I have been making mooncake fillings these couple of days (read about my sugar-free lotus seed paste here and coffee salted caramel white bean paste here). I’m sharing with you today how I made my red bean paste. This is a modified version of the red bean paste I used for my snowskin mooncakes last year. My secret ingredients are maltose and red bean powder, both of which made the red bean paste more flavorful. My red bean powder is a Taiwanese brand. It consists of pure red bean in a powdered form with no additives. If this is not available then cooked sweet rice flour may be substituted.
Another thing worth mentioning is about the amount of oil used. Being health-conscious, I attempted to add only a small amount of oil in my red bean paste last year. Sadly, that didn’t work out for me as the paste was so dry and crumbly! Then I realized (after several failures) that the smooth mouthfeel of the paste was determined by the amount of oil used. I simply had to accept the fact that red bean paste with a smooth and creamy texture would not be too healthy… My temporary solution was to make mini-sized mooncakes so the oil intake would be limited. Read about my blog post Red Bean Mooncakes here.
Sweet Red Bean Paste
Makes about 550 g
200 g red beans (I used organic red beans)
80 g demerara sugar
2 Tbsp maltose
4 to 6 Tbsp grapeseed oil (4 Tbsp is the minimum or else the texture will be dry and crumbly)
2 Tbsp red bean powder (may be replaced with cooked sweet rice flour)
紅豆 200克 (EC用有機紅豆)
葡萄籽油 4至6湯匙 (不要少過4湯匙，否則豆沙會很乾)
Rinse red beans and soak them in water for 3 hours to overnight. Discard any beans that float on top. Drain well then place them in a pot. Fill pot with enough water to cover the beans. Bring water to a boil then simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes to remove any impurities and bitter flavor. Drain well.
Return drained beans to the pot. Add enough water to cover the beans. Bring water to a boil. Reduce to low heat then simmer for about one hour or until the beans are soft and tender. Pay attention to the water level and add more water if needed. Pour water out of the pan while reserving the cooking liquid. Stir in the sugar and maltose. When the sugar is dissolved the beans will become liquidy again. Remove from heat.
With an immersion blender, blender or food processor, pulse softened red beans until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick, adding a little bit of the reserved cooking liquid would help. Add liquid only as necessary since too much liquid will make the puree too thin which results in longer drying process.
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a non-stick wok over medium heat. Add in the pureed bean and stir with a spatula until combined. Cook with constant stirring until the paste gets thickened. Reduce to low heat and stir in the remaining oil a tablespoon a time, adding more only after the oil gets incorporated.
Continue cooking and stirring until the paste clumps together and no longer sticks to the side of the wok and the spatula. Stir in the red bean powder or flour then remove from heat. Cool completely before use. The paste can be stored in an air-tight container and kept in the fridge for two weeks.
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