Sunday, August 13, 2006
Detailed Recipe for Mooncakes
Although Mooncake festival isn't for a while, my first batch of mooncakes came out this week. Since my Fiance's family was preparing for a dinner party at their house, I wanted to help out by making some snacks. I really wanted to try making a few big ones using a new, bigger mould that I purchased, but I thought the small ones would be more appropriate for a dinner party since each guest could grab a few. Previously I had written a post about these Cantonese mooncakes, but I thought I'd share my two cents this time and post the recipe and steps that I used (which I got from Jo and changed it ever so slightly mainly to scale to how many pieces I wanted). This turned out to be rather tasty as well as presentable, so many thanks to Jo for her help! Word of caution, although the ingredients are very common and the dough easy to make, the most difficult part comes from wrapping the mooncakes, which unfortunately cannot be well explained in words (well, at least not by me anyway). Please practice a few times before presenting it as a gift because the first few may turn out a little distored (although equally delicious!) Another piece of wisdom, which may go against most rules in baked goods, is: do not serve until 2-3 days after making it, for it will take some time for the mooncake skin to soften and have the traditional glowing appeal. Personally, I like mine best straight out of the oven since I prefer a slight crunch to the skin (or maybe because the smell of mooncakes baking in the oven extinguishes any of my will power to wait 2-3 days to taste test one!) At any rate, these are truly worth the time and effort to make. Just don't make any plans for a few hours that day!
Mini Cantonese Style Mooncakes
Makes 50 small mooncakes
450 grams flour
15 grams cornstarch
135 grams oil
345 grams syrup (recipe follows)
1 tsp baking soda
Any type (red bean, mixed nuts, lotus paste, salty eggs, etc).
2 egg yolks, 2 tsp water, 1 Tbsp oil, mixed together
1. In a double boiler, heat together oil, syrup, and baking soda. Remove and let cool
2. Sift together flour and cornstarch. Pour in the syrup and mix the dough together. The consistency of the dough will resemble that of a firm cookie dough. Wrap with saran wrap and let rest at room temperature for 10-18 hours.
3. Take a portion of the dough and use your fingers to shape the skin into a disk. Roll a piece of the filling into a ball and gently press the filling against the skin. Try to push the skin up and around the filling, making sure to enclose the entire filling. Note, a little bit of water may be used to help spread the skin a little.
4. Flour your hands and roll the piece to smooth out the ball. Place in the mould and press firmly to ensure that the patterns will show. Bang on a counter to dislodge the mooncake.
5. Bake for 12 minutes in a 350 F degree oven. Remove and let cool for 5 minutes before applying the egg glaze. Return to oven and bake again for about 12-15 minutes.
6. Remove to baking sheet for 2-3 days before transferring to a container to be served.
Recipe for Syrup:
600 g sugar
500 g water
Use high heat to dissolve sugar and water. Then add the lemon slices and boil on low heat until thick and golden. Then add 2 tbsp molasses and 1 tsp vanilla. Strain through a sieve and transfer to a container. Total time should be between 1 and 1.5 hours.