Soon after we moved to Kuala Lumpur, a local friend invited us over to her house for the Moon Cake Festival and I was quite thrilled. That was the time when my girls were small and the luxury of a meal cooked and served by someone else was very welcome. Imagine my surprise when what I assumed to be a meal turned out to be an Ode to the Moon where we sat in the garden, looked at the full moon, sipped numerous cups of Chinese tea from dainty, delicate teacups smaller than my palm and enjoyed slice after slice of varieties of moon cakes. I have been a fan ever since and eventually learned to make them myself.
The Moon Cake Festival or Mid-Autumn Festival falls on the 15th day of the 8th month of the Lunar calendar when the moon is at its brightest for the entire year. There are many legends about this ancient Festival. My favourite is the one about how the Chinese overthrew the Mongols in the 13th century by passing messages about the planned rebellion in moon cakes. The uprising was successful and Moon Cakes earned their place in history. Today there are numerous kinds of moon cakes with different fillings. All are delicious and here is a recipe that can be eaten immediately.
The Recipe :
Moon cakes have two layers. The outer layer is called the skin and the inner layer the filling. You get special moulds to make them. This time I used jelly moulds as I wanted to experiment.
For The Snowskin
50gms Koh fun (commercial fried glutinous rice flour. This is a special flour that comes from Hong Kong and available at any cake speciality shop.
35gms Icing sugar; 7.5 gms margarine; 60ml ice cold water.
150gms Pure Lotus Paste
To Make Snowskin:
Sieve Koh Fun and Icing sugar into a mixing bowl.
Rub margarine into the flour mixture to resemble breadcrumbs.Add cold water a little by little until dough is soft and spongy in texture. Scale and weigh 15gms per portion for each mooncake. (According to the size of your mooncake mould.)
Scale and weigh 40gm per portion for each moon cake filling. (According to the size of your moon cake mould.)
Wrap each portion of filling with a portion of snow skin. Sprinkle a little koh fun flour in moulds. Press assembled balls into moon cake/jelly mould.
Knock out and chill before serving.
Makes seven. Next time I will make more.
Learn how to cook a traditional Indian meal using recipes that have been inherited from my great-grandmother.
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