Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Mooncake is a Chinese pastry traditionally eaten during the Mid-Autumn Festival. Typical mooncakes are round or rectangular pastries, measuring about 10 cm in diameter and 4-5 cm thick. A thick pasty filling is surrounded by a relatively thin (2-3 mm) crust and may contain yolks from salted duck eggs. Mooncakes are rich, heavy, and dense compared with most Western cakes and pastries. They are usually eaten in small wedges accompanied by Chinese tea.

Most mooncakes are baked and consist of a thin tender skin enveloping a sweet and slightly oily filling. The mooncake may contain one or more whole salted egg yolks in its center to symbolize the full moon. The saltiness of the yolk balances well with the sweet filling in the mooncake. Rarely, mooncakes are steamed or fried.

Traditional mooncakes have an imprint on top consisting of the Chinese characters for "longevity" or "harmony" as well as the name of the bakery and filling in the moon cake. Imprints of a moon, a woman on the moon, flowers, vines, or a rabbit may surround the characters for additional decoration.

Mooncakes are expensive and considered a delicacy, and production is labor-intensive and few people make them at home. Most mooncakes are bought at Asian markets and bakeries.

One recipe :
Snow Skin Flavour Mooncakes
Makes: 9 large ones (12og filling + 60g snow skin)
Or 20 small ones (60g filling + 30g snow skin)

150g cooked/fried glutinous rice flour
200g icing sugar
65g shortening
150g cold drinking water

1. Sieve flour & icing sugar.
2. Add shortening.
3. Add water. Mix well till it forms a soft dough.
4. Set dough aside for about 20 mins.
5. Divide dough into small portions of about 30g each.
6. Flatten dough to wrap up 60g fillings.
7. Seal up dough to enclose filling completely. Press into mould & remove.
For green tea flavor, add ¾ tbsp green tea powder to the flour and sieve.


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