Traditional Mooncakes

Mid Autumn Festival is round the corner, every mall that you go to now, there will be stalls upon stalls set up selling mooncakes, ranging from snow-skin to baked to deep fried, all sorts of different varieties. With the fanciful packaging and the increasing cost of raw ingredients, mooncakes prices were pushed to an absurdly high level.

So this year, instead of buying mooncakes, I decided to make them although I don’t really fancy eating them. I’ve been wanting to make them since long time ago but kept putting off the idea as I thought it requires a lot of hard work. After much hesitation, I gather my guts and went online in search of the perfect recipe. My mum started making them a few years back and I know who to consult if I needed any help 🙂

I went to Phoon Huat and get all the ingredients required. To my amazement, I found durian mung bean paste filling. I was estatic. The first personI think of was my brother who is living in Melbourne. He loves loves durian mooncakes. Growing up, me and my brother only eat durian mooncake (baked, not snow skin) and no others. They were not easily available because not many people make that as the much preferred choices are lotus paste, lotus paste or lotus paste 🙄 I grab a packet of the filling and told myself I got to make that. I will be going to Melbourne a few days later and the timing is just purrfect!

Went home, printed out the recipe and I’m all ready to make my first baked mooncakes. Making the mooncakes requires quite a bit of effort, it is not tough but needs a considerable bulk of time and patience. And it will be a noisy affairs 😀

Raw Mooncakes

Durian Mooncakes
( recipe adapted from Kokken 69)

Dough

160g Golden Syrup
55g Peanut Oil
8g Alkaline Water
225g Plain Flour

Filling

600g Durian Paste
melon seeds (2 handfuls)

Glaze

1 tsp Peanut Oil
1 Egg, beaten
1 tsp Water

1. Combine golden syrup, peanut oil and alkaline water. Mix until smooth.
2. Add in flour and mix until well combined. Cover dough and let it rest for 2 hours.
3. Divide dough into 90 g for big mooncakes and 36 g for mini ones
(Depending on the size of the mould, the dough to filling ratio should be 1:3)
4. In a bowl, mix durian paste and melon seeds.
5. Portion the filling to 30 g for big mooncakes and 12 g for mini ones. Roll this into a ball.
6. Preheat the oven to 180C.
7. On a lightly floured surface, flatten the dough into a flat round wrap.
8. Wrap filling with the flatten dough.
9. Lightly flour the mould, press firmly into the mould to help the mooncake takes shape and knock out/pump out the mooncake.
10. On a greased baking tray, arrange the raw mooncakes and spritz liberally with water.
11. Bake the mooncake in the oven for 10 mins at 180C. Remove the tray from the oven and brush mooncake with egg wash.
12. Return the tray into the oven and continue to bake at 160C for 10mins until the pastry bounces back when lightly pressed.

Stop yourself from eating it on the first day. You got to age the mooncakes for a few day preferably 3 days before consuming. It will darken in colour and becomes softer in texture over the days as the oil bleed out. Initially, we didn’t know that we got to age the mooncakes, C had one piece and he said it tasted like biscuits with fillings 😦
I went online to look for tips and then I found out that I got to let it age. After 3 days, C had another one. He gave me a thumbs up 😉 That says it all!!

I am very happy with my first try, it turns out beyond expectations. I packed a box for my bro and he was happy as a lark. Thank goodness, it was not confiscated by Melbourne customs, you know how sticky they are with food!
As for the remaining ones, they will be shared with friends. Here’s wishing everyone a Happy Mid Autumn Festival,
中秋节快乐!!

 Bite sizes

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One thought on “Traditional Mooncakes

  1. Pingback: Blog posts from Mei Zhang and others about China travel - WildChina

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