Traditional Baked Mooncakes 传统烘月饼

by Angie Liew
Traditional Baked Mooncakes

 

Traditional Baked Mooncakes

Traditional baked mooncakes, a Chinese bakery product, are usually eaten during the Mid-Autumn festival. This festival is also known as the Moon Cake Festival (Zhong Qiu Jie 中秋节 )because a special kind of sweet cake  (yue bing prepared in the shape of the moon and filled with sesame seeds, ground lotus seeds and duck eggs is served as a traditional Chung Chiu delicacy. Mid-Autumn festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th month in the lunar calendar every year, when the moon is at its brightest for the entire year (falls on 27 September 2015 this year) and it is the third most important Chinese festivals.

Traditional Baked Mooncakes

Today, Chinese people celebrate the Mid-Autumn festival with dances, feasting and moon gazing. Children are then told the story of the moon fairy living in a crystal palace and will come out to dance on the moon’s shadowed surface on this day. Mooncakes are regarded as an indispensable delicacy on the occasion and are offered between friends and relatives when celebrating the festival. To accentuate the brightness of the moon, people traditionally light up lanterns of all kinds during the festival.

Traditional Baked Mooncakes

There are indeed many varieties of mooncakes available today. However, my favourite mooncake would still be the simple traditional baked mooncakes filled with lotus seed paste and 1 egg yolk or better still, 2 egg yolks with the skin baked and glazed to a shiny golden brown. The salted egg yolk in the middle of the mooncake symbolizes the full moon. These mooncakes are quite filling and they are usually cut diagonally into small wedges and shared.

Traditional Baked Mooncakes

Traditional Baked Mooncakes

Typical mooncakes are round or rectangular in shapes. They are rich, heavy and dense unlike most western cakes and pastries which are normally light and fluffy. Mooncakes are enjoyed in small wedges accompanied by freshly brewed Chinese tea. Traditional mooncakes have an imprint on top comprising the Chinese characters for “longevity”, “harmony” or “prosperity” as well as the name of the bakery and filling in the moon cake. Imprints of a moon (月亮), a woman on the moon(嫦娥), flowers(花), vines(藤), or a rabbit(玉兔) may surround the characters for additional decoration.

Traditional Baked Mooncakes 传统烘月饼

Recipe by Huang Kitchen, Angie Liew
These traditional baked mooncakes, a Chinese bakery product, use lotus seed paste and egg yolk as filling with the skin baked and glazed to a shiny golden brown colour. They are usually eaten during the Mid-Autumn festival (中秋節).
Prep Time1 hr
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time5 hrs 20 mins
Course: Baking
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese
Keyword: chinese pastries, mid-autumn festival, mooncake
Servings: 9 mooncakes

Ingredients

Mooncake Pastry

  • 250 gram golden syrup
  • 80 gram oil, preferably to use peanut oil
  • 8 gram alkaline water, lye water
  • 240 gram all-purpose flour, (A) added to the golden syrup
  • 120 gram all-purpose flour, (B) added after 4 hours

Mooncake Filling

  • 1 kg lotus seed paste, homemade or store-bought
  • 50 gram melon seed, slightly toasted
  • 9 Salted egg yolks

