Experimental Moon Cakes

Mini Moon Cake

Mini Chocolate & Red Bean Sticky Rice Cakes

These cakes are traditionally eaten during Mid Autumn Festival (also known as Moon Festival or Lantern Festival) which falls on the 15th of September. The only time I can remember celebrating was on a holiday in Singapore when I was 3 years old. My mother & Auntie took my siblings & myself to the lantern shop to buy lamps for the night time parade. I had fallen in love with a small pink lantern, barely bigger than my hand, and my hands were tiny….Being spoilt & stubborn, I didn’t listen to my Aunties’ words of warning ‘it will catch on fire, choose a bigger one, lah’…she was right, my lantern lasted about 10 minutes before disappearing into pile of ash.

My obsession for all things small continue into adult life – I love to create mini sized desserts, so here’s the recipe for mini moon cakes & mini chocolate redbean sticky rice cakes. They look deceptively big in my photos…

I decided to go red-bean crazy and make 2 variations on traditional Chinese cakes. I thought I may as well since beans take such a long time to prepare (soaking for 12hrs & simmering for 2hrs, then a lot of elbow grease needed for the mashing)…I don’t own a moon cake mold so my cakes ended up looking like pebbles. I used maple syrup in the pastry for a more unconventional flavour to this traditional dessert. I used tahini instead of oil to bring slight nuttiness to the pastry, which worked well with the lightly sweetened beans. Crunchy pumpkin seeds were used to add a contrasting texture to the bean paste.

Moon Cake (6 mini moon cakes)

Pastry

35g cornmeal

35g plain flour

1 tbsp tahini or peanut oil

45g maple syrup

enough water to form a dough

Filling:
200g red beans, cooked & cooled

1 tbsp maple syrup

2-3 tbsp pumpkin seeds

Egg glaze:
1 yolk + 1 tsp water lightly beaten and strained

Method:

Making the red bean paste

Place the red beans in a sieve. Using the back of a spoon, mash the beans through the gauze. Discard the fibrous husks. You should end up with 150g red bean puree. Mix in the syrup and pumpkin seeds

Making the Moon Cakes

1. Preheat the oven 180C/350F/Gas mark 4

2. Mix tahini, maple syrup in a bowl & heat in the microwave for 20 seconds on medium. Remove and leave aside to cool till warm state but not cold.

3. Sieve the flours into a mixing bowl. Make a well in the flour and pour in the warm syrup. Mix to form a dough, add water if your mixture is still dry. Cover the mixing bowl with a wet towel and rest the dough for 30 – 45 minutes.

4. Divide dough into 6 balls. Flatten each ball using a rolling pin.

5. Place a tablespoon of the filling in the center and wrap it to form a ball shape.

6. Place mooncakes on a lined baking sheet and sprinkle them with water. Bake for 10 minutes.

7. Remove from oven, cool the cakes for 5 minutes then brush over the egg glaze and bake for further 10 minutes or till golden brown.

Mini Chocolate & Red Bean Sticky Rice Cakes (gluten free)

These sticky rice cakes are like a cross between a mochi & a pancake. I’ve always liken the flavour of red beans to chocolate; they are both rich & dense in colour & taste. I decided to combine redbean with cocoa in these ricecakes. These are great eaten warm.

Ingredients

40g rice flour

150g glutinous rice flour

1 egg

120ml buttermilk (or soy milk)

1 tsp baking powder

1 tsp vegetable oil

1 tsp cocoa mixed with 1 tsp water to form a paste

50g sweetened red bean paste

  1. Preheat the oven 180C/350F/Gas mark 4. Grease a 12 hole mini muffin tin.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients together.
  3. Add the eggs, buttermilk & oil. Stir well
  4. Pour 1 tsp of batter into each muffin hole. Bake for 12 mins.

5. Meanwhile, mix the cocoa paste into the batter. Remove from the oven. Put 1 tsp of redbean paste in the   middle of each rice cake, flattening slightly. Pour 1-2 tsp of the chocolate batter on top.

6.Bake for another 12 mins. Leave to cool for a few minutes before removing from the pan.

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2 responses to “Experimental Moon Cakes

  1. actually, given the splurge on maple syrup, maybe funds are already sufficiently sapped (woah…i did NOT intend that pun, but I’m almost proud), and i’m now well-prepared for THIS bean paste recipe. ok, decided. Now I will leave your blog in peace. seriously.

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