Mid-Autumn festival (中秋節) is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar every year. While the kids will play with the lantern, we loved to enjoy some moon cake with a good cups of tea.
Mooncake is a must-eat snack during Mid-Autumn festival (中秋節) that I grew up with. Once you gather all ingredients needed for making your own mooncakes, you'll feel not that difficult as you thought.
While many of the people will make a snow skin (something like Japanese mochi ) version of moon cake. We prefer the traditional baked mooncake.
Ingredients for the filling |
Ingredients for the skin |
100 gm plain flour 60 gm golden syrup, homemade or store-bought ½ tsp alkaline water (aka lye water), available at Asian grocers 28 gm vegetable oil
420 gm coffee lotus seed paste - store-bought 30gm nuts of your preference
Use a large bowl, mix the golden syrup, alkaline water and oil well. Sift in the flour. Use a spatula to combine all ingredients. Don’t over-stir. Knead into a dough. Cover with a film wrap and rest for 40 minutes. Mix egg yolks with wine. If the salted egg yolks are homemade and freshly broken from the shells, you’ll see the egg whites would turn opaque after mixing with the wine a few minutes later. Wipe dry the yolks with kitchen paper. Cut each into two halves. Set aside. Roll lotus paste into a long tube. Cut into 12 equal portions, each 35 grams. Roll each portion into a ball shape. Set aside. Preheat oven to 180C (356F). Prepare the egg wash: whisk the egg yolk with the egg white. Sift through a fine sieve.
Divide the dough into 12 equal portions. Roll each portion into a small ball shape. Cover a dough portion with a plastic film and roll into a thin disc. Then take a lotus paste ball and poke a hole in the middle with your finger. Place egg yolk inside. Roll and shape into a ball. Wrap and seal the lotus paste ball with the dough disc. Spray the mooncake mould and place the stuffed mooncake into the mould. Lightly press the mould handle, then remove the mooncake from the mould. Transfer the stuffed mooncake onto a lined baking tray. Repeat this step to finish the remaining dough and lotus paste.
Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 to 12 minutes. Brush the mooncakes with egg wash, at about 5 minutes before removing from the oven. Continue to bake until the pastry turns golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack. Store in an air-tight container. The pastry will become soft, called “回油” （literally means ”returns oily and soft’） and shiny in one or two days.
As the Mid-Autumn Festival hovers over the horizon, stalls selling a myriad of sweet festive treats will be mushrooming in shopping malls. In addition to the variety of mooncakes available, there will also be mooncake biscuits, which can come in a variety of shapes and patterns.
This year, try making your own mooncake treats at home, which will allow you to experiment with interesting flavour combinations, shapes and textures – as well as give you control over the quality of the ingredients you put into your pastries.
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