Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua)

This Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) recipe makes wonderful homemade treats for celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival. Hearty taro surrounds a sweet coconut milk filling to make these beautiful snack cakes. A twist on the traditional mooncakes, these scrumptious cakes require no baking and use agar agar, a vegetarian jelly, to give them structure. The Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes are a lot of fun to make. Make a batch to enjoy at home or to gift to your family and friends for the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. Enjoy!

Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) - Chilled Snack Cakes for Mid-Autumn Festival | recipe from runawayrice.com
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Notes on the Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes Recipe, Tips and Tricks

If you’re familiar with making layered agar desserts, you know that timing is important. Let a jelly layer get too solid and the next layer won’t stick to it. (You’ll have a dessert which peels into separate layers.) Don’t let a layer set enough and the next layer will fall through.

Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) - Chilled Snack Cakes for Mid-Autumn Festival | recipe from runawayrice.com

Here are a few tips and tricks to help you make beautiful Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes:

Touching the jelly is the best way to tell if a layer is set. The layer should be dry and not stick to your finger. It should also be firm enough to not give to light pressure.

Make sure the taro mixture is hot, 150 F (66 C) and higher. The hot liquid melts the existing layers and helps to fuse them together. If the mixture cools and starts to solidify, heat in the microwave until it’s a hot liquid again. Be sure to stir the mixture each time it’s heated to remove any lumps.

Using a toothpick, gently prick holes in the first taro layer and coconut filling layer. (Be sure to place the pricked sides facing one another.) The hot taro mixture will flow into the holes and fuse the layers together.

Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) - 2-Piece Round and Square Mooncake Molds | recipe from runawayrice.com

This Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes recipe yields 3 cups coconut filling mixture and 5 cups taro shell mixture. The taro shell to coconut filling ratio is about 2:1 for each mooncake but feel free to make it as you like it.

Using 3.5 ounce / 100 gram molds (like the flower silicone molds I show in the video), the recipe yields approximately 12-16 mooncakes.

Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) - Chilled Snack Cakes for Mid-Autumn Festival | recipe from runawayrice.com

These Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes are moderately sweet. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to your taste.

To prevent the two-piece mooncake molds from leaking, here’s a nifty trick: Brush a thin layer of coconut mixture where the two pieces come together. Let the jelly set for 5 minutes. This will seal the mold and prevent leakage.

Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) - Two-Piece Mooncake Mold | recipe from runawayrice.com

Watch the video for instructions.


Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes / Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua

Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) - No-Bake Mooncakes, Easy Recipe! | recipe from runawayrice.com

Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) - Chilled Snack Cakes for Mid-Autumn Festival | recipe from runawayrice.com
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Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes / Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua

Course: Dessert
Cuisine: Asian, Chinese, Vietnamese
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 12 cakes
Calories: 173 kcal
Author: Trang

This Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) recipe makes wonderful homemade treats for celebrating the Mid-Autumn Festival. Hearty taro surrounds a sweet coconut milk filling to make these beautiful snack cakes. A twist on the traditional mooncakes, these scrumptious cakes require no baking and use agar agar, a vegetarian jelly, to give them structure. The Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes are a lot of fun to make. Make a batch to enjoy at home or to gift to your family and friends for the Mid-Autumn Festival holiday. Enjoy!

Ingredients

Coconut Filling

Taro Shell

  • 4 cups water, divided
  • 3/4 cup coconut milk
  • 2 Tbsp agar agar powder
  • 10 oz taro root
  • pinch of salt
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp vanilla sugar, or 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 Tbsp sweetened condensed milk
  • purple/violet food coloring, optional

Tools Needed

Instructions

Making the Coconut Filling

  1. In a medium saucepan, add the water, coconut milk and agar agar powder. Combine well. Let rest for 15 minutes.

  2. Heat the mixture over Medium heat stirring constantly until it comes to a gentle boil. As soon as the mixture boils, add the sugar and combine together. Skim off any foam from the top and discard. Reduce the heat to Low and continue cooking for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. Spoon the hot coconut mixture into mini-muffin cups filling each cup three-quarters full, approximately 1 1/2 Tbsp mixture. 

  4. Let rest at room temperature until solid, approximately 10-12 minutes. Using a small spatula, gently remove the filling from the pan. Set aside for now.

