Monday, September 08, 2014

Traditional Cantonese Mooncakes

Is Mid Autumn Festival again and every year the festival is celebrated on the 15th day of the 8th lunar month according to the Chinese calendar. This year Mid-Autumn festival falls on September 8th. I am feeling really homesick especially during the traditional festival where my family will get together to have dinner. Our family groups are getting smaller as most of my nieces are away from home either working or studying overseas. Anyway my heart will always be with my family even though we are thousands of miles apart.

I actually have no intention of making these mooncakes but after looking at the prices of mooncakes sold here I just can’t bring myself to buy any. The cheapest box of 4 pieces cost over $20.00 and they are mostly from China. The one from Hong Kong cost over $40.00 a box. I can’t bring myself to pay this kind of money for it. So I decided to make some myself this year.

This last time I tried making traditional mooncakes was over 27 years ago. My friend Karine and I went for some mooncake making lesson and I did tried making it. I find it was too much work as I have to make the lotus paste and red bean paste from scratch. During that time we can’t buy any readymade paste. The mooncakes didn’t turn out nice either. The mooncakes look like elephant feet (small on top and wide at the bottom) So after 20 something years I am making it again and it turn out pretty well if I do say so myself.

Source: Butter, Flour and Me
Make 22 small mooncakes

150gram golden syrup
60gram vegetable oil or peanut oil
5gram alkaline water
250gram cake flour - sieve


700gram red bean paste/ lotus paste (shape into round ball, 30g each)

Egg Wash:

1 egg yolk + 1 tbsp water /milk

1. In a mixing bowl whisk together golden syrup, oil and alkaline water. Whisk really well. Add in sifted flour; mix with a spatula until well combined. Do not knead, cover and set it aside for an hour. 2. In the meantime weigh out the filling into 30 gram each. Roll into round balls. Cover and set it aside.
3. Preparing a baking pan and line it with parchment paper.
4. Turn the dough out on a work surface, and give it a few knead. It should not be sticky. Weigh out the dough into 20 gram each. Roll into ball and lightly flatten.
5. Place a ball piece of the filling in the middle, wrap up and round a ball. Coat the ball lightly with some flour and do the same to the mooncake mold too. Press the ball into the mooncake mold. Knock out the mooncake.
6. Place the mooncake on the baking pan. Do the same to the rest of the dough.
7. Pre-heat the oven to 370 degree F. Spray the mooncakes with some water (to avoid cracks when baking) Bake it for 10 minutes and remove it from oven and let it cools down for 15 minutes.
8. Brush the egg evenly on the mooncakes and continue to bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown. 9. Once the mooncake is cool, put it in an airtight container. Leave it for 2-3 days before consumption. This process is to let the mooncakes surface to soften and get shinny and glossy.

I would like to wish my family and friends Happy Mid-Autumn Festival.


Veronica said...

Happy Mid-autumn to you and family. Your mooncakes look adorable. It is time like this that we feel homesick, living so far from home. Have a wonderful time with your family.

PH said...

Gertrude, mooncakes are getting very expensive over here too. Since you can make such beautiful mooncakes, no need to buy lah. Homemade is best!

QembarDelites said...

Yep, agreed with Phong Hong, they are expensive here too! Much cheaper to make your the look of those piggies:D Happy Mid Autumn Festival!

Shereen said...

Beautifully done especially the oink-oink. I still can't imagine your elephant feet mooncake... Hahahah.

My Little Space said...

Happy Mid-Autumn Festival to you & your family too ! Have a lovely evening.
Blessings, Kristy

mui mui said...

Hi Gertrude,
Happy belated mid-autumn to you and your love ones.
Your piggy mooncakes are so cute.

cikmanggis said...

hi Gert.Terima kasih kerana ajar I buat moon cake.Percubaan pertama berjaya tetapi kali kedua mooncake I retak huaaa sedih betul.Tapi tak berputus asa.Akan cuba lagi.Yours sangat cantik dan comel.

Phoenix said...

Hi Gertrude! Happy Mid Autumn Festival to you too! Your mooncakes look so cute! thank you for sharing the recipe. One day, I might try it, since my kids can't have most of the store bought ones due to allergies. Are the moulds wooden ones, and did you get them from Malaysia? I have only made jelly mooncakes myself. (PS: I have used some of your recipes in previous posts, they are fantastic!)

Phoenix said...

Sorry more questions: cake flour -can I just use plain flour? and Alkaline water - is that 'Kan Sui' from Asian grocers? I have not come across the ready made red bean or lotus seed paste, either, are they frozen? Thanks heaps!

ICook4Fun said...

Veronica, Happy belated Mid-autumn celebration to you too. Yes I've been away for so many years but still miss home a lot especially being with my family :(

Phong Hong, thank you. Ya can make it myself now since it is not that difficult.

Jeannie, no wonder why now so many people make their own mooncakes :)

Shereen, terima kasih. Told you to google lor and you will know what I mean.

Kristy, Happy belated Mid-autumn festival to you and your family too.

Mui Mui, thank you.

Cik Manggis, you are most welcome. You ada spray water on it tak sebelum baking it? Ya lah like the second batch I baked ada 2 yang retak jugak. Tak tahu apa jadi.

Phoenix, where are you at? I found it at Asian store here in CA and it is at the fridge section where they put miso paste and noodles. Yes you can buy these plastic moulds from Malaysia at the baking supply shop. You can use regular flour but cake flour gives it a soft texture to the pastry. You can always buy a packet of cake flour and use the rest to bake cakes :) Yes alkaline water is kan sui that we used for kuih.

Marcela said...

wow! this is amazing! i love your recipe!

Phoenix said...

So sorry! Can't believe it's been so long since I checked your site! Thanks very much for your answers, Gertrude! I am in Sydney, australia. Thanks for your help and sharing!

Unknown said...

Can you please tell me what is golden syrup? Is it honey? Please reply. Thank you.

cikmanggis said...

Hi gert
This year i akan guna this recipe for my mooncake.Nanti bila dah buat i kasi tahu you ya.Terima kasih gert.