Happy Mooncake Festival 中秋节快乐!!
Back in Malaysia, my family will always buy some Chinese ham and mixed nut mooncakes 金腿伍仁月饼(we are one of those few people who likes nutty mooncakes over the typical lotus paste with salted yolk mooncakes– too sweet for us!). Being here, it’s hard to find a good flavor mixed nut mooncake. Kee Wah Bakery’s version is similar to the taste from Malaysia, but they are expensive– selling at USD10 a piece! So this year I finally decided to make my own mixed nut mooncakes.
I don’t have any Chinese ham on hand, so I cheated by using pork floss 😉 The pork floss blended well with the nuts. Next time maybe I will use finely chopped cooked bacon instead.The whole process was rather simple, except for the wrapping part because the pastry dough was so little for the relatively large amount of the filling. It was fun over all, and– I DID IT! Now I can check it off my baking list 🙂
Mixed Nut Mooncakes 伍仁月饼 Recipe — adapted from Yochana’s Cake Delight (makes 8 pieces)
2 cups cake flour
2 tbsp tapioca starch 菱粉
1/2 cup honey
1 tsp alkaline water 碱水
75 ml oil
for Filling (combine together, except pork floss):
3/4 cup whole almonds– lightly toasted
1 cup walnut– lightly toasted
2/3 cup sesame seeds– lightly toasted
3/4 cup raw melon seeds/pepitas seeds/pumpkin seeds– lightly toasted
3/4 cup candied winter melon 糖冬瓜– finely chopped
3 pieces candied mandarin orange 桔饼 — remove seeds and finely chopped
3 kiffir lime leaves– cut into very fine shreds
3/4 cup cooked glutinous flour 加工糕粉
8 tsp pork floss
Seasoning for the Filling (mix until salt and sugar dissolves):
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp sugar
2 tbsp rose wine 玫瑰露酒
1 tbsp golden rum
1 tbsp soy sauce
3 tbsp oil
10 tbsp water
1 beaten egg for egg wash
- To make the pastry: combine all pastry ingredients in a bowl and mix well to form a dough (the texture will be like play dough). Cover and rest for 1 hours. Then divide into 8 equal portions.
- While the pastry dough is resting, prepare the filling: combine the seasoning and filling ingredients and mix well (you can use a stand mixer or hand mix). Divide the filling into 8 portions. Use both hands, loosely form each portion into a ball. Scoop in one tsp of pork floss in the center of the filling, then tightly pack into a ball again.
- Carefully wrap a piece of pastry dough around one ball of the fillings. You might want to roll out the pastry dough to a thin layer before wrapping. (I find this step is the most challenging because only little amount of pastry used for each mooncake in order to achieve a very thin layer of pastry. As you can see my pastry was quite thick– probably because I only flattened the pastry with my palm and didn’t roll it out to a very thin layer).
- Dust wooden mooncake mold generously with some flour, then carefully put in mooncake and press against the mold. Tap the wooden mold on a hard surface to invert the mooncake. Repeat step (3) and (4) for the remaining pastry dough and fillings.
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Before popping the mooncakes into the oven, spray some water on the mooncakes (this is to remove the flour dusted on the surface so when mooncakes are baked they won’t have a powdery look). Bake for 25 minutes, remove and apply egg wash, then bake for another 5 minutes until the mooncakes are browned nicely.
- Remove and cool on the rack completely. Store in air-tight container for several days before serving. Unlike typical baked goods that calls for freshness, mooncakes are best served several days after baking. This is because when mooncakes “age”, the oil from the fillings and pastry slowly penetrate to the surface, soften the pastry and enhance the flavor even more.
- Nuts and seeds: I toasted almond and walnuts together in a big tray in the 300° oven for a few minutes, but I toasted sesame seeds and pepitas seeds separately in a dry clean frying pan, stirring constantly over medium low heat until the flavor comes out.
- Candied winter melon and candied mandarin orange: I find the flavor from candied mandarin orange a little too strong, and amount of candied winter melon is a bit too less. I should increase candied winter melon to 1 cup, and down candied mandarin orange to 2 pieces.
- I find my mooncake filling is a bit too much to fit into the mooncake mold– next time I should try to make 9 pieces instead.
- I should also roll out each pastry dough to a very thin layer; this will make wrapping easier and achieve a more even thin layer all around the filling.
- Oven temperature: while my mooncakes browned nicely on top, the bottom was a little burned. Should I try 350°F for 25 minutes, egg wash then another 5 minutes next time?