【Cantonese-style Mooncake with Taro filling】
Mooncake is a Chinese traditional dessert for celebrating Mid-Autumn Festival, one of the most important holidays in the Chinese calendar. This year it falls on Monday Sept. 8. There are two major styles of mooncakes: Cantonese- and Suzhou-style. This recipe is Cantonese-style, known for its beautiful shape with clear and exquisite pattern on crust. This time I made sweet taro filling, excellent.
Cook time: 25 minutes
Stand time: 2 weeks
Serves: 17 servings
Syrup (or Golden syrup):
1) 4 cups sugar (800 g), 1¼ cup water (290g), 2 large lemons cut into cubes, 2 tbsp white vinegar;
2) ¼ tsp baking soda, 2 tsp water, mix well;
3) 1 big taro, peeled and diced (1250g net), 1.5 cup water (360g);
4) 1 ½ cups sugar (312g), ½ cup corn oil (90);
5) 1/2 tsp baking soda, 1 tbsp water;
6) 2/3 cup syrup, 1/4 cup corn oil (48g);
7) 1.5 cup all-purpose flour (235g);
8) 1 egg yolk and 1 tbsp water, mix well.
1: Add all ingredients of Ingredient 1) in a medium sauce pot; bring to a boil on high heat. Reduce heat to low, simmer until temperature reaches 226F/108C then remove from heat. Slowly stir in soda water of Ingredient 2). Set aside to cool then filter out lemon pieces. Store the syrup in a clean glass container for 2 weeks before use.
2: Peel, rinse and dice taro into 1 in cubes (Picture 1) and place them in a non-stick pot (Picture 2). Add 1.5 cup water. Cover the lid and bring to boil on high heat, reduce to medium low heat and simmer for 25 minutes until the taro is fully cooked.
3: Mash cooked taro with back of wooden spoon, add all ingredients of Ingredient 4) (Picture 3), stir and cook until taro filling stick together and no water vapor is produced (Picture 4). Let it cool, knead on a clean surface for a few minutes then divide into 17 equal portions (80g each). Form into balls (Picture 5) with your palms and set aside.
4: Combine all ingredients of Ingredient 5) in a container and mix well. Add the syrup (Picture 6, last year syrup) and flour of Ingredient 7) (Picture 7), combine all ingredients with a fork to form very soft and sticky dough (Picture 8). Cover with plastic wrap and let it stand for 30-60 minutes.
5: In a floured surface, shape dough into a 1.5 cm log and divide into 17 equal portions (22g each). Press each portion into a circle about 6 cm in diameter; place a taro filling ball on top. With both hands, gently push up the dough to cover the taro ball (Picture 9) until completely cover the taro ball (Picture 10). Lightly dust the mooncake ball with flour, then place it underneath the mooncake mold. Press down and release the handler (Picture 11); the mooncake is formed. Repeat for the remaining 16 portions and gently brush off flour on mooncake top.
6: Preheat oven to 395F/200C, place mooncakes on a parchment paper lined baking sheet (Picture 12). Bake for 6 minute and gently brush with egg wash (Picture 13). Reduce to 340F/170 and bake for 7 minutes. Brush with egg wash again, then bake for another 5 minutes. Broil low for 2-5 minutes until the surface turns light golden brown (Picture 14). Store cooled mooncake in an airtight container for a couple of days before serving.