Moon cake is a traditional Chinese sweet pastry usually eaten during Mid-Automn Festival. It is commonly filled with red bean or lotus seed paste. This sweet filling is surrounded by a thin crust and may also contain salted egg yolks, as the symbol of the full moon. Traditional mooncakes are shaped using a wooden mold, and the filling and shape vary widely depending on the region where they are produced.
My version today also varies widely from the original recipe, since I have not used alkaline water to prepare the dough (I was not able to find this ingredient here in Spain, nor anywhere online), and I have disregarded the typical red been or lotus seed paste filling, and used an almond cocoa filling inspired by the shekerbura pastries I prepared not long ago.
Prep time: 30 min
Cooking time: 20 min
Yield: 7 mooncakes (100 g each)
- 150 g all purpose flour
- 90 g golden syrup
- 40 g vegetable oil (sunflower or peanut)
- 200 g grounded almond
- 150 g confectioners’ sugar
- 45 ml water
- 2 tbs unsweetened cocoa powder (30 g)
- 1 egg yolk beaten with 1 tbs water
- In a medium size bowl, mix golden syrup and oil. Add flour, and combine. Knead to form a ball. Cover with film wrap and rest for 30 minutes.
- Prepare the filling. In a medium bowl, combine the ground almonds, sugar and cocoa. Add water and mix thoroughly to moisten the filling. Divide filling into 7 equal portions (about 60 g each) and shape into a ball. Cover with plastic film, and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 350 ºF (180 ºC). Divide dough into 7 equal portions, and shape each one into a ball. Roll the ball into a thin disc (or flatten with your hand)
- Place a ball of filling in the middle of a disc, and then wrap and seal the almond paste ball with the dough disc. Please find here step by step tutorial, and here a video showing the whole process
- Once all the balls are ready, dust some plain flour on them. Place the stuffed mooncake into the mould. Lightly press the mould handle, then remove the mooncake from the mould. Transfer the stuffed mooncake onto a lined baking tray. Repeat this step to finish the remaining moon cakes.
- Bake for 10 minutes, remove from the oven and let rest for 15 minutes
- Egg wash the mooncakes, and bake for another 10 minutes
- Remove from the oven, and let cool on a wire rack
- They can be kept in an airtight container for weeks
- I used these molds to prepare the moon cakes
- Sources: Ann Coo Journal and Christine Recipes
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