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Monday, September 20, 2010

Mooncake - 月圆花好庆中秋

Mooncake 6-1

Mooncake 1

Piglet 2

Mooncake 3

L has told me not to be overly sucked in by this little food blogging project. Not to be too mindful about how many visitors I am getting every month. Not to be too obsessed with how my photos turn out - for they all look quite pretty to him. He wanted me to take it easy and just enjoy this little project - treat the perks that may come in the various forms (ranging from encouraging comments, to increasing readership to giveaways and food reviews) as little bonuses and pick me ups - never get addicted to them and be obsessed over them. I am glad that I have him to inject these occasional doses of practicality for if left unchecked, I probably would start reaching and yearning for the MOON...

If not for this blog, I am quite sure I will never be motivated to bake the mooncake... and further clutter my kitchen with 3 new sets of bulky wooden mooncake molds! If not for this blog, I wouldn't have to confront the ugly reality of how sinfully caloric these pastries are. I think one full sized mooncake would easily be close to a thousand kcal. Despite all the hype about replacing lard with vegetable oil,using low sugar lotus paste... there is still no escaping from the fact that the secret to a silky smooth filling and tender pastry is lots and lots of oil.

In my attempt to achieve decent results, I made 3 batches of mooncakes.
I experimented to
1. get the correct dough to filling ratio to fit my mooncake molds
2. knock the raw mooncake out of the wooden mold without getting them out of shape - a really noisy affair.
3. get the right baking temperature and baking time so that the mooncake does not crack while baking.
Mooncake 2

Mooncake 9
It was all quite tiresome and I now have a load of mooncakes which I know I will never eat... I had originally thought about bringing them to the office but the last time I checked today, the office pantry is already bursting with boxes of mooncakes presented by suppliers. Mooncake overload!

Well anyway, I am glad that I made my mooncakes in small bite sizes...I probably will stash them away and heat them up for tea....over the next few weeks.... Meanwhile,during this festival of reunion and happiness, here's wishing everyone a happy mooncake festival!

Piglet (100)
Recipe :
Dough
Golden Syrup 180g
Peanut Oil 60g
Alkaline Water 8g
Plain Flour 225g

Filling
White Lotus Paste 600g
Melon seeds 200g

Glaze
Peanut oil 1 tsp
Egg 1 beaten

Method:

1. Combine golden syrup,peanut oil and alkaline water and mix until smooth.
2. Add flour and mix well.
3. Cover the dough and let it rest for 2 hours. (some recipes ask for this to rest overnight but I find resting overnight results in a dryer dough which cracks more easily during baking)
4. Divide dough into individual portion of 14g
5. In another mixing bowl mix lotus paste and melon seeds.
6. Divide lotus paste into 34g portion.Roll this into a ball.
7. Pre-heat oven to 180C.
8. On a lightly floured board, take a portion of the dough and with the palm, flatten this into a flat round wrap.
9. Wrap a portion of the lotus paste with the wrap.
10. Lightly flour the mooncake mold and press 9 into the mold and knock it out of the mold.
11. Grease a baking tray and arrange the raw mooncakes on the tray.
12. With a spritzer, mist the mooncakes liberally with water.
13. Bake the mooncake in the oven for 10 mins at 180C. Remove the tray from the oven and carefully brush the egg and oil glaze over the top of the mooncake.
14. Return the tray into the oven and continue to bake at 160C for 10mins until the pastry bounces back when lightly pressed.

The mooncake will look puffed up when it is removed from the oven. Let it cool and age over for 3 days at room temperature before consuming. The mooncake will progressively darken in colour and soften in texture as the oil bleed out.

For the piglet, I used 60g plain dough for a mid sized piglet mold.

44 comments:

zurin said...

Shirley, you are a chemist at heart and you cook like one. youre a perfectionist because of that..so m not surprised that everything else you do has to be perfect. Your blog reflects that. And the mooncakes are beautful. It was extremely noisy too when i made the kuih bangkit :D knock knock.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Zurin,you hit the nail on its head... yes I do cook like a chemist :) :)

Honey Bee Sweets said...

