Wednesday, 19 August 2015

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Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival Moon Cake - 中秋月饼


Ingredients:

Lotus paste:
1. 300g lotus seeds
2. 2 TBS brown sugar
3. 1 TBS peanut or walnut oil
4. A handful of sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds (optional)

Red bean paste:
1. 1 cup red beans cooked
2. 2 TBS sugar
3. 1 TBS peanut oil or walnut oil
4. A handful of sunflower seeds/pumpkin seeds (optional)

Pastry:
1. 1 3/4 cup flour
2. 1/4 cup syrup
3. 1/4 cup walnut oil
4. 1 tsp alkaline water

Egg wash
1. 1 egg beaten

Directions:

Lotus paste/red bean paste
1. In a pot, add washed and removed of the green stems, fill with 1 inch of water, bring to boil, and cook under medium heat until soft.

2. Drain away water, add sugar and oil and grind.

3. If it is too watery, bring it back to the stove, cook until the water evaporate under constant stirring.

4. Add in sunflowers seeds or pumpkin seeds and mix well.

Pastry:
1. Mix syrup, alkaline water and walnut oil together and slowing mix in the flour.

2. Knead into a dough and set aside for 30 mins.

3. Weigh the pastry into 30g ball.

4. Weigh the paste filling into 30g ball.

5. Use a rolling pin and protected by baking paper, flatten the dough ball and roll into a flat dough skin.

6. Wrap the filling with the dough skin.

7. Press it into a moon cake mold.

8. Remove the mold and transfer to a baking tray laid with baking paper.

9. Bake for 8 mins under 175 degree celsius.

10. Brush with egg wash and set aside for 10 mins.

11. Bake for another 8 minutes or until golden brown.

12. Cool and store into air-tight container.

13. Wait for a day or two for the skin to soften before consuming.

Additional Information:

The Chinese Mid-Autumn Festival is in a month's time and J requested to make moon cakes. Exhausted as I am with the demands of daily life, I quickly grabbed this opportunity to inculcate a little bit of heritage education. I believe that for a child to have inner strength and self-confidence, he needs to know his heritage. This comes through building a strong family tradition. So I work hard in this area, wanting J to know his heritage and to be proud of his heritage.

However, looking at the ingredients - lots of sugar and oil, I realized how unhealthy moon cakes can be. This recipe is a reduced sugar and oil version, but it is sweet and tasty enough for us.

All the recipes I found call for alkaline water to give the moon cake its texture, but I do not really think that it is necessary. I baked this for the first time with alkaline water, but next time, I will do without and see how it tastes.

Traditionally moon cake recipes also call for the Chinese golden syrup, but I think any syrup will do.

The alkaline solution gives it the typical moon cake taste, but I think it can be done without.

Traditionally, it is made with peanut oil, but I prefer to use the more expensive walnut oil. So this is traditional moon cakes with a modern twist.

We tried this on 12 August 2015 (6Y5M7D). J had a lot of fun with it, and at this age, he could really do a lot in the kitchen to help me to prepare the dough.

Please pardon the look. Our moon cakes don't look very nice - we don't have the moon cake mold, but it is the bonding process that counts :-) So here they are - the ugliest moon cakes on earth, made with love :-) And it does taste like moon cakes, which is the most important :-) J likes it a lot. A friend who tried it like it very much, because they weren't too sweet unlike the store-bought ones :-)

Recipe:
https://youtu.be/c8Efg7LE4qg
http://runawayrice.com/desserts/piggy-moon-cakes-banh-trung-thu/
http://nasilemaklover.blogspot.sg/2012/09/single-yolk-and-lotus-paste-mooncakes.html?m=1


Here are the ingredients... flour, alkaline solution, peanut oil, syrup, egg, lotus seeds and red beans

You can buy the fresh lotus seeds from the Chinatown in Copenhagen too.

To make the lotus seeds filling, cook the lotus seeds until soft...

Drain away water, add sugar and oil and...

grind until smooth and paste-like...

To make the pastry, in a large mixing bowl, add syrup...

Add oil...

Add alkaline water, stir and mix well...

Add flour...

Stir and mix well...

Knead with hands, but don't over-knead as we are not making bread...

Here is the kneaded dough...

Prepare the pastry, filling, seeds (optional) and weighing scale...

Weigh out 30g of dough in a ball

Roll it out flat with a baking sheet to prevent sticking
  

Remove baking sheet...

Add some seeds into the filling, and weigh out 30g ball...

Place the filling ball into the pastry and...

Wrap it up...

covering all corners...

into a ball...

Use a mooncake mold, but I didn't have one, so I use a playdough mold, but it didn't quite turn out well..

Pre-heat oven to 175 degree celsius...

Bake for 5-8 mins, take it out and...

 Brush with egg wash and...

set aside for 10 mins before placing them back into the oven...

Bake for 8 mins or until golden...

Let it cool down and...

store it in an airtight container...

Wait a day or two for the skin to soften, before consuming :-)

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