These things are so expensive in Asian supermarkets, you’d think they require hours of intense labor.
Usually, mooncakes are made with somewhat exotic ingredients (golden syrup and lye water) and with even more exotic kitchen tools (namely, a special mooncake press).
But look, my kitchen is currently located forty minutes away from the nearest Asian grocery store, and the tectonic plates aren’t shifting quickly enough for me to wait. So I had to improvise.
Admittedly, this mooncake doesn’t taste exactly like authentic Chinese mooncakes, mostly because of the mung bean filling. It’d be better if you could go out and buy prepared mooncake filling, or at least try and research a real mooncake filling recipe.
Eventually I’ll attempt this again and actually try to make it more authentic.
But as long as my family keeps devouring all of these in one day, it ain’t happening.
Notes: This was adapted from this here recipe on my favorite Chinese recipe website. If you want more authentic mooncakes, buy pre-made mooncake filling or look up a real mung bean paste recipe. Personally, I don’t mind a slightly different taste, because this paste is so darn easy. (My version tastes more mung-bean-y than the real thing.) Also, use golden syrup if you have it at hand, and lye water if you have that too. Otherwise, join me on the improvisation train.
This recipe makes 8 medium-sized mooncakes.
Taste & Texture: The crust of this mooncake is just a little bit sweet and somewhat chewy. The paste is thick and tastes like lightly sweetened mung beans. Probably because that’s what it is. Nothing about this is overpowering, which is refreshing.
For the dough:
- 1 1/4 cup flour
- 1/8 cup oil
- Choose one:
- 1/3 cup corn syrup
- 1/3 cup golden syrup
- Choose one:
- 1/4 tsp baking soda dissolved in 1/4 tsp water
- 1/2 tsp lye water (lye:water in a 1:3 ratio)
For the filling:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked mung beans
- 1/3 cup white sugar
- 1 tbsp butter
- dash of salt
1. Combine all dough ingredients. Add in flour last, and add as much as you need to form a slightly sticky, oily dough. Knead a little; this is your chance to pretend like you’re a cat. Now let it sit for 1 hour, at least. Cats have patience, remember.
2. Puree all the filling ingredients.
3. Microwave (or heat on stove) until it’s a nice thick paste. It took me 6 minutes in the microwave, on high. Stir occasionally.
4. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Now assemble your mooncakes.
5. Now form the shape. If you have a mooncake press, now is the time to whip it out as you sing your life’s theme song in your most obnoxious manner. I don’t have a theme song, so instead I did a square shape because I figured it’d be easier than a perfect circle.
6. Bake in oven for 13-15 minutes. At 5 minutes, take it out and brush some egg wash (1 egg, whisked) over it. Don’t forget to put it back in.
This is the finished product.
It was yummy.
No big deal.
I deserve 50 Asian points for this.