The flavor of homemade mooncakes is unrivaled. This recipe demonstrates how to create classic mooncakes with simple instructions and lots of expert advice.
Every Chinese holiday indeed has a connection to one or more specific foods. I’m presenting a recipe for traditional mooncakes to celebrate the forthcoming Mid-Autumn Festival, which falls on Saturday, September 10, 2022.
What Are Mooncakes?
Chinese cakes called mooncakes (or Yue bing) can have a sweet or savory filling. It is usually consumed with tea. They are often consumed gently during the Mid-Autumn Festival while observing the moon.
However, yue bing, as they are known in Mandarin, has also spread throughout Asia and is now a pretty popular dish. Yue bing is offered everywhere in September (when the event is held), from street sellers to Cafes.
Mooncakes are well-known across Asia as a result. Their costs have recently increased dramatically due to their growing popularity and the custom of purchasing them as gifts for acquaintances, coworkers, and family members.
Making mooncakes at home is not only cheaper but also healthier! This is because you can choose which artificial colorings and preservatives are used in your mooncake.
The traditional dough used to make mooncakes’ outer shells includes ordinary flour, lye water (alkaline water), vegetable oil, and golden syrup (or invert syrup). For dusting and brushing, more flour and egg wash are employed.
Cornstarch and baking soda are used in other, more contemporary mooncake recipes. Our recipe will concentrate on how mooncakes are traditionally made. However, some contemporary improvements will be included for accessibility.
Several fillings are frequently utilized in Yue bing. White lotus seed, red bean paste, green tea, wu ren (mixed nuts), salted egg yolk, and yam are a few of the most popular ones.
Other contents for mooncakes include shrimp, durian, chicken floss, ice cream, and ground pork.
Molds for Mooncakes
You’ll note that the mooncakes have a detailed design on their top because a mooncake mold was used to make them! Molds are widely accessible online. However, they come in various designs and sizes.
Molds are often wood and feature replaceable designs, but plastic molds are also available. They not only add to the enjoyment since you can switch up the design, but they also include an easy release method that makes it simple to remove the mooncakes from the mold.
It all depends on the size of the mooncake you want to produce when it comes to dimensions. Two egg yolks and a sizable filling fit my 3.5 ounces (100 grams) mooncake form well. However, you’re welcome to utilize a little mooncake mold and make more miniature mooncakes out of a salted egg yolk.
Buying mooncakes as gifts for family, friends, and coworkers to mark the Mid-Autumn Festival has also grown popular. As a result of the strong demand, the cost of mooncakes has increased yearly.
Compared to the materials’ price, the selling price is significantly higher. So, I decided to create a straightforward recipe that anybody can use to make it at home since I felt it was almost silly.
Additionally, if you give them your homemade mooncake as a present, they will appreciate your honesty, diligence, and effort because mooncake has been overly commercialized in recent years.
Making mooncakes from scratch is time-consuming and requires some expertise. This mooncake recipe, which uses pre-made filling and streamlined processes to save time, explains how to prepare classic Cantonese mooncakes.
Not using lye water when making mooncakes
Lye water is frequently used to produce the skin on mooncakes. The mooncakes acquire a rich golden brown hue because to the alkaline qualities of lye water. However, it might be challenging to locate lye water, particularly now that it’s illegal in Australia.
Lye water is extremely potent and toxic in excess! Instead of using baking soda, this recipe yields results that aren’t inferior. There is no need to bake baking soda; nonetheless, many people do so to make it more alkaline.
To add to the dough, just combine 1/2 teaspoon baking soda with the same quantity of water. Although the dough becomes more crumbly as a result, mooncakes may still be formed with ease.
Salted Egg Yolks
Usually, an egg is cured in the shell before being salted to give it a nice, deep umami flavor. In order to achieve this flavor, more expensive and opulent duck eggs are typically utilized during Mid-Autumn celebrations.
Salted egg yolks may be bought in bulk packets expressly for use in mooncake fills like this, and salted eggs can be bought whole or raw. Look at your neighborhood Asian market or buy them online.
Important Tips for Making The Best Mooncakes
Here are some suggestions to help you make the ultimate mooncake and astound your loved ones!
Weigh the filling and dough
The dough and skin for the mooncakes must be divided up precisely to suit your mold; thus, you must accomplish this. Additionally, it ensures that the skin and filling are perfectly balanced.
If you use less, it may be challenging to cover the filling without splitting. If there is excessive skin, the pastry on the mooncake will be very thick.
Add baking soda
I substitute baking soda for the customary lye water, and it performs fantastically to produce gorgeously golden brown mooncakes.
Oil your molds very lightly.
It’s crucial to grease your molds since the pastry might stick there when you build the design. For a simple mooncake release, gently cover the interior of the mold with a pastry brush dipped in vegetable oil.
Spray some water on your mooncakes
After the initial baking, giving your mooncakes a small mist of water brings moisture back into the skin, prevents it from breaking, and helps the dough color evenly.
When glazing your mooncakes, use a fine brush.