Shirley, that's what we do, we bake even when they are left overs or still a good stash of extras! Lol! Your L is just like my husband, he often remind me the same thing too. ;) But like you, blogging brings much pleasure and motivation for me to experiment and bake new recipes. :) And to top it all off, the pleasure to know fellow bloggers like you. :) Lovely mini mooncakes! BTW, the white lotus paste you helped us purchased....it is GOOD! Much smoother and less sweet! Been wanting to ask you for the address of the place so I can go check it out myself next time. Thanks so much!! ;)

Xiaolu @ 6 Bittersweets said...

These are beautiful, Shirley! And I don't even like mooncakes haha. But I totally understand fussing over every photo and comment and daily hit counts and food props and everything that comes with being an impassioned blogger. At the same time, I sometimes focus on it to the detriment of other parts of my life and my boyfriend has been pushing me to find more balance. Hope we both are able to stay balanced. I certainly always look forward to beautiful food like this from you.

busygran said...

Cute little moonies! I prefer them to the usual size!

wendyywy @ Table for 2..... or more said...

My favourite will be the piglet :)
I'm no mooncake eater as well.

Allie said...

So beautiful! It really takes grace and patience to make perfect mooncakes. Sometimes I take it for granted that the mooncakes my mum makes turn out beautifully, until I fail at making them myself! I doubt I'll have patience and perseverance like you to keep trying for perfection. Great job! :)

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Allie, my moon cake is far from being perfect. The baked type moon cake especially requires experience. The snow skin moon cake, I believe is easier.

MaryMoh said...

Beautiful moon cakes and love that cute piggy. I have not made any. Looks very challenging.

edith said...

Oh gosh! This post definitely stood out. The moonies are so beautifully taken that I can feel the festive season coming.

Any extra, sent them over coz my son can much the whole box up. Talk about being ADHD!

Beau Lotus said...

Haha send them over I'll eat them for you! Yum yum...

emy said...

Looks fab and I am sure they're tasty!

I hope I'll get around to try making them someday ...maybe 2015?

LOL!

La Table De Nana said...

I am so taken by these intricate beauties..Yours are just lovely..My husband..is always so positive and proud of this blogging..not for accolades..etc.. just for the pleasure it all brings to me:) Your L sounds the same:)The preps..the photos..the sharing..the friendly nods~:)

Karen from Globetrotter Diaries said...

I'm excited for mooncakes and bravo to you for making them from scratch!!!

ICook4Fun said...

I love your small and dainty mooncake. So well shape and evenly brown. Look so much better than the one I bought today.

Anh said...

I wish we had mooncake overload here in Australia! Yours look beautiful. I have heard that using wooden moulds make lovely imprint!

Passionate About Baking said...

Hi Shirley,
Your mooncakes looked so pro and pretty! I can't believe it's your first time making! The moulds are very pretty too! Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you too! :)

Wen said...

I like the first picture very much!

Jess @ Bakericious said...

Shirley, like your L, my husband always reminded me the same thing :p. He also asked me I bake/cook is it for the family or for the blog heeheehee...

Your mooncakes looks good, can't believe you are 1st time making them, bravo! And the lotus paste that you purchased, tasted great, I got good feedback on that. Thanks.

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

Jess / Bee, glad you liked the lotus paste. The supplier is 长安 at Keong Siak street. I found another good place for different lotus paste - 广祥泰. Many flavours to choose from but I am not sure if they will continue to carry these after mooncake festival. For Cheong Onn, it is a regular item but must buy at least 5kg.

Kitchen Corner said...

I agree with some bloggers saying that you are really a "perfectionist". That's absolutely right. From the pictures, we can know who precise and perfect of this baker. Very nice product indeed as well as the great photo shooting!

Sonia (Nasi Lemak Lover) said...

