Have done a little yam paste with the intention of making mooncake with it for this coming Friday. I know it is still quite early but I thought of surprising my friends with an early mooncake when they come over for dinner on Friday. As for the filling that I did, I used the yam paste with pumpkin in the middle (in replacement of salted egg yolk) to make what I call an orh nee (Teochew yam paste) mooncake. Making the yam paste and pumpkin filling itself was pretty easy. I got it done in 15 mins because of the small quantity.
A good mooncake should have a layer of thin skin evenly surrounding the filling. For a normal large mooncake, the ideal ratio should be 1:3, dough to filling. But for a beginner, it is rather tough to do so without risking breaking the skin. You can always start with 1:2.5 to test the viability.
I come to realise long time ago that if you want to master Chinese cooking, you must first master the art of wrapping. No joke! Look at the amount of wrapping needed from tang yuen, dumpling, bao, and even pancakes. It is no wonder that this mooncake is the same. So wrap it is, and wrap you must!
Yam PasteAdapted from Guai Shu Shu
6 tbsp lard (can also be replaced with oil)
20 g wheat starch (might need more depending on the condition of the yam)
80 g sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1. Cut the yam into small pieces and cook in steamer for about 15 mins until all the yam are soft. It is crucial that you choose good quality yam that enable you to easily mash up the yam later.
2. Once cooked, remove yam from steamer and mash the yam.
3. Heat lard in wok and fry yam until fragrant. Add in all other ingredients and continue to stir until it becomes really pasty and thick. Don't forget to taste your paste at this point. It is supposed to be a bit sweet. If you find that it is not sweet enough, add more sugar. Remove from fire and set aside to cool. You can now use the paste for your mooncake.
300 g pumpkin
1 tsp cinnamon (optional)
3-4 tbsp oil
30 g wheat starch
1/2 tsp salt
60 g sugar
Same as yam paste filling
Note: As pumpkin contains more water and is sweeter, you have to use more starch and less sugar.
SnowskinAdapted from Yin's Homemade
75 g fried glutinous rice flour (gao fen)
60 g icing sugar
25 g shortening
90 g ice water (more or less)
yam flavour colouring (optional)
1. Sift fried glutinous rice flour and icing sugar into a mixing bowl.
2. Rub in shortening until it resembles crumbs.
3. Add water gradually and mix thoroughly until it becomes a springy dough. Add in yam paste colouring.
Making the mooncake
At this point it is more a matter of assembling. I didn't managed to buy those spring press type of mould therefore I have to make do with the normal type. The small mooncake turned out a perfect fit, filling the hole to the brim, whereas the big mooncake was lacking a little volume. All in all I love the outcome of this mooncake.
1. Roll 10 g of pumpkin filling and 22 g of yam paste into a ball. Flatten yam paste a little and wrap the paste evenly around the pumpkin ball. Repeat until finish.
2. Roll 25 g of snowskin dough into a ball. Flatten and wrap around the filling. Apply pressure on the top of the filling at the same time pushing the snowskin upwards until all the filling is covered. Seal the opening and roll to smoothen the ball.
3. Sprinkle some glutinous rice on the mould and then shake off the excess. Insert ball into the mould. Slowly press downwards until the whole mould is covered with the dough. Make sure you apply enough pressure so that the imprints are visible.
4. To remove the mooncake, knock mould once on each side and then the top. The mooncake would loosen and come off.
Follow the above method but with different quantity.
Pumpkin filling: 40 g
Yam paste: 80 g
Snowskin dough: 40 g
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