With the Mid Autumn Festival taking place on the 27th September this year, I wanted to try and make mooncakes for myself but mini versions with a twist. They are traditionally filled with red bean or lotus seed paste. Since I live in a chocolate loving household, I decided to add chocolate to the lotus seed paste for a richer filling. I bought a mooncake mold on amazon like this one. They created a beautiful impression and were much easier to make than I imagined. They are also traditionally made with an egg yolk in the middle but I left this out, as I didn’t think it would complement the chocolate and lotus seed paste. Plus, I’m not a huge fan of the egg yolk. As a child, I would always remove them.
You might be wondering why alkaline water is added to the dough and what this does is it removes the bitter taste that emanates from the golden syrup when the mooncakes are baked.
I made these these a week in advance so I could enjoy them leading up to the festival, since I won't be home for it. I’ll be heading to Ibiza this weekend to attend a wedding, as well as catch some Spanish sunshine before Autumn and Winter is upon us. I can not wait and hope to share some photos of the island on my return.
Makes 12-14 x 50g mooncakes
FOR THE DOUGH
100g plain flour
3 tbsp golden syrup.
½ tsp alkaline water
2 tbsp vegetable oil
FOR THE CHOCOLATE & LOTUS PASTE FILLING
100g lotus seeds
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp coconut oil
45g melted cooking chocolate
2 tbsp cocoa powder
FOR THE EGG WASH
1 egg beaten
To make the filling, soak the lotus seeds overnight for at least 8 hours. Place the seeds in a large pot of water, bring to a boil and then simmer for about 45 mins or until soft and tender. If the lotus seeds have a core inside, remove them as they create a bitter taste. Add the cooked lotus seeds to a food processor to create a smooth paste. Add a little water if required to help process the lotus seeds.
In a non-stick frying pan, add the lotus seed paste and sugar and cook over medium heat until the sugar dissolves. Add 1/3 of the coconut oil until it is incorporated into the mixture before repeating the process 2 more times. Continue to stir until the lotus seed paste is glossy and thick for about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the melted chocolate and cocoa powder until well combined. Allow the paste to cool completely before using.
To make the dough, add the golden syrup, alkaline water and oil to a large mixing bowl and combine. Then sift the flour into the bowl and combine all ingredients. Using your hands knead the dough gently. Cover with cling film and allow the dough to rest for 1 hour at room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 180. Divide the chocolate and lotus seed paste into 12-14 equal portions and roll into balls. Each portion should be 35g.
Divide the dough into the same number of portions and roll into a ball - each portion should be 15g so that the total portion of dough and filling paste equals to 50g to allow it to fit into the mooncake mold. The ratio of filling to wrapper is 7:3.
Using a rolling pin, roll out the dough ball to about 8cm in diameter, ensuring you flour the work surface and rolling pin to avoid the dough sticking. Place the ball of chocolate and lotus seed paste in the centre and wrap the dough around it. You may need to do some patch work to cover the entire chocolate and lotus seed ball. Continue to roll the ball between both hands until the surface is smooth. Place the ball into the mooncake mold, place on the table and press the handle firmly to create the print impression. Place all mooncakes onto a lined baking tray and bake for 10 mins. Remove from the oven and brush each moon cake (top and side) with the egg wash and bake for another 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely on a wire rack before storing in an air-tight container. The moon cakes are best to eat in 1-2 days when the pastry becomes soft and shiny, although it's more than ok to eat them straight away. They should keep for a week in the air-tight container.