|I'm submitting this post to Aspiring Bakers #11: Mid-Autumn Treats (September 2011) hosted by Happy Home Baking because this is my first time making pastry food, so I might just try my luck!|
Mid-Autumn Festival, also known as the Mooncake festival is the third major festival among four most important Chinese festivals that falls on the 15th day of the eighth month according to the Chinese calendar. It is celebrated by Chinese and Vietnamese people. This festival is for lunar worship and moon watching (you'll notice that the moon is especially big, round and bright on this day). We celebrate Mid-Autumn Festival by offering Mooncakes, an indispensable delicacy on this occasion, between friends or on family gatherings. We'll also carry brightly lit lanterns and light up lots of candles around the neighbourhoods, playgrounds and parks.
|These are my precious cute paper lanterns that we hung in our previous house last year. (Year 2010)|
|The girls were delighted when I brought them downstairs with their Hello Kitty musical lanterns, some fireworks and candles. (Year 2010)|
|We'd lots of fun even if it was just playing with fireworks and candles among ourselves under the void-deck. (Year 2010)|
|After playing, we'd our stall-bought mooncakes and fruits. (Year 2010)|
|Every year w/o fail, we'd go back to my parents-in-laws' house to have dinner together. (Year 2010)|
Why did I waited so long to make my own mooncakes no doubt the fact that I LOVE it so much and get to eat only once every year!? I seldom cooked after the birthed of my youngest girl, Cheeky as she's a super, extremely difficult baby to take care of. I even had to carry her in one hand while using the other to sweep the floor using the magic-clean stick! YEAH! I'm not exaggerating and all thanks to her for all my muscles now! Argh! It's only until Cathy, my helper came last year then I started to cook almost everyday otherwise we'd either buy back home, went over my parents or parents-in-laws house for dinner. Lucky it's all over now!
I never know the process of making mooncakes is actually so simple and easy, especially the snowskin ones, until I saw Ann's recipes! Ann of Anncoo Journal is a Singaporean who has a flare in baking cakes, cookies and pastries. She's one of the really creative and talented bakers I've came across during my past 6 months of blogging. Not only is she good at all these, she made beautiful handicrafts too! Hop over to Ann's blog after reading my post to check it out yourself and you'll believe what I say.
I went through every of Ann's recipes for snowskin mooncakes plus a few googled sites and thought maybe I should try making my own too...? I bought all the ingredients needed and tried.
I was over the moon when I finally succeeded after two failures in making the skin! My girls were the first to try on the mooncakes and they told me it's nice, smelt and tasted like those selling outside. Then I asked my Mom to try and she agreed but the skin was slightly too thick so for my 2nd batch, I rolled the skin real thin, almost translucent. This time, even my hubby and our friends praised me! They even asked to have more next year!
**I used Ann's recipe with slight modifications as I couldn't get the same type of flour that Ann used. The weight of both the skin and lotus paste fillings are based on my own estimations. It depends on the sizes of mooncake moulds used.
- 300g Snowskin flour [from Gim Hin Lee] (I used glutinous rice flour instead as I couldn't find any Snowskin flour and this could be the reason why I can't get the right texture)
- 1Kg White lotus paste + *Pumpkin Seeds
- 200g Icing sugar (Sifted)
- 95g Criso Shortening [Ann used mooncake shortening from Sunlik]
- Some Cooked Glutinous Rice Flour (Gao Fen 糕粉)
- 250g Pandan water (Cold)
- ⅓ Tsp Banana Essence (Optional)
- Food/Natural Coloring (Optional)
- Boil 1 L of water with 6 pandan leaves and store in fridge one or two days ahead
- In a large bowl, add snowskin flour and icing sugar together, mix well. Then add in shortening to mix roughly using a spatula or wear a disposal hand glove.
- Make a well in the center of mixture, add banana essence and slowly pour in cold pandan water, bit by bit until you get the right consistency of the dough.
- Knead to soft dough (a bit sticky), cover and let it rest for 10mins. Then knead dough again until it is soft and not sticky anymore.
- Divide dough into equal portion, add food/natural coloring (for different types of fillings-28g of balls each) and knead well until color is even. Divide into smaller balls of 25g each.
- Flatten dough into a round shape with a rolling pin or your palm, place a ball of filling in the middle, wrap and seal it up.
- Roll it into a ball and dust with some cooked glutinous rice flour (Gao Fen 糕粉). Dust the inside of the mould also and shake off excess flour.
- With the sealed part of the skin facing down to the imprints of the mould (this is to cover-up the sealed part), press the ball down firmly. Knock mooncake out from mould and store in air-tight container.
- Repeat with the rest of the dough and fillings until finish.
- Chill snowskin mooncakes in fridge up to at least 4hrs before consume.
|These are the first batch I made for my Mom to pray.|
|I made these using my bento egg moulds for the girls.|
|These are the 2nd batch I made for my parents-in-laws. I rolled the skin REAL thin as compared to the first.|
|I love this Hello Kitty mooncake too! Cheeky told me this is too cute and pretty that she don't bare to eat it! Hahaha|
|Cheeky made this in school but she didn't eat. She gave all to Cathy but wanted her to keep one little piece for me. She's really a sweetie to both of us, whatever she has, we're the ones she'll think of besides her sister. Love U, Baby!|
We can have our favorite mooncakes whenever we feel like eating and needn't wait 'til next year from now on!
Remember to visit Ann at Anncoo Journal to check out all her creative, beautiful and mouth-watering recipes! Enjoy and have a great week ahead!