Gallery Of Chinese Mooncake
Ingredients For the Filling
1 1/2 cups (250g) red bean paste or lotus seed paste (store-bought or homemade)
2 tablespoons (30g) vegetable oil
1/4 cup (30g) glutinous rice flour (for dusting)
For the Dough
2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
1/4 cup (50g) vegetable oil
1/2 cup (120ml) water
1/4 cup (60g) golden syrup or maltose
1/4 teaspoon lye water (optional, for color and flavor)
Egg wash (1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tablespoon water, for brushing)
For the Glaze (Optional)
1/ A mixture of 2 tablespoons of water and 2 tablespoons of golden syrup
For the Filling
1/ If you’re using homemade red bean paste or lotus seed paste, make sure it’s smooth and without any lumps.
2/ Divide the paste into 25-30 equal portions and roll them into balls. Each ball should be about 1 inch (2.5 cm) in diameter.
3/ Dust your hands and the work surface with glutinous rice flour to prevent sticking, then flatten each ball into a small disc, about 2 inches (5 cm) in diameter. Set them aside.
For the Dough
1/ In a mixing bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, vegetable oil, and water. Mix until a dough forms. If the dough is too dry, you can add a bit more water, but be cautious not to make it too sticky.
2/ Knead the dough until it becomes smooth and elastic. This should take about 10-15 minutes. You can also use a stand mixer with a dough hook attachment.
3/ Divide the dough into 25-30 equal portions and roll them into balls. They should be slightly smaller than the filling balls.
1/ Take one dough ball and flatten it into a small disc. Place a filling ball in the center and wrap the dough around the filling, making sure there are no gaps or cracks. Pinch to seal the edges. Roll it between your palms to make a smooth ball.
2/ Repeat this process for the remaining dough and filling balls.
3/ Baking the Mooncake
4/ Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C).
5/ Place the assembled mooncakes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
6/ Brush the mooncakes with the egg wash for a glossy finish.
7/ Bake in the preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes or until turn golden brown.
1/ While they are still warm, brush them with the glaze mixture of water and golden syrup. This step gives the mooncakes a shiny appearance.
2/ Allow the cakes to cool completely before storing them in an airtight container.
3/ Traditional cakes are typically best enjoyed after being stored for 1-2 days to allow the flavors to meld and the texture to become softer.
Some Tips And Tricks For Making It Perfect
Use Quality Ingredients: Choose high quality red bean paste or lotus seed paste for the filling.
Opt for good quality all purpose flour and golden syrup for the dough.
Properly Measure Ingredients: Use a kitchen scale to accurately measure ingredients, especially for the dough to ensure consistency.
Knead the Dough Well: Kneading the dough until it’s smooth and elastic is crucial. It helps create a tender and flaky crust.
Rest the Dough: Let the dough rest for at least 30 minutes before using it. This allows the gluten to relax and makes the dough easier to work with.
Evenly Sized Portions: Weigh both the dough and the filling to ensure each cake is the same size which leads to even baking.
Keep the Dough Thin: Roll out the dough thinly, but not too thin to ensure a balanced ratio of dough to filling.
Avoid Overstuffing: Be conservative with the amount of filling you use; overfilling can cause the mooncake to crack during baking.
Seal the Edges Tightly: Pinch and seal the edges of the dough completely to prevent the filling from leaking out.
Egg Wash for Shine: Apply the egg wash right before baking to give the cakes a beautiful glossy finish.
Experiment with Designs: Traditional mooncake recipe have decorative imprints. Get creative with patterns or stamps for a unique look.
Baking Temperature and Time: Preheat your oven and bake at the recommended temperature for even cooking. Keep an eye on them to prevent overbaking.
Resting Period: Allow the cake to rest for a day or two after baking. This allows the flavors to meld and the texture to improve.
Storage: Store mooncakes in an airtight container at room temperature. They can be enjoyed for several days or even weeks.
Traditional vs. Modern Variations: Feel free to experiment with different fillings including salted egg yolks nuts or fruit pastes for a modern twist.
Share and Enjoy: Mooncake are often enjoyed with family and friends during the Mid Autumn Festival. Share your homemade mooncake for a joyful celebration.
Here’s a general approximation of the nutrition facts for a typical traditional mooncake (50g) with red bean paste filling. Keep in mind that the exact values may vary depending on the brand and recipe used.
Calories: Approximately 180-220 calories per cake.
Fat: Approximately 5-10 grams.
Saturated Fat: Varies, but typically 1-3 grams.
Carbohydrates: Around 30-40 grams.
Dietary Fiber: Approximately 2-4 grams.
Sugars: Typically 10-15 grams.
Protein: About 2-4 grams.
Cholesterol: Minimal to none.
Sodium: Very low, usually less than 50 milligrams.
Vitamins and Minerals: Cakes are not a significant source of vitamins or minerals.
These values are approximate and can vary based on the specific ingredients and recipe used. Mooncakes are a high-calorie, sweet treat often enjoyed during special occasions like the Mid-Autumn Festival, so it’s a good idea to consume them in moderation as part of a balanced diet.
Some frequently asked questions
1. What are mooncakes?
Mooncakes are round or square-shaped pastries traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival in China and other East Asian countries. They are filled with various sweet or savory fillings and are intricately decorated with designs or imprints on the top crust.
2. What is the significance of mooncakes?
Symbolize unity and togetherness among family members and are often exchanged and shared during the Mid-Autumn Festival, which celebrates the full moon and the harvest season.
3. What are the common fillings in mooncakes?
Traditional mooncake fillings include lotus seed paste, red bean paste, salted egg yolk, nuts, and sometimes sweetened meat fillings like roast pork or nuts. Modern variations may include innovative flavors like chocolate, green tea, or fruit pastes.
4. Are mooncakes always sweet?
While sweet mooncakes are more common, there are also savory variations filled with ingredients like salted egg yolk, meats, or mixed nuts. These savory mooncakes are less sweet and cater to different taste preferences.
5. Are mooncakes healthy?
Cakes are typically high in calories and sugar due to their sweet fillings and rich pastry crust. They are enjoyed as a festive treat and are not considered a health food, especially due to their traditional ingredients like lotus seed paste and high sugar content.
6. How are mooncakes served?
Mooncakes are usually served in small wedges and paired with Chinese tea, often green tea or oolong tea, to balance their sweetness. They are sliced and shared among family and friends during the Mid-Autumn Festival gatherings.
7. Can mooncakes be stored?
Mooncakes have a relatively long shelf life, especially when kept in a cool, dry place. They can be stored at room temperature for several weeks due to their dense texture and high sugar content.
8. Can I make mooncakes at home?
Yes, homemade mooncakes can be made using molds specifically designed for mooncakes, along with the desired fillings and a pastry crust. There are various recipes available for both traditional and modern variations.
9. Are there different types of mooncakes?
Yes, besides the traditional round-shaped mooncakes, there are also square-shaped Cantonese mooncakes, snow skin mooncakes (with a softer, mochi-like outer layer), and mini-sized mooncakes with various fillings.
10. When is the Mid-Autumn Festival celebrated?
The Mid-Autumn Festival usually falls in September or October, depending on the lunar calendar. It is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month in the Chinese calendar when the moon is believed to be the fullest and brightest.