bought one for me from there

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