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you too. I have yet to make any baked moon cakes before, I think I will wait till next year. Yours look nice for the 1st time.

noobcook said...

your mooncakes look perfect and high quality. Great photos! Motivate me to learn making mooncakes ... next year (haha, I say that every year). 中秋节快乐!

tigerfish said...

I like mooncakes in mini bite-sizes cos I get to try a variety of different flavors.

安妮 said...

祝福彼岸的妳,在相同的月光之下,和我一樣快樂過節。

Mei Teng said...

Beautiful mooncake shot in the first one.

I love durian mooncakes.

Anonymous said...

Hi

Which brand of peanut oil did you use? Is it Knife brand?


Your moon cakes look good and hotel standard too.

: )

Shirley @ Kokken69 said...

@Anonymous - I was actually not paying attention to the brand of peanut oil I used. I picked up a bottle at 广祥泰 when I went there to pick up some lotus paste.

And really, my moon cakes don't look hotel standard- you are too kind! They look really bad when they just came out of the oven but after aging for a few days the prints become clearer, colour darker and shinier.

Angie's Recipes said...

These mooncakes look very pretty!

Jared said...

Wow those mooncakes are pretty awesome. Great job!! Can you send some to Chicago, since they charge 20USD for a box. I will take mine with 5 yolks please.

Angie said...

Those mini moooncakes looks so cute!

LimeCake said...

Happy mid autumn festival! Your mooncakes look delicious!

Dana from One Haute Plate said...

Whoa. Moon cakes are new to me. Sounds fantastic, looks even better! I'm guessing a standard bakery version in the States would not be nearly as exciting as yours, so, alas, I'll have to wait it out. (Unless you are going to be in Atlanta, GA with one of those little tins any time soon!) I am wondering from what custom does this delight originate...

TasteHongKong said...

I'd love to trade off the store-bought moon cakes for these, greedily with the piglet included. Your wooden mold looks really nice, having different imprints in each.
Happy Mid-Autumn Festival!

Ju (The Little Teochew) said...

They look BEAUTIFUL! I try not to think of how horrific these mooncakes are in terms of calories ... it makes the eating easier. Hehe!

Lisa said...

I am so impressed. Your mooncakes look so tasty. If I had one of them in front of me right now, I would be hard-pressed to stop at just one.

Pei-Lin@Dodol and Mochi said...

I hope you've found a solution to the surplus of mooncakes ... Maybe can share with other blogger friends?

I gotta say your mooncakes look very professionally made! How I wish I'm in SG now so that I can try some ...

中秋節快樂!

Indie.Tea said...

Your mooncakes are so pretty! I really like the way you left them golden instead of using skins (which are pretty but dont look as edible and comforting)...
p.s. There's a mention of you on my blog today...I hope that is o.k. with you?

Ellie (Almost Bourdain) said...

Happy mid-autumn festival to you Shirley! I must try your mooncake recipe next year.

Christina Ward said...

Beautiful results! I agree with the "chemistry" comments. I always tell people that baking is "part chemistry, part alchemy".

As an American, I make mooncakes for special occasions. I also change the fillings to appeal to more American tastes. The beauty of mooncakes is that they lend themselves so wonderfully to change and experimentation.

For the dough, I went more of a French route and used a simple butter, cream cheese, salt, sugar, flour mixture. Was soft and workable without issues.

Joanne said...

It definitely is hard sometimes to remember that there is actually a real world outside of the blogger world. It's good to have someone to keep you in check!

These mooncakes look fantastic! I would prefer them to the storebought kind anyday.

Rabbittrick said...

these are so gorgeous! bravo for making mooncakes this year. that should be a tradition, right from the home. i didn't know they took 3days to darken, or that snow skin is easier than baked. i always take my mooncakes for granted =P

Olivia said...

wow beautiful mooncakes

Von said...

That must be a lot of mooncakes!! haha...I don't actually like normal mooncakes- I don't like lotus paste =) My parents are quite happy about that- less people to share with...haha
But these look really good- they look like they've come right out of a tin! And even better than some I've seen from the tins......
Happy (belated) mid autumn festival to you!

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