Egg wash

  • 1 egg yolk, beat and sift
  • 1 tbsp water, beat and sift

Others

  • 1 - 2 mooncake mould, Any mooncake mould of your choice. My mould is 170g

    Instructions

    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Start by making the mooncake skin. Prepare all ingredients needed to make the pastry.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      In a large bowl, add in golden syrup.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Add in peanut oil.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Followed by alkaline water.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Whisk together the golden syrup, alkaline water and peanut oil until well blended.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Next, add in the all-purpose flour (240 gram).
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      With a wooden spoon or spatula, stir to combine all ingredients. Do not over-stir.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Cover with a cling wrap and set aside for 4 hours.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Next, clean salted egg by first removing the black charcoal from the egg.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Then rinse egg under running water.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Crack the cleaned salted egg to remove the yolk. Repeat the same with the rest of the eggs.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Then baked the salted egg yolks in a 175 degree C preheated oven for 5 minutes. Set aside when done.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Next, roast melon seeds in the preheated oven for 5 minutes.
    • Mix the roasted melon seeds into the lotus paste. Lightly knead to combine the melon seeds into the paste.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Roll lotus paste into a log, divide into 9 equal pieces about 110g each and roll into balls.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Then make the dough skin by mixing the set aside dough with the all-purpose flour (120g).
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Gently knead the rested dough just until it comes together and firms up.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Divide the dough skin into 9 equal pieces, each about 45g. Roll each portion into a small ball shape.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Now we are ready to assemble the mooncakes!
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      First, take a lotus paste ball and poke a hole in the middle with your finger. Place the baked egg yolk inside.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Roll and shape into a ball.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Flatten skin dough on palm of hand. Then flatten further using your fingertips. Put lotus paste ball onto the flattened dough and enclose filling by gently pressing edges until filling is sealed.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Gently push, press and squeeze the dough, holding the ball securely in your palm, until the dough skin gradually covers the lotus paste ball. Repeat this step to finish the remaining dough skin and lotus paste balls.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Dust a little flour on the mooncake mould.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Place the stuffed round mooncake into the mould. Turn it UPRIGHT on the surface. Then press the plunger down until you feel resistance.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Lift the mooncake mould off the surface and use the plunger to push the mooncake out. Repeat the same with the rest of the wrapped lotus paste balls.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Alternatively you can use a traditional wooden mooncake mould. Lightly floured the wooden mould.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Dust lightly the filled dough with flour, put into the lightly floured mooncake mould and press hard and flatten the dough so that the shape conform to the mould.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Gently knock a few times to dislodge the moulded mooncake.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      And we're done!
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Transfer the moulded mooncakes onto a baking sheet.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Preheat oven to 200 degree C. Place the mooncakes in the preheated oven to bake for 10 minutes.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Remove the mooncakes from the oven and leave to cool on wire rack for 5 minutes.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Lightly brush as thoroughly as possible the top of mooncakes with beaten egg yolk.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Then bake in the oven for another 10 minutes or till golden brown. And we're done!
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      Remove from oven and let cool completely on a wire rack. Then store in air-tight container for 2 days.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      The mooncake skin will become soft and shiny in 1 or 2 days time.
    • Traditional Baked Mooncakes
      At this point, it's meant to be enjoyed. Great to serve with a cup of freshly brewed chinese tea. Enjoy!

Enjoy!

Notes

Golden syrup is made with sugar, water and lemon juice. It adds a sweet taste and create a deep dark colour of the final mooncakes. Alkaline water neutralizes the acid in the golden syrup so there will be no sour taste in the mooncakes. It helps to give a nice browning on the mooncake skin. The more alkaline water you add, the darker the final mooncakes will be. Also when reacting with acid, the carbon dioxide released will make the mooncake soft and fluffy. The longer the dough is rested, the easier it is for wrapping and have a finer imprint. You can even prepare the dough one day ahead and let it rest in the fridge until needed. Mooncake moulds come in various size. First determine the weight of the mould by putting some skin dough or filling in cling wrap and push into the mould until it's filled to the brim. With that weight, you can determine the ratio of skin to filling. I commonly use the ratio of 4:6 skin to filling. But you can choose as thin as 3:7 or even 2:8 If using egg yolks, place the yolk on weighing scale first, then add lotus seed paste to make up the weight of the filling required. Egg wash the mooncake as detailed and thorough as possible so that the final mooncake will look attractive and shiny. It is advised to leave the mooncakes for 3 days before consumption to allow the oil to be released to the surface. otherwise, the skin will not be stretchy enough and too dry for immediate servings.  

Leave a Comment

4 comments

Yeoh Tyng Tyng December 16, 2020 - 6:00 pm

Hi Angie, can I check with you for step No. 16, we need to add in another 120g all purpose flour into the put a side dough? as i saw the video doesn’t look like got add in.

Reply
Angie Liew December 16, 2020 - 6:09 pm

Yes, please add another 120g flour into the dough set aside for 4 hours earlier. Thanks

Reply
Ganeshrau September 11, 2020 - 10:08 pm

Me again ganesrau after 3 years back again this year I will start to do the moon cake again..

Reply
Angie Liew September 14, 2020 - 3:45 pm

Hope you will enjoy making again. Let me know how it turns out.

Reply

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