These beautiful mooncakes have a subtly sweet pastry dough filled with sweet mung bean and salted egg yolk. The contrasting textures and tastes of the delicate pastry, sweet mung bean and savory egg yolk is simply mouth-watering and such a delicious treat. Making these exquisite pastries at home is not difficult and I really recommend you give it a try. You’re going to have a lot of fun making them. Yes, they are a bit time-consuming to make but, the end result is so worth it. The mooncakes are such stunning gems that once done you won’t want to eat them! 🙂 Make a batch and gift them to your family and friends for the Mid-Autumn Festival. They will marvel at your baking skills and love you for the thoughtful gift. Enjoy!
Notes on the Recipe, Tips and Tricks
Making the Filling
- Use a large non-stick pan or wok to cook the mung bean. The larger surface helps to cook-off the liquid quicker.
- During the entire cooking process, scrap the pan often to prevent any crust from forming on the bottom. The crust will cause the mung bean to be lumpy.
- If considerable crusting forms, reduce the heat to Low.
- If you have cooked/roasted glutinous rice flour, add 3 Tbsp to the mung bean puree. This flour helps to absorb the liquid, reduces the cooking time and makes the mung bean more pliable, plus it tastes great!
- Work with the mung bean while it’s warm and it’ll be easier to shape into balls. If cooled, microwave on High for 1 minute to warm up again.
- Salted egg yolks take about 1 month to make. If you don’t have them on-hand for this recipe, as a shortcut, use lightly salted hard-boiled eggs or purchase the salted eggs from the Asian grocer.
- Try making the cakes with double salted egg yolks for more savory goodness.
Making the Mooncakes
- In this recipe, I use Lyle’s Golden Syrup instead of breakfast syrup which I’ve used in past for making mooncakes. I really like the taste of this syrup and it gives the cakes a beautiful golden color. Of course, if you like the breakfast syrup, this is just fine for this recipe. The syrup measurements are the same.
- Substitute the peanut oil for any mild-tasting vegetable oil such as soybean or canola if needed.
- The dough should be soft, moist and slightly sticky. If the dough is too dry or crumbly, add equal amounts of golden syrup and peanut oil, 1 tsp at a time, and work together. Err on the side of a drier dough rather than a wetter one. The dough will moisten and soften after the 30-minute resting period. If the dough is too wet, add 1 Tbsp cake flour at a time and work into the dough. A dough that is too wet will not hold the mooncake patterns and will ooze when left to sit at room temperature.
- After the 30-minute resting period, do a quick test of the dough: Pinch off a small amount and roll into a ball. Let sit for 15 minutes and see if the dough oozes or loses its shape. Adjust the dough accordingly, if needed.
- Each mooncake weighs 200 grams (7 oz): pastry dough is 80 grams (2.8 oz) + mung bean and salted egg yolk filling are 120 grams (4.2 oz). The typical ratio for dough to filling is 1:2 or 1.5:2.
- If there are bubbles in the dough while rolling the cakes, prick with a toothpick and smooth.
- Be sure to coat the cake ball with flour before placing into the mold (in addition to generously dusting the mold). This is the secret to preventing sticking. You can dust off the flour later. Nothing is sadder than having your beautiful mooncake stick to the mold and tearing. 🙁
- If the mooncake sticks to the mold and tears, smooth out the dough using a small spatula or patch with thin layers of dough. Scrape off the dough from the mold and dust generously with flour before making another cake.
- Practice makes perfect but there is a trick to getting the egg yolk centered in the cake: Place a toothpick through the egg yolk and use it as your guide when forming the filling ball and making the cakes. Roll the mung bean and dough with the toothpick in place and you’ll always know where the egg yolk is, so you can keep it centered. Don’t worry if it’s not perfect! 🙂
Storing the Mooncakes
- Cover and refrigerate any remaining cakes. Allow the cakes to come to room temperature before eating. Enjoy within the week.
- The mooncakes can be frozen for up to 3 months. Wrap individually in plastic wrap and then store in a resealable plastic bag. Thaw and allow to come to room temperature before enjoying. Optionally, wrap in foil and warm in a toaster oven.
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14 oz (2 cups) peeled split mung bean
1/2 tsp salt
5 cups water
1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp vegetable oil
8 Salted Egg Yolks
1 egg yolk
1 tsp water
1/2 tsp sesame oil
Wash the mung bean several times with cold water until the water is mostly clear. Soak the beans in a large bowl of water for at least 4 hours or overnight.
