A bao is a Chinese bun. This version is like miniature chocolate-filled doughnuts. They’re made with sweet dough, filled with chocolate ganache, and fried like beignets.–Sherry Yard
LC YOU SAY BAO, SAY BOW NOTE
We’re not certain about the definitive history of these lovely little orbs of fried dough goodness, though we can tell you they’re pronounced “bow,” the kind that rhymes with “wow” and “meow” and “ow.” (Although they’re not pronounced the same as the type of ” bow” that bedecks a gift, we certainly think of them in gift-worthy terms.)
Baos Fried Dough
- Deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometerth
For the ganache
- 6 ounces bittersweet chocolate finely chopped
- 3/4 cup heavy cream
- 2 tablespoons light corn syrup
For the dough
- 1 cup cake flour
- 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour plus more for the work surface
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 large eggs
- 4 ounces unsalted butter melted and still hot
- 1/4 cup milk
- Vegetable oil for deep-frying
- Confectioners’ sugar for dusting
Make the ganache
- Place the chopped chocolate in a bowl. Bring the cream and corn syrup to a boil in a saucepan or in a microwave-safe bowl for about 1 minute. Pour over the chocolate and tap the bowl against your work surface to settle the chocolate into the cream. Let sit for 1 minute, then stir with a rubber spatula or a whisk until the chocolate is melted and the mixture is smooth. Allow to cool for about 1 hour until it reaches 70°F (20°C) or so. The ganache should have the consistency of peanut butter.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Fit a piping bag with a #6 plain tip. Fill the pastry bag with the ganache. Pipe 35 large kisses of the ganache (about the diameter of a quarter) onto the parchment, lifting up the piping bag as you pipe. Transfer to the freezer. Freeze for 1 hour (or for up to 1 week).
Make the dough
- Sift together the flours, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt in a large bowl. (Or sift into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment.)
- In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs. Add the hot butter in a steady stream, whisking constantly. Whisk in the milk, scraping down the bowl.
- Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients and pour in the wet ingredients. Stir (or beat on medium speed) until the dough comes together, about 2 minutes. Scrape out onto a lightly floured work surface and knead for 2 minutes. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Assemble the baos
- Lightly dust your work surface with flour. Roll out the dough to a 10-by-14-inch rectangle, about 1/8 inch thick. Cut the dough into thirty-five 2-inch squares.
- Place a frozen chocolate kiss in the center of each square. Pull up the edges of the dough and pinch together so that you have a tightly sealed bundle. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet and repeat with the remaining dough and chocolate. Cover with plastic and refrigerate for 15 to 20 minutes.
- In a wide, deep saucepan or a deep fryer, heat 3 inches of oil over medium heat to 350°F (175°C) on a deep-fry or candy or instant-read thermometer. Place 4 baos on a large slotted spoon and carefully dip and release into the oil. Fry for 1 1/2 minutes, turning constantly.
- Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon, drain on paper towels or on a rack, and allow to cool slightly. Repeat with the remaining baos. Dust with confectioners’ sugar and serve hot.
Originally published April 27, 2007