Making the Taro Shell

  1. In a large saucepan, add 2 cups water, the coconut milk and agar agar powder. Combine well. Let rest for 15 minutes.

  2. Chop the taro root into small pieces.
  3. Transfer the chopped taro into a medium saucepan. Add the remaining 2 cups water and a pinch of salt.
  4. Over Medium High heat, bring everything to a boil. Once it comes to a boil, reduce the heat to Medium Low. Skim off any foam and discard. Cook until the taro is soft, approximately 10-12 minutes.
  5. Transfer the cooked taro and liquid into a blender. Blend until the taro is no longer visible and the mixture is smooth, approximately 15-20 seconds.
  6. Heat the mixture (prepared in the first step) over Medium heat stirring constantly until it comes to a gentle boil. When the mixture boils, add the sugar, vanilla sugar and condensed milk. Combine together. Add the pureed taro and combine until smooth. Cook over Medium Low heat for another 3-4 minutes, stirring constantly so the bottom doesn't burn.

  7. Add the purple food coloring and mix well.

  8. Making the Mooncakes
  9. Spoon the hot taro mixture into the mooncake molds filling each one-third full, (approximately 1 1/2 Tbsp mixture). Let rest at room temperature until solid, approximately 8-10 minutes.

  10. Add the coconut filling (prepared earlier) centering each piece in the mold.

  11. Fill the molds with the hot taro mixture. Pop any large bubbles with a toothpick.

  12. Let rest a room temperature until solid, approximately 1 - 1 1/2 hours.
  13. Refrigerate the mooncakes until it's time to serve.

Serving the Mooncakes

  1. Gently stretch and press down on the silicone mold to release the mooncakes. Invert each mooncake onto a flat surface.
  2. Cut the cakes into bite-sized pieces and enjoy with hot tea.
  3. Cover and store any remaining cakes in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

Recipe Video

Notes, Tips & Tricks

  • Touching the jelly is the best way to tell if a layer is set. The layer should be dry and not stick to your finger. It should also be firm enough to not give to light pressure.
  • Make sure the taro mixture is hot, 150 F (66 C) and higher. The hot liquid melts the existing layers and helps to fuse them together.
  • If the mixture cool and starts to solidify, heat in the microwave until it's a hot liquid again. Be sure to stir the mixture each time it's heated to remove any lumps.
  • Using a toothpick, gently prick holes in the first taro layer and coconut filling layer. (Be sure to place the pricked sides facing one another.) The hot taro mixture will flow into the holes and fuse the layers together.
  • These Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes are moderately sweet. Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar to your taste.

Nutrition Facts
Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes / Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua
Amount Per Serving
Calories 173 Calories from Fat 63
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 11%
Saturated Fat 6g 30%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 18mg 1%
Potassium 238mg 7%
Total Carbohydrates 27g 9%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Sugars 19g
Protein 1g 2%
Vitamin A 0.5%
Vitamin C 1.8%
Calcium 3.7%
Iron 8.2%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

 

 

Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) - Chilled Snack Cakes for Mid-Autumn Festival | recipe from runawayrice.com

If you enjoy this Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) recipe, you may also like:

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Tools I Love and Use in My Kitchen

Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua) - Chilled Snack Cakes for Mid-Autumn Festival | recipe from runawayrice.com

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6 Responses to Taro and Coconut Agar Mooncakes (Banh Trung Thu Thach Khoai Mon Nhan Dua)

  1. Madeleine September 12, 2018 at 4:34 pm #

    I’m excited to make these! Is there a substitute for condensed milk? Thanks you!

    • Trang September 12, 2018 at 8:38 pm #

      H Madeleine,
      The sweetened condensed milk adds richness. You can replace with coconut milk. Good Luck! 🙂

  2. Lan September 10, 2018 at 5:26 pm #

    Hi Trang,
    I am so happy to see this moon cake recipe for Mid-Autumn holiday. This is much easier than the baked moon cakes. A novice cook like me was successful with your recipe! The moon cakes are so yummy but not fancy looking because I used cupcake pans. I will buy the silicone molds you recommended because they’re so pretty. Thanks chi!

    • Trang September 11, 2018 at 9:16 am #

      Hi Lan,
      Glad you enjoyed the recipe. Yes, you can make the mooncakes as simple or as fancy as you’d like. They are delicious either way! 🙂

  3. Stacy D September 7, 2018 at 7:23 pm #

    Absolutely beautiful! I can imagine the delicious smell of coconut and taro just by watching this video 🙂 Can’t wait to give it a try. Thank you for bringing back my many Tet Trung Thu childhood memories.

    • Trang September 10, 2018 at 4:52 pm #

      Hi Stacy,
      Thanks so much! The mooncakes are just as delicious as they are beautiful and I hope you make them to enjoy for Tet Trung Thu. Please stop back to share your results. I’d love to hear about it! 🙂

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