The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, and it falls on September 30th this year (2012). Although it is still about 1 1/2 months away, preparation for the making the mooncakes has to begin now especially if you are to make the Traditional Mooncakes - the syrup has to be cooked and kept until needed, in fact the longer it is allowed to settle, the better it is. Most mooncakes bakers will cook the syrup last year for this year's baking. If this syrup cooking is too tedious and intimidating, i am sharing this recipe which s full of the fragrance of butter and pure lotus paste/red bean paste and the best part, you don't need any mooncake molds.
I make mooncakes every year and somehow could never find time to post it in time for my readers who would like to try and have a hand in making some for the festival. This year, i make sure that i will post first before i start getting into the actual baking and forget to post. Sorry.................
For the Pastry
180 g cold butter - cut into 1/2 inch cubes
150 g confectioners' sugar
40 g maltose
100 ml milk
1/2 - 1 tsp ammonia powder
360 g all-purpose flour
4 tsp custard powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
For the Filling
990 g Lotus Paste/Red Bean Paste
1 egg yolk plus 1 tbsp water
Kua chi/almond flakes
Put all-purpose flour, custard powder, baking powder, salt , ammonia powder and sugar in the food processor and pulse to mix.
Add in the cold butter and pulse until mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Mix maltose to the milk and add in to the mixture in the food processor. Pulse short pulses until when a tiny piece of dough is pressed together, it binds.
Remove from food processor into a large plastic bag and form dough into a ball.
Leave to rest in refridgertor for at least 1/2 hour.
Wrapping and baking mooncakes:
Weigh lotus paste/red bean paste into 25 g portions (33 portions)
Preheat oven to 375f..
Weigh pastry into 30 g portions. Knead lightly to make the pastry pliable.
Press each pastry piece into a flat round circle.
Place a portion of lotus paste/red bean paste in the middle of the pastry round and wrap the filling inside the pastry by pushing the pastry up and around the filling while pressing the filling inside the pastry, this is to ensure an even thickness of pastry. Shape into a ball.
Eggwash the top of each mooncake and place 3 or 5 kua chi/almond flakes decoratively on top.
Bake for about 15 - 18 minutes, or until light golden brown.