This was what I shared on my Facebook Page last year (read about it here) when I made my snow skin mooncakes . I’ve never had a chance (or perhaps I was just too lazy) to blog about it. The main reason for preparing my own filling is that store bought chestnut paste is horribly sweet. When I first made it I purchased shelled chestnuts from the grocery store. I peeled each of them after scoring and then roasting them in the oven but only to find out that the entire process was too time-consuming. At the end I opted for skinned ones simply to make my life easier and to give my fingers a break.
One advantage of making fillings from scratch is that I have control over all the ingredients. I used organic chestnuts and sweetened them with demerara sugar. A splash of vanilla bean paste was added to enhance the flavor. If you examine the filling closely you can even see specks of vanilla beans! Chestnut paste is a versatile filling and I’ve used this for snow skin mooncakes and bread. Unused filling can be stored in freezer bag and frozen for longer storage. Simply thaw before use.
Chestnut Paste 栗子餡
Yields about 300 g
200 g chestnuts, peeled
Water as needed
3 Tbsp Demerara sugar (or to taste)
3 Tbsp grapeseed oil (can be replaced with any light tasting cooking oil)
1 Tbsp wheat starch
1/2 tsp vanilla bean paste
原蔗糖 (甜度可自行增減 ) 3湯匙
葡萄籽油 (或任何淡味食油) 3湯匙
Place rinsed chestnuts in a saucepan. Fill pot with enough water so the chestnuts are covered. Bring water to a boil then simmer over medium-low heat until chestnuts are very tender, adding more water as needed. Drain then add in demerara sugar and cook until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat.
With an immersion blender, blender or food processor, pulse chestnuts until smooth and creamy. If the mixture is too thick, adding a little bit of water 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 chestnut 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..
Add wheat starch and 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 vanilla bean paste 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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