Making mooncakes, contrary to what most people think, is not difficult. The pretty, exotic molds lend a wow factor which belies the simplicity of the modern day process of making this traditional celebratory pastry. Modern day accessibility allows one to purchase a myriad of ready made lotus paste in a wide array of exotic flavours. I don't believe I know of anyone who would cook their own lotus paste from scratch, a process that entails long arduous continuous stirring over a boiling cauldron....
Compared to the traditional baked mooncake, the Snow Skin Mooncake is even more beginner friendly. Not requiring baking of any sort, the process only involves mixing of cooked glutinous flour (store bought), sugar and shortening before wrapping this dough with the ready made filling. To be honest, I have never been a big fan of the Snow Skin Mooncake and am even a lesser fan of it now that I realise that it involves the mixing of uncooked shortening.... However, the snow skin wrapping does open up possibilities for more intriguing flavour combination, something that is less rich. I have always for example wondered about the Mango Pomelo mousse like filling in Goodwood Park Hotel's creation. This year, they have even introduced a new Lychee With Lime Marshmallow flavour.
For me, the Durian Mooncake will always be associated with Goodwood Park Hotel. They have made it wildly popular more than 10 years ago. Though some better ones have been offered by other bakeries, the Goodwood Park durian mooncake will always have a special position among the durian mooncake lovers.
I have no idea how the durian mooncake is being made but was game to give it a go. Working with 100% pure durian pulp, I cooked this first over fire to remove as much moisture as possible. Next, I tried to semi freeze the portioned durian pulp in the fridge before wrapping them. I have to concede, this is not easy. I had trouble with the degree of firmness of the frozen pulp - it can neither be too hard nor too soft. Then the snow skin poses another problem - it has to be just malleable enough to ensure that the skin does not break or crack during the wrapping process. I made a batch of dough but was only able to get 4-5 decent looking mooncakes. (the recipe should yield 20!) I doubt that I am doing it right but at least I have a couple to show off... So if you have any good tips to make these, please do share.
I am submitting this entry to Aspiring Bakers #11: Mid-Autumn Treats (September 2011) hosted by Happy Home Baker.
150g Fried glutinous rice flour
200g Icing sugar
150g Cold Drinking water
250g 100% Durian Pulp
1. Cook durian pulp in a heavy bottom saucepan until boiling. Add sugar and stir until it is completely dissolved and relatively dry.
Cool down to room temperature. Portion into 50g portions and freeze.
1. Sift all dry ingredients together. Add shortening and mix well with the dry ingredients.
2. Add water gradually to the flour and mix to form a dough.
3. Leave the dough to 'proof' for 20mins.
4. Portion out the dough into 30g portion. Flatten and wrap a 50g portion of the durian pulp. Press with mooncake mold and store in freezer.
5. Defrost before consuming.