A Mid-Autumn Festival Must Have: Traditional Plain Lotus Paste Mooncakes 素莲蓉月饼
Mid-autumn festival is just around the corner and its just the perfect time to make the must-have delicacy for the occasion. Mooncake 月餅 is an essential and MUST have Chinese snack during this festive season. The mid-autumn festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the lunar calendar when the moon is believed to be the brightest and largest during the year. Nowadays, mooncakes are available in a variety of different sweet and savoury fillings. But for this recipe, we are going to make just the plain traditional mooncakes with lotus seed paste filling, which is suited for even the vegetarian mooncake lovers.
Master The Skills of Making Mooncakes
Making mooncakes does require some skills and guidance. But once you have gathered all the ingredients needed and master the skills, it may not be as difficult as you thought. Start by making the dough for the mooncake skin. For this, mix 4 ingredients together, namely golden syrup, groundnut oil, alkaline water and plain flour. Next, cover and set aside for 4 hours.
Precision is Key in Making Mooncakes
Then using a weighing scale, divide the skin dough into small equal balls. While resting the dough, prepare the fillings. You can use store bought or homemade lotus seed paste (Click Here For Homemade Lotus Seed Paste Recipe). Add toasted melon and white sesame seeds into the paste. Again, divide into small balls using a weighing scale, as precision of the ingredients used is very important for making mooncakes.
Next, assemble the mooncakes. This is done by wrapping the filling with the mooncake skin, rolling into balls and shaping into mooncakes using a mooncake mould. Lastly bake in a preheated oven till done. Glaze with honey to give these vegetarian mooncakes a glossy finish. And we are done!
A Traditional Delicacy To Be Shared
Mooncakes are meant to be shared. So they are usually sliced into wedges and served with freshly brewed hot Chinese tea to be enjoyed with family and friends together. They also represent wholeness and completeness; a symbol of fulfilment, perfection and unity. And of course, no mid autumn festival celebration is complete without this indispensable delicacy.
Plain Lotus Paste Mooncakes 素莲蓉月饼
Mooncake Skin Dough
- 125 grams golden syrup
- 40 grams groundnut oil
- 1/2 tsp alkaline water
- 180 grams all-purpose flour
- 450 grams lotus seed paste
- 50 grams melon seeds, toasted
- 30 grams white sesame seeds, toasted
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1/2 tsp water
- 1 mooncake mould, 50g
- Start by preparing the mooncake skin dough. First, whisk together golden syrup, groundnut oil and alkaline water in a mixing bowl until they are thoroughly blended. Then add in flour.
- Using a spatula, mix and fold in the flour until a soft and sticky dough is formed. Cover with cling wrap and set aside at room temperature for 4 hours.
- Then make into equal portions of 15g balls to be used as skin and set aside.
- Next, prepare mooncake filling. First toast melon and white sesame seeds in preheated 175 degree C oven for 5 minutes. Then set aside to cool.
- Once cooled, combine and mixed well into lotus seed paste filling.
- Then, roll the lotus seed paste into a log and cut into smaller pieces.
- Divide the lotus seed paste filling into equal portions of 35g balls. And we’re ready to assemble the mooncakes!
- To assemble, flatten one portion of the skin dough and place one filling ball in the middle. Flip over and wrap the edge evenly around the filling. Flip over again. Then gently but firmly push the skin dough around the filling using the palm of your hands. Then gather the edges over and pinch to secure the filling ball on the top.
- Roll it again into a ball and a mooncake is done. Continue to wrap the rest of the filling balls with the mooncake skin dough. And we’re ready to mould the mooncakes!
- To mould the mooncakes, first roll the mooncake into a longer ball with the palm of your hands. Then place the mooncake into the mould. Place the mould on a floured surface. Press the handle down to impart the design. Press until you can’t move it any further. Lastly, pull the handle up and release the mooncake and we’re done!
- Place the moulded mooncakes on a baking tray. And we’re ready to bake the mooncakes.
- First, preheat oven to 190 degree C and place rack in centre of oven. Then bake the mooncakes for 10 minutes or until the mooncake skin toughens and the edges start to turn golden. Remove from oven and let mooncakes cool on the tray for about 5 minutes.
- Prepare glaze by mixing well honey and water. Lightly glaze the top of mooncakes. Continue to bake for another 5 minutes until the mooncakes turn golden brown. Let mooncakes cool on the tray for about 5 minutes.
- Then transfer the baked mooncakes to cool completely on wire rack before storing them in an airtight container.
- These mooncakes are best enjoyed at least 3 days after baking. Serve alongside hot chinese tea for an enjoyable experience.