Friday, 2 October 2009

Mid-Autumn Treats

It's the time of the year again to indulge in a tempting array of delicious mooncakes that are bursting to the brim with dense, cloyingly sweet fillings.


Weeks ago, my elder son kept asking me whether I would be making any mooncakes this year. With his constant nudging, I started gathering the necessary ingredients once I returned to my usual "baking -mode'.

This is the second year that I am making these 'ping peh' or snowskin mooncakes...made with cooked glutinous rice flour which does not require any baking. Having struggled with makeshift moulds last year, I made it a point to order a proper mooncake mould from Elyn. The mould is very easy to use and the mooncake doesn't really stick to it, I only had to dust it once before using or whenever I need to change the template. Most importantly, the mould is able to create very clear and deep imprints of the pretty designs of the templates.

From the experience last year, I managed to come up with my own snowskin dough recipe. I adjusted the amount of sugar to make it less sweet, and the proportion of liquid is just right as the dough is soft and yet not too wet or sticky. It is very easy to work with as I didn't have to dust it with any extra flour, it doesn't even stick to my wooden rolling pin.


I am getting better at wrapping the filling with the dough. Last year, I made the mistake of rolling out the dough too thin...since the amount of fillings is so huge compared to the dough, I thought I had to roll the dough big enough to cover the fillings. This year, I finally got the hang of the correct way of wrapping, a skill I learned through wrapping pineapple tarts ;) I am not able to describe the process in words, but I managed to find a relevant video clip here.

I made an assortments of mooncakes...strawberry, mango, pandan and matcha. I experimented again with strawberry flavoured milk and mango juices to make the snowskin. Sad to say, the flavours are not as prominent, so I had to rely on some artificial mango flavours to bring out the flavour. I filled the mooncakes with ready-made white lotus paste, pandan paste and red-bean ones. To give the fillings some texture, I added in some melon seeds. My kids love the mooncakes, especially my elder child, who could wolf down two at a go. I guess at their age, they can truly enjoy these sweet treats without having to worry about the calories.



Mini Snowskin Mooncakes

Ingredients:
(makes 12 mini mooncakes)

75g cooked glutinous rice flour
50g icing sugar
25g shortening,
90ml cold water

300g white lotus paste
60g melon seeds


Method:
  1. Mix white lotus paste with melon seeds. Divide the paste into 30g portions and shape into balls. Set aside. (Note: I used a ratio of 40% dough to 60% filling)
  2. Sieve together cooked glutinous rice flour and icing sugar into a mixing bowl.
  3. Rub the shortening into the flour mixture with fingertips until a crumbly mixture forms.
  4. Add cold water to the mixture and knead for a couple of minutes to form a soft dough. Do not over work the dough.
  5. Leave dough in the fridge for about 15 mins. (I skip this step and the dough works just as fine.)
  6. Divide dough into 20g pieces. Shape each dough into a ball. For each dough, flatten to form a small disc and roll it out into 3mm-thick circle or about 5cm in diameter.
  7. Wrap the dough skin around the filling and shape it into a ball. Seal the seams.
  8. Dust mooncake moulds (diameter 4cm, for 50g mooncake) with cooked glutinous rice flour. Place the wrapped dough into the mould and press the mooncake out. Make sure the surface of the dough in contact with the patterned-face of the mould is smooth.
  9. Store mooncakes in fridge.

    Variations:
    * Strawberry flavour - replace cold water with same amount of strawberry flavoured milk, add 1~2 drops of red food colouring (as desired).
    ** Mango flavour - replace cold water with same amount of mango juice, add 1 teaspoon of mango flavour (as desired).
    *** Matcha flavour - replace cold water with: mix 1 teaspoon of matcha powder with 90ml of hot water. Leave to cool and then chill in fridge for at least 30mins before using.
    ****Pandan flavour - add 1 teaspoon of pandan flavoured paste to the cold water.




42 comments:

  1. WOW-Great blogsite!!! I really enjoyed the pictures-thank you for brightening my day!!! Francis http://www.geothermalquestions.net

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  2. Your mooncakes look very beautiful. I shall try out your recipe next year. I still need more practice, my mooncake looks weird this year :(

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  3. I absolutely adore your blog!
    Lovely photos as usual ^o^

    yum!

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  4. Hi HHB

    I too would love to try making my own Ping pi mooncakes... maybe will do so next year when my 3 kids are older... or rather when #3 is older and easier to manage. Ur mooncakes look so good! bet they taste good as well! I always admire ppl with baking hands!!! I'm not much a baker... better in cooking... but I'm so inspired by u to try!

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  5. Your mooncakes look gorgeous! :)

    I have been wondering how other make their moon cake skin so thin at the bottom! I also made the same mistakes of rolling the skin thinner & bigger to wrap in the paste! Thanks so much for sharing & posting a useful video for a "sotong" like me! :D

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  6. 在此预祝你和家人"中秋节快乐"

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  7. Hi HHB, how do u cook the glutinous rice flour?

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  8. i never saw moon cake in my life? ans baking melon seeds? very good idea cong. it seems lovely:)

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  9. Hi MommytoMeia, you can get the cooked/fried glutinous rice flour also known as 'gao fen', from Phoon Huat.

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  10. they look perfect! better than the ones i bought from the chinese supermarket!lol

    i dont have time to try them out for tomorow.lol. maybe next year^^ thanks for sharing the recipe.

    中秋節快樂~~

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  11. Been checking your site on and off since 2-3yrs ago. Really love it! Hope when I got my oven, I will be able to try some of your recipes!

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  12. Hi HHB,
    Your mooncake colours looked so pretty. I really like your combination of colours. :)

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  13. These are just gorgeous, HHB! I had snowskin mooncakes for the first time last year and have been pretty much hooked on them since. Yours look way too pretty to be eaten!

