Bánh nướng nhân trứng
“Don’t bake things that you don’t normally eat” – I thought to myself after pulling a tray of 6 full-sized mooncakes out of the oven. So much work, and as you see, they are just not… perfect enough look wise.
Mooncake making, like anything, needs tons of practice. If a traditional way is followed to the t, the preparation actually starts around a year in advance with the making of a golden syrup. The older the syrup, the better it is. Then, of course, one should also salt their own eggs way beforehand.
All in all, it is just a loooong preparation. For someone who is terrible in organizing like me, it just doesn’t fit at all.
My mission for the last few years has been to cut down the prep time, and use as much shortcuts as possible. A minimalist approach to mooncake making. And I think I have come quite close in terms of results.
Here is what you need, in terms of ingredients:
+ Golden syrup: no need to make yours. Get a jar of golden syrup from your supermarket. Apparently some brands are better than others. I use the standard one.
+ Mooncake filling: nowadays one can get the readily made paste from Asian stores. I have tested all of them. Wise advice: stick to the lotus paste. And check your use-by date (otherwise, mungbean filling can be made quite easily. Email me if you want the recipe)
+ Moulds: ebay is your friend. Wooden mould requires ‘seasoning’ before using. Plastic moulds work well. Look for them on eBay.
+ Salted eggs: make your own, or buy from Asian stores like me.
+ Alkaline water (lye water): this stuff gives the skin more texture I believe. Some thinks it’s evil, so omit it if you have to. I think the amount here is small enough anyway. Found in most Asian stores (and most Asian egg noodles!). Wise advice: read the safety instruction carefully.
Seriously, that’s it!! I can’t claim my recipe or my mooncakes are entirely traditional. But they taste good and gives nice texture. B., who is the only mooncake lover around me, loves it. (And I don’t mind them :D)
If only I have more mooncake lovers around to eat all of the stuff I produced in the past month or so. So below is the recipe. Tell me, will you make yours?
By the way, if you are looking for an easier version of mooncake, try this no-bake no-fuss snowskin mooncake.
I got 6-7 mooncakes out of this recipe, using 130g mould. In terms of ratio for baked mooncakes, the ratio of skin: filling should be around 1:2. But you should adjust this basic ratio so that the dough fits the mould perfectly.
Printable recipe here
120g golden syrup
40g cooking oil
½ tsp Alkaline water (or lye water)
160g plain flour
¼ tsp baking soda
6 no. salted egg yolk, steamed
600-700g lotus paste
Eggwash: 1 egg beaten with a little milk
Prepare the skin first. Combine the golden syrup, cooking oil and lye water together. Mix in the plain flour and stir until you have a smooth paste. Cover, set aside for at least 3 hours. (I recommend leaving the dough overnight. It helps the wrapping later)
Prepare portion of filling: wrap 100-120g filling around the egg yolk and form into a ball.
Wrapping – this steps requite a bit of practice. Make sure when you wrap the filling, no additional flour is around. Start by flatten 40g of dough with your hand, then put the filling ball in the middle. Gently wrap the dough all around the filling with smoothing and rounding motion. Be gentle not to break the skin.
Shaping – Gently dust the mould with flour, the tap off any excess. Press the mooncake ball into the mould to form the mooncake shape. Knock the mould to release the mooncake. Repeat with the rest.
Place the mooncake onto the baking tray, lined with baking paper. Bake them in a preheated 200C oven for 7-10 minutes.
Take the tray out, and wait until the cakes cool down for 30 minutes. Use a pastry brush, brush the eggwash onto the mooncake (just the top, don’t brush on the side of the cake). Return the tray to the oen, and bake for further 10-12 minutes or until golden brown.
NOW, another PATIENCE time: the mooncakes cant be eaten straightaway. The skin will ‘oiled’ and become softer with clearer imprint 1-2 days later. Eat them then!