Mooncakes are traditional Chinese pastries eaten during the Mid Autumn Festival, relished with family while gazing the moon.
Mooncakes have a variety of fillings like the red bean paste, lotus seed paste, and crusts that are chewy, flaky and tender. They are typically round in shape. The most common kind of mooncakes are Cantonese mooncakes, Vietnamese mooncakes, Ningbo mooncakes and Chocolate mooncakes.
Relishing store bought mooncakes can be fun, but what if you were to make your own mooncake at home? Sounds interesting right? Here’s how to make mooncakes in 10 simple steps.
Golden syrup (high quality syrup that adds more flavour, is made with sugar,water and lemon juice)
Alkaline water (available at Asian stores or can be prepared by mixing dietary alkali with clean water at the ratio 1:4). It balances the acidity of the golden syrup and gives it a beautiful brown finish.
Ready made lotus seed paste
Rose flavoured cooking wine and egg yolk.
In a bowl, add 100 gms of flour, 60 gms of golden syrup, 1 tsp of alkaline water and 28 ml of vegetable oil.
Stir until all ingredients are mixed, then knead into a dough. Cover it with a film wrap and leave to dry for 40 minutes.
Mix the egg yolks with wine and mix it with the dough until soft and firm. Divide the dough and the filling into six portions separately. Roll each portion into a small ball and flatten it with a rolling pin.
Take the filling (lotus paste), make it into a ball and put it in the center of the dough.
Wrap the dough around the filling, pull the edges up and seal together to form a ball.
Pick your choice of the mould. Place the dough ball into the mould.
Put the mold on a flat surface and press it down, shaping the mooncake. In order to remove the cake, bang all the four sides and remove the mooncake from the mold.
Transfer the stuffed mooncakes on a tray and repeat the same process.
Bake the mooncakes in a preheated oven (350 degrees F) for 10-12 minutes. Remove and quickly brush the surface of the mooncake with egg wash (egg and wine mixture). Place it back into the oven for 5-10 minutes, until it turns golden brown.
Leave the mooncakes to cool, and place them in an air-tight container for two days. The mooncake will turn darker, giving it a glossy, shiny texture and a dense flavour.
Have some leftover dough from the mooncakes? A fun and cute way to use up the leftover dough and filling is to make small pig figurines that have been an important element during the moon festival as well as the Chinese culinary traditions for a long time. Pigs represent abundance in Chinese culture, and roasted piglets are a norm during the festival and have a chewy crust.
Easy isn’t it? If you think you can make your own mooncakes, do give it a try and get creative with it.
Enjoy these traditional baked mooncakes along with a variety of fillings. Top it with melon seeds for a crunchy texture!
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