Updated: Aug 24
Don't you love walking into a vintage Chinese bakery? Every pastry or bread has a history, culture and story to tell. I discovered this mooncake 2021. I didn't even know that it is a mooncake until I asked one of the staff in the bakery. All I can get out of her is the name of this mooncake. Spare me cos I am very bad at Mandarin; I can't even read any Chinese characters for crying out loud.
Just out of the steamer...
It took me a while to finally get the correct name and kickstarted my search for the recipe. To my surprise, there are quite a fair bit of recipes online. I tweaked some of the recipes and made them into my own, which is this recipe. Yes, everything from scratch. Well, not everything.
I tried doing the Japanese mochi way by soaking and cooking glutinous rice rather than using glutinous rice flour. I just couldn't get it to come together into a dough. Maybe I really need to invest in a mochi machine?
I personally find that cooking the glutinous rice flour actually removes the raw floury taste, which most recipes don't. So, do not skip that step. Another pointer is kneading the dough while it is still hot. You can coat your hands with sesame oil to reduce the heat. I hope that would help.
And I also hope that you would give this disappearing traditional mooncake recipe a try. In closing, here I wish all you lovely people a very Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!
(Make one 6" mooncake)
Mung Split Beans, 200g
Granulated Sugar, 100g
Coconut Milk, 80g
Coconut Oil, 70g
Sea Salt, Pinch
Cornstarch, 1.5 TBSP
Black Sesame Seeds, 70g
Glutinous Rice Flour, 135g
Rice Flour, 20g
Rock Sugar, 60g
Duck Fat, 45g
Bean Curd Skin, For Steaming
Winter Melon Candy Finely Sliced, A Handful
Chinese Dried Dates Finely Sliced, A Handful
White Sesame Seeds, A Pinch
Cast Iron Skillet / Pan
6" Pastry Ring / Cake Pan
Prepare the fillings.
Transfer the beans into a large bowl and fill it up with water.
Cover and set aside overnight.
The next day, fill the bowl up with some hot water to submerge the beans.
Steam on medium high for 25 to 30 mins or until the beans are super soft and mashy.
Pass the beans thru' a fine sieve and into a non-stick pan.
Add in sugar, coconut milk and oil.
Turn the heat up to medium high and cook until the liquid has evaporated.
Season with salt.
Mix cornstarch with 1.5 TBSP of water until smooth and add into the mixture.
Stir to combine well and continue cooking until it has thickened into a paste.
Remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Prepare the dough.
In a spice grinder, blitz black sesame seeds to a coarse paste.
*Do not take it too far as oil will start to release from the seeds.*
In a cast iron skillet over medium heat, add glutinous rice flour and rice flour.
Cook until lightly brown. Immediately remove from heat and set aside.
In a sauce pot over medium heat, add water and sugar.
Cook until the water boils and the sugar has completely dissolved.
Transfer into the rice mixture.
Immediately mix to combine well with a spatula.
Add in the black sesame paste and duck fat. Continue mixing.
Knead until everything comes together into a dough, picking up all the nooks and crannies in the skillet.
*You have to knead while it is still hot or it will not come together into a dough. You can coat your hands with some sesame oil if it is too hot to handle.*
Weigh and divide the dough into 2 equal pieces.
Prepare the mooncake.
I placed my pastry ring onto a larger shallow bowl. You can use a cake pan too.
Line the pastry ring or cake pan with the bean curd skin.
It is okay if it is overhanging or overlapping.
*You can use parchment paper too. Lined it as you would with a Basque Burnt Cheesecake.*
Press and shape 1 piece of the dough onto the pastry ring or cake pan.
Pressing and pushing to the edges.
Next, place 200g of the fillings onto the center of the dough, leaving a 1/2" gap to the edges.
Try and shape the fillings into a disc. It doesn't matter if it isn't a perfect circle.
Shape the remaining dough into a disc and lay it onto the fillings.
Pressing and pushing to the edges to seal tightly.
*Do not press too hard on the center.*
Lastly, cover the mooncake with cling film or aluminum foil and steam on medium-high for 45 mins.
*Check periodically if adding water to the steamer is necessary.*
Remove from the steamer and uncover.
While the mooncake is still hot, immediately garnish with some winter melon candy, dried dates and sesame seeds.
Set aside to cool down completely.
Run a knife along the pastry ring or cake pan and unmold it onto the serving plate.
Slice and serve.
Every bite is heavenly...