Wednesday 23 September 2015

Easy Homemade Snowskin Mooncakes 自制冰皮月饼

My husband and I spent the whole of last weekend baking almost a hundred pieces of traditional mooncakes. We had never planned to make snowskin mooncakes for this Mid-Autumn Festival. We intended to make snowskin mooncakes only next year. However, we enjoyed the couple bonding moments so much that we decided to embark on another mooncaking project....this time Homemade Snowskin Mooncakes 自制冰皮月饼.

I never fancied Snowskin Mooncakes in the past. I find them a tad too sweet for my liking. It was for sheer aesthetic reason that enticed me into making them. I could not resist the temptation to create those sweet pastels! 

At the end of the day, we made 53 pieces of mini-sized mooncakes with our newly acquired plastic mould. Both of us were quite pleased with the result. Another new level my husband said....

There are only 5 key ingredients to make snowskin mooncakes - Fillings, Fried Glutinous Rice Flour 糕粉, Icing Sugar, Shortening, Ice Water. 
We got most of our supplies from this 老字号....quite a haven for mooncake baking supplies.

Ingredients (yield about 26 pieces mini-sized mooncakes on a 50 gm round  mould) : 
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  • 780 gm lotus paste (we chose durian flavour lotus paste)
  • 150 gm fried glutinous rice flour 糕粉
  • 140 gm icing sugar
  • 100 gm shortening
  • 170 gm ice water
  • melon seeds (optional)

(tsp = teaspoon; tbsp = tablespoon)    

Tip : The key to dislodging an almost perfect snowskin mooncake from the mould is to brush your palms and the dough with fried glutinous rice flour (糕粉) before the moulding process so that the dough would not be overly sticky and start warping in shape.

Roast melon seeds if you decide to insert them into your fillings. I usually roast the whole packet and keep them in airtight container. Pre-heat oven at 180 degrees celsius (356 degrees fahrenheit). Roast melon seeds in oven for 3 to 5 minutes till they start popping.
Determine proportions. 20gm skin, 30 gm fillings works for a 50 gm mould.  You may tweak the proportions in accordance to your personal preference.
The dough is in white originally. Choose your desired colour(s) for the snowskin mooncakes. The colourings can be applied by using food colours or natural food ingredients (e.g. green tea matcha would dye the dough green naturally). We decided on yellow colour to go with the Durian flavour lotus paste.
Sieve fried glutinous rice flour 糕粉 and icing sugar into a large bowl.
Add ice water and shortening slowly and lightly blend in the ingredients with hand.
Add just 1 or 2 drops of food colouring to obtain light pastel tone. Add more drops if you prefer a richer colour. Suggest to knead in 1-2 drops first to check if you like the tone and colour. Then add and knead progressively to your desired tone.
Lightly knead to evenly distribute the food colouring.
Wrap dough with cling wrap after kneading. Chill in refrigerator for 20 minutes (this help to set the shape better when moulding). Meanwhile, prepare fillings by rolling 26 balls at 30 gm each (including the weight of melon seeds or/and salted egg yolk).
Remove dough from refrigerator after 20 minutes. Divide them into 26 dough balls at 20 gm each.
Flatten a dough ball and wrap one filling ball into the dough.
Knead lightly to close up the dough. Always prepare one bowl of fried glutinous rice flour 糕粉 by the side so that you could add little by little to help with the kneading when dough gets sticky. 
Brush a little fried glutinous rice flour 糕粉 on the mould.
Insert final dough ball (with fillings inside) into mould and dislodge. 
The snowskin mooncake is likely to look a little 'soggy' after dislodging. This is common. The shape should set nicely when chilled. If you are really unhappy with the shape, snowskin mooncake allows the flexibility to re-mould. Just lightly roll it back into a ball and mould again.
Do not be overly excited and move the mooncakes into boxes before chill as the shapes are not set yet. Your fingers could dent the mooncakes. Suggest to chill them for at least 30 minutes before packing the mooncakes into boxes.
No regrets in making the snowskin mooncakes kawaii...
Nothing beats homemade....our labour of love once more.


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