Saturday, September 29, 2007

Snowskin Mooncake

I made snowskin mooncake the other day.

I don't think I've got the skin texture right as it was a bit chewy. Next time I will add more shortening.

I like the translucency of the skin allowing the green of the pandan-flavoured lotus paste to come through. Here you can buy prepared lotus seed paste to flavour and add to your mooncake. There's even a pre-mix of the snowskin flour so all one needs to do is rub in the shortening and mix with a small amount of water to for the dough. Everything I bought from Phoon Huat bakery supplies in Holland Village.

The lotus seed paste is very thick and turns green once mixed with the pandan essence. I like how it looks like Hokusai's Wave when I mixed it.

My mooncake wrapping technique is a little shoddy. Mistakenly, I'd rolled out discs to envelope the paste and pinched it shut. I later found out that the correct technique is to form a small curved shell in one's hand, insert the filling then close it with the minimum of extra skin on the bottom.

I bought a mooncake press which makes forming and removing the mooncake so much easier, especially for hobbyists like me.

This is a far cry from the times my mother made mooncake. I remember her boiling the maltose syrup and vinegar (yuk), blanching lotus seeds, removing the inner shoot, then boiling until soft with sugar. She mashed the seeds into a paste, added oil, then let it rest for a few days to achieve the required texture.

I cut open a bag of lotus seed paste and squeezed it into a bowl to mix with the pandan essense.

My mum would oil and flour an intricately carved wooden mooncake mold, carefully press in the spherical pre-mooncake then pray as she inverted and tapped hard so that it would come out. My press makes peeling off the mooncake easy. I saw bright pink plastic mooncake molds for sale, presumably these are less prone to sticking.

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