I first heard about mooncakes from my friend Kristy on her blog My Little Space. She is a wonderful baker and is very creative with the things that she bakes. This is not your grandma's baker here, she adds her own pizazz to many of her creations. She is also full of information on the local holidays, festivals, legends and Chinese customs. I love to learn all about it.
The Mid-Autumn Festival is held on the 15th day of the eighth month in the Chinese calendar, which is usually around late September or early October in the Gregorian calendar. It is a date that parallels the autumnal equinox of the solar calendar, when the moon is supposedly at its fullest and roundest. The traditional food of this festival is the mooncake, of which there are many different varieties.
When I saw her mooncakes I was determined to try my hand at making them. I had difficulty finding some of the ingredients, like red bean paste and lotus paste. I ended up making my own red bean paste, but never use it to make mooncakes, but another dessert. Then she gave me a tip on making mung bean paste which would be a little easier, and I was going to try it until I saw her Chocolate Mixed Nuts Mooncakes. Bingo! This is what I wanted to try, I liked the fact that I had all the ingredients and it wasn't as sweet as some of the other mooncakes.
I made a few changes in the nuts (just a little) and dried fruit (couldn't find the candied kumquats and melons, but I love crystallized ginger and dried cranberries) and added some almond paste, and Cointreau. I would of used my Michigan dried cherries, but I they're all gone, now I have to wait until my parents come visit again to bring me some more.
So... this is my version of attempting to make mooncakes (sorta) for the up coming Mooncake Festival on September 22nd.
Ingredients for Mixed Nuts filling :
1/2 cup whole almonds, chopped & roasted
1/2 cup hazelnuts, roasted then chopped
1/2 cup pistachio, roasted
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup chopped candied ginger
1 cup mixed seeds, roasted (I used pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds and sunflower seeds)
2 tbsp brown sugar
1/2 tpsn salt
1 cup cooked glutinous rice
1/2 cup almond paste
1/2 cup water
1 tbsp rum
1 tbsp Cointreau (orange liquor)
- combine all ingredients in a big bowl and mix well.
- then stir in 4 tbsp corn/olive oil and mix till well combined.
- divide into 40gm balls each for mini size mooncake.
Ingredients for Chocolate Skin Dough :
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 cups chocolate, chopped
1/2 cup corn oil
- simmer chocolate and oil over a double boiler until melted.
- stir chocolate mixture into flour and mix to form a thick paste.
- leave the thick paste to rest for an hour.
- then divide pastry dough into 35gm each (for mini size) .
- start wrapping the mixed nuts filling with the dough and slightly coat the dough with flour.
arrange moulded mooncake onto baking tray and spray water onto each of it
- bake at 400 degrees for 5 minitues and then remove mooncake from oven.
- slightly brush with egg glaze and continue baking at 350 degrees for another 10 minitues or until golden brown.
It's best to serve this one day after.
I didn't have a mooncake mold, so I just rolled them in balls, and added some sesame seeds and some sugar crystals to try to make them look pretty. I probably could of used more filling, but since this was my first time I really had to get the feel of it. The dough was pretty easy to work with.
I'm not sure how close to mooncakes they are, but they sure did taste good. This is for you Kristy! Or I should say thanks to you!
I do like the amount of filling in these, it's like a nice stuffed, filled cookie.
But I have some filling left so I need to find a coffee cake, or muffin recipe to use it up...any suggestions?
I chopped the nuts a little more than she did, but I don't really want to compare the two because that just wouldn't be fair...hehe...she's had more practice. Next time I want to try some agar agar mooncakes...what do you think?
We had a long weekend for Labor Day and my husband was out of town. My daughter and I thought we would check out a different beach than we usually go to.
So we went to Lido Beach and walked around to enjoy the sunset and early evening. It was busy of course being the last weekend of summer, and living in a vacation spot. So we went to South Lido and it was a little more open.
It was nice and peaceful!
OMG, Lyndz, these look as good as mine! haha... I don't believe it my eyes that you actually made them even without the mold. I'm surprise that the cake looks great even without the pressing mold on them. I am totally thrilled! And the photos are so clear & nice too. Congratulations, you did it! So happy for you. haha... Hope you're enjoying your day, darling.ReplyDelete
p/s hope Maranda & your hubby also like it too!
I love the name Mooncake. It makes me want to eat them! I think yours are just gorgeous. Her blog is fabulous too.ReplyDelete
Beautiful beach you visited. So nice to live so close I'm sure.
