Traditional Baked Mooncakes filled with sesame seed or red bean paste and salted egg yolk. A must-have for the Mooncake/Mid-Autumn Festival.
When I was growing up, there was only one kind of mooncake – the golden brown skin type filled with lotus seed paste, red bean paste, or mixed fruit and nuts. The deluxe version came with double salted egg yolks. Today, there are so many different versions of pastry and filling it boggles the mind. Some are better than others but these good old Traditional Baked Mooncakes are still my absolute favorite.
Traditional Foods Eaten During Mooncake Festival
When my brothers and I were little, mom bought one or two of those cute little too kia na (or the fish version) more as an ornament than as food. She also prepared Boiled Baby Taro served with sugar and boiled leng kak (water calthrop). No Mooncake Festival was complete without these three snacks.
Homemade Red Bean Paste and Salted Egg Yolks
Traditional Baked Mooncakes are not difficult to make especially with commercially available lotus seed and red bean paste. These are easily available at most bakery supply stores in Malaysia and Singapore. Here is the US, I am able to purchase them at most Asian grocery stores at a very reasonable price. Hence, homemade mooncakes are just a fraction of the cost of commercially prepared ones. I also think they taste much fresher than ones in those fancy tin boxes.
Also check out my Salted Eggs recipe if you are thinking of putting them in these mooncakes. I prefer to make my own and seldom buy the commercially available ones unless I am pinched for time.
To make mooncakes, you do need mooncake molds and these may be purchased at the same bakery supply stores or online. Mooncake glaze is a nice to have but can be omitted if not available. I have used the same dough recipe for the past four years with good results. I hope you will give a try.
Similar Products Used in Making These Traditional Baked Mooncakes
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- 12 salted egg yolks or however many you prefer, optional
- 1 tsp Shao Hsing cooking wine (1 tsp for every 4 salted egg yolks)
- 17.6 oz lotus seed paste (500g)
- 17.6 oz red bean paste (500g)
- 2 oz toasted kuachi / melon seeds or sunflower seeds (56g)
- You will also need a 125g mooncake mold.
- Combine golden syrup, canola oil, and alkaline water in a small bowl or measuring cup.
- Sift cake flour into a large bowl. Make a well in the center. Pour syrup mixture into well and mix with a spatula to form a soft dough. Cover and let it rest for 30 minutes.
- Place salted egg yolks in a small dish. Drizzle Shao Hsing rice wine over the egg yolks. Cover with aluminum foil and steam for 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from steamer and pat dry egg yolks with paper towels and allow them to cool completely.
- Mix 1 oz (28g) toasted kuachi/sunflower seeds into the lotus seed paste and the 1 oz (28g) into the red bean paste. Form into 12 balls of approximately 90g each. If you are using salted egg yolks, then the lotus seed or red bean paste should be about 80g each. Flatten the ball and wrap the cooked salted egg yolk in the middle. Roll between your palms to form a ball.
- Lightly dust working surface with cake flour. Knead dough until smooth adding a little cake flour if necessary. Divide into 12 portions of 35g to 40g each.
- Take a portion of the dough and pat into a circle of about 4 inches (10cm). Wrap the dough over a ball of filling. Roll between your two palms to smoothen.
- Dust mooncake mold with cake flour. Place the ball of dough and filling in the mold. Flatten to conform to the shape of the mold.
- Place mold onto a parchment lined tray and carefully press spring stamp down to get a nice pattern on the top. Gently and carefully lift the mold to release the mooncake onto the tray. Repeat with the remaining dough and filling.
- Bake in a preheated 375°F (190°C) oven for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and allow mooncakes to cool for 5 minutes. Brush mooncakes all over with egg wash and return to oven for another 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown.
- Remove from oven and brush on some mooncake glaze just on the top of mooncakes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
- Store in airtight containers for one to two days before serving.
Traditional Baked Mooncakes should be kept in air tight containers for a day or two before serving. This will allow the crust to soften and deepen in color and the flavor to develop. Be patient as somethings are better with a little waiting. 😉
A Little Fun with Leftover Dough
I had a little leftover dough and so I molded it into a carp using the only plastic fish mold I had on hand. If only I had one of those little red baskets to put it in. 😉