Lava mooncakes have been so popular recently and here I’ve joined the trend to create snow skin mooncakes with similar chocolate lava filling. At first I made the lava filling with sweetened condensed milk and cocoa powder. I thought I could make it the same way I prepared my soft-centered chocolate ganache filling by freezing the filing until solid (read about my blog post, Mango Chestnut Chocolate Ganache Snow Skin Mooncakes). Sadly it didn’t work out as expected. After freezing for an entire day my filing was still soft and tacky. I ended up spooning syrupy filling into my chestnut paste. I’ve come up with a chocolate lava filling with perfect consistency after several trials. The filling will flow slowly out of the frozen mooncake within several minutes after cutting. It took a bit of practice to master how to get the liquid filling nicely sealed and enclosed. But I was very satisfied with the final result. Instead of chestnut paste, this snow skin mooncake also goes well with coffee salted caramel white bean paste (see recipe here).
The snow skin dough recipe is a bit different from the one I developed two years ago (read about my blog post, Snow Skin Mooncakes). I used a combination of sweet rice flour, rice flour and wheat starch previously. This time I’ve replaced them with Japanese sweet rice flour (Mochiko flour), rice flour and cake flour. I like the way that the dough stays soft but firm after chilling, which leaves clear indentation after stamping.
Please note that unlike traditional mooncakes, snow skin mooncakes are to be consumed after shaping without any further baking. It is necessary to maintain sanitary conditions throughout the entire process. Mooncake mold should be sterilized by rinsing with boiling water or wiping with alcohol before use. Wash hands thoroughly before and wear sterile disposable gloves during food preparation and make sure working surface is clean.
I heard that people in Hong Kong could hardly get a box of lava mooncakes as they are constantly sold out. Now that you could make some on your own! I hope you like my recipe and I wish everyone a happy Mid-Autumn Festival Holiday in advance!
Chestnut Chocolate Lava Snow Skin Mooncakes
Makes 14 50-g mooncakes
For the Chocolate Snow Skin Dough
40 g Mochiko sweet rice flour
40 g rice flour
20 g cake and pastry flour
10 g Dutch process cocoa powder
40 g icing sugar
130 g milk
30 g evaporated milk
15 g sweetened condensed milk
20 g grapeseed oil
For the Chestnut Chocolate Lava Filling
60 g sweetened condensed milk
10 g Dutch process cocoa powder
10 g water
10 g light corn syrup
350 g chestnut paste (see recipe here)
1 tsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp icing sugar
1 tsp potato starch (katakuriko) or cooked sweet rice flour
For the Snow Skin Dough 冰皮
Place Mochiko flour, rice flour, flour, cocoa powder and icing sugar in a large mixing bowl then whisk to combine. Add milk, sweetened condensed milk and evaporated milk and mix well with a whisk. Let stand for 15 minutes.
Strain mixture and pour into a shallow plate. Stir in the oil. Cover with aluminum foil and steam for 15 minutes over high heat (I steamed for 15 minutes with my steam oven). Remove and gently stir with a spatula and work the oil that floats on top into the mixture. When slightly cooled, scrape dough into a large ziplock bag and knead for a few minutes until the dough becomes shiny and smooth. Squeeze all air out of the bag and chill dough in the fridge for a minimum of three hours.
For the Chestnut Chocolate Lava Filling 栗子朱古力流心餡
In a small bowl, stir together the cocoa powder, sweetened condensed milk, water and light corn syrup until smooth. Strain mixture then cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for 30 minutes or until slightly thickens.
Shaping the Mooncakes 月餅造型
Divide the snow skin dough into 14 equal portions (about 22 g each). Shape each into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap and chill until ready to use.
Measure 24 g of chestnut paste and roll into a ball. Poke a hole in the center then fill with 1 teaspoon of chilled chocolate lava filling. Very carefully pinch the top seam together and roll gently into a ball again (it should weigh 28 g). Repeat until you make 14 of them then cover and freeze for 10 minutes.
Here’s a video (in Cantonese) showing how I fill the chestnut paste with chocolate lava.
Take a portion of the 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.
In a small bowl mix together the cocoa powder, icing sugar and potato starch. Brush a thin layer of cocoa powder mixture on the inside of a 50-g mooncake mold to prevent sticking then tap off excess. Coat a stuffed mooncake slightly with mixture then insert into the mold, seam side out. Flatten the dough slightly to fill up the mold. Place mold upright onto a piece of parchment paper then press down firmly onto the plunger for 5 seconds to make an imprint. Press the plunger down again to release the mooncake (excess powder can be brushed off once the mooncakes are frozen). Repeat with the rest of the stuffed doughs.
Keep snow skin mooncakes in an airtight container and store in the freezer. Thaw at room temperature for 15 to 20 minutes before serving.
Be very careful while handling the liquid filling. Practice more then you will get the hang of it. I put too much chocolate lava filling here and it oozed out from the top.
My first attempt. The chocolate lava could barely be frozen hard but was too thick after thawing. Both snow skin dough and chestnut paste were too soft.
I made the snow skin dough a bit stiffer on my second attempt. The chestnut paste was a bit too soft so it was hard for me to keep the liquid filling enclosed.
I stiffened the chestnut paste a bit and made the chocolate lava more liquidy. Top left: cutting the mooncake at the frozen stage. Top right: after thawing for 2 minutes, the chocolate lava starts to melt. Bottom left: after 5 minutes of thawing the lava is oozing out gradually. Bottom right: after 10 minutes, frost from the mooncake surface is all gone.
I tried to cut a thawed-but-still-cool snow skin mooncake in half but the chocolate lava was sticking to the blade. If cut frozen noting sticks.
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