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Mooncakes with Sweet Red Bean Filling (Banh Trung Thu / Banh Nuong Nhan Dau Do)

This is a follow-up to my earlier post on Mooncakes.  In keeping with a more traditional recipe, these sumptuous baked treats have a sweet red bean filling.  Depending on where you live, finding mooncake molds can be challenging.  In the below video recipe, I show you how to make mooncakes using a silicone mini pan.  These mini pans are easy to find in stores and online and come in all sorts of cute shapes and sizes.  They work really well and are great substitutes when you don’t have the mooncake molds but still want to make and enjoy these wonderful cakes.

Some Notes:

General rule:  the filling to dough ratio is 2:1.

In the video, I use a Wilton Silicone Mini Leaf and Pumpkin Mold.  The proportions are:

Filling: 2 1/2 oz or approximately 75 grams
Dough: 1 1/4 oz or approximately 38 grams

The traditional mooncake mold I use is 63-75 grams.  The proportions are:

Filling:  1 3/4 oz or approximately 50 grams
Dough:  7/8 oz or approximately 25 grams

Check-out the Piggy Mooncakes recipe I shared earlier for more helpful tips.

Watch the video below for instruction.

Ingredients

for the Filling:
1 cup dried red beans
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup sugar (adjust to your taste)
1 tsp vanilla sugar
1 Tbsp peanut oil

for the Dough:
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup cake flour
1/3 cup syrup
2 Tbsp peanut oil
1 egg yolk

for Rolling the Cakes:
1/4 cup all-purpose flour

for the Egg Wash:
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Directions

Rinse red beans with cool water several times until water is clear.  Add beans into a large pot along with the salt.  Fill pot halfway with water.  Cover pot and bring to a boil over high heat.  Once boiling, remove lid and stir.  Cover and simmer over Low heat for 30 minutes or until beans are soft.  (You should be able to easily smash a bean between your thumb and forefinger.)

Scoop out the red beans using a slotted spoon and reserve the liquid.  Add sugar and vanilla sugar and combine well.  Add beans into a food processor.  For every 1 cup of the beans add 1/3 cup of the liquid from cooking the beans.  Puree until smooth and creamy.  Do the same for the remainder of the beans.

Spoon filling into a pan.  Add vegetable oil to the filling.   Cook the pureed beans over Low heat stirring constantly.  Initially the filling is soft, wet and spreadable.  After 5-7 minutes the filling dries out and starts to pull away from the pan.  After another 3-4 minutes the filling sticks together resembling a dough.  (Total cooking time is approximately 10 minutes.)  Remove from the heat and allow to cool until it can be handled.  Roll into balls depending on the size of your pan.  Cover with plastic wrap until ready to use.

Sift together all-purpose flour and cake flour.  In a small bowl or cup add syrup, oil and egg yolk.  Mix together until evenly blended.  Make a well in the flour and slowly pour in the syrup mixture.  Using a fork, combine the flour and syrup mixture together by stirring in circles from the edge of the bowl to the center.  After a minute, a soft dough forms.  Continue stirring until all the dry flour is worked into the dough.  Gently knead the dough a few times with your hands.  Don’t overwork the dough.  Wrap in plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.

Position oven rack in the middle of the oven.  Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit.

Line a tray with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mator parchment paper.

Sift the remaining 1/4 cup of all-purpose flour.  (This is used to roll the cakes.)

Sprinkle some flour on your work surface and knead the dough gently several times.  Cover with plastic wrap so the dough doesn’t dry out.

Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a circle.  Place a filling ball in the center and then gently work the dough around the filling so it’s smooth.  Pinch the dough together to seal the edges.  Roll between your palms until smooth.   Use a toothpick to make a few holes on the underside of the cake to allow the steam to escape when baking.

If using a silicone mold, brush the mold with a generous amount of flour.  Place dough ball into the cake mold and gently press the dough into the mold.  Poke a few holes using a toothpick.  Flip the pan over and shake it gently to release the cake.

If using a mooncake stamp mold, brush the mold with a generous amount of flour.  Place dough ball into the mold and gently press the dough into the mold.  Poke a few holes using a toothpick.  Flip the mold over so the flat side is resting on your work surface.  Press the handle to release the cake.

Remove any bubbling in the dough by pricking with a toothpick.  Use a small pastry brush to brush off any excess flour.

Bake at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 10 minutes.

To make the egg wash, combine egg yolk, water and sesame oil.  Stir and then strain.  Set aside for now.

Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes.  Spritz each cake with a bit of water.  Brush the egg wash on each cake coating it evenly.

Increase oven temperature to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Return cakes to oven and bake for another 7-8 minutes until they are lightly brown.

Remove from oven and allow to cool.  Store in air-tight container.  Enjoy the following day.

Yields:  6-8 cakes

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