This is the second flavor that I developed for my nerikiri mooncakes this year (read about my first flavor in the blog post, Sugar-Free Matcha and Red Bean Nerikiri Mooncakes). These no-bake mooncakes are similar to Japanese confectionery but a lot less sweet. Both the crust and filling are made with sweet white bean paste. The crust has soft mochi paste “Gyūhi” added for more flexibility. Chocolate and coffee are always a perfect pair. I used dutch process cocoa powder here as it gives a darker color as well as a more chocolaty and smoother flavor. If unsweetened cocoa powder is the only cocoa powder that is in your pantry, it is okay too. Just that the color will be somewhat lighter. The taste will be milder as well.
Chocolate Espresso Nerikiri Mooncakes (Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free, Nut-Free)
For 50 g mold, makes 8
For the Sweet White Bean Paste
200 g dried white kidney beans
80 g granulated sugar (I used organic cane sugar)
40 g light corn syrup
40 g grapeseed oil
2 g salt
For the Espresso White Bean Paste
240 sweet white bean paste
2 tsp instant espresso powder
For the Chocolate Nerikiri Dough
8 g glutinous rice flour
8 g icing sugar
13 g water
150 g sweet white bean paste
6 g dutch process cocoa powder
For the Sweet White Bean Paste 白豆沙餡
Rinse dried white kidney beans then place in a pot. Add enough water to cover the beans. Bring water to a boil and simmer over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Pour beans over a strainer and rinse them under cold running water. Drain and place beans back into the pot, add water and repeat this cooking process two more times. Drain well then peel off and discard the skin of each bean. Rinse and drain the hulled beans again.
**This pre-cooking step serves to soften the skin quickly without the need of soaking overnight. It also helps to remove any impurities and bitter flavor from the beans.
Stove top method: place drained beans in a pot and add enough water to cover the beans. Bring to a boil then simmer over medium-low heat until beans are tender, about 1 hour. Check water level occasionally to make sure the beans are always covered in water. Skim off any foam that floats on top during the cooking process.
Electric pressure cooker method: place drained beans in the inner pot of Instant Pot and fill with enough water so that the beans are covered by half an inch of water. Close the lid and turn the steam release handle to sealing position. Press the “bean” button once or press “manual/pressure cook” and adjust to cook at high pressure for 30 minutes. When the timer beeps, press “cancel” and let pressure release naturally (about 10 minutes). Carefully remove the lid.
電子壓力鍋煮法：把瀝乾的白雲豆放入Instant Pot內鍋，注入蓋過豆約半寸的清水，關上鍋蓋把排氣閥調整到密封“sealing”位置，按”bean”鍵或按“manual/pressure cook” 鍵選擇高壓煮30分鐘，煮好後按“cancel”等待自然放壓(約10分鐘)，小心打開蓋子。
Drain beans and discard the liquid. Press the cooked beans through a sieve to make a smooth puree.
Heat one tablespoon of oil in a non-stick pan or wok over medium heat. Add bean puree, salt, sugar and corn syrup and stir to combine. With constant stirring, cook mixture until thickened over medium-low heat. Stir in remaining oil in two batches and add more only when the oil is absorbed. Keep cooking and stirring until the paste is firm and clumps together without sticking to the side of the pan and the spatula. Remove from heat. Transfer to a shallow plate and flatten the bean paste to speed up cooling. Press a plastic wrap directly over the surface of the bean paste to prevent drying out. Cool to room temperature before use.
**Make ahead and let the bean paste rest in the fridge overnight for a smoother consistency
For the Espresso White Bean Paste 特濃咖啡豆沙餡
In a bowl, mix together the sweet white bean paste and instant espresso powder with a spatula until well combined. Divide into 8 equal portions of approximately 30 g each. Cover with plastic wrap and keep refrigerated. Freeze for 20 minutes before shaping.
**For espresso powder with large granules, dissolve it in a tiny amount of hot water first
**Using semi-frozen bean paste will make the shaping process easier
For the Chocolate Nerikiri Dough 朱古力練切外皮
Stir glutinous rice flour and icing sugar together in a small bowl. Add water and mix to form a smooth mixture. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds or cook by steaming until the mixture forms a soft dough (Gyūhi). Add ⅓ of the sweet white bean paste and stir to combine. Add remaining sweet white bean paste and stir to form a soft dough (Nerikiri) that can be shaped with your hands. Stir in cocoa powder until homogeneous. If the dough is very sticky then heat over low heat to evaporate more moisture then knead until the dough is cool to the touch. Divide the dough into 8 equal portions around 20 to 22 g each. Shape each into a ball. Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.
For Shaping 月餅造型
Take a portion of nerikiri dough and flatten into a disc that is slightly thinner around the edges. With the smoother side of the dough facing down, place a ball of espresso 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 smooth ball again. Repeat with remaining portions.
**The nerikiri dough should be very soft but not sticky. If the dough cracks when flattened then readjust the consistency by kneading in a drop (or two drops) of drinking water into the dough.
Insert a stuffed mooncake into a 50-g mooncake mold, seam side out. Flatten the dough slightly to fill up the mold. Place mold upright onto a parchment paper lined work surface then press down onto the plunger several times to make an imprint. Press the plunger down again to release the mooncake. Repeat with the rest of the dough. The mooncakes are ready to serve or be packaged.
**The dough shouldn’t be sticking to the mold. If the mooncake doesn’t release from the mold after the plunger is pressed, tilt the mold and tap it on the table several times and the mooncake should fall right out. If the mold must be coated, use only potato starch (katakuriko) or cooked glutinous rice flour.
Store the mooncakes in the fridge and consume within a week. For longer storage, keep them in an airtight container in the freezer no longer than a month and thaw at room temperature or defrost in the microwave with low power before serving.
If the nerikiri dough cracks around the edges when flattened then it is too dry. Readjust the consistency by kneading in a little bit of drinking water.
Both nerikiri mooncakes were made without any eggs, dairy, gluten and nuts.
If you want to republish this recipe, please link back to this post.
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