RECIPE: HOMEMADE MIXED NUT MOONCAKES
A few years ago, my parents both caught up with 21st century tech - upgrades to smart phones, video chatting, using The YouTube etc. etc. In fact the surge in YouTube viewing resulted in our internet service being capped before a prompt and unanimous decision to up the limit. But this aside, one of the best things to come out of my mum’s browsing on YouTube is learning how to cook this and that, including making her own mooncakes. These have been quite a popular hit with the extended family and family friends - so much so that we don’t even buy mooncakes anymore during the Mid Autumn Festival AND my mum also makes these all year round. A win for anyone who wants to indulge on these outside of the mooncake season.
HOMEMADE MIXED NUT MOONCAKES
280g plain flour, sifted (plus extra for assembling the mooncakes/flouring the mooncake mould)
112g oil (Mum used olive oil)
140g honey or golden syrup
1/4 teaspoon lye water (purchased from Asian grocers)
1 cup almonds, chopped
1 cup pumpkin seeds, chopped
1 cup unsalted peanuts, chopped
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup candied winter melon, chopped
1/4 to 1/3 cup Chinese dried/preserved orange peel
180g rice cake flour (plus extra if needed)
whisked egg yolk for mooncake glaze
a 100g capacity mooncake mould with a spring press
Preparing the mooncake dough
In a large mixing bowl, combine the ingredients for the mooncake dough until a dough forms. Cover with a damp towel and set aside to rest for at least 30 minutes.
Divide the dough into 22-25g portions (although this will depend on the size of the mould).
Preparing the mooncake filling
In a large mixing bowl, combine all the dried fruit and nut ingredients for the mooncake filling ensuring an even distribution of each ingredient throughout, before adding the rice cake flour.
Gradually add a tablespoon of cold water at a time until all the ingredients come together, and should be able to form a ball (see photo below). If the mixture is too dry or wet, add water or rice cake flour accordingly.
Divide the mixture into balls weighing ~75g (ratio of 3:1 filling to dough).
Assembling and baking the mooncake
Preheat the oven to 150g fan forced.
To assemble a mooncake, take one portion of the mooncake dough and roll this out to approximately 3mm in thickness. Place one portion of the mooncake filling in the centre and enclose, carefully smoothing out the surface where possible.
Generously flour the mould before carefully placing the mooncake into the mould and pressing the spring down (this flattens the ball into the mooncake shape and also adds the imprint).
Place onto a baking paper lined tray.
Repeat until all the mooncakes are assembled, ensuring the mould is dusted with flour between each use.
Bake for 10 minutes and remove from the oven, allowing the mooncakes to cool for at least 10 minutes.
Brush the egg yolk onto the mooncakes and return the tray to the oven for another 10 minutes or until golden brown in colour.
Once the mooncakes have cooled down, place into an airtight container. These are best enjoyed a few days after baking to allow the mooncake dough to soften and take up the flavours from the filling.