Sunday, 18 September 2011

月饼 - Moon cakes

中秋节 - Mid Autumn Festival

Moon cakes are traditionally cooked for the mid-autumn festival, where the moon is venerated.  For my first recipe, I decided to be adventurous and give the following recipe a try, which I adapted from an american moon cake recipe I found on the internet:


250 g red aduki beans
80g lard
100 g sugar (granulated)

I soaked the beans for around 6 hours, then simmered them on a low heat for approx 2 hours.  I left them to cool overnight. The difficult part is shelling them.  I strained them and mashed them with a potato masher and then pressed them in a garlic press, which made a reasonably smooth paste.  I then mixed this with the melted lard and sugar, and cooked off the remaining fluid until a firm paste remained.


Shortening dough:
260 g flour
160 g lard
10 tbsp water
1/4 tbsp salt

Flaky dough:
130 g flour
50 g lard

Cakes before going in the oven

The finished product.

Roll out the shortening dough, reserving a small amount for the characters to decorate the tops, and roll the flaky dough on top of this.  Fold the dough into thirds, roll it out again, and repeat.  I then used a ramekin to form the cake, although traditionally wooden presses are made for this purpose.  I glazed the cakes with egg yolk, decorated with the characters for mid autumn festival and pumpkin seeds.