Traditional Baked Mooncakes filled with sesame seed or red bean paste and salted egg yolk.…
No more raw or hardened snowskin mooncakes. Make these soft, fully cooked, not your usual Pandan Snowskin Mooncakes. Also a rehash if you have leftovers.
Bing Pi Yue Bing (冰皮月饼) or snowskin mooncakes are a more recent creation. Also known as crystal/ice skin mooncakes, they are a non-bake mooncake usually eaten cold or at room temperature. In Hongkong, the snowskin dough is made by steaming the glutinous rice flour mixture. It is then cooled and “hardened” in the refrigerator before molding into cakes. In Malaysia and Singapore, kao fen (糕粉) or cooked glutinous rice flour is used instead. Thus, eliminating the need to cook the dough. The technique is different but the results are basically the same.
Both versions are kept refrigerated until just before serving. For this reason, they only last a few days. That said, usually after the second day, the skin tend to harden and become very chewy and there is no getting around this. Refrigeration dries out the skin or they just simple grow stale. The best thing to do then is to make them in small batches and consume within a day or two.
Kao fen (糕粉) or cooked glutinous rice flour is an essential ingredient in the making of snowskin mooncakes. In Malaysia and Singapore, snowskin premix and kao fen are easily available. I had good results making these Snowskin Mooncake Piggies using snowskin premix. Unfortunately, snowskin premix is not available here in the US.
Recently, I was super excited when I came across prepackaged cooked glutinous rice flour. Sadly though, the scent of flour was such a put off that I threw away the dough I had mixed. That leaves us here with little choice but to cook our own flour. If you are interested to do that, you may want to check out my Kuih Bangkit (Tapioca Cookies) recipe. Instead of stir frying the tapioca flour in a wok on the stove, I baked it in a slow oven. I have not had a chance to test it out yet but that same method can possibly be used to cook the glutinous rice flour.
Anyway, during a recent chat with some friends, I had mentioned that I was experimenting with making my own snowskin mooncakes from scratch. One of them was very interested and offered to cook the glutinous rice flour. She said that she cooks her tapioca flour for Kuih Bangkit (Tapioca Cookies) in the microwave and she will do the same for the glutinous rice flour.
We set up a time and I went over to her house two days later. I brought my recipe and mooncake mold. We decided to double the recipe so that we will have 12 mooncakes. We tried a dough to filling ratio of close to 1:2, that is 45g dough to 80g filling. It was very difficult to work with. Unlike Traditional Baked Mooncakes where cake flour with gluten is used, a ratio of 1:2.5 is possible. In the end, we had to increase the weight of the dough to 50g. We managed to make 10 mooncakes.
After all the trouble of molding the cakes, the snowskin felt raw and uncooked. We were disappointed but did not wanting to dump those beautifully formed cakes. I suggested that we steam them and I am glad we did. They were so pretty and quite translucent. Lovely color too! The skin was very tender when it was still a little warm. It reminded me of angku kuih (red tortoise cake), something I have on my to-do list like forever. I really need to get on with it soon. 🙂
While these Pandan Snowskin Mooncakes are not the “traditional” snowskin mooncakes per se, I think they turned out quite well and I have decided to share them with you today. I further tweaked the recipe to make the dough easier to handle and flavored it with fragrant pandan paste. This time I used a dough to filling ratio of close to 1:1.5, that is 55g dough to 80g filling. If you prefer a more translucent cake, you can try using 50g of dough to 80g of filling.
These fully cooked Pandan Snowskin Mooncakes are best eaten the day they are steamed. Allow them to cool before cutting and serving. Store uncooked mooncakes in an air tight container for up to 3 days and steam when ready to serve. If for whatever reason, you have leftover cooked mooncakes, rehash by pan frying them with a little oil in a non-stick fry pan. They are delicious with a slightly crispy skin and soft gooey filling. YUM! 🙂
- You will also need a 125g mooncake mold and 6 pieces of round 3½ inch (9 cm) diameter parchment paper.
- Divide lotus seed and black sesame seed paste into 6 equal portions of 80g each. Roll into a ball and set aside.
- Combine water and pandan paste in a measuring cup. Mix well.
- Combine glutinous rice flour, powdered (icing) sugar, and vegetable oil in a large bowl. Pour in the prepared colored and flavored water.
- Mix to form a soft, oily dough. If it is too wet, add a little more glutinous rice flour.
- Divide dough into 6 equal portions of 55g each. Reserve any remaining for patching if needed.
- Flour your work surface and palms with glutinous rice flour. Dust mooncake mold with glutinous rice flour.
- Flatten a ball of dough into a circle of about 3 inches in diameter on your palm. Place a ball of filling in the center and wrap dough over the filling. Roll between your palms to form a smooth ball.
- Place ball of dough and filling into the mooncake mold. Press gently to conform to the mold.
- Overturn the mold onto a piece of prepared round parchment paper. Press the spring stamp down to form and shape the mooncake. Then slide the mold up to release the formed mooncake.
- Place mooncake in a steaming rack. Repeat with remaining dough and filling.
- Prepare and steamer with sufficient water at the base. Bring water to a boil. Place steaming rack over the water. Place a clean kitchen towel over the top to prevent water from dripping onto the mooncakes. Place lid over the towel and steam mooncakes for 10 minutes.
- Remove and allow mooncakes to cool before cutting and serving.