Personally, I don’t like to eat mooncake because I think it is too sweet for my liking, but I really like to eat those cute little piglets that are usually on sale during the mid autumn festival each year. These piglets usually cost between 40-70cents each and I usually buy many of them as I can eat three in one sitting! It didn’t occur to me that they were just moon cake skin shaped in a pig’s form!
I decided to try my virgin attempt on making mooncakes this year to give to my relatives. Although I had a few hiccups initially, the process wasn’t that bad as the ingredient list is really short and cheap. I have listed some of the hiccups that I encounter so that you can avoid them.
Since now I can make my own piglets biscuits I guess I won’t be buying any store bought ones anymore. Hehe. But they are really ‘heaty’ so do take more fluids if you happen to eat a lot of these yummy piglet biscuits!
110gram Hong Kong flour or top flour ( you can use regular flour, but it will not taste as tender)
25 gram peanut oil
1/2 tsp alkaline water
60gram golden syrup
Store bought paste fillings
Egg for egg wash
Mix the oil, syrup and alkaline water together.
Mix the flour in and using a spatula, mix well till it forms a soft dough. Make sure there is no flour lumps.
Cling wrap and chill for at least 2 hours or maximum 3 days before shaping.
Shape fillings into balls and weigh them. The proportion of the fillings to dough should be 4:1. So if you have 100gram of fillings you should use approximately 25gram of dough. The weigh depends on the mould you are using to make the mooncakes, so do check the weight with the store.
Divide out the dough and wrap the fillings with the doughs and press them into the mould.
Knock the moon cake out on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 180degree for 10minutes, then take them out immediately and brush with egg wash and return to bake for another 5 minutes.
Cool on wire rack. Keep the mooncakes for two days for the skin to soften. The mooncake will taste hard and crunchy initially so you will need to rest the mooncakes for 1-2 days.
I suggest making one and baking it before you mould the rest out because depending on your measurement/human error etc, the dough might become too soft and melt in the oven before the dough is even cooked! I learnt that the hard way on my first trial, all my moon cake melted and went out of shape before it was cooked. This is due to too much oil or too little flour. If you find your dough melting too much, just add a little more flour to the dough to mix and chill for 60 minutes.
In choosing a mould, it is better to go for the plastic ones as they slip out more easily. Get the press out type instead of the wooden mould and save you energy from all that knocking! I made the mistake of buying the wooden type as I was feeling all gung-ho and wanted to be traditional, only to regret it later with a sore arm and ugly disfigured moon cakes.
If you find the mooncake surface cracking it means the temperature was too high, as seen in my piglet photos, so you just have to lower the temperature by 10 degree or so.
You can make your own golden syrup actually, just google it there are many recipes for it. It’s essentially just lemon juice, water and sugar cooked to a thick consistency.