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Home/Nutrition & Recipes/Articles/Recipes Articles/How to Make Traditional Mooncakes This Mid-Autumn Festival

How to Make Traditional Mooncakes This Mid-Autumn Festival

Mooncakes

Marking the end of the autumn harvest, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a time to give thanks to the gods and celebrate the moon at its brightest. With a focus on lunar appreciation, celebrations will go into full swing once the sun goes down and moon-viewing parties are the norm. And what do you nibble on as you gaze at the moon from your garden lit with festive paper lanterns? Mooncakes of course!

Without a doubt, mooncakes are the main highlight of the Mid-Autumn Festival. Legend has it that they helped to free Yuan China from Mongol rule, after rebels organised an uprising by passing messages hidden in these seasonal sweets. Today you’ll find them in many varieties, from the traditional with lotus seed paste and egg yolk, to snowskin versions filled with everything from chocolate to champagne truffle. Best enjoyed with a strong, palate-cleansing cup of Chinese tea, mooncakes are a must make this Mid-Autumn Festival.

How to Make Traditional Mooncakes

Traditional mooncakes vary widely depending on the region where they are produced. While lotus seed paste is popular in Singapore, so too is sweet bean paste, jujube paste and five kernel paste, made from five types of nuts and seeds, coarsely chopped and held together with maltose syrup. For this recipe, we use white lotus paste, considered by some to be the original and most luxurious mooncake filling.

Ingredients

250g Hong Kong Flour

110g Golden Syrup

60g Peanut or Corn Oil

½ tsp Alkaline Water

1 kg White Lotus Paste

30g Melon Seeds

10 pieces Salted Eggs

1 Egg (beaten & sieved)

For the filling:

  1. Steam salted eggs for about 5-10 minutes.
  2. Mix melon seeds with lotus paste.
  3. Divide lotus paste and roll into balls.
  4. Make a hole in the centre and insert the salted egg yolk.
  5. Fold and roll into a ball.

For the mooncake:

  1. Mix golden syrup, oil and alkaline water in a bowl.
  2. Add flour to mixture and knead into a soft dough. Leave dough to rest for 30 minutes.
  3. Portion dough and flatten. Wrap dough around lotus paste ball.
  4. Dust a mooncake mould with flour and press in the dough. Tap mould on all sides to remove the mooncake.
  5. On a greased tray, place mooncakes and spray lightly with water. (This will prevent the cakes from cracking.) Bake at 180 degrees for 7 minutes.
  6. Remove from oven and brush with beaten egg. Bake for another 13-15 minutes.
  7. Set aside for three days and then eat.  

Mooncake making tips

  1. Be patient. Traditional mooncakes are all about waiting. The longer you give your dough to develop, the smoother it will be, so ideally you want to leave your dough for 24 hours before stretching the skin thinly around your paste ball. Also, you’ll need to wait a few days after baking for the skin to soften up.
  2. Be precise. As with most baking recipes, precision is key. The general rule of thumb for mooncakes is one part skin dough to three parts filling, but a weighing scale will help you.
  3. Have fun. Mooncakes are a celebration and it’s important to have fun when making them. Mix your ingredients with your hands, knead well and play around with different pastes.

Don’t feel like spending hours in the kitchen or waiting three days to get stuck in? Then why not check out the amazing mooncakes at one of these establishments? One bite and you’ll be over the moon

Szechuan Court

The kitchen masters of Szechuan Court are of course in on the mooncake hype and their snowskin mooncakes with their elegant peach shape are presented in a cheongsam-inspired box adorned with Chinese knots. New flavours include the Imperial Yuzu (mini snowskin yuzu chocolate crunchy pearl) and the Cranberry Snow (mini snowskin cranberry and white lotus), while other favourites include rum and raisin chocolate truffle, Champagne truffle and chocolate ganache.

TWG

The connoisseurs of tea, TWG, add a caffeinated twist to the Chinese classic with tea-infused mooncakes. Try an orange-hued Flame with a Festive Night Tea-infused citrus mousseline and cherry ganache heart, or sample a Sencha-infused Jade with celadon skin.

Raffles Singapore

Not just known for its famous Singapore Sling cocktails, Raffles Singapore just happens to be masters at making mooncakes too. Enjoy classic flavours like double yolk with macadamia nuts and white lotus paste, or try something a little more unique such as, Earl Grey tea and chocolate pearl truffle or peanut butter milk chocolate feuilletine.

Contemporary-style mooncakes, while increasingly popular, have their detractors. Food critics commonly point out that “chocolate mooncakes” are in reality just chocolate shaped into mooncakes, so if you plan to celebrate the Mid-Autumn Festival with “real mooncakes”, shop around or make your own. And don’t forget, if you’re planning to make mooncakes for your friends, colleagues or clients, we recommend thinking ‘outside of the box’ when packaging your special treats. Why not check out some of these great ideas?

Bellamy's Organic

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