Making the Best Mid-Autumn Recipe – Mooncakes

For weeks leading up to the Mid-Autumn festival every year, mooncakes and festival snacks abound. Many of these products were produced weeks ago and imported from places across the globe. If you’re living in the United States, finding fresh products to celebrate this year’s Mid-Autumn festival can be very difficult. Whether you’re celebrating with family and friends, or just looking for some good, traditional Chinese fare, stick around for some Mid-Autumn recipes and tips.

Background

Traditionally celebrated on the 15th day of the eighth month of the Chinese calendar, the Mid-Autumn Festival is a major holiday across China, Taiwan and Vietnam and is rife with traditions and history. As could be expected, food plays a major role in this autumn holiday.

Traditional Foods

One of the most visible and traditional Mid-Autumn recipes on display is often the mooncake. While many varieties exist, traditional mooncakes have a soft outside crust with a sweet, dense filling in the center. Other foods that are enjoyed during this time are things like pumpkin and taro to bring good health and good luck respectively. Other foods include wine with osmanthus flower and river snails, each of these are also tied to lore bringing happiness and bright eyes to those who consume them during the festival.

Simple mooncakes

Making mooncakes along with other Mid-Autumn recipes can be quite a challenge without access to traditional ingredients or mixes. In order to easily make this recipe, stopping by an Asian grocery will help speed up the process. Try to pick up ingredients like golden syrup, alkaline water, melon seeds, along with whatever fillings you’re considering for your traditional mooncakes. Another thing that should be picked up at any Asian market is a mooncake mould. They come in a variety of shapes and designs, so pick a few that could add a pleasant variety to your display.

Once you have picked up your ingredients, it’s time to make the filling and dough. For the filling to do ratio, consider this ratio 7 parts filling: 3 parts dough. That should give you an idea of how much to make when planning different types of filling.

Filling (feel free to make your own variations):

  • 14 oz. (400g Package) Lotus Seed Paste
  • 1.5 oz. (around 40g) Melon Seeds

Dough:

  • 1 Cup All-Purpose Flour
  • 1 / 2 Tsp Alkaline Water
  • 5 Tsp Vegetable Oil
  • 5 Tbsp Golden Syrup

To make the dough, first mix together the alkaline water with syrup. Stir in the oil and mix until they are completely blended. In a separate bowl, add the flour and make a well where you will stir in the syrup mixture. Mix the dough until it forms a loose dough. From there, knead and shape the dough into a round ball and wrap in plastic wrap. Let this dough refrigerate for at least two hours.

While the dough is resting, mix together the lotus seed paste and the melon seeds. Separate the mixture into two tablespoon portions and shape into balls. Set …

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How to Make Chinese Moon Cake Recipe

Moon cakes are made during the 8th month of the lunar Chinese calender. The actual date for celebrating the festival is on the 15th of the 8th month of the lunar Chinese calendar. Usually wooden moulds are used for making moon cakes. Nowadays plastic moulds are used because it is much cheaper. There are many designs on the mould. It can be bought at any shops selling ingredients for cakes.

Ingredients:

Syrup:

* 1/2 kg sugar

* 1 1/2 cups water

* 2 slices lemon

Boil the syrup for about an hour until it turns golden  test whether it is ready, pour a tbsp of syrup in cold water. If it separates it is ready. If it turns into a ball, the syrup is too thick. Add more more  done, keep in a cool place for 2 weeks before  remaining syrup can be kept for future use.

Pastry:

* 350-400 g wheat flour

* 60 g golden syrup

* 50 g oil

* 1 tsp alkaline water

Method:

Prepare the pastry: Mix all the pastry ingredients in a bowl. If it is too soft, add in more flour. It should be soft but not stick to the fingers. Divide into 6 portions. Each portion about 50 g. Let it rest for at least an hour.

Filling:

* 500 g red beans (wash and soak overnight)

* 500 g sugar

* 200 ml oil

* 1 tsp vanilla essence

* 50 g pumpkin seeds (locally known as ‘kuaci’)

1. Cook the red beans till soft and dry. Blend red bean in a mixer while still hot with the skin till fine.

2. To cook the bean paste, pour in sugar and red bean paste in a wok and keep stirring to prevent sticking. When mixture thickens, add in oil and  stirring till cook. When it is ready, the paste will leave the side of the wok clean. Dish out and cool it in the refrigerator.

3. When the paste is firm, mix pumpkin seed with the red bean paste. Divide into 6 portions. Each portion about 150g.

4. Flatten each dough and add filling in the centre. Wrap the dough into a ball. Dust it with flour.

5. Shape the dough in a moon cake mould. Press slightly. Then knock it out. Place in a baking tray and brush with beaten eggs. Bake for 15 minutes at 100 degrees Celsius.

Note: Other fillings such as lotus seeds, green beans or yam can be used. Egg yolks can be added in center of the fillings if used. Steam the egg yolk before adding to the filling.

Cooking time: 15 minutes.

Preparation time: 15 minutes.

For better visualization on the steps on how to make the moon cake, there are step by step picture in the authors recipe blog here.…

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