This was my first attempt at making crispy mooncakes. Recipe for the crust was adapted from the egg custard mooncake recipe created by Chef Yip, the former Dim Sum Consultant at Spring Moon of The Peninsula Hong Kong. I tweaked the recipe by using demerara sugar and all purpose flour. I’ve also incorporated sea salt and vanilla bean paste to make the crust more flavorful. Like most of my cookies, I continued to use the reverse creaming method here. Not only does this nontraditional method minimize the formation of gluten development, but the preparation time is also quicker (read more about this method in my blog post Brown Butter Almond Cookies). The pastry crust is so flaky and buttery. My friends who tried the mooncakes all raved about them.
今年EC首次試作酥皮月餅，餅皮配方參考了半島酒店嘉麟樓前點心顧問葉潤發師傅的脆皮奶黃月餅，EC改用了原蔗糖及中筋麵粉，也在麵糰加入海鹽和雲尼拿醬增添味道。攪拌方法是EC常用的reverse creaming method，這個非傳統的攪拌方法可減少麵糰出筋的機會，製作時間亦較短(詳情可參考雙色焦牛油曲奇)。餅皮充滿牛油香，質地也十分鬆化，EC的朋友試味後也大讚好吃。
The amount of sugar in the crust has been reduced; however, the butter content is pretty heavy. As a healthier substitute of the egg custard, I chose sweet potato as the filling. Roasted sweet potatoes are naturally sweet. A small amount of sugar and coconut oil is what you need to transform it into a smooth and creamy filling.
I didn’t start making mooncakes at home until last year. I’ve encountered problems like cracked, burst or deformed crust, as well as ruined pattern on the surface. From my previous trials, I believe the temperature control for both the oven and the mooncakes themselves is crucial for successful mooncakes. The crust will form into shape faster at a higher oven temperature, preventing the crust from deforming. Chilling the mooncakes thoroughly prior to baking, on the other hand, will prevent the crust from bursting, cracking, or melting too fast. The pre-cooked filling won’t get too hot and expand within the crust, the major cause for cracks in the mooncakes. I prefer all purpose flour for my cookies because of the nice crunch it gives. Because of a higher gluten content, all purpose flour actually retains the mooncake pattern better compared to cake and pastry flour. Egg wash should be brushed on lightly only after the mooncakes have cooled down slightly. Otherwise, the pattern on the surface will be smeared easily. Hope my above tips help with a successful mooncake journey!
Crispy Coconut Sweet Potato Mooncakes
Makes 15 mini mooncakes
For the Pastry Crust
225 g all-purpose flour, plus extra for dusting
9 g custard powder
9 g organic coconut flour
45 g fine demerara sugar
1/8 tsp sea salt
115 g cold unsalted butter, cubed
26 g egg
23 g evaporated milk
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
For the Filling
For the Egg Wash & Glaze
1/2 large egg, beaten and strained
Honey or Golden Syrup as needed
For the Pastry Crust 月餅曲奇皮
Sift flour, custard powder, coconut flour, sugar and salt into a mixing bowl. Whisk to combine.
Add in cold butter cubes. With a hand mixer or stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix on low speed until the mixture resembles bread crumbs or wet sand. Use a large mixing bowl and cut the butter into even smaller pieces if hand mixer is used in order to prevent the ingredients from flying around.
Add egg, whipping cream and vanilla paste then mix with low speed until several large clumps form. Gather clumps and lightly press them together to form a dough. Shape dough into a log then wrap with plastic wrap. Let rest in the fridge for an hour.
For Shaping 造型
Divide the purple sweet potato paste into 8 portions and sweet potato paste into 7 portions (all 20 g each). Shape each into a ball and chill thoroughly before use. Divide the pastry crust dough into 15 equal portions (30 g each). Shape each into a ball. Set aside.
Take a portion of dough and flatten into a disc between two pieces of plastic wrap. The dough should be slightly thinner around the edges. Remove plastic wraps and place a ball of filling in the middle. Wrap then seal edges by pinching them together. I held the dough with one hand and used my purlicue (the space between my thumb and my forefinger) of the other hand to seal the edges while turning the dough slightly. Shape the stuffed dough into a ball again. Repeat with remaining portions.
Brush a thin layer of flour on the inside of a 50-g mooncake mold to prevent sticking then tap off excess flour. Coat a stuffed mooncake slightly with flour then insert into the mold, seam side out. Flatten the dough slightly to fill up the mold. Place mold upright onto a parchment paper lined baking tray then press down firmly onto the plunger for 5 seconds to make an imprint. Press the plunger down again to release the mooncake. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Chill shaped mooncakes for at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400℉/200℃ for 15 minutes before baking. Remove mooncakes from the fridge and bake for 8 minutes. Cool on a cooling rack for 5 minutes. Brush surface with a thin layer of egg wash then let dry for 10 minutes. Brush on another coat of egg wash. Bake for 6 more minutes until lightly golden brown. For a darker color pattern, cool for 10 minutes then brush on the syrup. Broil for 2 more minutes to caramelize the top. Do not leave the oven unattended and pay close attention to the color change. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes. If the color of the bottom of the mooncakes is too pale or soft then flip the mooncakes upside down and bake for 2 to 3 minutes more at 375ºF/190ºC. Transfer to a cooling rack to cool completely.
The mooncakes are best eaten within two days. For longer storage, keep them in the fridge no longer than a week and warm in a 350ºF/175ºC preheated oven for 5 to 8 minutes.
The inside of the mooncakes. I also shaped a few into a rabbit.
Brushing the surface with honey or syrup then caramelizing the top makes the pattern more prominent.
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