Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mini moon cakes 月圓人團圓

Time certainly flies fast. Soon summer is gone without a sign. To welcome the coming of fall, the Chinese is well known for the mid-autumn festival. As many of the Chinese holidays do, this one also has its own stories. It is said that there is a rabbit, a wood-chopper and a beautiful woman live on the moon, but all three stories are not related. I guess if you are interested, Wikipedia is definitely a good source.

Well, a festival must come with fun and delicious food. The mooncake is the pastry we eat during the mid-autumn festival. The shape of the mooncakes symbolize the round full moon, meaning the union or getting together with family or friends. Traditional fillings of the mooncakes are lotus seed paste, red bean (azuki bean) paste and mung bean paste, but now there are more varieties, including ice cream filling!

I found a good website for mooncake recipes, and I bought the molds online. They look like Chinese chess, and the size is so small, about one bite. Perfect for people who are watching their weight.

  • Sugar 800 g
  • Water 300 g
  • Lemon juice 8 Tsp
  • Sodium carbonate solution 1/4 tsp

1. Add water to sugar to dissolve the sugar, and cook until the temperature reaches 108C.
2. Keep the temperature and cook on low heat for another 30 minutes. The color of the syrup will be golden brown.
3. Let cool completely and add the sodium carbonate solution to neutralize the pH.

  • Red beans (Asuki beans) 1 pound
  • Sugar 1/2 pound
  • Maltose 50 g
  • Salt 1/4 tsp
  • Butter (or vegetable oil) 40 g

1. Soak the red beans in cold water overnight.
2. Remove excess water the second day, leaving just enough to cover the beans.
3. Cook or steam the beans until they are soft and easy to mash with your fingers.
4. Pour the cooked beans in the blender to make mashed red bean. Add a little of water if it's too hard for the blender to work.
5. In a non-stick sauce pan, melt the butter. Add the mashed red bean and sugar. Stir constantly and mix well. This is to remove excess water from the mashed red beans and add flavor to it.
6. As it becomes drier, add the maltose and salt. (You will know it's done when it is able to come together.)
7. Let cool.

  • Cake flour 100g and 50 g
  • Candy syrup 75 g-85 g (the more the softer the dough, easier to process. Too much can destroy the final product.)
  • Vegetable oil 30 g and 10 g
  • Sodium carbonate solution 1/2 tsp
  • A pinch of salt

1. Mix 100g cake flour, candy syrup, 30 g vegetable oil, sodium carbonate and a pinch of salt together. Let the dough rest for 1 hr (covered).
2. After an hour, add the 50 g cake flour and 10 g oil to the dough and mix well.
3. I played with the perfect ratio of wrapper and filling to make the mooncake to fit the mold, so that it will show the pattern clearly.
4. Bake at 325F for 6 min. Take them out and carefully brush some egg wash just on the pattern. (Do not brush on too much, otherwise the pattern will disappear.) Put them back to the oven and bake for another 15 min.
5. Let cool and store in plastic bags for 1-2 days at room temperature. It is the best time to enjoy them.

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