Use a fine brush to apply the egg wash. This aids in getting between the details and removing any extra egg wash that may have become trapped there. The intricate designs may fade and lose character if the glaze is cooked in between them.
You should glaze and re-bake your mooncakes.
To get the ideal golden hue, repeat the glazing and baking procedure as many as necessary. Remember that the color of your mooncakes will intensify after they sit for a few days.
Give your mooncakes time to mature
After baking, store your mooncakes at room temp in a sealed container. This makes it possible for the skin to absorb the filling’s oils. The ideal mooncake is produced as a result, with increased flavor, color, and glossiness.
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Ok, now that we know everything we need about these delicious Mooncakes, it is time to make it. If you still need some additional info, check the FAQs below the recipe, or comment below, and I’ll get back to you.
For the Mooncake Skin
- 2 cups + 4 tsp of All-purpose flour (235g)
- 2.7 oz + 1 tsp of Golden syrup (130g)
- 3 TBSP of Vegetable oil (add more if required)
- ½ tsp of baking soda
- ½ tsp of Water
For the Filling
- 35oz of Filling of your choice (lotus paste, red bean paste, chestnut paste, sesame paste, or other you prefer.)
- 16 duck salted egg yolks
For the Egg wash
- 1 tsp of Egg white
- 1 Egg of yolk
- ¼ tsp of Sesame oil
- ¼ tsp of Golden syrup
- 1 tsp of Water
For the Mooncake Skin
- Combine water and baking soda using a small bowl.
- In a mixing dish, combine the flour, vegetable oil, golden syrup and baking soda mix.
- Knead the ingredients using your hands to create a dough by kneading it until a shaggy dough forms.
- Make a rough ball out of the dough and cover it in cling wrap.
- Let the dough sit for a full hour.
For the Filling
- In the meantime, make the filling.
- Measure out the filling for each mooncake using a scale, two egg yolks, and your chosen filling; the overall weight should be about 75g.
- Roll into a ball after enclosing the egg yolks in the filling.
- Construct eight parts of filling with the leftover filling and reserve them for use.
Assembling the Mooncakes and Egg wash
- Set oven temperature to 350F
- Unfold the rested mooncake skin dough, divide it into eight equal sections of 1.7 oz (around 50 grams), and form the portions into balls.
- To encapsulate the filling, place one portion between two sheets of cling wrap and roll up tightly into a circle.
- After carefully covering the portioned filling with the rolled dough, remove it from the plastic wrap. Bring the edges together and press the dough to close the gaps.
- Arrange the mooncake ball with the smooth side up on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Lightly brush the mooncake mold with oil (I used a 3.5oz – 100g mold). Now press the dough ball to form a mooncake shape. Remove the mold. Repeat with the remaining filling.
- The mooncakes should be baked for 5-6 minutes.
- As they cool, remove them from the oven and softly mist them with water. Mix all the ingredients for the egg wash in a separate bowl.
- Brush your mooncakes with the egg wash lightly using a small brush. Bake for an additional 5-6 minutes.
- Next, take the mooncakes from the oven and brush them with more egg wash.
- Raise the oven’s temperature to 390F (200C), and bake the mooncakes for 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove your mooncakes from the oven and allow them to cool fully before putting them in an airtight container.
- Let the mooncakes remain at room temperature for a couple of days so the skin may soften and absorb filling oils, the color will deepen, and the skin will become glossy.
- Enjoy after storing at room temperature for up to a week!
For how long will my mooncakes last?
Due to the composition of its components, mooncakes may last a fair amount of time. The mooncakes’ water content is removed after baking, which extends their shelf life. When kept at room temperature in a sealed container, freshly prepared mooncakes can last up to a week.
They can survive even longer if you keep them in the refrigerator! Before eating them, I would take them out of the refrigerator and let them get to room temperature. Allow them to remain at room temperature for two days before putting them in the refrigerator if you’re storing them there since doing so brings out the oils in the skin.
How to store mooncakes?
Mooncakes should be kept at room temperature in an airtight container. The skin might soften while absorbing the oils from the filler when they are preserved in this way.
The mooncakes’ distinctive glossy golden brown hue is a result of this.
How about other fillings for these mooncakes?
You may replace the filling with many other flavors, like white lotus seed paste, chestnut paste, taro paste, mixed tree nuts, black sesame paste, and many more! They can be utilized as long as they have the right consistency for rolling the filling into a ball.
Can I make Mooncakes without the mold?
Yeah! You can create them even if you do not possess a mooncake mold. It is possible to use a tart mold or even a cupcake plate in place of pushing the formed mooncakes into a mold. Although they won’t have that special pattern, they will still be wonderful.
Serving Size: ¼ of a Mooncake
Calories Per Serving: 288
- Fat 10.2g
- Cholesterol 185.2mg
- Sodium 254.1mg
- Total Carbohydrate 36.9g
- Dietary Fiber 1.3g
- Sugars 5.8g
- Calcium 98.1mg
- Protein 10.9g
- Vitamin A 77.1µg
- Vitamin C 0.1mg
- Iron 1.6mg
- Potassium 82.3mg