I want my family and friends who are diabetic to enjoy some special treats during this Mid-Autumn Festival. Therefore I have been experimenting with sugar-free mooncakes since August. I made the mooncake crust with agave nectar last year. This year I tested it with oligosaccharide syrup and sweetened the filling with xylitol. Both ingredients are considered diabetic friendly as they won’t cause a raise in the blood sugar.
The mooncakes were made without any added sugar. However, the main ingredients of the mooncake dough and filling, namely flour and lotus seeds respectively, do contain carbohydrates. People with diabetes should read the food label before enjoying any treats labeled as “sugar-free” or “no sugar added”.
The ratio of the dough to filling provided below is 1 to 4. This is the traditional ratio and the dough has to be rolled thinly, like paper-thin. I had a hard time covering the filling with this small amount of dough at first but after some practice I’ve started to get the hang of it. I didn’t add any kansui to my dough so the color didn’t look as dark (read about my post Red Bean Mooncakes for a discussion of the function of kansui). The color of the lotus seed paste also looked paler than one made with cane sugar. I will attach a picture for comparison at the end of this blog post.
Traditional Cantonese Mooncakes (No Sugar Added)
Makes 10 mini mooncakes (50 g each)
For the Dough
53 g all purpose flour， plus extra for dusting
15 g grapeseed oil
33 g oligosaccharide syrup
For the Filling
350 g sugar-free lotus bean paste (see recipe here)
5 salted preserved egg yolks, halved
1 tsp rose flavored cooking wine
For the Egg Wash
1 large egg yolk
1/2 large egg white
For the Dough 月餅皮
In a large bowl combine oligosaccharide syrup and grapeseed oil. Add sifted flour and fold gently with a spatula to form a dough. Shape into a log then wrap with plastic wrap. Let rest in the fridge for an hour.
For the Egg Wash 掃面用蛋液
In a small bowl whisk together the egg white and yolk until combined. Strain then set aside.
For the Filling 餡料
Rinse egg yolks under running water and pat dry. Stir in rose flavored wine. Steam for 7 to 8 minutes. Let cool then divide each in half.
Divide lotus seed paste into 10 portions (each should has a total weight of 40 g with a halved egg yolk). Roll each into a ball shape. Poke a hole in the middle with your thumb then place a halved egg yolk inside. Seal and shape into a ball again. Repeat with the remaining lotus seed paste and yolks.
To Shape the Mooncakes 月餅造型
Divide the mooncake dough into 10 equal portions (10 g each). Roll each into a ball. Take a portion of dough and roll it out between two pieces of plastic wraps into a thin disc that is slightly thinner around the edges. Remove plastic wraps and place a ball of filling in the center. 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. Poke air pocket, if any, with a toothpick. Repeat with remaining portions.
Brush a thin layer of flour on the inside of the mooncake mold to prevent sticking then tap off excess flour. Coat stuffed dough slightly with flour. Insert dough 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 15 minutes. In the meantime, preheat oven to 400℉/200℃.
Spray mooncakes with water to prevent the surface from cracking. Bake for 8 minutes to set the crust. Remove and let cool for 10 minutes. With a small pastry brush, brush surface with a thin layer of egg wash. Let dry for 10 minutes then brush on a second coat of egg wash. Continue baking at 350℉/175℃ for another 10 to 12 minutes or until the mooncakes are golden brown. Cool completely on a cooling rack.
Store mooncakes in an air-tight container for two to three days so the oil can seep through the skin of the mooncakes. When the skin becomes soft and shiny the mooncakes are ready to be served.
My other attempt at sugar free mooncakes. The dough was a bit too soft and tacky. The amount of oil was reduced later.
Lotus seed paste flavored with demerara sugar has a darker color and a nice aroma.