Yay Kristy! I'm glad you like them and so nice of you to say that! I still have a lot of work to do on making them pretty like yours. That's the Virgo or perfectionist in me! :D Yes they liked it too, I'm bringing the rest into work to see how they like it.ReplyDelete
Betty Ray, thanks, I was so interested in these gems and it only took me about a year to attempt it! lol!
WOW! I'm so impressed Lyndsey, they look like a huge amount of work, but worth every bit of it. They look SO good! And you are terribly lucky to live so close to the ocean. I have to drive 500 miles, lol.ReplyDelete
Wow you have created some delicious mooncakes too..well done Lyndsey!ReplyDelete
these look great! and as with most of your posts, I've found something else to add to my list of things to try. :) thanks!ReplyDelete
Now my mouth is watering:-)ReplyDelete
The pictures of the sky are amazing. Diane
How cool are those little mooncakes? I'm impressed that you tried them!ReplyDelete
Beautiful moon cakes even without the mould pattern! These are new to me. Well done!ReplyDelete
Everybody wants to bake mooncakes these days, even you! I am so impressed! Took me ages to finally did my first mooncake too! Lovely sunset on the beach, wish I could visit the beach more often, I love it!ReplyDelete
Wow! those mooncakes looks so delicious!ReplyDelete
These are new to me. They look delicious. Going to have to do some research now, as you have peaked my interest in them.ReplyDelete
Those look very cool Lyndsey! Nice work!ReplyDelete
Unbelievable you made your own mooncakes. Looks good, like the nut component for texture.ReplyDelete
Great name and they look delicious! I love all the tasty ingredients in the filling. Way to go, you did it perfectly!ReplyDelete
Brenda, thank you so much! Yes we enjoy the water so much. I wouldn't want to be too far.ReplyDelete
3HT - thank you!
Susan B - that was nice of you to say, thanks I'm happy to encourage you!
Diane - thanks, I saved one for you! I love your sky pics too!
TKW - thanks, you should see all the different kinds of mooncakes there are! It's fun!
MaryMoh - thank you, of course thanks to Kristy, she has such unique recipes.
Jeannie, thanks, it only took me a year before I tried to make them...lol! well this is the season for mooncakes and there are so many different ways to make them.
Rachana - Thanks you!
Carla and Michael - They are interesting, hope you find some inspiration to try some.
sherimiya - thank you, it was actually fun to make.
Eleanor Hoh - thanks you for saying so, I had a lot of inspiration from my fellow blogger friends. I like the nuts for texture too.
Pam - thank you, they are an intriguing little dessert.
these look really interesting. I've only had moon cakes once or twice and wasn't a fan, but these look quite good. The beach is beautiful too!ReplyDelete
I love the filling and the flavors. I've never had one but it looks tasty!ReplyDelete
I saw those on Kristy's blog too, Lyndsey. I must tell you I am so impressed you made them! You did a fabulous job, too. I love your substitutions. Wouldn't this be a fun holiday treat?ReplyDelete
And how nice that Kristy made such a lovely comment!
Well done with the mooncake! I'm impressed!!ReplyDelete
You did a fantastic job with these. They look sooooo good.ReplyDelete
I am taking your badge with the purple letters.
you are making mooncakes over here...wow!ReplyDelete
I've never heard of them but it sure looks like you did a great job, they look and sound delicious!ReplyDelete
Marthaandme - these came out pretty tasty with the nuts and chocolate! She had a good recipe to work from.ReplyDelete
Megan - thank you!
Barbara - thank you, that is so nice of you to say. I wanted to change it just a little. Kristy is so nice and helpful!
petite nyonya - thank you that means a lot to me!
Sweet and Savory - you are so sweet to say such nice things...thanks!
tigerfish - thanks...(blushing)
Martha - well you know me having to try different things...thanks!
Very creative mooncake :-) Love your version of it...and the pictures are awesome!ReplyDelete
Lovely beach and darling chocolate moon cakes. I know I would like the Contreau in them. I've never had a moon cake. Sounds like I'm missing something very good.ReplyDelete
These look very nice and yummy. I like the addition of pumpkin seeds, they're awesome!ReplyDelete
Ha! I planned to go look for veggie mooncake recipes tomorrow, and now this one came to me without searching! Serendipity ;) I might just try my hand at these too... A smaller batch though ;)ReplyDelete