Until last month, my aunt was inviting us to participate in the mid-autumn celebration at the old folks home that we have doing some volunteer work. Unfortunately I had pre-arrangement on the day of event and were not able to attend. Somehow the conversation led to doing my bits by contributing homemade mooncakes.
With my limited experience, I could only offer to make snowskin mooncakes and we even did trials for that. However, we were then told that the old folks would prefer the traditional type and also for logistical reasons, the snowskin mooncakes may not keep well in room temperature especially if the old folks did not consume them within the day. And so I told my aunt I was not able to contribute any homemade traditional mooncakes as I had never did them before, and we may have to buy the traditional mooncakes from the store for the event.
Feeling unsettled, I started to look out for easy traditional mooncakes recipes and read up a few. I thought maybe I should give it a try this time, and went ahead to do a trial bake. It was a long 3-days wait for the mooncakes to 回油, tasted it and ohmy, it's a success!
It took me a total of 2 days rolling the lotus paste, another 1 over day to mould and bake with my aunt, and another day for packing them. Hehe... I almost forgotten that my lil boy helped me with measuring the dough for wrapping as well! 180 pieces of presentable mini mooncakes, couple of QA-failed mooncakes, another 10+ ok pieces to be given away to family, and some piggies purely for me to play with the dough!
I'm glad that I could do my little bit for the old folks, and without them, I would not have the push factor to have my hands on traditional mooncakes. To those who are still procrastinating, please give it a try, it's not that daunting afterall!
(Recipe adapted from Happy Home Baking)
(makes 10 mini mooncakes)
100g plain flour
70g golden syrup
2ml alkaline water
25ml peanut oil or canola oil
300g low sugar white lotus paste
30g melon seeds, toasted
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp water
- Mix lotus paste with toasted melon seeds. Divide the fillings into 30g portions and shape into balls. Set aside.
- Place golden syrup in a bowl. Add in alkaline water, stir to combine. Add in oil, mix well.
- In a separate bowl, put in plain flour and create a well in the centre. Add in golden syrup mixture and mix with a spatula to form a soft dough.
- Gently knead the dough till smooth (takes about 1 - 2 mins). Shape it into a smooth round dough.
- Wrap dough with cling wrap and leave in fridge to rest for at least 2 hours or overnight.
- Dust work surface with some flour and give the dough a few light kneading to smooth it.
- Divide dough into 20g and shape each dough into a ball.
- Dust hand and rolling pin with flour and flatten each dough into a small disc. Wrap it around the filling and shape it into a ball.
- Lightly dust the mooncake mould with some flour and place the wrapped dough into it. Using the mooncake plunger/ mould, press and gently remove the mooncake. Place the mooncakes on lined baking tray.
- Spray some water on the mooncakes to prevent them from cracking during baking.
- Bake at pre-heated oven at 180 deg C for 10 mins. Remove from oven and leave to cool for 15 mins.
- Egg wash the mooncake top. Return to oven and continue to bake for another 12 - 15 mins or until golden brown.
- Leave mooncakes to cool completely and store in air-tight container. Wait for 3 - 4 days for mooncake to 回油 (for skin to soften) before serving.
This post is linked to the event Little Thumbs Up (August 2014 Event: Flour) - organised by Bake for Happy Kids and My Little Favourite DIY, and hosted by Diana from Domestic Goddess Wannabe.
Wishing Everyone ... Happy Mid-Autumn, and Happy Reunion!