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The Chinese Moon Festival

Mooncake

Yesterday marked the official Chinese Moon Festival, but celebrations will continue today and tomorrow in China and places of the world where Chinese people live and honor their cultural traditions. This festival is significant for food as it involves the baking and eating of moon cakes - traditional cakes which are thought to look like the moon and are purchased to bring prosperity in the year ahead. People sacrifice cakes to the moon and eat them with family to signify unity and celebrate those close and dear to them. How big of a deal are moon cakes? Some bakeries report that up to 25% of their ANNUAL sales come from the sale of moon cakes along - for a festival that lasts only a couple of days. If you're in an area with strong Asian cultural traditions, consider adding a moon cake to your pastry case or dessert menu during next year's Moon Festival - a special and delicious little treat with a rich history behind it. Please note that this recipe is intricate as a moon cake is a beautifully decorated little dessert - so it may be easier to find a local supplier to support and purchase vs. making your own. But if you're up for a challenge, then get to baking!

Not sure how to make a moon cake? Recipe is below courtesy of https://chinasichuafood.com

Chinese Mooncakes—Traditional Version
Ingredients
Wrapper dough
    • 115g plain flour
    • 28g(around 2 tablespoons) peanut oil or other vegetable oil
    • 1 tablespoon flour for coating the tool
    • 75g golden syrup (homemadeor store bought)
    • 2g lye water
Filling:
    • 8 salted egg yolks, each 10g
    • 380g bean paste or black sesame filling (25g*8+30g*6)
egg wash:
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tablespoon egg white

Instructions

    1. Prepare the filling paste in the previously, lotus seed paste, mung bean paste or red bean paste.
To make the wrapper
    1. Combine lye water, golden syrup, and vegetable oil in a small bowl and then mix with flour. Stir until well combined. Wrap with plastic wrapper and then knead several times until smooth. Set aside in fridge for 2-3 hours.
    2. Transfer out and then divide into 14 equal balls (each one 15g)
Assembling
  1. Measure the fillings for egg yolk mooncake: paste+ egg yolk=35g. Measure the fillings for pure paste filling: paste filling=30g. Wrap the egg yolks with paste firstly. And shape all the filling into round balls. Take one portion of the wrapper, press into a round wrapper and then place one filling ball in center. Push the wrapper from bottom to top little by little until the whole ball is completely sealed. Shape it into a round ball firstly and then into an oval.Slightly dust your mooncake tool and press the rod and gently remove the cake from the tool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180C (356F). Spray a very thin layer of water on surface to avoid cracking surface (especially you used larger amount of dusting flour). Bake for 5 minutes.
  3. In a small bowl, whisked the egg yolk and combine with egg whites. Transfer mooncakes out and brush a very thin layer of egg wash on the surface.
  4. Continue bake for around 15 to 20 minutes until the mooncake becomes well browned.
  5. Transfer out to a cooling down crack to cool down completely. Place in an airtight containers. Wait for around 1 or 2 days for the pasty to become soft and oily. After the "oil return" process, keep the mooncakes in fridge up to 2 weeks.

Notes

For mooncakes, smaller duck egg yolk around 10 grams each one is highly recommended. If your egg yolks are larger, for example near 20g. Divide it into two halves and wrap in two moon cakes.

When pushing the outer wrappers, be carefully and slow down your process. Do not break the wrapper. If you do, pinch any small holes together. The time needed for assemble one moon cake should be around 1 minute even you are quite skilled. Be patient during the process.

 

 



2016-09-17 00:00:00
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