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  14. Happy Mooncake Festival to you! I'm not "expert" enough to make my own mooncakes but I'll be keeping your recipe for future reference! :)

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  15. Hi, your mooncakes look lovely, and very sweet-looking colours!

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  16. lovely colors...looks really yummy

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  17. Hi HHB, I like the photos. How did you do it?

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  18. Hi Yummy Koh, are you referring to the text in the photos? I used the software 'Picasa' to add in the text, you can download it from the internet and it is free :)

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  19. I must surely try out your recipe (that will be after Feb next year when my mother unpack her stuff in the new house)... not sure will PH be out of stock for the lotus paste, cos they usually do not sell them if it is not the mooncake festive seasons. My mother made the snowskin with very thick skin .. yours look perfect.

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  20. Oh, so sorry, I also like to know what is the size of your mini mooncake .. erm which size of the mould did u buy from Elyn .. and wonder if you are allow to share the price here?

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  21. Hi Sherlyn, the mould I am using is for 50g mooncakes, diameter about 4cm. You can check with Elyn for details, not sure whether she still has stock left.

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  22. Hello, Happy Home Baker. I just want to thank you for each recipe adventure you are sharing. I found you about five months ago when I started my culinary class in American River College here in Sacramento, CA. I was tickled to see so many people from all around the world are sharing the joy of baking/cooking at your site. & This moon cakes are just gorgeous. It beats the metal hammer head mold that my mother has--the cake never came out of the mold in one piece. I am contacting Lynn to order. Thank you again for sharing your passion in the culinary adventure.

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  23. Hi HHB,

    May I know where you got your ready paste from ? Is it very sweet ?

    What type of paste shown in the pics -is it green tea ?

    Appreciate your advise, as I'm ready to make this year.

    Ling

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  24. Hi Ling, I got the ready made red bean and green tea (shown in the pic above) paste from Phoon Huat. The ready made paste is sweet when tasted on its own. If it is used as fillings for buns, I find the sweetness acceptable, but for mooncake, because of the skin-to-paste ratio, the mooncake will taste sweet. Maybe you can make your own? I neither have the skills nor time to made, so I have to rely on store bought ones.

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  25. Hi HHB,

    Did you follow the steps shown in the video you included above (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_6-bnZtZLeM&feature=related)? That means we do not need to roll the dough using roller pin until it is very thin before we wrap it around the filling?

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  26. Wendy, yes, I follow the method shown in the video (around 2mins into the video clip). I did not roll the dough until it is very thin. You need to make a few to get the hang of it.

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  27. hi HHB,

    How do you use this mould? I have seen ppl using the traditional mould. How do you "Place the wrapped dough into the mould and press the mooncake out", can briefly teach?

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  28. hanushi, I am not using the traditional mould, I am using this one here:
    http://esjoie.wordpress.com/mooncake-moulds-for-sale/

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  29. Hi HHB,

    Maybe I am not clear, I am interested to know how to use this plastic mould.

    Do you invert the plunger, put the dough into the plunger and press hard into the mould (to get the imprint), then push it down?

    Or do you put the dough on the table and press the plunger directly?

    Hope to hear about how to use this type of plunger. :)

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  30. hanushi, I invert the plunger, put the dough inside, then place the plunger on the table and press it down to get the imprint. Hope you know what I mean.

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  31. Hi HHB,

    So can I say that you do not need to press hard into the mould at all to get the imprints? The imprints will be printed when you press down the plunger?

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  32. hanushi, yes, that's right.

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  33. Dear HHB, can you kindly tell me the difference between cooked glutinous rice flour (as the recipe states) and glutinous rice flour? Is it possible to cook my ordinary glutinous rice flour?

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  34. Hi, no you do not cook the glutinous rice flour yourself. If you are a local, you can get the cooked glutinous rice flour from Phoon Huat. It is known as 糕粉.

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  35. Hi, no you dont cook the glutinous rice flour yourself. Cooked glutinous rice flour is known as 糕粉/熟糯米粉. Are you a local? if yes, you can get it from Phoon Huat.

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  36. Hi Happy Homebaker

    Cud u kindly tell me is cooked glutinous rice flour is the same as wheat starch?

    Thank you.
    Priscilla Poh
    Singapore

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  37. Hi Priscilla, wheat starch is 澄面粉 (tung mein fun) mainly for Chinese dim sum and is made from wheat kernels. Cooked glutinous rice flour is 糕粉/熟糯米粉, you can get it from Phoon Huat.

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  38. Thanks HHB for ur reply.

    Just to let u know I saw Tiramisu Lotus Paste and Blueberry Paste for mooncake making at Ng Ming Huat located at JB. Pastes available in this store are much cheaper. Good way to stock up bakery stuff once a while.

    Blessings
    Priscilla Poh

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  39. Hi Priscilla, thanks for the info, hope I have the chance to go JB during the school holidays :)

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  40. Hi HHB
    Two times, I was unsuccessful in moulding the snowskin dough. After I chanced upon ur blog and watched the video, I was able to successfully mould the snowskin dough and the pattern come out very very nice.

    Thanks HHB for ur unselfish sharing of ur mooncake recipes and the video which really helps novice like me to be able to present my mooncakes proudly to my family and friends.

    Blessings
    Priscilla Poh
    Singapore

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  41. Hi, your moon cake so awesome. I;m not a local, please inform how to make the cooked glutinous rice from glutinous rice flour? thanks a lot, Ling

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    Replies
    1. Hi Ling, you may want to refer to this blogger's recipe on how to cook the glutinous rice.
      http://en.christinesrecipes.com/2012/09/pandan-snow-skin-mooncakes.html

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