Steam the salted egg yolks over Medium High heat for 15 minutes. Allow to cool for 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate and set aside for now.
Wash the beans again with cold water and then drain. Transfer into a large pot. Add the salt and water. Bring to a boil over High heat. Stir and reduce the heat to Low. Skim off the foam from the top and discard. Continue cooking over Low heat, stirring every 5 minutes, for 20 minutes or until the liquid is absorbed and the beans are soft and creamy.
Transfer the cooked mung bean into a blender. Add the sugar. Blend on High speed until smooth, approximately 30-45 seconds.
Add the vegetable oil into a large pan along with the pureed mung bean. Cook over Medium Low heat stirring often. Slowly cook-off the liquid until the mung bean transforms from a pudding-like consistency to a stiff dough, approximately 30-40 minutes. The right consistency is achieved when you can fold the mung bean and it holds its shape.
Transfer the mung bean to a bowl. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool for 15 minutes.
Use a food scale to weigh one egg yolk. Weigh the mung bean so that the egg plus mung bean total 120 grams. (For example, if the egg yolk is 10 grams, weigh out 110 grams of mung bean to make a filling ball that is 120 grams.) Roll the mung bean making a rough ball. Shape into a thick patty about 3-inches wide and then make an indentation in the center. Place the egg yolk in the middle. Work the mung bean around the yolk, covering it completely. Roll between your palms to smooth and shape into a ball. Repeat these steps to make the remaining 7 filling balls. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside for now.
In a large bowl, sift together the all-purpose flour and cake flour.
In a bowl or measuring cup, add the golden syrup, peanut oil and egg yolks. Whisk together until the egg yolks are completely incorporated.
Make a well in the sifted flour and pour in the syrup mixture. (Scrape out all the syrup from the measuring cup.) Using a fork, gradually work the flour mixture into the syrup: Combine the flour and syrup together by stirring in circles, working from the edge of the bowl toward the center. Continue stirring until all the dry flour is worked into the dough. Push all the dough to one side of the bowl forming a large ball. Scoop out the dough ball and gently knead in your hands for 1-2 minutes. Place on a flat surface and knead the dough for 1 minute. (Don’t overwork the dough.) Shape the dough into a log. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 30 minutes.
Line a baking tray with a Silpat Non-Stick Baking Mat or parchment paper.
Sift the remaining 1/2 cup all-purpose flour into a large bowl. (This is used to dust the molds and make the cakes.)
Sprinkle some sifted flour on the work surface and dough log. Knead the dough gently for 1-2 minutes. Shape into a log again and cover with plastic wrap so the dough doesn’t dry out while working with it.
Use a food scale and weigh out 80 grams of dough. Roll the dough into a ball. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough into a 5-inch circle. Place a filling ball in the center and then gently work the dough around the filling covering it completely. Gently stretch and pinch the dough together to cover the filling ball. Roll between your palms until smooth. Dust the entire ball with more flour.
Coat the mooncake mold with a generous amount of flour. Lightly tap the mold to remove the excess flour. Assemble the mold.
Place the cake ball inside the mold. Using your fingers or palm, press down gently, flattening and pushing the cake ball into the mold. (Dust with flour if the dough starts to stick to your fingers.) Press the cake evenly into the mold, filling out the corners and keeping the dough inside the mold. Prick a few holes in the cake using a toothpick to allow the steam to escape when baking. Remove the top piece of the mold. Use a rolling pin to tap the sides of the mold to release the cake. Brush off any excess flour and then transfer the cake to the baking tray. Continue with these steps until all mooncakes are made.
Position the oven rack in the middle of the oven. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Bake the cakes at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.
Remove cakes from oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Spritz each cake with water.
To make the egg wash, whisk together the egg yolk, water and sesame oil. Strain the mixture. Brush each cake with the egg wash, coating it evenly.
Increase the oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Return the cakes to oven and bake for 7-8 minutes or until the tops are just golden. (Do not over-bake.)
Transfer to a wire rack and allow to cool completely (about 2 hours). Store in an air-tight container for 1 day.
Enjoy the mooncakes with hot tea!
Yields: 8 cakes
Looking for more mooncake recipes? Check out the following:
Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen
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